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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  November 2, 2016
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Topic category:  Partisan Politics

Biased Newsday Ignored the US Senate Debate and Covered Criticism of Bishop Murphy's Letter to Members of His Diocese on the Importance of Supporting Life from Conception

Instead of ignoring the Senate debate, Newsday should be interviewing Long and Schumer on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's call to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which conditions tax-free status on not endorsing political candidates, and inquiring whether the Johnson Amendment is a constitutional or unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

Newsday is Long Island's newspaper.

Long Island deserves much better.

Newsday's liberal political and anti-Cagtholic biases arte notorious, and last Monday's issue particularly stands out for what it included and did not include.

There is a race in New York for the United States Senate between incumbent Democrat Chuck Schumer and Wendy Long, the candidate of the Republican Conservative and Reform Parties.

The only debate Schumer would allow was an hour debate on Sunday night with a couple of liberal co-moderators.

It's a safe bet that Long won, because Newsday completely ignored the debate.

Instead, Newsday found ample space for complaints about a pastoral letter by Bishop William Murphy.

Bishop Murphy did not mention the name of any candidate or political party.

He addressed how faithful Catholics should decide how to vote.

Newsday's Bart Jones reported this way:

"Bishop William Murphy, head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said in a letter read at Masses on Sunday that support for abortion 'should disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote.'

"The spiritual leader of Long Island’s 1.5 million Catholics said in the letter 'support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive "personally opposed but….." line is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote.'

"Murphy also wrote: 'Do you think our country is going in the right direction or the wrong direction? I believe it is heading in the wrong direction. If I am right, then...

"'Of the two candidates running for President, and of all of the candidates running for elective office, whether federal, state or local, which ones will continue to lead us in the current direction or which are more likely to restore justice in those areas that cry out for such a restoration?

"Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said the bishop was 'absolutely not' endorsing Republican Donald Trump. 'An endorsement means someone comes out and says I am going to vote for this particular person and the bishops and the church don’t do that,' Dolan said.

"Murphy’s letter 'explicitly addresses issues, not individual candidates, and is completely non-partisan,' the spokesman said. 'With Election Day less than two weeks away, Catholics are seeking counsel and guidance as they exercise their civic responsibility of voting,' Dolan said.

"'As he has done in previous years, Bishop Murphy has written to the People of God on having informed consciences and how to make moral choices, as has the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.'

However, some of the faithful said they believe the letter was a direct endorsement of Trump, and criticized the bishop for stepping into electoral politics days before the Nov. 8 vote.

"James Morgo, a parishioner at Our Lady of the Snow parish in Blue Point and a former Suffolk County chief deputy executive, said Murphy’s letter was 'without question' an endorsement of Trump. 'He [Murphy] couldn’t be more clear. I thought it was stunning . . .'

"Richard Koubek, a parishioner at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal parish in Wyandanch and a former public policy administrator at Catholic Charities, said the letter is 'not moral instruction; it is partisan proselytizing.'

"The Rev. Thomas Reese, senior analyst at The National Catholic Reporter and author of 'Inside the Vatican,' called Murphy’s letter 'a non-endorsement endorsement' that was within legal bounds because he did not mention a specific candidate or political party.

"He said more than a dozen other bishops across the country have written similar letters this year. 'This was carefully done to protect them legally. . .,’ Reese said.

"While 'most bishops do not want to get involved in writing letters that are partisan, that de facto endorse a political party or a particular candidate by saying this is the only issue that you can consider,' Murphy is unlikely to be disciplined by the Vatican, he said.

"The diocese said Sunday it regularly issues a communication reminding priests of the prohibition against publicly backing candidates or parties."

Bishop Murphy's letter was read at my parish, St, Francis in Greenlawn, and resoundingly applauded.

A Newsday reader would not know that, because no one who welcomed the letter was mentioned in the article.

Instead, critics were quoted and a false impression was created.

Instead of ignoring the Senate debate, Newsday should be interviewing Long and Schumer on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's call to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which conditions tax-free status on not endorsing political candidates or parties, and inquiring whether the Johnson Amendment is a constitutional or unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

But that's not the kind of service Newsday provides to its readers.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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