Recent reports suggest that the Hollywood community has a monstrous child abuse problem on its hands, and the New York Times is remaining silent.
Yet when it comes to decades-old allegations against long-deceased Catholic clerics overseas, the paper is all over it.
Consider the recent news:
- Los Angeles law enforcement arrested Jason James Murphy, 35, on Friday (12/9/11) on suspicion of violating sex offender registry laws. Murphy worked for years helping to cast children in Hollywood movies even though he was a convicted child molester. In 1996, he was sentenced in Washington state for kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old.
- On December 1, Police arrested Martin Weiss, a longtime Hollywood manager of child actors, with sexually abusing a former client. Weiss reportedly told a 12-year-old victim "what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry." He now faces eight felonies.
- Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for "Sesame Street," appeared in court November 21 after the FBI searched his home in April and "found photographs of a four-year-old girl naked and ‘restrained in handcuffs and other bondage-type devices.'"
These events come on the heels of Corey Feldman's eye-opening remarks in August to ABC's "Primetime Nightline" that "the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry ... It's the big secret."
Alison Arngrim, the veteran Hollywood actress best known for her role decades ago as Nellie on "Little House on the Prairie," has said, "This (the abuse of children) has been going on for a very long time.
"If a child actor is being sexually abused by someone on the show, is the family, agents or managers – the people who are getting money out of this – going to say, 'OK, let's press charges'? No, because it's going to bring the whole show to a grinding halt, and stop all the checks," says Arngrim. "So, the pressure is there is not to say anything."
Yet the New York Times has not reported any of these stories.
One story the Times has reported, however, is the unconfirmed claim that a Catholic archbishop in Ireland, who died in 1973, was accused of child abuse after he died. The Times placed the story on page A6 on Friday (12/9/11).
Indeed, we must demand justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse. The harm to innocent youth has been immeasurable.
But let us demand equity, fairness, and perspective in the reporting of the Catholic Church abuse narrative. The New York Times is not delivering this at all.
Where are you, Maureen Dowd?
-- Dave Pierre is the author of the new book, Catholic Priests Falsely Accused: The Facts, The Fraud, The Stories. Dave is also the creator of TheMediaReport.com and is a contributing writer to NewsBusters.