Reader Nails LAT Columnist for 'Ignorance,' 'Naiveté,' and 'Anti-Catholicism'

Last week, in this NewsBusters post, we took issue with the anti-Catholicism in an August 5, 2006, column from Los Angeles Times media critic Tim Rutten. In an especially ugly and vitriolic piece, Rutten capitalized on the arrest of Mel Gibson to imply that orthodox Christians and supporters of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ film were anti-Semitic. Rutten's column builds the case that anti-Christian and anti-Catholic prejudice is alive and well at the Los Angeles Times.

Yesterday (Saturday, August 12, 2006), the Times published four readers' letters in response to Rutten's article. A Thomas McCambridge from Thousand Oaks, California (?), properly nailed Rutten for his "historical ignorance", "theological naivete," and anti-Catholicism. Here's the letter (emphasis mine):

TIM RUTTEN'S characterization of pre-Second Vatican Council Catholicism as a "fetid theological swamp" and of latter-day attempts to maintain orthodox Catholicism as tantamount to systematic anti-Semitism demonstrates historical ignorance and theological naiveté. Worse, it manifests a powerful anti-Catholicism. If such blatant calumnies had been written about Jews, African Americans, women, Latinos or Muslims, the public outrage would be enormous. But anti-Catholicism is the socially approved bigotry and so need never apologize or atone.

THOMAS R. MCCAMBRIDGE
Thousand Oaks

Well said, sir! Let's hope that McCambridge's letter reached some honest-eared folks at the Times in such a way that they will turn away from their "socially approved bigotry."

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*CORRECTION: My original posting said that three out of the four letters defended Rutten's bigotry. In fact, it was two out of the four. I regret the error, and this post reflects the correction.*

Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of TheMediaReport.com.