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

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, has said, "Penn & Teller's Nazi-like assault on Catholicism that took place on August 27 will go down in history as one of the most vile, obscene programs ever aired in any nation." However, will the show also go down in history for airing the most number of lies, falsehoods, and misleading statements in a single half-hour show?

Not counting credits, the guilty episode runs less than 26 minutes. Here's a lie-by-lie list of the falsehoods that Penn Jillette and his guests aired in that time:

1. Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2001, issued a "confidential order to every bishop" and "ordered the cover-up" of sex abuse.

Following last night's episode (Thu. 8/27/09) of Penn & Teller's show on Showtime, Bill Donahue, founder and president of the Catholic League said, "I have never seen a more defamatory, obscene and vicious show on TV." Folks, that is saying a lot. The man has dedicated his career to exposing anti-Catholicism.

According to Donahue, the foul-mouthed Penn Jillette billed last night's episode as "payback" for 2,000 years of alleged "crimes" by the Catholic Church. Wrote Donahue:

What do you call an excommunicated Catholic priest, ignorant of the sacraments, who openly calls for the ordination of women? If you're the Boston Globe, you call him a "prominent priest" who is "in good standing." Then, for good measure, you entitle the article about the priest, "Priest takes church to task for not ordaining women." Good ... grief.

The paper profiles dissident ex-priest Roy Bourgeois, a man ignorant of the teachings of the Church to which he was ordained. And the author of the slanted piece, Globe religion reporter Michael Paulson, fails to fully "take Bourgeois to task" for being so oblivious of such a fundamental facet of Church teaching.

A shoddy and slanted profile of late-term abortionist Dr. LeRoy Carhart by Sarah Kliff in Newsweek magazine contains misrepresentation of the practice of late-term abortion. It also omits a serious episode in the career of Dr. Carhart that resulted in the tragic death of a 19-year-old woman.

In writing about the grisly practice of late-term abortion, Kliff falsely claims, "Past viability, no doctor will terminate a pregnancy without a compelling reason." This has been proven completely false in recent testimony by Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the leading psychiatrists in the country, who examined the medical records of patients seen by deceased late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller.

Last year, the Harvard-educated McHugh relayed that some women stated that their reasons for wanting a late-term abortion included "not being able to go to a rock concert." According to Dr. McHugh, Dr. Tiller performed late-term abortions for "mostly social reasons."

Last July, when news first surfaced that Democrat John Edwards was reportedly having an affair, an editor at the Los Angeles Times forcefully instructed the staff not to report the story "until further notified." (The Times finally got around to tepidly reporting the scandal weeks later.)

Now take a look at today's Times. A huge color photo plasters the top of the front page. The large headline is, "Another GOP Bombshell."

In light of some awful high-profile murders by sick individuals, the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten wants the Department of Homeland Security to revisit its report from earlier this year that connects potential terrorism to "right-wing extremism." And Rutten seems especially concerned about those serving in the military. From his column:

Two months ago, the Republican National Committee and many conservative commentators went into paroxysms of rage over a report by the Department of Homeland Security drawing attention to the potential terrorist threat of resurgent right-wing extremism. The department ended up apologizing for noting the extremist underground's attempts to recruit returning military personnel. (All three of the men involved in the Oklahoma City bombing met and developed their convictions while serving in the Army.) As the body count mounts, the department may want to reconsider that apology.

Rutten appears to imply that extremist "convictions" are developed while serving in the military.

Unemployment is zooming towards ten percent. The national debt is reaching levels never thought imaginable. And Barack Obama acts more like a celebrity than President. So what's bothering progressive nitwit Marc Cooper? Newt Gingrich!

Cooper's piece in the Los Angeles Times, "Newt Gingrich, zombie politician," is a typical bitter and stale attack on the former House Speaker: He resigned as Speaker "under a cloud of dishonor, disgrace and corruption"; he's remarried and divorced; he received a book advance while still in office. Blah, blah, blah. (His angry piece is hardly different than one that his curmudgeon friend Robert Scheer wrote ten years ago.)

