On February 21, Bill Donohue e-mailed Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of thePittsburgh Tribune Review, requesting permission to reprint an article by Don Collins of February 10, and a reply by Bob Lockwood of February 14 (when McNickle asked for more information about the Catholic League, Donohue directed him to our website and mentioned that Lockwood was a member of the board of directors of the Catholic League). The two columns, Donohue said, would appear in the April edition of our monthly journal, Catalyst. Then came his reply: “Permission denied.”

Donohue’s news release on this subject was as follows:

“Permission denied? Why? Because Lockwood ripped apart Collins’ anti-Catholic rant? (Collins is on the board of FAIR, an anti-immigrant and notoriously anti-Catholic group.) Here are some examples of what Collins wrote: U.S. policy is being shaped by ‘Rome and these bishops’; ‘We now have five male Catholic justices on the U.S. Supreme Court,’ thus creating an unseemly ‘concentration of power’; ‘Samuel Alito has been confirmed and installed, and this behind-the-scenes plan [of the Catholic Church] should get much of the credit’; the bishops are ‘infiltrating and manipulating the American democratic process at national, state and local levels’; and the bishops have ‘taken over the Republican Party.’ Has anyone told Howard Dean?

“McNickle did not like it when Lockwood said he should be ‘ashamed’ of himself for publishing the Collins piece, and said so on February 19. Indeed, the man who denied me permission to reprint the Collins article had the nerve to say that he would never be ashamed to print ‘points of view contrary to the conventional wisdom,’ because to do so would mean ‘the beginning of the end of a robust free press.’

“We now know what makes the Tribune Review jumpy—Catholicism and free speech. Unfortunately for them, I have a big mouth, and they can’t censor that.”

Contact McNickle at cmcnickle@tribweb.com

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