In “The Region” section of today’s edition of the Spokesman-Review, the president of Gonzaga University, Rev. Robert Spitzer, is called a Nazi. The Spokane, Washington daily ran a short piece entitled, “Nazi priest promotes his book.” The story was simply a blurb announcing a talk and book signing that Father Spitzer was doing at a local bookstore.
Rev. Spitzer’s new book is called, Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom and the Life Issues.” He entitled his talk, “The Spirit of Leadership: Optimizing Creativity and Change in Organizations.” Neither has anything to do with Nazism.
Upon learning of this story, Catholic League president William Donohue called the editor’s office at the Spokesman-Review. He was told that this was an error and that there would be an apology in tomorrow’s newspaper. The newspaper’s explanation, found on its website at spokesmanreview.com, is as follows: “At this point we don’t know how the headline got into print. It was a busy election night and there may have been some confusion over the story that was associated with the headline or some other explanation.”
Donohue isn’t buying any of this:
“I told a spokeswoman in the editorial office that this was no mistake. In fact, such labeling is in direct response to Father Spitzer’s courageous action taken last spring in banning a representative from Planned Parenthood from speaking on his campus. I made it clear that branding Father Spitzer a Nazi was intentional and therefore demands strict disciplinary action. Indeed, nothing short of termination is acceptable.
“I also told her that according to her newspaper’s definition, the Democratic Party consists of Nazis: in 1992 at the Democratic National Convention, pro-life leader Governor Robert Casey was banned from speaking. It doesn’t matter that she had no comment. What matters is that the guilty party be canned.”