Media Finally Awakens As SNAP’s Leadership Suddenly Resigns Amid Lawsuits and Scandals

Barbara Blaine : Daily Beast : David Clohessy

Resigning in disgrace: SNAP's Barbara Blaine (l) and David Clohessy (r)

For many years at TheMediaReport.com, we have been saying that SNAP and its leadership – so beloved by the media for its constant bashing of the Catholic Church – was little more than a contingency lawyer front group disguised as a victim support group.

Then along came Gretchen Hammond.

A few weeks ago, Hammond, a former director of development at SNAP, filed a blockbuster retaliatory lawsuit against SNAP alleging that SNAP was funded by illicit kickbacks from plaintiff lawyers like Jeff Anderson, had little or no regard for actual abuse victims, and was driven by an ideological hatred of the Catholic Church. What's more, Hammond had a trove of internal SNAP documents to substantiate all of her claims.

Almost immediately, National Director David Clohessy resigned, claiming that that he really resigned weeks earlier but forgot to tell anyone about it. Then, last week, SNAP's very founder, Barbara Blaine, announced her resignation, claiming too that it was in the works and had nothing to do with Hammond's lawsuit. Uh-huh.

Better late than never

In the wake of Clohessy's and Blaine's resignations, we are happy to report that some in the mainstream media have finally acknowledged SNAP's questionable operations and sleazy connections to plaintiff lawyers.

While reporting on the demise of SNAP and its leadership, most of the media did note Hammond's lawsuit and the unusual timing of the resignations. Kudos to the coverage from The Daily Beast and the video interview of Hammond by NBC affiliate WMAQ in Chicago:

Wall of shame

Sadly, however, many in the media downplayed or outright whitewashed Hammond's lawsuit in the coverage of Clohessy's and Blaine's resignations. Some journalists, who for years have practiced extreme cynicism when it came to any statement by Church officials, were happy to suspend their cynicism when it came to Clohessy's and Blaine's explanations for their sudden departures in the wake of Hammond's lawsuit.

Of particular note is the coverage of Mark Mueller at the New Jersey Star-Ledger, who blithely accepted Clohessy's explanation that he resigned in part due to "high cholesterol" (yes, really).

Following closely behind Mueller are Jim Salter at the Associated Press and David Gibson at Religion News Service, both of whom largely sidestepped Hammond's lawsuit and swallowed Clohessy's and Blaine's nonsensical reasons for their departures.

Oh. And, of course, Laurie Goodstein and the New York Times – who have practically acted like publicists for SNAP for the past two decades – have completely ignored the entire story.

Same as it ever was.

Comments

  1. malcolm harris says:

    The media does indeed suspend their cynicism when told things by SNAP. And Dave is right in saying they reserve their cynicism for anything said by Church officials. Guess that is further proof of the witch-hunt?. Was surprised by SNAP now saying they are seeking more donations… because of the Gretchen Hammond lawsuit. Also that they are looking for a pro-bono lawyer to represent them.  But wouldn't they have an insurance policy that provides cover for such claims. If so the insurer would provide the lawyer. The insurer would also advise whether the lawsuit should be settled, before goiing to court.  Sincerely hope that Gretchen does take this all the way to court. My guess is that there is more scandalous revelations to come out.  Because am still puzzled? ….By the speed at which Clohessy and Blaine rushed for the exits?  Perhaps those kickbacks, from the lawyers, should be examined by the relevant authorities.

  2. James Robertson says:

    Wow! a picture of a priest shoving money, instead of Eucharist, down an open mouthed women's throat above the words "The Daily Beast"? Sounds like more of what an angry priest would think about tiresome parishioners as compared to having anything to do with what this post is about.

    Blaine says truthfully, "What we've done in SNAP is a gift to the church"  No shit Barb! It's been no gift to us victims.

    Poor Ms. Hammond does not appear too bright. Of course, she may not have had access in her job to the dispersal of SNAP's funds. She was there merely to gather more funds for SNAP.  I would say from her sincerity that Ms. Hammond is merely a pawn here. She looked like a deer in the headlights.

    I'd love to have a long chat with Ms. Hammond and fill her in on what long term survivors of SNAP know.

    Ms. Hammond here's my email address. Please contact me. godlessjim@gmail.com if you read this. I've contacted your lawyer but he's probably not told you.

  3. James Robertson says:

    I was at a home mass the other night in the west of Ireland. Honoring my cousin's mother's 1 year death anniversary. It reminded me of how much I believed it all as a child. And how much my mother and her family believed. Nostalgia for the things of childhood on my part. The answer response is hypnotic, isn't it? The priest and I had a long chat after. Seemed a nice guy.

