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

[**UPDATE below**] The Los Angeles Times is still fighting for their man, Barack Obama. Last June, when their man's poll numbers looked groovy, the Times proudly trumpeted their presidential poll results with a just-the-facts headline, "Obama holds 12-point lead over McCain, poll finds." But now the paper's candidate of choice is in trouble. A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll shows John McCain and Barack Obama in a statistical dead heat, with Obama ahead 45% to 43%, within the three point margin of error.

So how does the Times frame the results of their new poll? "Barack Obama's image suffers amid John McCain attacks, poll finds" (see UPDATE below). Apparently, the Times has a hard time acknowledging that people are simply learning more about the candidates, and more are simply deciding that Obama is not their guy. The Times would rather blame Obama's receding lead on "attacks" by McCain.

Un-be-liev-a-ble. Jesus would be O.K. with abortion. Not only that, Jesus's position on abortion would be even "more radical" than Barack Obama's! That was the wild, and patently false, assertion from Barack Obama supporter Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a guest on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC (8/13/08). (Dr. Hill appears regularly on the program.)

Dr. Hill, an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and American Studies at Temple University and self-described "hip-hop intellectual," was defending Senator Obama's unwavering history of championing the right to terminating unborn humans through all nine months of pregnancy.

Dr. Hill reveals a mind-blowing ignorance of first-century Jewish and Christian teaching. That Hill would air such a preposterous assertion on a national television program is brazen, to say the least.

First-century Jews were unequivocally anti-abortion. (Note to Dr. Hill: Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish.) For example:

Former Chicago Alderwoman Arenda Troutman pleaded guilty yesterday (8/6/08) to felony counts of mail fraud and tax fraud. She faces up to 5 years in prison. The Chicago Tribune reported the story, and the Los Angeles Times published an edited version of the Trib's report.

Can you guess the one word that you won't find in either story? "Democrat." According to Wikipedia, "In 2006, Troutman was active in fundraising for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and in 2002 was a campaign advisor for Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards."

Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten is at it again. In an op-ed in today's paper (Wed. 8/6/08), Rutten buttresses a new book by author Ron Suskind and asserts that "Vice President Dick Cheney and his inner circle long have insisted" that Iraq was directly connected to the September 11 attacks.

Rutten's claim is an easy one to debunk. Here's Vice President Cheney in a Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert a mere five days after the September 11 attacks:

RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation? [Sept. 11 attacks]


Does it get any simpler than "No"?

Cheney's words also strike a major blow to a wild accusation in Suskind's new book.

If a journalist ever wanted to exhibit her spectacular ignorance and bias, the Los Angeles Times' Johanna Neuman performed with flying colors. In a recent blog post about the surprise congratulatory phone call from the Bush family to Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Neuman offered,

We imagine the reason the tape has not yet popped up on YouTube is that is was singularly lacking in the biting, mean-spirited, politically pointed invective for which Limbaugh is known and loved by millions.

"Mean-spirited"? "Invective"? Of course Neuman provides zero examples to support her claim. Has Neuman ever even listened to Limbaugh's program?

Amazingly (or maybe not), Neuman isn't just some dim liberal blogger. She's a newswriter for the paper's Washington bureau. Good ... grief.

Let's get this straight: Michael Yon, a journalist who's been over in Iraq about as much as anybody, has declared, "[T]he Iraq War is over. We won." Even the Associated Press has admitted we are "now winning" in Iraq. The New York Times grudgingly concedes a "remarkable change" in Baghdad since a once-powerful Shiite army has lost its grip.

So what's the top-of-the-page headline in Sunday's Los Angeles Times (7/27/08)? "War on terror loses ground." (See an image of the actual paper. The on-line version adds the words "in Pakistan.")

How bad is the pro-Democratic bias at the Los Angeles Times? Here are two more examples ... from just the past 24 hours.

1. Slate's Mickey Kaus published a jaw-dropping item earlier today that the Los Angeles Times has banned its bloggers from writing about the reported affair between Sen. John Edwards and a blonde named Rielle Hunter. Kaus obtained a copy of an e-mail written by Times editor Tony Pierce. Wrote Pierce, "Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified."

Kaus reminds everyone that while the L.A. Times and the MSM have been pretty silent on this Edwards story, the New York Times was unafraid in running a front-page article last February that strongly insinuated an adulterous affair between John McCain and a lobbyist. Double standard? Absolutely.

