LA Times Promotes Film On Church Abuse On Its Front Page

How can a movie studio get its film promoted on the front page of the Los Angeles Times for free? Easy. Make a film about an abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Yesterday (Saturday, February 17, 2007), starting on the front page, the Times devoted a plenteous 1,526 words to an article by Gina Piccalo, "A pedophile priest, in his own words." Although the Times presents it as a legitimate news article, it weakly disguises the fact that the article is simply a promotion piece for the film, Deliver Us From Evil. Check out the opening sentence from the article:

"Deliver Us From Evil," a documentary about pedophile priest Oliver O'Grady and his devastating California legacy, has earned its filmmaker multiple awards and an Oscar nomination.

The heinous crimes perpetrated by O'Grady are awful and have inflicted terrible harm on his victims. However, the film's accuracy and portrayal of events has been seriously challenged (see here and here), and the Times devoted only 64 words to this fact by allowing a short response from Los Angeles Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg. Meanwhile, a few years ago when the Times covered Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ movie, the paper adopted a different tone. One Times columnist, the dim Tim Rutten, hyperventilated over Gibson's film being "combustible." Rutten wrote no less than six raging columns over a period of months airing various concerns over the film. (Read about that here.)We have reported several times on the anti-Catholic tone at the Los Angeles Times. A number of offenses are listed in this September 2006 posting.

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