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By on October 26, 2016

(October 26, 2016) Bill Donohue comments on biased reporting by two New York dailies:

We have repeatedly said that the vast majority of media outlets and pundits who dwell on priestly sexual abuse—a problem that occurred mostly between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s—are not seriously interested in the sexual abuse of minors. One way to prove this is to review how the media cover this issue when the victimizers are not Catholic. The evidence is overwhelming: the Catholic League conclusion is correct.

Just this week, the New York Post and the Jewish Forward reported on an Orthodox yeshiva in Brooklyn that agreed to pay $2.1 million in a child sexual abuse settlement. The case involves Rabbi Joel Kolko, a senior rabbi, who was charged with molesting two boys at the Jewish day school. This was not the first time that charges had been made against this rabbi—they have been going on for 25 years.

Rabbi Kolko is quite unlike most of the priests accused of abusing minors. In the case of priests, almost all of the abusers were homosexuals: 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent were postpubescent. In the case of Rabbi Kolko, he started molesting the boys when they were six-years-old. He is a true pedophile.

The other two New York newspapers, the Daily News and the New York Times, are known for their fixation on priestly sexual abuse, and for their hard-hitting editorials on this subject. But neither paper ran a story on Rabbi Kolko, and there will be no editorial. So predictable.

The bias is even more blatant than this. Just last month, the Daily News ran a story on a Bronx priest accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy 30 years ago. The previous month, the New York Times ran a story about a teenage boy at Fordham Prep who was allegedly abused by a lay teacher 32 years ago.

Yet neither newspaper has any interest in reporting on millions of dollars being paid out in a settlement—in 2016—in a case involving a pedophile rabbi. And they expect us to believe that there is no anti-Catholic animus at the Daily News and the New York Times! They prove us right all the time.

Contact the top news editors:
Arthur Browne: abrowne@nydailynews.com
Dean Baquet: Dean.Baquet@nytimes.com

 

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
Phone: 212-371-3191
Fax: 212-371-3394

Email: pr@catholicleague.org

 

Daily News Acts Responsibly

(October 27, 2016) Bill Donohue comments on an editorial by the New York Daily News that was posted on its website:

Yesterday, I took the Daily News and the New York Times to task for not running a story on a Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish school that agreed to pay $2.1 million to two former students. Rabbi Joel Kolkowas charged with molesting the boys, beginning at the age of six.

The Daily News has now offered a responsible rejoinder. It concedes that it “blew it,” explaining that it “sometimes misses stories.” Fair enough. It then contends that it covers the sexual abuse of minors whenever and wherever it occurs. It also defends itself against charges of anti-Catholicism, providing some examples of its fairness.

Unlike the Daily News, the New York Times has not explained why it did not cover the story about Rabbi Kolko. While I believe that the absence of a story in the Daily News was indeed an error, I do not believe that the Times erred.

Quite frankly, the Times has a history of omitting stories on rabbis who molest youngsters, something one of its previous public editors even admitted to me. Yet little has changed.

The reasoned response by the Daily News is much appreciated. We will certainly let our supporters know of it.