Media bias: Catholics continue to be targets Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

Individual Catholics and the Catholic Church itself continue to be popular targets for media bias in our country.

Whenever there is an allegation of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, newspapers usually publish an article on the front page, while television and radio news reports lead with the story. Even if the alleged abuse happened 30 or 40 years ago, it gets prime coverage.

editor's view by Mary C. Uhler

Coverage of sexual abuse

Clergy of other denominations don’t get the same treatment — and neither do public school teachers or others accused of abuse. There was a recent glaring case in point.

On March 8, Orthodox Rabbi Baruch Lebovits was found guilty on eight counts of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy in Brooklyn. Did this get front page coverage in the New York papers? No, pointed out the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

The Daily News ran the story on Page 15, while the Post put it on Page 6. The New York Times did not cover it at all, even though the Times has often featured alleged abuse by Catholic priests on its front page.

Bias in health care debate

Media coverage of the recent health care debate also showed bias against Catholics and the Church. The media kept referring to Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) as a Catholic and former seminarian, yet we rarely heard about the religion of other legislators.

The media also focused on the Catholic bishops during the debate on abortion and conscience protection, as if they were the only ones concerned about these issues. Yet I’m sure that many other religious leaders — as well as members of other denominations — want our health care policies to reflect concern for the life and dignity of all persons.

Take action

The Catholic League believes that “anti-Catholicism is raising its ugly head with greater frequency.” We must not sit back and let such behavior continue.

It is time for Catholics and people from all faith backgrounds to denounce anti-Catholic bias in the media. Write letters to newspapers. Call radio and television stations. Let them know that you won’t stand for such reprehensible treatment of Catholics or our Church.