More Disparate Coverage From LAT in Coverage of Priest and Teacher Sex Scandals

As we reported a couple days ago, when a veteran middle-school teacher in nearby Santa Monica pleaded guilty last month to "multiple counts of illegal sex acts" and molesting nine young girls, the Los Angeles Times didn't print a single syllable about it in their paper. Not one. The teacher was sentenced to 14 years in state prison. Although the Times had reported the teacher's original arrest and some follow-up last May and June, the story of the teacher's guilty plea and sentencing only made it to the paper's blog.Now look at the front page of today's Times' 'California' B section (Sat. 1/31/09). Prominently displayed on the top of the page are two color photos related to the sentencing yesterday (1/30/09) of a former Catholic priest. (The on-line edition shows only one photo; the print edition displays two, including one of the back of the victim.) Indeed, the abuse reported by the victims is terribly awful and sad. ("My family trusted you to teach me the ways of the Lord, not the ways of hell," one of the victims, now in his 30s, told Miller in a trembling voice.) However, it's not hard to not notice that the reported abuse took place 20 years ago, and Cardinal Mahony moved to defrock the man (successfully) a number of years ago.As we've reported several times before (see below), the Times constantly appears to ignore or downplay current-day sex abuse scandals involving teachers and school districts, but trumpet cases that involve decades-old episodes of abuse by Catholic priests.It's the awful abuse of children that should anger the Times and everyone, not just the job title of the perpetrator. Does anyone really think that the Times would have minimized the story of that sentenced child molester in Santa Monica if the man had the word "priest" in his job title? Of course not. Double ... standard ... again.+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+Previous (partial list):LAT Minimizes School Sex Scandals But Trumpets Flimsy Story on Cardinal Mahony (NB, 1/30/09)Not the Catholic Church? (Part III): LAT Misses Further Sex Abuse Charges Against School Aide (NB, 10/26/08)Not the Catholic Church? (Part II): L.A. School Sex Abuse Scandal Continues To Grow; Where's the MSM? (NB, 9/22/08)Not the Catholic Church? MSM Mum About Huge L.A. School Sex Abuse Scandal (NB, 5/19/08)LA Times Admits To False Reporting On Cardinal Mahony (NB, 6/15/07)After Bogus Attack, Catholic Charities Debunks LA Times Columnist (NB, 2/25/07)LA Times Slammed For Two Faulty Articles, 'Insulting To All Catholics' (NB, 4/1/07)In This Case, Headline In LA Times Unfair To Cardinal Mahony (NB, 12/2/06)LA Times Goes to Texas, Alaska Seeking Church Abuse Scandals (NB, 9/5/06)

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