    I await the mockery here. Lol!

  4. kick it down the road says:

    Hey, how about the Vatican stops hiding behind its complicit bishops and known child molestors and cover-ups in an attempt to re-abuse SNAP and all clergy sex abuse victims/survivors.  Stop wasting our time Vatican. Sue SNAP and other victims groups so that you will be exposed for the perpetrator that you are.  What do you think Australia?  The Vatican keeps sending pawns to do their re-victimization.  Hey, if the Catholic Church is claiming to be a victim, let the Pope file a lawsuit against the multitudes of his victims.  Stop annoying us with your pawns Vatican.  That's my opinion.

  5. James Robertson says:

    Blaine tells the truth "What we've done in SNAP is a gift to the church"

    Nothing about victims. Nothing about compensation. Nothing about damages done. Only about SNAP was a gift to the church. Yes it was. It gave the church $billions that belong to it's, harmed, children.

    Why would a real victims rep, in her media swan song, even think to talk about "giving" to the church instead of demanding that the church give back to victims? Thanks Babs for proving my point again. You work first last and only FOR the church.

  6. KenW says:

    Not surprised as I've gotten threats from SNAPpie before?..from Ms. Hammond's FB: 

    "Three years as a reporter and this is the first time I'm getting threats. Ironically not for a story I wrote. If I have to enter a witness protection program, I wonder if my name can be Gabriella Mariendello Smith presently of a modest two bedroom in Waikiki. Occupation: sandcastle moat construction."

     

     

     

  7. James Robertson says:

    Threats shmets! Trump's a fucking threat. Believe me nobody's going after Ms.Hammond. It's all part of the Reign of Fear we are supposed to be living under. Be Afraid always be afrait. The leit motif of capitalism.

  8. malcolm harris says:

    Dave provided a link to 'The Daily Beast', one of the few media outlets which is reporting the revelations about SNAP. They sought information regarding the legal position of any lawyer paying kickbacks.   It is unethical for any lawyer to pay kickbacks… period. The consequences vary, according to the severity of the case. At worst they can lose their license. It all hangs on whether it was  a donation? or a fee for the referral of a client?. This should not be a complicated question. For example… somebody sends a few dollars to a NGO, after seeing T.V. images of starving kids in Africa. No reward is expected…it's just compassion.  But if another person has a pattern of behaviour that directs the alleged victim to a lawyer, then assists the claim by arranging and facilitating the media onslaught……then that is a service to the lawyer and his client. The money that sustains SNAP are the kickbacks.  Call it a donation, or a reward, call it what you like?. But it is really a kickback…. both SNAP and the lawyer have a clear financial motive.

  9. James Robertson says:

    Malcolm SNAP started as a donation from not Jeff Anderson but the Chicago Archdiocese and Dominican nuns. The Archdiocese gave SNAP a church-owned former convent as it's headquarters rent-free. Jeff Anderson had nothing to do with that. Dominican nuns sponsored SNAP as a non-profit organization. Lawyers had nothing to do with that. Chicago media Oprah Winfrey Phil Donahue and Jerry Springer  (then an average talk show host of the era) were all handed the SNAP package including a priest( the Jesuit novel writer) and a Catholic reporter, Jason Berry to verify SNAP's/Blaines virtues and authenticity. One little lawyer from Minnesota couldn't have created that nor enabled SNAP to spread worldwide on his own. This was long before any large settlements were made. Or were even thought possible. Save for the church's fears and Tom Doyle.The Catholic church had the biggest "financial motive" of all. It stood to loose Billions of $ and creating SNAP saved them many more billions than they've wound up spending. The church by creating the "Voice of the Victims" aimed this scandal, which they knew would not simply disappear, at least into the stream that would work best for the church.

    • Publion says:

      On the 11th at 550AM – as if he has never tried it before – JR will take yet another opportunity to toss up his cartoon about how SNAP is the tool of the Church.

      As I have said: the SNAP we know is the one produced by Anderson enlisting Blaine in 1988 / whatever might have been the early backing for SNAP pre-1988, the organization was failing until Anderson had that meeting with Blaine /  Jason Berry’s 1992 book was significantly not pro-Church, regardless of Berry’s religious affiliation  (I don’t know who the “Jesuit novel writer was) / and the synergy between the torties, a sensation-hungry and ‘liberal-leaning’ media, a secularist agenda that sought to reduce the Church’s public stature and influence, and Victimst law changes that virtually ensured that ‘victims’ could not or would not be adversarially questioned and examined plus the prospect of what can be called ‘easy money’… all of these and not “one little lawyer from Minnesota” were more than capable of establishing SNAP’s influence. And did. For quite a while.

