My Last Newspaper

I was on my way to work one morning and as I passed by a newsstand I saw the huge, bold headline: Catholic Priest Sex Scandal. The priest’s picture was plastered across the entire front page.  He was a very popular priest and well known, since some newspapers had done human interest stories about him prior to that headline. Perhaps that was the reason for the press’s extra viciousness concerning this incident.

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St. Nicolas Roman Catholic Cathedral by Jennifer Boyer used under CC License

A few weeks later I purchased a copy of the paper, wanting to see the box score from a Yankee game. As I flipped through the pages and scanned the headlines I saw something very disturbing on page 17.

In a small article, nestled among many other small articles that would constitute a page of clippings, was a follow-up story about the #priest.  Apparently, all charges against him were dropped.

An NYPD spokesman said the child involved had been prompted to tell a story because the parents were looking for a cash settlement. The police became suspicious when the child kept changing his story. Detectives questioned him for a statement three times, and not once did he ever give the same answer. When pressed, the parents admitted to prodding their child to make a false claim.

What a group of forthright, just people are journalists and #newspaper editors. Shouldn’t they have put that priest’s portrait on the front page again with a bold headline proclaiming his vindication? Yes, they should have. You know it and I know it. So how could the press not know it?

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Earth Day by Deb Stgo used under CC License

I believe they knew the right thing to do. However, why should they run a story when there was probably something more sensational that day?  Also, why run a story that speaks of your own sensationalism and errors?

I think it’s sad. Have you ever seen anything similar?

Special Thanks to Don Charisma. His #blog Post “Do Journalists Tell the Truth” dredged up this memory.