The Tillsonburg News in Tillsonburg, Ontario, may be a small-town newspaper, but that doesn’t exempt it from the requirements of journalistic integrity. And on the Internet, the whole world can see the effects of its inaccuracies. In a column by one of its regular opinion writers today, the newspaper printed an unbelievable tale that the Archdiocese of Boston was going to put confessional booths right in strip clubs, manned by priests to hear the confessions of men ogling the women. Any editor with even a hint of competency is going to look twice and demand corroboration.
You might say, oh this column was obviously a joke. If it was, it was a poorly delivered one since the writer says right in the second sentence “I’m not making this up.” The piece degenerates predictably into a series of blasphemous one-liners and finally the long-expected dragging of the clergy sex-abuse scandal into it. Just another anti-Catholic tirade delivered by the news media.
So what about the writer’s claim that he didn’t make it up? Yeah, he didn’t make it up. He read it in the Weekly World News, a supermarket-checkout tabloid that regularly reports on Bigfoot sightings, alien encounters, and this week, vampires attacking US troops in Iraq.
Pathetic. I sent a letter to the editor of the Tillsonburg newspaper telling them they owe the Catholic Church and their readers a retraction and an apology. I’m not holding my breath for a reply.