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 11th at 550AM:

      And the Church did lose “billions” / and we have nothing but an invisible myriad of  imagined still-unrevealed ‘victims’ for which we have only JR’s word for it, to support his cartoon bit that the Church would have lost even more billions if SNAP were not in business. 

  10. James Robertson says:

    P-hole's cartoon is that the church's cartoon and SNAP's cartoon and Tom Doyle's cartoon set up of SNAP and Berry and Anderson, which was always in his written plan to do, never happened. Quite a cartoon in it's own right there P.

    Wylie J. Coyote (Fr. Tom Doyle O.P.), never ordered from Acme Co. any dynamite to blow up victims chances for compensation.

    P, the 1.5 billion the church spent is nothing to what it should have spent and still should spend. Your church leaders fucked up. Nobody else. Your church failed to protect Catholic children and not only that, they transferred know pedophiles to molest Catholic children again. That's why 1.5 billion has been spent of their parents donated, now church owned wealth. And are the church's lawyers fee's included in that $1,5 billion figure? I bet tey are knowing how hard the church has worked to pain itself as victim.

  11. James Robertson says:

    Greely, Fr. Andrew Greely SJ. priest and novelist ,i think, was the authenticator of SNAP as being virtuous.

  12. malcolm harris says:

    Fr. Gordon MacRae wrote in TSW, on February 8, about the latest revelations coming out about SNAP.  He suggested that RICO should investigate SNAP:  RICO is the acronym for the government agency which investigates Organized Racketeering, Influence and Corruption. Because there has to be something very corrupt and organized going on?. How can any citizen have his constitutional rights so disregarded that he is presumed guilty, solely on the accusations of a convicted criminal?. The accuser given the cloak of anonymity, to make his sordid accusations. And a complicit media conducting 'trial by media', before the actual trial. Also the media ignoring the fact that the accuser is clearly motivated by money……. big bucks.   Vice- President Mike Spence said something about making America great again….and he mentioned a need to "return to the rule of law". Dare I suggest he could make a good start by having this particular corruption thoroughly investigated.

  13. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 13th at 532AM:

    Here, once again, he tries to run the old I’m Not/You Are bit: my material is just a “cartoon” too.

    And then, secondly, that I have claimed that the “set up” of SNAP “never happened”. I didn’t say that; JR just needs to create some plop for the tossing here.

    Whatever was the initial matrix of SNAP in the early 1980s, SNAP was failing within a few years, until Anderson has his meeting with Blaine in 1988, which led to the SNAP that went on to the career we all know.

    And then JR riffs on “cartoon”, with no coherence evident, to the effect that since Doyle was a priest and Berry was a Catholic then JR’s entire bit about the Church not only permitting SNAP in its earliest phase but also running it for all these decades – even unto the lodging of the current Chicago lawsuit – is  … well, is what?

    Toss in his bit from the 13th at 535AM that some Jesuit novelist – Fr. Andrew Greeley – said nice things about SNAP and you simply wind up with zero added to zero, resulting – unsurprisingly – in zero.

  14. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 13th at 532AM:

    Then the comment veers off the rails into the Doyle-dynamite bit and readers can suss whatever they can from it.

    Then JR slyly uses the figure of 1.5 billion, apparently trying to minimize the amount of money the Stampede cost the Church by not including the amount paid by Insurers. Three billion or more dollars wound up being spent; if the Insurers paid some of that, then the premiums would have gone up, probably very substantially.

    As to just how many “pedophile” priests there actually were, and how many were transferred … we have seen on this site, even with the LA Times publication of its cache of documents a few years back, that the epidemic or systemic nature of such activity remains deeply un-supported.

  15. James Robertson says:

    You act as though your church has done nothing in all this? You act as though you care about anything but protecting child molesters and the church's money. You act as though masses of victims aren't victims but thieves. You act as though the church hasn't done its own studies backing victims and that govt. after govt. hadn't done their studies all supporting victims claims. You act as if you could produce even one fake claim as though one falsehood would prove all the rest of our claims wrong. But most importantly you project your own criminal tendencies onto everyone who've told the truth. You are the problem. Not because you doubt one or two victims but because without even reading our cases you doubt us all.

    You are the fraud. You are the fake. You have no shame.Every religion who did not expose their perpetrators hid them and transferred them to harm more children. Your religion is not unique in that rotten behavior. You just had more perps.  You are shameless.

