Over at GetReligion, Terry Mattingly takes a look at the New York Times’ report on Archbishop Charles Chaput’s replacing Cardinal Justin Rigali as the head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Mattingly observes that rather than highlighting Chaput’s arrival, the NYT chose to frame the story with Rigali’s departure and the sex abuse scandals that have recently rocked the archdiocese.
Mattingly then goes on to consider if these editorial decisions might have been in any way influenced by the controversy that flared up in 2004 between the NYT and Chaput, when the archbishop claimed that the newspaper had taken quotes out of context for an article on Communion for pro-abortion politicians:
Chaput then took an unusual, but cyber-logical, step. Since his staff had taped the interview, he posted a full transcript (.pdf) — showing the full texts of the questions from the Times and then his responses.
Many journalists were not amused and thought this was a hostile act. …
Those who followed that earlier drama were not surprised to learn, a few years later, that Chaput has decided to boycott the Times, when it comes to interviews. For an update on that icy standoff, click here for a post by our own Sarah Pulliam Bailey.
It would seem that this Times boycott continues (unless I have missed something) and that would appear to have shaped this Laurie Goodstein analysis piece about his move to Philadelphia. Wait a minute, there does not seem to be an analysis tag on this sidebar. Most strange.
Mattingly goes on to recommend that Chaput give up his NYT boycott now that he’s moved to Philly, grant the paper an interview, and record and disseminate that transcript. As Mattingly says, “This could get interesting, journalistically speaking.”