2. The Los Angeles Times really, really, really wanted you to know that Barack Obama gave a speech in Germany yesterday. Check out the humungous front-page, full-color photo (almost 50 square inches; I reduced the size for easier viewing) from today's paper (Fri. 7/25/08).

The relentless and fervent pro-Obama bias at the Los Angeles Times is nothing new. (For starters, we've reported on it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) But a front-page article in today's Times (Sun. July 20, 2008) is simply dishonest. The headline reads, "Iraqi president embraces Obama withdrawal plan."

The brute dishonesty is that the Times makes no mention of the fact that a spokesman for the prime minister immediately disputed the story and said comments from Nouri Maliki in a controversial interview in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately." (See CNN's "Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan," posted yesterday afternoon (7/19/08). HotAir also reports how Der Spiegel changed a key quote in the interview.)

The Los Angeles Times continues to demonstrate that it is simply unable to reliably provide truthful information about the Catholic faith. A June 27, 2008, book review in the Los Angeles Times, by staffer William Lobdell, falsely claims,

The concept of papal infallibility wasn't introduced until 1870, and the only infallible statement issued by a pope was in 1950 when Pius XII declared that Mary, upon her death, was assumed bodily into heaven.

There are two significant errors in this one sentence. First: Lobdell is wrong that the "concept of papal infallibility wasn't introduced until 1870." Although the doctrine was not formally defined until 1870 at the First Vatican Council, its "concept" (as Lobdell would say) can be traced back to the earliest years of the Church.

Readers of the Los Angeles Times could not miss the huge headline on the top of the front page on Wednesday (6/18/08): "Hundreds married on historic day" (print edition). In addition to the enormous headline, a whopping nine photos accompanied the Times's coverage of the first full day of legalized gay marriage in California.

One reader saw a clear case of bias by the Times. Here's his letter to the editor in yesterday's paper (6/20/08):

Re "Hundreds married on historic day," June 18

The only thing missing from this headline is the exclamation point. But the real tipoff was the picture of two women kissing on the front page. It was inappropriate for many reasons, but mostly because it demonstrates a case study in advocacy journalism.

As we reported last year, a stunning undercover videotape surfaced that appeared to show a staffer at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles advising a woman whom she thought to be a 15-year-old girl to conceal a statutory rape. Even though this eye-opening episode happened right in the backyard of the Los Angeles Times, the paper did not publish a single story about it. Not one.

Yet last week (6/9/08), the Times published a glowing, front-page feature about a 15-year-old "sex ed girl." The impressionable young teen walks the streets of Los Angeles and speaks to other teens about "safe sex." In the most flattering of language, the Times beams, "She has memorized pages and pages of information on sex education and sexually transmitted diseases. She's ready to pass out cards from ... listing services and clinics. She is also armed with condoms." A pair of flattering, smiling photos of the teen accompanies the article.

Any guesses on which organization trained this poor girl?

Andreina is 15. She's been attending Planned Parenthood sex education events since the age of 13.

Using the sexual abuse scandal as a backdrop, a dissident former bishop from Australia, Geoffrey Robinson, has penned a book on the Catholic Church. As a Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference clearly articulates, Robinson's book is riddled with serious theological and doctrinal concerns. The Conference also concluded that Robinson's book ultimately questions a number of Catholic fundamentals, including:

  • the nature of Tradition;
  • the inspiration of the Holy Scripture;
  • the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope;

On the heels of last week's California Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage, the Los Angeles Times conducted a poll. Today's paper (Fri. 5/23/08) blares the headline at the top of the front page, "Californians barely reject gay marriage" (print edition headline). "Barely"? Here are the poll's two main questions:
Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the California Supreme Court's decision last week to allow same-sex marriage in California?

Strongly disapprove: 42% and Somewhat disapprove: 10%
Strongly approve: 29% and Somewhat approve: 12%

Q: A proposed amendment to the state Constitution that may appear on the November ballot would reverse the court's decision and state that marriage is only between a man and a woman. If the election were held today, would you vote for or against the amendment?

For: 54% ... Against: 35%

So voters "barely" reject gay marriage? Seems pretty cut-and-dry to me that Californians aren't too hip to last week's ruling.

A major child sex abuse scandal has erupted in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Where's the national media?

