12 April 2010

No problem with the media when they do their job

Because there seems to be some doubt on this issue, let me say this as plainly and as clearly as I possibly can:

I have no problem whatsoever with the media reporting on the facts of the Church's sexual abuse scandal.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  In fact, I credit the media with breaking the story and pushing the Church toward dealing with the problem. 

I have no problem with the media reporting on the Holy Father's involvement in the scandals if he was in fact involved.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  Truth is truth and the truth sets us free.

What I object to is shoddy reporting based exclusively on material leaked to the media from the lawyers of alleged victims.  Any reporter worth her journalism degree should know that lawyers are advocates for a paying client.  There is only one side to any story when you're paid to tell your employer's side. 

What I object to is media habit of relying almost exclusively on Church dissidents, disgruntled former Catholics, and anti-Catholic "experts" to comment on the scandals.  Are Joan Chittister, Richard McBrien, and Thomas Reese the only Catholics in the media Rolodex?

What I object to is the media's obvious obsession with using the scandals to advocate for changes within the Church that cannot/will not happen.  Reporters report facts; they do not advocate for reforms that suit their political and ideological goals.

What I object to is the woeful ignorance of the media when it comes to the Church's history and her canonical processes and their apparent invincible unwillingness to learn.  What's so difficult about reporting that Crdl Ratzinger didn't take over the investigations of sexual abuse cases until 2001?  What's so difficult about reporting that canon law underwent a substantial reform in 1985?

So, let me say it again just in case: I have no problem whatsoever with the media reporting on the facts of the Church's sexual abuse scandal. None. Zero. Zilch. 

What I object to is the media spreading misinformation, distorting the facts, and outright lying. 

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