As we now approach our tenth year, we would like to thank everyone for making 2013 the best year ever for TheMediaReport.com! Our readership continues to grow dramatically, thanks to you. 2013 was even better than the last, and we look forward to an even better 2014!
There were a lot of important stories in the past year. Between Church-suing lawyer Jeff Anderson's silly "stuntsuit" against the Vatican finally being dropped and Cardinal Timothy Dolan being vindicated against bogus charges of "shielding" money from abuse victims, it was an eventful 12 months. So we figured we would close out the year with a look at our most compelling posts of 2013.
It is open season on Catholic priests today. Any accusation, threat, or mere hint of abuse from 50 years ago is enough to destroy a priest's reputation and vault him out of the priesthood forever.
No story more exemplified this than a shocking story out of Chicago, where two men walked into a sacristy and demanded cash from an elderly priest. They accompanied their demand for money with an ominous threat:
"We'll say you touched us, read the paper, they'll believe us."
This disturbing episode only shines a small glimmer of light on the enormous prevalence of false accusations against priests, an issue which the mainstream media naturally refuses to report.
Working off possibly stolen documents supplied to her by a hysterical, disgruntled ex-employee of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Madeleine Baran of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) epitomizes agenda-driven journalism that often passes for "investigative news."
Worse yet, Baran smeared a totally innocent priest twice by falsely implying that he had committed sex crimes against children. Baran and MPR should be ashamed. But, predictably, they're not.
The abominable travesty of justice that has transpired from the Philadelphia District Attorney's witchhunt of Catholic clergy is yet another mind-blowing story that the mainstream media continues to ignore.
In January, an apparent runaway jury convicted two men based on the incredible stories of accuser Daniel P. Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with an extensive arrest record, that during the 1998-1999 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in Philadelphia, he was viciously raped and abused – sometimes for hours on end – by three separate men, all of whom barely even knew each other.
Enter veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano, who originally began covering the Philadelphia trials as "pro-prosecution" but then came to realize that he was witnessing an abominable miscarriage of justice.
Only time will tell if justice will ever prevail and if the two wrongfully convicted men, Fr. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero, will some day be released from prison.
For the past several decades, Hollywood and the mainstream media have told a story of how the Catholic Church in Ireland operated homes for troubled youth – the Magdalene Laundries – that were rife with unspeakable barbarity and unrivaled cruelty from the nuns who operated them.
However, in January, the Irish government released the independent McAleese Report, which sought to examine the country's role in the laundries, which operated for over two centuries until 1996. The report single-handedly turned upside down the dominant narrative of how women were treated at the laundries.
Of the scores of women who were interviewed for the report, exactly zero reported being sexually abused by a nun. None. Nada. Zilch.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has shown no interest in correcting the historical record.
According to information exclusively obtained by TheMediaReport.com, Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, admitted that she wrote a letter on behalf of a Louisiana psychologist, Dr. Steve Taylor, who was arrested and jailed on charges of possessing over 100 images of kiddie porn on his computer. And after the letter became public knowledge, Blaine then aggressively tried to cover it up.
In 2009, when the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners was considering revoking the license of Dr. Taylor following his arrest for child pornography, Blaine wrote a letter to the board and explained that Taylor had founded a local chapter of SNAP and had done extensive work for the group. She then begged that the board "refrain from taking any action on this case until Dr. Taylor's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law."
After a number of regional leaders at SNAP apparently became angry that the leader of a sex abuse victims group had written a letter on behalf of a person who had been arrested with sexually explicit pictures of children on his computer, Blaine co-authored a secret internal SNAP memo which began with a stern demand: "Please do not circulate this."
The memo then urged SNAP members not to publicly talk about the embarrassing episode involving Blaine's letter. "As harsh as this may sound, we'd recommend that you not respond [to critics]," the memo asks.
Ever since its inception, SNAP has repeatedly blasted Catholic officials for their alleged "lack of transparency" and "secrecy" in their handling of cases decades ago involving alleged abuse by priests.
And with Blaine's letter, the hypocrisy could not be more clear: Secrecy for SNAP, but full transparency for the Catholic Church.
Blaine's actions have only further revealed SNAP as the mean-spirited, nasty, and bigoted organization that it is, and the time is long overdue for the mainstream media to report on the secret inner workings of this group of hysterics and bigots.