Unequal labeling: Any "liberal" Catholics at the Los Angeles Times?

August 3rd, 2005 7:21 PM

Today's (Wed. August 3, 2005) Los Angeles Times has a story about a child-support lawsuit in Oregon between a woman and the (Catholic) Archdiocese of Portland. Although the article states, "liberal and conservative Catholics around the country are decrying the archdiocese's legal strategy," the Times delivers unequal treatment to Catholic individuals and lay groups when labeling whether they are "conservative" or not.

For instance, from the article (emphases mine):

  • "'On the face of it, [the argument] is simply appalling,' said Michael Novak, a conservative Catholic theologian and author based in Washington, D.C. ..."
  • "William Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights based in New York ..."
  • "Robert Royal, president of the Faith & Reason Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. ..."

The only "liberal" tag in the article is made when referring to "the National Catholic Reporter, a liberal weekly newspaper." At least they got that one right!

Meanwhile, not receiving the very deserving "liberal" tags in the article are:

  • "Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice ..."
  • "Mary Jane McGraw of Oak Park, who runs an affiliate of the Boston-based Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay group."
  • "Father Richard McBrien, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame." (O'Brien might tell you he is moderate, but his statements reflect otherwise. His views often contradict the Vatican.)*

TheMediaReport.com says ... Fair labeling is a problem at the Times.

* Here is a very good article about the true, liberal views of Voice of the Faithful and Fr. McBrien.