Dave Pierre

Contributing writer

Dave Pierre is one of the country's leading observers of the media's coverage of the Catholic Church abuse narrative. Dave is the author of two critically acclaimed books, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church and Catholic Priests Falsely Accused: The Facts, The Fraud, The Stories.

Readers have cited Dave's work as "essential reading" and "a must-read."

Dave is the creator and author of TheMediaReport.com (www.TheMediaReport.com) and is a longtime contributing writer to NewsBusters.org (www.NewsBusters.org), the popular media-bias blog of the Media Research Center. 

Dave has been interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) as well as by other radio outlets and newspapers for his work. He has also contributed to print publications.

Dave is a graduate of Boston College and lives with his wife and family in Massachusetts.

Latest from Dave Pierre

District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, of Kings County, New York, recently announced that in the last three years 85 accused child predators have been arrested in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community. The cases involve at least 117 alleged victims.

One man, Andrew Goodman, has been charged on 144 stomach-turning counts of sexually abusing two Orthodox boys – one from 11 to 15 years old, the other 13 to 16.

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.

Imagine if a newspaper disproportionately and endlessly harped upon decades-old crimes committed by black people. Even if the stories were all true, people would be rightfully outraged at the paper’s overt racism in consistently and repeatedly targeting the past misdeeds of people of one particular race. The public would never allow such blatant bigotry.

Such a comparison can be applied to the Boston Globe and the Catholic Church, except this bigotry is real, and there is no public outrage.

Is the Boston Globe endangering the life of an Icelandic woman who led the FBI last June to capture the notorious and dangerous Boston gangster, James “Whitey” Bulger?

Today (Sun., 10/8/11), the Boston Globe has published a compelling, behind-the-scenes story of the capture of Bulger, who was high on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for several years.

The Globe, however, raises eyebrows in its story by publishing the name, background, and picture of the woman who recognized Bulger and his female companion, who hid for several years in Santa Monica, California.

Appearing in an interview on ABC's "Primetime Nightline" last week (Thu., 8/10/11), Hollywood actor Corey Feldman aired a truly brave and shocking claim:

"I can tell you 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."

It was not Feldman's only stomach-turning assertion. He also claimed that the "casting couch," the sick Hollywood legend by which roles are given in exchange for sex, even applies to children.

For the second week in a row, the New York Times has embraced the mission of trumpeting the fruitless cause of female "priests" in the Catholic Church. What gives?

As faulty as Laurie Goodstein's article was last week, the offering from Dirk Johnson (Sun., 7/31/11) doesn't fare much better. Johnson's one-sided piece omits a number of important facts in reporting the issue.

This past month, Philadelphia magazine published what can only described as a vulgar, unfair, and reckless piece of yellow journalism designed to shock readers and lambaste the Catholic Church. Utilizing anonymous and discredited sources, writer Robert Huber authored a lengthy article seeking to portray the Church as a callous cabal that is oblivious to the pain of child sex abuse.

Enter Donna Farrell, Director of the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

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:

If anyone still has any doubt about the utter distaste that many in the media have for the Catholic Church, one does not need to look any further than the "question and answer" session during the press conference in Philadelphia today (Tue. 9/19/11) welcoming the region's new Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Boston felt that a special mass at St. Cecilia's Church in Boston to "commemorate Boston Pride 2011" would give parishioners and the public the false impression that the Church was endorsing the city's annual Gay Pride festivities and its accompanying messages (e.g., acceptance of gay 'marriage'). It therefore asked the parish to postpone the liturgy to a different date. The priest, obedient to his local bishop, obliged.

End of story? Not for the Boston Globe.

The New York Times' Maureen Dowd's most recent anti-Catholic hit piece (Sun., 5/19/11) contains a number of falsehoods. However, her article's biggest eye-opener is her apparent claim that homosexuality is a direct cause of child sex abuse.

An analysis of the New York Times' response (a May 19, 2011 editorial) to the Vatican's recent clergy abuse guidelines reveals yet another ill-informed and skewed attack on the Catholic Church.

1. The Times writes that bishops once oversaw "hush payments to victims and relocation of abusive priests."

Can the New York Times' Maureen Dowd address the topic of the Catholic Church without promulgating falsehoods? It doesn't seem like it.

Dowd's recent rant, released on Easter Sunday (Sun. 4/24/11), contains a number of false statements.

As Christians observe Holy Week and the anticipation of Easter, PBS' Frontline program will air another investigation into abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church. In an episode entitled, "The Silence," the program (Tue. 4/19/11) is scheduled to profile the awful abuse from decades ago of under-aged Native Americans and Eskimos in Alaska.

The network claims that it is covering "a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story." Yet the narrative is hardly "little known." The New York Times, for example, has run a number of articles in the past few years about this topic, while the Los Angeles Times ran a humungous front-page piece about these cases a while back. (We even commented on it at the time.)

While all decent people demand compassion and justice for victims of clergy abuse, there is compelling evidence to believe that portions of the recent high-profile Philadelphia grand jury report have unfairly maligned the Catholic Church.

No media outlets have taken note of the report's glaring contradictions, notable omissions, and unfair characterizations of Church officials. (Maureen Dowd certainly didn't.) The report also routinely assigns the most sinister motives to actions by archdiocesan employees, even though an objective assessment would conclude otherwise.

"It seems long past time for reputable news sites to clamp down on the gutter talk."

That is James Rainey, the "On the Media" critic at the Los Angeles Times, fretting in an article today (Sun., 2/27/11) about the tone of readers' comments that are posted on news web sites.

If Rainey wants to "clamp down on the gutter talk" by readers, he needs to take a closer look at his own employer's site, latimes.com.

On Saturday (2/19/11), the Los Angeles Times published an article, "Ex-high school principal gets 8 years for molesting four girls." The case involved Jonas Vital Silverio, who had pleaded no contest to 10 counts of lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 years old.

At first blush, the story seems to be just another stomach-turning account of child abuse in our nation's public schools. But buried in the middle of the article was a troubling detail:

[Los Angeles County] Prosecutor Stephanie Chavez said Silverio had a history of sexual misconduct.

In 1995, Silverio was placed on probation for a misdemeanor conviction of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

If you need any more evidence of the blatant animus that a mainstream newspaper like the Boston Globe can have for conservative Republicans, here you go. Compare the following:

  • Sean Bielat was the Republican challenger to Rep. Barney Frank in the 4th Congressional District in Massachusetts last November. While spending ten months to run for the seat, he paid himself a salary of $10,000.
  • Mac D’Alessandro, a self-identified "progressive Democrat," was a primary challenger in the 9th District. The Globe heartily endorsed D'Alessandro, a "public-interest attorney," "community activist," and political director for the SIEU. Even though his campaign barely lasted five months (he lost the primary), he collected stipends totaling nearly $27,000.

On Friday (2/4/11), the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein published a blog post with the title, "Bill O'Reilly on science: Why is Earth the only planet with a moon?"

Well, it would be somewhat noteworthy if O'Reilly actually asked such a question, considering the fact that most people know that several other planets in our solar system have moons. The problem is, as an accompanying video clearly shows, O'Reilly neither said nor implied any such thing.

Several media outlets are trumpeting a recent study out of Denmark that asserts that having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems for women. Yet there are serious problems with the study that major media are not reporting:

1. The Danish study flies in the face of over 30 professional studies just in the past five years that conclude that there is a serious negative mental health impact on women who have abortions. The list of those studies is at the site of the Elliot Institute, TheUnChoice.com. Not one major media outlet reported this.