Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Biased Reporting Smackdown

No, it is not your imagination.

There really is an anti-Catholic bias in many mainstream media venues.

Reverend Thomas J. Paprocki, auxiliary bishop of Chicago agrees. And he's not going to take it anymore.

The Chicago Tribune today ran a letter to the editor written by Bishop Paprocki, calling attention to the paper's long and not-so-secret history of anti-Catholicism.

History provides helpful perspective here. In the post World War II Nuremberg trials, hatemonger tabloid publisher Julius Streicher was viewed by the court to have committed worse crimes than the soldiers in the concentration camps.

The judgement against him, reads in part:

"In his... articles, week after week, month after month, he infected the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism, and incited the German people to active persecution... "

"In its extent Streicher's crime is probably greater and more far-reaching than that of any of the other defendants. The misery which they caused ceased with their capture.

The effects of this man's crime, of the poison that he has put into the minds of millions of young boys and girls will continue on for years to come, since he concentrated so much of his hatred for the Jews upon the youth and childhood of Germany.

He leaves behind him a legacy in print, that swayed the hearts of thousands of people poisoning them with hate... Those thousands will remain a problem and perhaps even a menace to the rest of civilization for generations to come."

Streicher was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and sentenced to death on October 1, 1946.

Is the venerable Chicago Tribune comparable to Julius Streicher's hateful tabloid Der Stürmer? Of course not.

Der Stürmer was an obnoxious, lie-filled instrument of genocide. It's hateful rhetoric was over the top.

The Tribune's anti-Catholic bias is more subtle. Instead of hate speech, it is more of a hate whisper.

Both are journalistic crimes. Both are dangerous. And I would argue, both are immoral.

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