     

  16. James Robertson says:

    Malcolm. We victims begged our lawyers to pursue the RICO act in against the church transferring criminal priests across state lines. Jeffy Anderson and co. ignored us.

  17. Publion says:

    On the 15th at 210AM JR will – once again – create a strawman position more congenial to his fulminations: I have never said that the Church “has done nothing in all this”.

    My position has always been that a) the Stampede scare-vision of a Church rife with slavering and actually pedophilic priests and ‘enabling’ hierarchs is grossly and manipulatively undemonstrated and that b) the instances, stories, and documentation which we have been able to examine on this site do not – when examined – support that ‘preferred narrative’ of the Stampede scare-vision.

    But – as always – you can’t build a good cartoon on such analysis. Which, I would say, is why cartoons and ‘preferred narratives’ are grossly insufficient for furthering accurate comprehension in matters of great public import.

  18. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 15th at 210AM:

    JR introduces no reference to “church … studies backing victims” and so we are left with nothing here.

    And “govt. after govt” … ? Referring to the Dutch Abuse report? The Magdalene Laundries? The German choirboy-abuse? The Australian Royal Commission? All of which we have had a chance to examine here – and the Australian very recently  o this thread – with no results indicating that those governments had discovered proof of any such phenomena as the scare-visions happily and loudly trumpeted.

    Nor have I ever claimed that even one false claim – though JR’s and the still-active Philadelphia Billy-Doe/Gallagher claims remain vivid – would “prove” all the scare-visions and claims “wrong” or false. But I have consistently said that in the matter of false claims in the Stampede – given all the elements involved, including now that SNAP was a front for the hugely-remunerated torties and allegants – then the possibility, plausibility, and even probability of such false allegations remains high indeed.

    Which means that such claims must be examined actually and carefully and that the scare-visions must be taken with more than a grain of salt.

  19. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 15th at 210AM:

    And if all that weren’t enough, JR then tries to bolster his own iffy and dodgy bits here by whomping up the bit about my “own criminal tendencies”, which – slyly – he claims that I am trying to “project” “onto everyone who’ve told the truth”. And just who, pray, might such truthy truth-tellers be? Surely not JR, whose own ‘rape’ claim – submitted under oath and for notable remuneration – has been demonstrated to be … not all it was claimed to be?

    Thus too his claim that I “am the problem” is only modestly accurate: I am “the problem” for the story-tellers; after all, JR had a pretty nice gig going for himself until his own story came apart.

    And as to whether Catholicism “just had more perps” remains, as always, to be demonstrated with more than self-serving assertions, stories, and claims.

  20. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 15th at 214AM:

    Whether readers wish to take JR’s word for it that “we victims” went and “begged” their torties to pursue the RICO Act is their choice to make.

    I would point out that a RICO Act charge would have to be prosecuted by federal law enforcement.

    And I can surely understand why the torties would not have been inclined to pressure the feds on the matter: as we have now seen with the Chicago Complaint, there remained the ever-present danger that the feds might have looked into the scam and figured that it was the torties and SNAP who might be liable for a RICO prosecution.

    The “state lines” bit sounds like something relevant to the Mann Act, but what are actual facts and realities when you’ve got a good cartoon going?

  21. James Robertson says:

    P, You never stop lying. EVER! (Yes! Capital letters how shocking. You are so shocked at everything but your own behavior). You deny and deny and deny and deny and act like you are an authority on religion. You used to claim to have had a career in the Navy yet you talk like a dried up priest. You believe nothing that you pretend to believe in. How do I know this? Why! from the way you treat both Dan and I, two very different people but both of whom you were commanded by Jesus to love. When does that start? When does even a modicum of respect appear on the screen here for anyone but priests and church hired x FBI agents oh yes and for Malcolm?

  22. James Robertson says:

    Jesus never required anyone to earn a liar's respect. He just told you, his self-proclaimed follower, to love us.

    And yet you disdain us. What's up with that?

    So if you fail, for years, to follow Jesus' second commandment, Why are you here? What's your mission, to spread hate? That's all you do. Ad hominem attacks on those who you were commanded to love. Why, if you are so religious, would you do that?

    Your failure to treat people well betrays your true and only purpose at this site and that is to pretend that the majority of victims are lying about what happened to us and yet you can not provide any examples to validate your false premises.

    Do I expect you to change your anti- Christian behavior here? Of course not. You are "Christian" behavior here. At least your Catholic version. You "offer" arrogance instead of humility. Arrogance instead of respect. Respect you were commanded to offer even if you disagree with someone. You are the real Christian here alright too bad you are no follower of Jesus.

