Statement on Media Reports
November 21, 2007
The news media once again have displayed what can only be deemed hostility and bigotry towards religion in their coverage of the press conference held outside the Cathedral of Saint Patrick on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 by a man claiming that some items sold in religious gift shops were made in sweatshops in China.
The news media all carried stories linking Saint Patrick’s Cathedral with sweatshops even though Charles Kernaghan, the individual making the claim, did not provide any conclusive evidence that the items in question were, in fact, made under such conditions. The gift shop still does not know that these claims are true. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible to verify the facts as Mr. Kernaghan admitted that he called his news conference without any attempt whatsoever to contact either the gift shop or the company that imports the items and sells them to religious goods stores, to raise his concerns and investigate their truthfulness. Still, the news media irresponsibly rushed the story into print, without any attempt to independently verify the facts. This reveals, yet again, the media’s bigotry towards religion in general and towards the Catholic Church in particular.
In an age when it sometimes seems that virtually everything sold in this country is made in China, it is difficult not to wonder what Mr. Kernaghan’s motivation was in focusing on crucifixes and releasing his allegations to the media without addressing his concerns to those in a position to investigate them and make whatever adjustments or changes that might be necessary once they arrived at the truth of the matter. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the news media was all too ready to once again allow their bias to overcome their news judgment.