Every January tens of thousands of people participate in the March for Life in Washington at the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. And for five years in a row the New York Times failed to run a single story on the march in its print edition (it marked the 2011 march with a couple of photos on page 12).
This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper's National section, on page 9.
Funny, but they’re not making much noise about using government to discriminate in favor of their lifestyle. One Canadian activist even declared: “We’ll only take away charitable status from the buildings where the priests live and where the people pray.”
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein, in Atlanta to cover the annual meeting of Roman Catholic bishops, "Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama's Policy on Birth Control Coverage," portrayed the church as on the defensive over its fight for religious freedom, as did the story's text box ("Acknowledging criticism, even from some Catholics"). It was embellished with a photo not of the bishops but a small group of protesters in support of liberal nuns censored by the Vatican.
At least Goodstein didn't put the phrase "religious liberty" in scare quotes, as she did with "religious freedom" in a February article hostile to the church's opposition to Obama requiring religious institutions to provide birth control.
One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.
So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn't that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein.
New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein portrayed Obama’s “compromise” on his requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage as causing conflict within the Catholic church that could damage it politically, in Wednesday’s lead National section story, “Obama Shift On Providing Contraception Splits Critics.”
Goodstein, the paper’s religion reporter, hasn’t shown much patience with religious concerns in her coverage of Obama's contraceptive mandate; in her Saturday update she put “religious freedom” in quotation marks while writing dismissively on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejection of Obama’s purported compromise.
And in a front-page story February 10 she passed on popular but bad statistic, without even citing a source, falsely claiming “Studies have shown that 98 percent of Catholic women have used artificial contraception at some time in their lives.”
After warning for years of the dangers posed by the Religious Right in politics, the New York Times is suddenly interested in injecting Mormon (and Catholic) religion into politics, at least when it comes to pet issues like amnesty for illegal immigrants. The top of Friday’s National section featured religion reporter Laurie Goodstein’s “Romney’s Tough Immigration View Is at Odds With His Church.”
There was no “I Wouldn't Buy the Underwear Just Yet” mockery of Mormons this time. And while the paper aimed a harsh front-page spotlight on the Mormon church for its involvement in passing California’s Proposition 8, which preserved the state ban on gay marriage, Goodstein has no criticism of its involvement in the Democratic-friendly cause of amnesty.
The New York Times is seriously stretching the maxim “all the news that’s fit to print” in celebrating a small band of liberal activists for women priests in the Catholic Church. On Tuesday, religion reporter Laurie Goodstein publicized the latest twist: radical leftist Father Roy Bourgeois, best known for feverishly protesting the U.S. armed forces training center called the School of the Americas, has been dismissed by his liberal order, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
Goodstein promoted the “womenpriests” movement as vibrant and growing: “Father Bourgeois has gone further than any other priest in good standing to ally himself publicly with the growing women's ordination movement. The group Roman Catholic Womenpriests claims to have ordained 120 women as priests and 10 as bishops in the last few years. The Vatican regards the ceremonies as illicit and invalid.”
When reporting stories concerning the Catholic Church, the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein has had a very troublesome track record with the facts. (For starters: 1, 2.)
Unfortunately, Goodstein's record only gets worse after another faulty and misleading front-page article (Sat., 7/23/11).
In attempting to trumpet the case for "female priests" in the Catholic Church, Goodstein and the Times profile a small number of dissident and ignorant Catholics who seek "change" in the 2,000-year-old institution. And in doing so, Goodstein misleads her readers in a number of ways:
Speaker John Boehner will deliver the commencement address at the Catholic University of America on Saturday, inspiring a letter of protest from Catholic professors claiming the Republican budget resolution for 2012 "will hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable, and that he therefore has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teachings." New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein filed a respectful story that made the front of Thursday’s National section, "Critical Letter By Catholics Cites Boehner on Policies."
Yet when President Obama delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame in May 2009 amid protests that the preeminent Catholic university shouldn't be honoring a president who supports partial-birth abortion, the Times' response was snippy and dismissive. And abortion is a clear-cut issue for the Catholic Church in a way that budget levels for government welfare programs are not – even under Republican budget constraints, those programs are not going away.
Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican who grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Ohio [note: The initial online version read "devout Roman Catholic family"] is scheduled to give the commencement address on Saturday at the Catholic University of America in Washington, a prestigious setting in church circles for its affiliation with the nation’s bishops.
But now Mr. Boehner is coming in for a dose of the same kind of harsh criticism previously leveled at some Democrats -- including President Obama -- who have been honored by Catholic universities: the accusation that his policies violate basic teachings of the Catholic Church.
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein made Tuesday’s front page with an attack on Brigitte Gabriel, an activist who warns against the dangers of radical Islam in the United States: “Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message.”
