Commentary

Bill Donohue: Media Provide Cover for Boston Globe

By Bill Donohue | January 3, 2018 | 4:04pm EST
Brian McGrory, Metro Columnist for The Boston Globe (Screenshot)

On December 8th, the Boston Globe published an article citing some past and recent examples of sexual misconduct among its employees. There were two curious things about the piece: the timing and the content.

The article was posted online after work on a Friday, around 6:00 p.m. This was no mistake: bleeding out bad news late on a Friday is done purposely so few readers will notice it. The next day the article appeared in the newspaper; Saturday is known for having the lowest circulation of the week.

The content was just as cute: Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory refused to name names—he protected the "privacy" of the sexual predators, thus adopting a "confidentiality policy" for the Globe that his newspaper found unconscionable when invoked by the Boston archdiocese.

On December 12th, I wrote a news release blasting McGrory for his duplicity; we provided our subscribers with email contact information at the Globe. On December 18, I struck again, detailing many examples of Globe editorials savaging the Catholic Church for following the same policy it had adopted all along as its own. We sent my statement to over 100 editors and reporters at the newspaper.

That same day, I discussed this matter with Laura Ingraham on her Fox News Show, "The Ingraham Angle." That was a Monday.

 

Late on the following Thursday, McGrory apologized online for not saying who the most recent sexual abuser was. He identified the man and then tried to walk away from the issue. He never fingered all of the other predators known to him, nor did he identify the guilty who worked at the Globe before his time. Surely the Globe keeps personnel records—it demanded the Boston archdiocese turn over its files. So why not the Globe's?

Why were none of these abusers reported to the authorities? Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in Massachusetts, and that includes verbal, as well as physical, offenses. Oh, yes, McGrory's apology to readers of the newspaper's edition appeared on Friday, December 22, the last workday—many were off—before Christmas.

The Catholic Church has long been trashed for the way it handled the problem of sexual misconduct, but the media have said virtually nothing about the Boston Globe's duplicity. Is that because its competitors do not want to open up a can of worms?

We normally call it a cover up when those who work in a company fail to come clean about wrongdoing. What do we call it when almost an entire profession covers for its own? Journalism?

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.

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