As we now approach our eleventh year, we would like to thank everyone for making 2014 another great year at TheMediaReport.com! Our strength and influence continue to grow dramatically, thanks to you. And we look forward to an even better 2015!
As we close out our year, we take a look at our most compelling posts of 2014.
We have likely reviewed several thousand news articles, television episodes, radio interviews, and documentary films in our mission to encourage accuracy in the media's coverage of the Catholic Church abuse story line.
However, we don't believe we have seen a piece of media as grossly inaccurate and irresponsible as a recent multimedia special presentation, "Betrayed by Silence," produced by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), which purports to chronicle the history of the Catholic Church abuse scandal as it relates to Minnesota.
The Kansas City Star may not have been officially listed as a party in the recent high-profile clergy abuse trial in Kansas City, but the credibility of the Star was certainly on trial. And by all accounts, it lost.
A splashy, three-part series in 2011, entitled, "The altar boys' secret," by the Star's Judy L. Thomas, relayed the shocking charges of a man named Jon David Couzens, who claimed that an abusive priest, Msgr. Thomas O'Brien (who died in 2013), had forced Couzens and three other altar boys thirty years earlier to perform an orgy with each other and him only minutes before Mass was to begin.
And according to the Star, Couzens claims that these forced orgies happened not just once, not twice, but on three separate occasions.
In the past, the hyperbolic founder and president of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, Barbara Blaine, has said that it is "reckless" and "irresponsible" for Church officials to fail to call law enforcement and keep an accused cleric in ministry "even for one day" before calling police and yanking an accused cleric out of ministry.
But if nothing else, SNAP is rich in hypocrisy. So it should come as no surprise that, according to an Archdiocese of Chicago press release, SNAP itself did not call police or alert Church officials even though it knew "for several weeks" about an allegation of sex abuse by a Chicago priest.
Rather than acting according to its purported mission to protect children, SNAP instead held a press conference, strategically timed for a slow news day on the Monday after Easter. The conference was led by Blaine herself, who in the past has also personally written a letter of support on behalf of a friend arrested with over 100 images of kiddie porn on his computer.
Prosecutors in Philadelphia deliberately withheld evidence that would have exonerated a Catholic priest and a teacher wrongfully convicted of sex abuse, according to an explosive new court filing recently uncovered in an article by investigative journalist Ralph Cipriano.
This remarkable development now adds further proof that three men – Rev. Charles Engelhardt (Rest in Peace), former teacher Bernard Shero, as well as ex-priest Edward Avery – are most certainly in prison serving time for crimes that they never committed thanks to the witch-hunt mentality against Catholic priests fermented by the mainstream media.
Now that the mainstream media has finally concluded that the tale by Sabrina Rubin Erdely in Rolling Stone magazine of ceremonial gang rape at the University of Virginia was bogus, we hope that it will now revisit her preposterous 2011 story about abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
In her 2011 article, Erdely eagerly recounted, among many other salacious tales, the bizarre claims of "Billy" – whom readers of this site know to be Florida resident Dan Gallagher – who has claimed to have been somehow raped, molested, and sodomized by three different men – two priests and a Catholic school teacher – years ago as an altar boy in Philly in the late 1990s.
But as we have repeatedly chronicled here at TheMediaReport.com, veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano at BigTrial.net has doggedly uncovered layers of information that demonstrate that Gallagher's madcap stories were most certainly fabricated. The lives of these three innocent men have been shattered in part by Erdely's irresponsible and reckless reporting.