The Los Angeles Times has slammed Robin Williams' new film, License To Wed, in a review in today's paper (Wed. 7/3/07). However, the review made no mention of Williams' offensive and bigoted anti-Catholic remarks on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno two weeks ago, as reported by NB's Michael Chapman. (See also this and this.) Neither has the paper published anything about Williams' words, although the episode took place in the Times' backyard. Yet the Times gave tons o' ink to Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade last year during a DUI arrest. (Read about that here.)
Double standard, anyone?
Father Daniel McCormack, a Catholic priest, committed the awful crimes of fondling five boys, ages 8 to 12, from 2001 to 2006. Yet the crimes occurred in Chicago, over 1700 miles away from L.A. Why did the Times feel the need to publish the story in their A section in today's paper (7/3/07)? (Although the story is an "In Brief" item, the lettering of the headline is noticeably larger than those for the other items.)
Some more questions for the Times: Would the paper had published the story if this were a male school teacher in Chicago? A rabbi in Chicago? A cheerleader coach in Chicago? A corrections officer in Chicago? A businessman in Chicago?
Sex abuse cases by local citizens (of the Los Angeles area) are most often (if not always) reported in short stories in the B section of the Times ("California"). (Like this and this.) The exception to this is when Catholic priests are involved, in which case the story is sometimes placed on the front page of the paper. (Like this and this.)
Any abuse of a child is awful, but the problem is culture-wide. The Times' reporting of the story in Chicago gives the false impression that the Church somehow has a "bigger problem" than others. If you've bought into this canard, consider what Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft has reported (emphasis mine):
So to answer the earlier question: Would the paper had published the story if this were a male school teacher in Chicago? Likely not.
This is not the first time we've reported that the LA Times has gone hundreds (and thousands) of miles away to report abuse by Catholic priests. See: "LA Times Goes to Texas, Alaska Seeking Church Abuse Scandals," NewsBusters, 9/6/06.
Double standard? Of course.