Catholic League president William Donohue drew a comparison today between the way Newsday is handling its circulation scandal and the way it has treated Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy:

“The Tribune Company, which owns Newsday, has already had to fork over $35 million to cover settlements with advertisers.  Now 50 car dealers are suing for $125 million.  The extent and depth of corruption at Newsday, and its Spanish-language daily, Hoy, is staggering.  They have been fraudulently hiking their circulation for years. 

“Here’s the way they do business at Newsday: they count dead people as subscribers; they deliver papers to burned down houses; they drop off bulk copies to dealers who have said they don’t want them; they cook their internal corporate reports; and they even alter affidavits by distributors to pump circulation figures.  The extent of corruption is so common that they have even developed their own jargon: ‘Code 51’ means to continue delivering newspapers to customers who have cancelled their subscriptions or have stopped paying.

“The person in charge of the business side of Newsday, Ray Jansen, has been forced to retire early.  James Klurfeld, editor of the editorial page, said today of Jansen that ‘nothing missed his gaze.’  Nothing?  It gets better.  Klurfeld then says of Jansen that ‘His power of observation was almost uncanny, as if he had X-ray vision.’  To make matters worse, Klurfeld tells us that Jansen ‘rose through the ranks of the advertising department’ and that his ‘talent was on the business side.’  He obviously doesn’t connect the dots—he has just indicted Jansen.

Newsday should take some of its own medicine.  Columnist Sheryl McCarthy once wrote that the pope should step down because of the scandal in the Church.  Should not the entire editorial board of Newsday do the same?  Ed Lowe said Bishop Murphy belongs in prison.  Should we not lock up the top brass at Newsday?  And Jimmy Breslin said that anyone who gives to the diocese is giving money to pedophiles.  Which seems to argue that anyone who buys Newsday is giving to gangsters.”

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