Yet what's even worse is that Cooper can't avoid misleading his readers and failing to present his facts honestly. For example, Cooper writes,

"Remember during the campaign when John McCain attacked [Barack] Obama for acting like a celebrity and we all laughed at the grumpy old shellshocked fool? Well, it turns out he was right ...  It's getting to where you can't turn on your TV without seeing Obama."

That's not a Republican talking. It's Obama supporter Bill Maher in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, "Enough With the Obamathon." Maher - like most clear-thinking individuals - has pretty much seen enough of the never-ending adulation and exposure being heaped on President Obama. (I must admit: I never thought I'd use the words "clear-thinking" and "Maher" in the same sentence. But Maher's op-ed proves the old adage that even a broken clock is right twice a day.)

From Maher's article:

Since when is the media so interested in keeping America abreast of the latest news coming out of Ireland? A commission in Ireland just released a report detailing awful abuse of children who attended Catholic schools "from the 1930's to the 1990's, when the last of the institutions closed." And what's ensued is practically an all-out media frenzy.

The AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the LA Times, Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and many others are all over the story. At Google news, the story returns "about 1,531" results.

Yes, the stories of abuse are quite troubling, but it sure seems that the media is singling out the Catholic Church's misdeeds - again.

Today - not decades ago - there is egregious abuse happening with far-greater occurrence in our nation's schools. Yet where's the coverage?

An explosive, front-page investigation on Sunday (5/10/09) in the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) "repeatedly" returned teachers and aides credibly accused of child molestation back to classrooms, and these individuals then molested children again. The jaw-dropping story, by Times staffer Jason Song, is incredibly angering, and the tales of abuse are stomach-turning. (An accompanying audio slideshow at the Times web site is quite disturbing.)

In the last several years, media outlets have endlessly ripped and tarred the Catholic Church for mishandling episodes from decades ago. Meanwhile, these episodes in LAUSD are all quite recent. One documented case dates back to just last year!

Where's the outrage from the rest of the media?

On Sunday (4/26/09), the Los Angeles Times finally got around to looking into the issue of Planned Parenthood workers caught on hidden camera appearing to violate the law. Workers at numerous clinics around the country appear to be illegally advising girls they believe to be underage to conceal statutory rape.

The Times profiled the hero of these undercover busts, Lila Rose, a 20-year-old student at UCLA ("Antiabortion movement gets a new-media twist"). Rose's pro-life mission that has been conducting these hidden-camera operations is called Live Action.

Yet, rather than directing any real outrage at Planned Parenthood for concealing the despicable crimes of statutory rape and child abuse, the Times seemed more perturbed at the "conservative" personalities behind Rose and her efforts. From the article:

Check out the following two stories:

1. A former Catholic priest comes forward Monday (4/20/09) to claim that another priest abused him as a teenager nearly 30 years ago. (The accused priest has no other similar public complaints and denies the allegations against him.)

2. A former school teacher was sentenced Wednesday (4/22/09) after pleading no contest to eight felony counts, including having sex with two girls under the age of 16. The man "admitted to having intercourse with the girls, performing oral sex with the teens and taking extremely explicit nude photographs of his victims -- including pictures of him with one of the girls - before sending the images over the Internet."

Now it's quiz time! To which story did the Los Angeles Times devote two generous color photos and a 640-word article? Which story did the Times totally ignore?

Here's a rare sight: A host of a major television show forcefully defending the Bible and central tenets of Christianity. It happened recently on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, when host Stephen Colbert - in his own inimitable way - rebutted the assertions of Bart Ehrman, a self-described "happy agnostic" who has written a number of books attempting to discredit the Bible and the central beliefs of Christianity.

By the time the interview was finished, the "happy agnostic" Ehrman wasn't looking too happy. Viewers with an interest in Christian apologetics will surely enjoy this one. (Click for video.)

The brute dishonesty and ignorance with which the Los Angeles Times opines on issues related to the Catholic Church never ceases to astound. The latest shameful entry is an error-ridden and misleading editorial (Wed. 4/1/09) on the Obama-Notre Dame scandal. This follows an equally fallacious opinion piece from Tim Rutten just a few days ago.