  23. Publion says:

    On the 17th at 401AM, with all the material that is on the table, JR simply rants epithetically.

    And works into the performance – yet again – his claim that he and ‘Dan’ are “two very different people”. They are certainly two different individuals and I have never denied that or implied otherwise. But their basic strategies are the same, except that where JR has self-identified as the Truthy Tribune of the Victimized, ‘Dan’ has chosen the costume of “chosen servant of God” (with, for all practical purposes, no difference between God’s Word and ‘Dan’s stuff).

    And to that bit he then tries to add that he and ‘Dan’ are not only “two different people” but also – yet again – that I am failing in Christian “love” (since I don’t buy their stuff and indeed have exposed much of it).

    Thus, with all the conceptual problems their material faces, JR will try to distract and evade by reducing it all to the personal (he gets no “respect”, doncha see?) … where – had you been waittttinggggg forrrr ittttttt? – he is, but of course, the ‘victim’.

    • Dan says:

      So this would make you, theTruthy Tribune of all Liars and Deceivers, and chosen servant of Baalzebub, (with, for all practical purposes, no difference between Satan's deceptions and 'publyin's denials and falsehoods.       chosen servant of God

  24. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 17th at 419AM:

    Here JR will continue his riff on Christian charity (in which, again, he is ‘victimized’ since he gets no respect). As I have done before here when he has tried to run this gambit: I point out Harry Truman’s comment to an offended Molotov: don’t talk that way and you won’t get spoken to like that.  And I will also again recall another of HST’s statements: “I never gave anybody hell; I just told the truth and they thought it was hell”.  And enough said about that.

    But there is a method to the manipulatively victim-y madness in JR’s performance here: it pretexts JR’s ‘logical’ leap from my not giving him any respect to my “true and only purpose at this site and that is to pretend that the majority of victims are lying about what happened to us”.

    Yet again: I have dealt with material proffered, examined it, and pointed out the problems and the plausibility and the possibilities and the probabilities and left it for readers to decide as they may.

    Is JR mickle wroth that his own story came apart under analysis? Don’t tell stories and you won’t get spoken to like that.

    And if JR can provide any examples of my “false premises” then I will address those. But he has tried this accusation before and never did get around to providing any examples.

    And he concludes with some pearl-clutchy bits designed to lubricate his concluding epithet to the effect that I – harrrrrrumph! – am “no follower of Jesus”. I can only respond in the spirit of Rhett Butler’s famous response: “And you, Miss O’Hara, are no lady”.

  25. James Robertson says:

    Truman murdered a quarter of a million human beings in 2 days. Creating Hell on earth, when he could have dropped his bombs off-shore. Your kind of person obviously.

  26. malcolm harris says:

    On the 17th there is JR accusing Publion… for failing the test of Christian charity. What irony this is?. Because it is precisely Christian charity that has made the Church such a tempting soft target. Jesus commanded such extraordinary tolerance from his followers. Forgive enemies, and pray for enemies, to name a few of tenets of faith.  Has JR never made the connection between this and his million dollar payout? Basically his claim came under the category of personal injury law.  Normally the claimant must have an incident report from police, the hospital admission report, the prognosis (from an independant specialist) Also a report on the patient's rehab progress, Without these things an  insurer will not even look at a claim.  I conclude that JR, and others got their payouts, due to Christian charity. Plus the moral panic…. whipped up by a complicit mainsteam media. By the way, the more  President Trump attacks the media, the broader my smile.

    • James Robertson says:

      LMFAO! Thanks for the yuks Malcolm

    • James Robertson says:

      I had all those things. Malcolm. The police report. The therapists. But you don't care. You and the church just want to play the victims. We, victims, ARE the victims.

    • James Robertson says:

      Laughing fascists: the moral low ground. Rabid right wing Catholics forever supporting the fascists.

  27. Dan says:

    Malcolm, You've got to be kidding. Do you think it's christian charity when any guilty pedophile pervert pays retribution for crimes committed? You have a "broader smile" for a President who attacks the media for what he claims to be fake news, when he is more than guilty of several lies and false information than any POTUS I've ever listened to. Not surprising that you hypocrite, so-called christians would back a blatant liar. You frauds, yes you also, publyin', are terrible examples of anything Christian and have quite the nerve to even call yourselves Christian.   servant

  28. herrinbone baily says:

    linkup was a more ethical organization, blaine was on a power trip. clohessy was so so.

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