Interestingly, the piece is datelined Fort Worth, Texas, suggesting much of the relevant reporting was done last fall – Gabriel spoke to a Tea Party event in Fort Worth in September 2010, and Goodstein’s story includes a photo of Gabriel speaking at “a Tea Party event in September.”
Did some of this story come out of the freezer? It was surely released today to intersect with Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism which begin on Thursday, but which the Times already bashed in its lead editorial today. The editors pointed an accusing finger at King: “Not much spreads fear and bigotry faster than a public official intent on playing the politics of division.”
Media outlets have uncritically trumpeted a story that claims a 1997 letter is a "smoking gun" that proves that Vatican officials warned Irish bishops not to report child abuse to civil authorities.
In fact, as a cursory look at the letter reveals, it shows no such thing. This "smoking gun" story exhibits all the hallmarks of just another hit job by the media, so-called victims advocates, and dishonest lawyers seeking to portray the Catholic Church in the worst light possible.
When tens of thousands gather in Washington to protest legalized abortion, The New York Times has in recent years mostly ignored it – which seems especially odd when they spotlight tiny liberal protests as newsworthy. It happened again on Thursday, as the Times ran a photograph of about ten protesters of the National Prayer Breakfast – outside the Capitol Hill house of "The Family," the secretive evangelical group that sponsors the event.
Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein offered a story loaded with liberal Prayer Breakfast critics, and no supporters. (A spokesman for "The Family" offered several comments on the group and its secrecy, but not on the breakfast.) The headline was "Prayer Breakfast, Long a Must in Washington, Draws Controversy." She began by suggesting the breakfast is a longtime networking event of "scrambled eggs and supplication."
She then described how Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), described only as an "ethics group" and a "government watchdog group," advocated that government leaders should not show up, and that C-SPAN cameras should go away, all because of the "a combination of the intolerance of the organization’s views, and the secrecy surrounding the organization."
Consider the following two stories. Pay attention. There will be a quiz.
1. The Obama administration has appointed Kevin Jennings as a "czar" inside the Department of Education. In addition to being the founder of a group called the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Jennings once wrote a foreword to a book called Queering Elementary Education. In that foreword, he wrote, "We must address antigay bigotry ... as soon as students start going to school." In addition, Jennings has admitted that, 21 years ago as a 24-year-old teacher at Concord Academy, he advised a gay student sophomore*, "I hope you knew to use a condom," after the student confided he went home with a guy he had met the night before in a Boston restroom. Jennings has since admitted, "I can see how I should have handled the situation differently." Other controversial episodes have been attributed to Jennings.
As millions of Christians attend church every Sunday without attracting much attention in the New York Times, it’s a little surprising to see it defined as front-page news when an "overflow audience of more than 100" showed up at an atheist event in South Carolina. "More Atheists Are Shouting It From the Rooftops" read the headline on Monday’s front page from religion reporter Laurie Goodstein. Whenever the godless gather in a Southern state, it’s apparently time to wake the neighbors:
More than ever, America’s atheists are linking up and speaking out — even here in South Carolina, home to Bob Jones University, blue laws and a legislature that last year unanimously approved a Christian license plate embossed with a cross, a stained glass window and the words "I Believe" (a move blocked by a judge and now headed for trial).
They are connecting on the Internet, holding meet-ups in bars, advertising on billboards and buses, volunteering at food pantries and picking up roadside trash, earning atheist groups recognition on adopt-a-highway signs.
Newsweek is hardly the only MSM publication that is clueless about the Christian faith. The New York Times is also reliably feckless when it comes to reporting on what makes biblically orthodox Christians tick.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler took the Gray Lady to task last Friday for its reporting on the recnet formation of a new coalition of Anglican churches that have broken off from the liberal Episcopal Church USA over concerns of doctrinal liberalism.
In "It's About Theology, Not Territory," the Baptist theologian and pastor lamented that Laurie Goodstein's December 3 story on the formation of the Anglican Church in North America painted the dispute in a way to portray the liberal ECUSA as an aggrieved victim of dogmatic conservatives. By contrast, Mohler points to a lack of doctrinal clarity in the Anglican Communion being the fertile ground by which liberals were able to erode the boundaries of historic, orthodox Christian teaching and thus threaten the unity of the church around the Gospel of Jesus Christ (emphasis mine):
The New York Times continues to glorify Barack Obama for the speech he delivered on race, eager to help Obama not only move on from Wright, but to paint the whole affair in lambent tones, while suggesting GOP presidents including Reagan went "under cover" and used code words to promote racial strife and win elections.
The latest brushwork is on display on the front page of the Times's Sunday Week in Review, a story by Janny Scott, "Talk About Race."