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Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

Discussion in 'Media' started by Triumph, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Triumph Member

    Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    By Howard Kurtz
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, February 22, 2010

    After decades of digging into the Church of Scientology, reporters and editors at the St. Petersburg Times are accustomed to being denounced by its leaders.

    But they find it unsettling that three veteran journalists -- a Pulitzer Prize winner, a former "60 Minutes" producer and the former executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors -- are taking the church's money to examine the paper's conduct.

    While the journalists have promised an independent review, the Times has refused to cooperate, saying their work will be used to fuel the church's ongoing campaign against the Florida paper.

    "I ultimately couldn't take this request very seriously because it's a study bought and paid for by the Church of Scientology," says Executive Editor Neil Brown. "Candidly," he adds, "I was surprised and disappointed that journalists who I understand to have an extensive background in investigative reporting would think it's appropriate to ask me or our news organization to talk about that reporting while a) it's ongoing, and b) while they're being paid to ask these questions by the very subjects of our reporting."

    As for accepting payment from the church, they said: "We were as objective in doing this job as we were in pursuing all the other assignments we've done for news organizations during the past 25 years."
    Howard Kurtz - Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper - washingtonpost.com
  2. