It happened on a late Friday afternoon, March 30. Patrick Scully, the league’s director of communications, told William Donohue that an article had appeared that day in a Fort Lauderdale newspaper, the Sun Sentinel, claiming that when the play “Corpus Christi” opened in New York in 1998, “The league threatened violence….”
Donohue immediately called the Sun Sentinel making the following demand: either a retraction will be printed or the Catholic League will sue the newspaper. He told the “number two” person at the paper (the “number one” person wasn’t in that day) that she might as well fax over the evidence that the league threatened violence because she’s going to have to show it in court anyway. She asked for time to research the matter, pledging to call him at home that evening. Donohue said no and informed her to call him Monday morning letting him know her response.
On Monday morning, she called. She said that three of the four reporters on the story had been spoken to and that one more, the theater critic, had to be contacted. She asked if she could call in the afternoon after this person had been spoken to and Donohue agreed.
When she called back (rather sheepishly), she said the retraction would appear in the next morning’s newspaper, April 3. It did. We then demanded that the retraction also appear on the paper’s website. It was posted immediately. See page 2 for the actual wording.