The article begins by slamming those who oppose Obama's appearance at Notre Dame as "seem[ing] to believe they are more Catholic than the pope." It also besmirches the Cardinal Newman Society, a leading voice in opposition to Obama's appearance, as "a self-appointed guardian of orthodoxy."

What the Times doesn't tell its readership (whose number continues to dwindle) is that protesters of Obama's appearance simply want to uphold what the full body of United States Catholic bishops boldly declared in a statement five years ago:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

If the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten is determined to establish himself as one of the nation's worst journalists when it comes to writing on the issues of abortion and Catholicism, he's doing a helluva job. His latest column on the Obama-Notre Dame controversy unfairly characterizes pro-lifers and misrepresents the scandal.

Here's how Rutten portrays pro-life Catholics who are protesting President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame:

Some people just won't be happy until the Inquisition has office space again and kindling is being piled up around the local stakes.

Puh-leeze. Rutten is completely ignorant to the fact that those who protest Obama's appearance are simply seeking to uphold what the full body of United States Catholic bishops declared five years ago:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

And if Rutten or anyone else is unclear as to what those "fundamental moral principles" include, the very same document states:

[T]he killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified.

Got it?

Media outlets including CNN, Time magazine, and the Los Angeles Times are reporting that "over 1 million" women in Brazil illegally terminate their pregnancies every year. (Abortion is illegal there, except under rare circumstances.) However, this figure appears to originate from a group called Ipas, an organization dedicated to "advancing women's reproductive rights." It openly endorses legalized abortion.

And besides the dubious nature of the source, history tells us that this "1 million" number should be looked upon very suspiciously.

According to New York University instructor Jacob Appel, Kansas' notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller should be looked upon as "a genuine hero who ranks alongside Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. in the pantheon of defenders of human liberty." Good ... grief. Just when I thought I've read it all.

Appel formulated his sick view in a letter to the editor in today's Los Angeles Times (Sun. 3/22/09).

Tiller's practice is truly an abomination. His office has reportedly instructed women to expel their late-term unborn babies into a toilet. (See this eye-opening segment from the O'Reilly Factor from 12/12/2006.) Tiller currently faces 19 counts of "violating the state's late-term abortion law." Yet Appel says Tiller should be held "in esteem."

As we've stated before, no one can challenge the awful harm wrecked upon youth at the hands of Catholic clergy. The harm is real, incredibly sad, and unspeakably damaging. But that is no excuse for the Los Angeles Times to continue its dishonest practice of false and misleading presentations on the narrative of Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Los Angeles Catholic Church abuse scandal.

The latest offense from the Times is a dishonest op-ed (Tue. 2/3/09) from ex-staffer William Lobdell, who just-so-happens to be promoting a new book that's out in three weeks.

Does anyone think that a major newspaper like the Los Angeles Times would ever allow a hateful and patently false anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim personal attack to be published in its letters to the editor? Of course not. But check out this whopper of anti-Catholic vitriol that is in the pages of the Times today (Mon. 2/2/09):

The Jesuits have a saying, "Give me the boy until he is 7, and I will give you the man." You can now add, "Give Adolf Hitler the boy until he is 7, and he will give you the pope."

Long Beach

As we've noted several times before, Los Angeles Times Opinion Editor Tim Rutten hardly misses an opportunity to bash the Catholic Church. So imagine my shock and amazement when I picked up his Saturday column (1/30/09). Rutten rips a reported federal grand jury investigation of L.A. Cardinal Roger Mahony's handling of the abuse scandal as "frivolous" and "overreaching." (For the record, the archdiocese's attorney has said that he was told that Mahony is not a target of an inquiry.)

Did a wave of clarity and sanity suddenly overcome Rutten? Rather than bellowing the hysterical falsehoods that have often been aired in the Times and in the media in recent years, Rutten's must-read piece wipes away a number of myths.