As we have noted many times before, the media's obsession with decades-old sex abuse in the Catholic Church is more about its hatred for the Church than it is about sex abuse itself.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times has obsessed over the issue. In literally hundreds (if not thousands) of news articles, editorials, and op-eds in recent years, the paper has been pummeling the Catholic Church for its handling of decades-old cases of sex abuse.
Now the Times has hired a new CEO, Mark Thompson, the former chief of the British broadcasting giant BBC, and people are asking what knowledge he had of sickening child sex abuse committed by one of the network's most popular personalities in its history, the late entertainer Jimmy Savile.
Police in England are now reportedly investigating as many as 300 child abuse allegations against the BBC's Savile, with one story claiming that his youngest victim may have been as young as eight years old. In addition, one of Savile's acts of molestation apparently was captured on live television (on "Top of the Pops") in 1976.
Deny, minimize, and blame
Thompson has denied that during his tenure at the BBC that he ever "heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile." However, there are serious doubts about this.
Shortly after Savile's death in 2011, a BBC "investigative" program looking into rampant sex abuse by the entertainer was mysteriously shelved, leading some to conclude that Thompson was part of a cover-up of the sick Savile. More recently, a letter written by Thompson's own attorneys suggests that Thompson did indeed know about the abuse allegations. (Here is an excellent timeline of alleged events.)
A map for the future
While the New York Times has never once given the Catholic Church even a small benefit of doubt about its handling of sex abuse cases decades ago, the paper now appears to be giving its new CEO a pass about episodes that occurred much more recently. As Thompson quietly settles in to his new cushy gig at the Grey Lady, the paper appears to be "running out the clock" until the story becomes tired and fades away.
More notably, the Times will have serious credibility issues in the future plastering Catholic leaders for decades-old sex abuse when the paper's own CEO has pleaded ignorance to abuse that allegedly occurred in the very building in which Thompson was working.
In light of these events, we will be keeping an eye on how the Times covers the issue of Catholic Church sex abuse in the future.
(By the way … While the ever-hysterical and hyperbolic anti-Catholic group SNAP has never been shy to comment about high-profile abuse cases in the media, this is one story on which it has remained notably silent. The likely reason: The New York Times has been very favorable to the bigoted SNAP over the years, as the paper has often acted as a willing mouthpiece for the group to publicize many of its kooky claims. (For example, see this, this, and this.))