Monday, November 25, 2002

An astonishing "mistake"

Do you remember the NYTimes article about David Kelley's episode of The Practice framed in terms of Kelley's Catholic background?

Well, the Newspaper of Record issued a minor correction today:

An article in The Arts on Nov. 7 about "The Practice," the ABC television series that has been been addressing the scandal over sexual abuse by priests, misstated the religious background of the writer David E. Kelley. He was brought up Protestant, not Roman Catholic.

Well.

First, let's look at the headline to the November 7 article:

A Catholic Writer Brings His Anger to 'The Practice'

Now, let's look at the article itself:

Mr. Kelley's take on the scandal appears in Sunday night's episode of "The Practice" on ABC. And Mr. Kelley, who was himself raised Catholic in Boston, does not pull punches

Now, nowhere else in the article is Kelley's purported Catholicism referred to, and there are no direct quotes cited that say "I'm Catholic" or "I was raised Catholic." But we can presume that this reporter got this information from somewhere - either Kelley himself, or perhaps his own assumptions that a "Kelley" from Boston would be Catholic?

Either way, what we have is incredibly shoddy journalism and possibly some rather sneaky work by a writer-producer attempting to cash in a false identity in order to give his work more notoriety - or perhaps a combination of the two.

Many thanks to James Kabala for pointing this out.





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