• U.S.

Religion: Bias Contest

2 minute read

Increasingly in recent months, an especially vigilant section of the vigilant U. S. Catholic press has accused much of the U. S. secular press of a bias on issues affecting Catholicism. In particular, the coverage of the Spanish war by such newspapers as the New York Times infuriates Catholic publicists. In America, sharply-edited Jesuit weekly, Rev. ‘John A. Toomey, S. J. lately urged that Catholics bring their national organizations to bear on offending journals. Father Toomey pointed out that Jewish issues are never misrepresented for long in the U. S. press, in which Jews are important advertisers.

Last week America announced a “Bias Contest,” with Father Toomey among others in charge, in which $50 in prizes will be awarded to readers culling and commenting upon the worst examples of anti-Catholic bias in the press during March. Father Toomey’s observations on the scope of the contest: “Something may not seem to be anti-Catholic at all until one bestows thought upon it. For example, consider the Ladies’ Home Joitrnal’s birth control propaganda. . . . The bias may be achieved by playing up the anti-Catholic side, playing down the Catholic side … or by means of half truths, interpretations, implications and other tricks of the propagandists. It is anti-Catholic bias if it misleads readers on any Catholic question.”

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