One of the valuable resources I use for both my work and this blog is the Poynter Abuse Tracker, at the web site of the Poynter Institute for journalism. Since early 2002, the people at Poynter have been finding and linking to news stories all over the web concerning clergy sex abuse (including a few from Catholic World News). Since the Tracker has grown beyond Poynter’s mission, the originator Bill Mitchell is moving it to the web site of the lefty National Catholic Reporter, with which he is also affiliated.
Now Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights is accusing Poynter, Mitchell, and NCR of a conflict of interest. From the beginning, Donohue has accused the Tracker of having “an almost total fixation on the Catholic clergy” and ignoring stories about abuse in other religions. While I agree that abuse in other religions and other institutions does not garner the scrutiny that abuse in the Catholic Church has over the past two years, I don’t think that it’s unfair to say that the Church gets most of the attention because of the institutionalized nature of the cover-up and shock to society, and especially the laity, that it caused.
Bill also accuses Poynter of linking to stories that have nothing to do with sex abuse, but are nonetheless unflattering to the Church. I agree that some stories have been only marginally related, but a case could have been made for including them. I think it’s a judgment call. I might have included, I might not. There’s no clear case of bias there.
But I think what really exercises Donohue is the NCR connection.
Now the catyday smoke, inexpensive enough that I can also splurge for a couple of special cigars for special occasions.
I wanted to try the Cigar.com Blue Label, but they’re so popular, they’re out of stock, so maybe next month.