Monday, August 16, 2010

Lateline's dodgy story about Roman Catholic archbishop & paedophilia escapes Media Watch's attention

Just how useless is Media Watch? The fact that so many people still seem to take it seriously has been a source of bemusement to me for some time.
The report in question was compiled by Holmes's "close friend" Suzanne Smith. It alleged that Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, the man tipped to become the next archbishop of Sydney, knew or should have known about child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in NSW in the 1970s.

Heavily promoted by the ABC, the "expose" was broadcast on Lateline in May and began with these words: "The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, is under increasing pressure tonight to explain what he knew about sexual abuses by priests."

The story went on to claim that Wilson, as a young priest in Maitland, had turned a blind eye while 12-year-old Peter Gogarty was abused by pedophile priest James Fletcher.

The story claimed the abuse took place in a house shared by Wilson, Fletcher and other priests. Wilson, the report alleged, had seen Fletcher marching Gogarty upstairs to a bedroom on numerous occasions, but did nothing about it.

To emphasise the point, a still photograph of Gogarty at age 12 was shown throughout Smith's report. But there was a serious problem with Smith's research.

First, Gogarty turned 12 in 1972, but Wilson did not become a priest until 1975.

Second, Wilson did not live in the Maitland house with Fletcher until 1982, by which time Gogarty was 20.

Enter Media Watch, which was tipped off about the concerns and began investigating.

You can find out how fearlessly Media Watch pursued this story here.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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