No sexual abuse? Then it's no story
By Diogenes (articles ) | May 28, 2010 3:11 PM
If Italian authorities deported two young Muslims, saying that they were conspiring to kill the Pope, would you consider that a significant news story?
But most American media outlets ignored the story entirely. Writing on the GetReligion blog, journalist Terry Mattingly asks why not, and offers several possible explanations:
- Everyone knows that it would be impossible for assassins or angry people to get close enough to a pope to be a real threat to his life.
- These kinds of threats against the pope may now be quite common in Europe. Thus, this is old news.
- Vatican officials were not anxious to respond to questions from journalists about the plot, in part because of their fear of inspiring copycats.
- This story does not appear to be linked to the ongoing scandal of sexual abuse of children and teen-agers by Catholic clergy.
- Journalists are worried about offending Moroccans or contributing to negative stereotypes of young, male Moroccans.
My vote is for option #4. The story wasn't about sexual abuse in the Church. If the story involves sexual abuse but it's not in the Catholic Church, forget it. If it's about the Catholic Church and it doesn't involve sexual abuse, no dice. If you can't fit "Vatican" and "sexual abuse" into the same sentence, you can't get the sentence printed in the mainstream media.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($19,496 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: rpp -
May. 28, 2010 6:50 PM ET USA
I have to disagree with you on this one. I think it is number 5. In addition, not to be picky or pedantic, but you misspelled "Muslim" on choice number 5.
Posted by: Chestertonian -
May. 28, 2010 6:46 PM ET USA
I agree with your take on this, Di, but I would say #5 runs a close second. The MSM never want to offend any religious group, except Christians, nor any ethnic group, except Caucasians.