The Catholic League has been at odds with Connecticut Supreme Court Judge Andrew McDonald since he was a state senator. More recently, we worked to educate the public about his record of anti-Catholic bigotry, hoping to stop his bid to become Chief Justice. We won. He was defeated on March 27 in the state senate by a vote of 19-16.
One of the most despicable aspects of McDonald’s nomination was the incredible media bias that he has benefited from.
In the month before the vote, there were 29 articles in the press about his anti-Catholicism, 19 of which were stories from the Associated Press (AP). And most of them were perfunctory: they did not go into any detail about what he did in 2011.
In 2011, when McDonald was a state senator, he introduced a bill that would have allowed an unprecedented power grab: the government would take over the administrative and fiscal decisions of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, and lay Catholics would be authorized to run the internal affairs of their parish, throwing the pastor overboard. Jodi Rell, the governor at the time, accurately called this coup “blatantly unconstitutional, insensitive, and inappropriate.”
The media, for the most part, allowed McDonald to get away with his anti-Catholic behavior while hyping his alleged victim status as a gay man. There were 48 stories, 27 by AP, stating that some of his opposition is anti-gay. Yet the best anyone could do was to say that there were some anonymous comments.
Bill Donohue told the media several times that “There was not one person or group identified in all of these stories who has said anything anti-gay about him.” This is why House Republican leader Themis Klarides recently said, “There is not one person who has mentioned Andrew McDonald’s sexuality except Democrats.”
This explains why the best the New York Times could do to help him was to say that “his supporters have suggested that at least some of the opposition has been motivated by Justice McDonald’s sexual orientation….” His “supporters have suggested.” This is evidence of nothing, absolutely nothing.
This was an uphill fight all the way. We are delighted to have won such a sweet victory, beating the media and anti-Catholic bigots.
[Note: The lead story in the last issue of Catalyst was about the way anti-Catholic bigotry embroiled McDonald and Gordon Giampietro. The latter is a Wisconsin nominee for the federal district court in Milwaukee who unfairly came under fire by anti-Catholics for holding to Church teachings on family and sexuality. His nomination is still pending.]