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Letter: Diocese showed pettiness in banning TV reporter

Rank dishonesty ought to be publicly condemned. Even in this era of “alternative facts.” Even when the president of the United States has told more than 10,000 documented lies. Even if we’re tired, when we hear someone being dishonest in public, we should speak up.

Which brings me to the recent press conference by Bishop Richard J. Malone, in which he stated he felt he had the support of the majority of our community’s Catholics, and would therefore not resign. I haven’t taken a poll, but hasn’t the bishop already demonstrated we cannot rely on his good judgment?

According to The Buffalo News and other published reports, the Diocese of Buffalo spokesperson, Kathy Spangler, hand-selected the reporters who could attend this event.

Notably, WKBW’s Charlie Specht, whose bold and comprehensive reporting has exposed the whole dissembling bishopric, was not invited. Another reporter from the same station, Eileen Buckley, was invited instead. Eileen is an excellent reporter, but that’s generally not how it’s supposed to work.

When asked why Specht wasn’t invited, Spangler said there wasn’t enough space to accommodate him. Apparently the Our Lady of Victory Basilica was booked already? What petty nonsense. What an insult to a free and independent press. We shouldn’t let powerful organizations dictate the terms of who covers them.

Every move the diocese makes in public about this still-unfolding scandal flies in the face of transparency, accountability and healing.

Daniel Higgins

Assistant professor of journalism

Canisius College

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