**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An arrogant church announces there’s pedophiles in other religions the day after the settlement. Even if there are, I mean, the audacity!

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By Kay Ebeling

Pretrial reorganization started today in the very merry un-jury trial of the Hagenbach cases which will take place here at city of angels blog in the next weeks. Instead of jury selection we're rounding up witness and exhibit lists for the trials that were on calendar to start in the next weeks. Sorry, Sitrick Public Relations, you forgot to factor in the city of angels blog in that PR Plan you sold to the LA Archdiocese back in 2004.

As announced yesterday, we are going to go ahead and report on the cases as if they did go to trial, describe the exhibits, interview the witnesses that were lined up to testify. Church Attorney J. Michael Hennigan will alternately appear in the online trials as the King of Hearts and the lead defendants’ advocate, and if he’s the King of Hearts, who is the queen?

Please don’t think this online trial will be a witch hunt or an aberration of justice. We're just pulling the rug out from under them the way they did us. Church attorneys played hardball with plaintiffs’ lives for the last five years, trampling their rights, obstructing justice in the most outrageous ways, and the story needs to be published where anyone can read it. What better place than this blog?

Post-settlement meandering:
Some thoughts about where the money will come from:

The archdiocese will sell some non-church properties. Why do they even have non-church properties at a time when so many people in Los Angeles don’t even have housing? Where’s the Jesus in that?

Plus the archdiocese claims that no money is coming from the parishes as the insurance companies are coming through like the accessories they are.

If the money isn’t coming from the parishes, who’s been paying the insurance premiums for ‘protection against sex lawsuits’ for the last decade or so?

One reason to continue the trials here in this blog is so plaintiffs can speak up on what the church attorneys did to their lives leading up to the trials. Yesterday afternoon local and national media were full of the horror stories, it wasn’t fondling it was ongoing rape. It wasn’t a few consenting incidents between a man and a teenage girl, it was a kind of kidnapping and blackmail using the fear of God inherent in your priesthood as a weapon.

Of course in two or three days you won’t find more than a dribbling of stories about the LA cases in mainstream media and in a month it will be forgotten by most Americans, the ones who don’t read this blog. . . .

But yesterday it was a cacophony of reporters, cameras pointed to catch the plaintiffs having emotional breakdowns. Same clips ran on every news program and then in a week they'll forget.

SIDE NOTE: When I studied journalism in the 1970s we feared the emergence of TV news, that it would lower the standards of communications. Today all reporters seem to aspire to be like TV news.

The result is scenes like yesterday outside the courthouse where the “press conference” took place.

I watched reporters stand in front of cameras and read a page of notes, then lights up, they say their page of notes into the camera, and that's the story. I watched a reporter from what should be a respected local newspaper as she tried to develop a relationship with one of the crime victims to do an interview.

You don’t show up the day of the trial and go up to a stranger who’s just been through five years of an insane lawsuit and try to develop a relationship with them. The way the news media handles stories today, responding to what other reporters are doing, chasing each others’ cameras and watching each other to see what each other will report next -- it’s such a disappointment.

Whatever happened to developing contacts, leads, sources?

The LA Times is in part responsible for the long delayed settlements.


If a team of reporters from the LA Times had followed this story in 2003 the way the Boston Globe followed Boston in 2002, the settlements would have come at least a year sooner. Instead the reporters who’d put together a monumental investigative effort in 2002 at the Times were all re-assigned. Jean Guccione, a thorough investigative reporter on many of the Times’ 2003 stories, now covers one-way street traffic changes.

Our local media and their ever lowering standards are responsible in part for the dragging out of this trial. If a team of professional reporters had been there doing what I was doing on my own as a volunteer, the church would not have gotten away with five years of obstruction of justice and intimidation of the plaintiffs in these cases.

And it’s not all LA Times editor John Spano’s fault,
I’m beginning to realize.


It turns out a local, small news outlet has had to provide reporters from the LA Times with access to documents in the Clergy Cases over the internet.

It costs a nominal fee for monthly access to documents through the LA Superior Court website and apparently the LA Times discontinued this expense at the beginning of 2007. The LA Times reporter could not even go online and click on documents from his office to research these cases.

