‘Spotlight’ Neglects to Mention the Boston Globe’s Own Long History of Rank Hypocrisy on the Issue of the Sexual Abuse of Minors

Spotlight movie review

Shining the light on 'Spotlight'

While the Hollywood movie Spotlight portrays editors and writers at the Boston Globe wringing their hands over the potential story of abuse by Catholic priests, the film conveniently neglects to mention the Globe's own long history of looking the other way when it comes to the issue of sex abuse of minors in other institutions.

In fact, the Globe even has a long history of supporting advocates of child sex.

The Globe's long history which Spotlight forgot

To take but just a few of the many examples, and as we have chronicled here, the Globe has previously:

  • given a high-profile platform to the co-founder of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes sex with children;
  • routinely celebrated entertainment celebrities who have committed child abuse crimes, including Roman Polanski, Peter Yarrow, and Paula Poundstone;
  • once endorsed a Congressman for reelection even after he admitted to repeatedly plying booze and having sex with a high-school-aged page;
  • repeatedly touted a "sexologist" who spoke favorably of incest between fathers and daughters;
  • repeatedly ignored or mitigated rampant sex abuse and cover-ups in Boston Public Schools (1, 2, 3, 4);
  • and more.

    Between its incessant hypocrisy and its long history of anti-Catholicism, one could fill a book. And indeed that book is Sins of the Press: The Untold Story of The Boston Globe's Reporting on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church by TheMediaReport.com's own Dave Pierre.

    Sins of the Press chronicles many more instances of the Globe's hypocrisy when it comes to the sexual abuse of children.


  1. another Mark says:

    Well David, it is VERY CLEAR you haven't seen the movie "Spotlight", but I will clue you in.  There is an entire scene (and mentioned more than once) about how the department head at the Globe, had an opportunity years earlier, to blow the lid off of the real story, but missed it. Known predator clergy were routinely recycled back into ministry, where many went on to harm more children. 

    Nice of you to point the finger at phsychologists, but can you please tell me why, well educated Bishops and Cardinals, failed to report a child molesting priest to authorities when they knew he had sexually molested a minor?  It was against the law then as it is now.   So did the phsychologist tell these bishops and Cardinals it was okay to break the law by not reporting these crimes to police authorities?  and if they did I suppose you think it was okay for them to follow that instruction.  Blaming phsychologists (many of whom were NOT secular but CLERGY) is so lame it isn't funny.

    But than again that could be due to the fact you don't believe there was a story to tell at all. 

    • malcolm harris says:

      On December 1st, "Another Mark" asks how well educated Bishops and Cardinals failed to report allleged perpetrators to police, when they knew the perps had sexually molested minors?.

      This is typical of the Playbook line of argument, as it relies on the public's tardiness at thinking through a sweeping assertion. 

      To begin with we should ask…. how the "Bishops and Cardinals knew'?  Who told them?. Are we expected to hazard a guess, or just assume? Are they mindreaders?.

      No, I think we are meant to assume that the parents told them. Well, if we say that, it then raises the question…why didn't these parents report the accusations to the police?. Parents have a natural protective instinct to protect their kids….the human race only survived because of this parental instinct. Moreover the parents would be more likely to believe the kids, rather than believe a priest. What I am trying to convey is that if anybody is expected to go to the police, it must be the parents. Surely!

      But the Playbook is ready for this…and drags out the old chestnut that Catholics are members of some kind of secret society. Meaning  that they close ranks and always keep such nasty secrets to themselves. What utter rubbish!  

      My four siblings all sent their kids to Catholic schools, but none were devout. If anybody had molested their kids… they would not have hesitated to report to the police, no matter who was involved. And I have just described the vast bulk of Catholics parents who send their kids to Catholic schools. 

      The whole Abuse Matter has become a "cottage industry", run for the financial benefit of some lawyers and some lapsed Catholics, seeing a great opportunity to make quick and easy money.

    • TruCatholic says:

      Not only do they "fail". But as recent as last year, in Minnesota, they are still using every means to keep the lid on things. Intimidation, destroying whistle-blowers, lieing under oath, sham investigations, sham supervisions, playing dumb. Enforcing a "Code Of Silence". It's all there. In Kansas City, St Paul, and Philadelphia. Just in the last few years.

    • TheMediaReport.com says:

      another Mark: “Well David, it is VERY CLEAR you haven’t seen the movie. There is an entire scene (and mentioned more than once) about how the department head at the Globe, had an opportunity years earlier, to blow the lid off of the real story, but missed it.”

      1. Of course we saw the movie.

      2. The scene you refer to in the film never happened in real life:


      “Robinson pressures one of his sources, a lawyer named Eric MacLeish (Billy Crudup), for information, and the slick attorney throws it back in his face: ‘I already sent you a list of names… years ago!’ he says to Robinson and Pfeiffer. ‘I had 20 priests in Boston alone, but I couldn’t go after them without the press, so I sent you guys a list of names … and you buried it!’

      “Except that exchange never actually happened. Nor did the scene where Pfeiffer searches the archives and brings the clipping of the December 1993 story to Robinson, proving MacLeish correct: it ran on B42 and didn’t include any of the priests’ names. And a later scene, where Robinson admits to his colleagues that he had been the Metro editor back in ‘93, accepting his role in not catching the story sooner, didn’t happen either.”