Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Secret Agent Man pointed me to Jimmy Akin's smackdown of the latest Bob Keeler article in Newsday. I read this of course, but never blogged about it because it was just the same ol' same ol'. Every day I read Newsday (I don't buy, just read it at work) and they always have an article, comment, editorial, or letter to the editor that is either anti-Catholic or an attempt to push a liberal agenda of Catholic Lite. Bill Donohue calls it the most anti-Catholic newspaper in the country, which is amazing. As far as reporters go (Carol Eisenberg for example) their articles usually contain an agenda, a slam, or a comment that shows the distain they have for the Church, the Pope, and the teachings. With editorials: Paul Vitello, Marie Cocco, Sheryl McCarthy are liberals who only like Catholicism when it suites their purpose (death penalty for example) but who display an ignorance and prejudice that is astounding (particularly McCarthy who is just plain dumb). The writer Ed Lowe is your typical "recovering Irish Catholic", in other words, the Church was just a place to go for rituals (baptisms, weddings etc..) but the Church should never actually teach the faith or even worse, expect people to live it. Jimmy Breslin is in a whole different category: he is an outright liar and bigot and should not be employed by a newspaper. (The fact that his writing is past its prime goes without saying.) Occasionally there is an article by Dick Ryan, an old and angry Catholic writer who spouts typical Catholic Lite stuff. Dick Ryan is more sad than anything else.

Which brings me to Bob Keeler. Keeler is the most knowledgeable of the Newsday staff regarding Catholicism, and he is a liberal Catholic, not lapsed as far as I know. His writing is typical of the America, Commonweal, and National Catholic Reporter variety. The fact that his writings shows up in Newsday is due to the fact that he is on their editorial board. A few years ago, he wrote a long series of articles on St. Brigid's in Westbury that covered the typical parish happenings over the course of the year. The fact that it cleverly pushed his agenda for the Church did not take away from the fact that it was a very good series. It was good enough writing that Keeler won a pulitzer and turned the series into a book. I believe that Keeler is on the Newsday editorial board for one reason: to serve as the token practicing Catholic on the staff. His rise to the editorial board coincided with his increasingly strident attacks on the Church, especially the orthodox wing. He sold his soul for a cushy spot on the board and that is why his writing bothers me more than a bigot like Breslin. Keeler is the Uncle Tom of Newsday for us Catholics. It is embarrassing and pathetic to see his writing.

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