Then Came the BIG MEDIA EVENT!!!!!

Dozens of reporters suddenly discovered this story and showed up for the Big Hearing which was no more than a formality. They pointed cameras at plaintiffs outside. The reporters’ questions revealed they had not done a half hour of research in advance, no more than to read what the other journalists were writing. I went to The University of Texas, and there we were drilled in integrity:

Never approach an interview until you know everything that person has said and written on the topic so you don’t ask stupid redundant questions. Never use a press release to write a news story. Reporters who used press releases to write stories were laughed out of the newsroom. Even attending press conferences was seen as doing public relations for the subject of the story instead of reporting real news.

Today’s reporters are lost without a press release, they have not been able to spend anywhere near enough time to do comprehensive coverage. In the stream of articles that came up July 16 and 17 about the LA settlements it’s difficult to find a paragraph that wasn’t in at least seven other articles.

I watched this young reporter Monday trying to get one of the plaintiffs to come aside and speak with her, and the reporter’s approach was like someone coming off the street. She had no background, didn't know who the plaintiff was, who her perpetrator was, what city it happened in. Do you really think the plaintiff wants to answer these questions 85 times after a 5-year lawsuit?

What really bugs me is tomorrow none of these news lemmings will even be on the story. Decades of organized crime in the LA archdiocese will be old news next week. Thank God for blogs as here is where real reporting will come back. (Hopefully my blog will be one of the first big successes and I’ll be able to buy St. Gregory’s Church on Wilshire Boulevard in about 20 years.)

PERSONAL NOTES:

Reeling and reeling since about last Friday. On such an emotional roller coaster I’ll break out in cackling laughter or wracking tears at a moment’s notice. Also I cried so much the last few days that my right eye is totally puffed up and inflamed…

and I’m not even a plaintiff in these cases.
But God has a sense of humor in many ways.

I was a little upset that the trials were canceled. I fantasized that my dynamic coverage the next months would get me a job with some major news organization, but face it, that wasn’t likely to happen.

So I was a little disappointed that things feel like they just came to an abrupt halt with the settlement. I felt like I needed help so I went to church twice on Sunday and the evening service I went to was at Kairos Los Angeles, where the music is phenomenal.

And what was the first song? “Better just one day in your courts, better just one day in your house, better just one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.”

That song came up and I burst out cackling -- my staccato laughter was like percussion in rhythm. I just knew -- it was almost like the whole thing was arranged to calm me down, settle me, and I let the laughter come out so hard that the tears stopped.


Mahony’s Face:

Now that I’ve seen the face that Cardinal Mahony was mugging for the in-court camera during court Monday on various news websites, I’m glad I didn't look into his face when he was staring at me. That woe is me, weepy expression that got carried out to the world --

As for Mahony’s post settlement apologies and words to the public, they're abominable. He says, “it shouldn't have happened,” about sodomy rape that left young boys bleeding, and then it happened over and over again.

He just doesn't get it.


Now the pope the day after the settlement makes an announcement that yes, the church is taking responsibility and first thing we're going to do is try to end pedophilia worldwide,

but before we start let’s point out that other religions are just as guilty.

No they aren’t.

No I don't buy that argument at all.

And even if it is true that there are pedophiles in other churches, the arrogance, the utter tackiness of coming out with a statement like that the day after the settlements?????


What did they do, fire Sitrick & Company Public Relations yesterday? Who would advise the pope to make an announcement that there are pedophiles in all the churches the day after the Catholic Church is made to pay 660 million dollars for the reckless epidemic of pedophiles that . . .

They just don’t get it.

I gotta get back to my job…

More to Come. . .

1 comment:

Paris said...

city-of-angels,

why don't you and the survivors throw MANURE at Mahony's fox face -- that is all he deserves from all of you really.

Please do not be deceived by his cunning Opus Dei orchestrated apology -- he is the clone child of MR. John Paul II and MRS. Josemaria Escriba. These two same-sex married mystical priests continue to rule even from their graves! They surpass Ripley's Believe or Not in Catholic church history!

Any CEO who mismanage loses half a billion dollar for his company would be in jail by now.Throw manure and bury Mahony in manure!