  • Steve Thomas Rooney faces 13 felony sex-related counts, including charges that he had unlawful sex with two female students, ages 13 and 14, during the time he was an assistant principal at a middle school. And here's the kicker: In August 2007 LAUSD assigned Rooney to his job even though it knew that police had investigated him about an alleged sexual relationship with a student at his previous job at a high school. The former high school girl has since testified that Rooney impregnated her. (LAT coverage)
  • KNX 1070 Newsradio has reported "21 teachers and administrators have been yanked from schools in the past year because of allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with kids." Most of the cases happened since only January of this year.
  • Two LAUSD administrators face criminal charges for failing to report suspected child abuse by a substitute teacher. Yet LAUSD has sent the pair back to work at school! (LAT)

A new movie called "Bloodline" purports itself to be a documentary that claims to have found evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and their "bloodline" has been kept secret by the Catholic Church and a group called the "Priory of Sion." (NB's Scott Whitlock and Mark Finkelstein have written on this as well.)

But the truth is that the film's premise is based on a complete fabrication. The "Priory of Sion" was founded in 1950's France as a hoax by a known trickster. Yet the group's fictions continue to be forwarded by those despise Christianity and seek to degrade the Church. The Priory and its related claims have been debunked over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Yikes! How's this for a correction? On Monday, May 5, 2008, the Los Angeles Times published an article about adults dealing with the death of their parents. The main subject of the article was a Dr. Larry Graber, a psychotherapist from Santa Monica.

In the second paragraph of the piece, the Times wrote,

As second-generation Jewish immigrants, Graber's parents were frugal and had worked their way into the upper middle class by running pawn shops. Becoming a psychotherapist and living openly as a gay man, Graber had challenged many of their expectations.

The problem? Graber isn't gay.

Here's the correction from the Times today:

Anti-Catholicism still thrives at the Los Angeles Times, even though readers of the paper continue to call them on it. Last week, the Times published a smarmy op-ed by "humor" writer Barry Gottlieb ("That 'thou shalt not' list just got longer," 3/17/08). In addition to propagating the false story that the Vatican had composed a list of "new sins" (it didn't), Gottlieb mocked Catholic belief, ridiculed the sacraments, and derided the Church. In other words, it was just another episode of Catholic bashing at the Times.

Today (Thu. 3/20/08) - to its credit - the Times published three letters to the editor from readers who objected to the column's blatant bigotry. (I couldn't help but embolden some of the right-on points.)

This screed [Gottlieb's piece] insulting the Catholic religion is inexcusable. To publish this in a daily paper is an insult to every Catholic reader.

Addressing children's health to a group of doctors and nurses at the Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus on Saturday (2/23/08), Sen. Barack Obama made the following statement:

My home state of Illinois - I think, I'm pretty sure about this - is the only state in the country now that still requires phys ed [physical education] for local school districts. Most of the schools have abandoned it because they're under-funded, they're worried about testing.

First: According to the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (pdf file), Obama is wrong. The majority of states in the country require physical education at schools. (36 states require it at the elementary level; 33 in junior high; 42 at the high school level.)

As NB's Matthew Sheffield wrote last week, rocker/activist Bob Geldof praised President Bush for doing more for poor Africans "than any other president so far." Geldof also chided the American press for not reporting enough on the efforts by the President to deliver billions in aid to fight disease and poverty in the ailing continent.

Now look at this awful cartoon by syndicated cartoonist Joel Pett from this past week. Apparently in the eyes of Pett, the President's unwavering commitment to Africa is no more significant than a small bouquet of flowers. Ugh.

Let me get this straight: On September 11, 2001, terrorists brutally exterminated nearly 3,000 Americans, obliterated the landscape of lower Manhattan, and pummeled the headquarters of the United States's national defense. And since that same date nearly six-and-a-half years ago, pro-lifers have committed a grand total of zero murders, attempted murders, and bombings directed at abortion workers and clinics across the United States and Canada.

So the Associated Press implies that the bigger threat of terrorism to this country comes from ... pro-lifers? Here's how the AP tells it:

When it comes to fears about a terrorist attack, people in the U.S. usually focus on Osama bin Laden and foreign-based radical groups. Yet researchers say domestic extremists who commit violence in the name of their cause — abortion or the environment, for example — account for most of the damage from such incidents in this country.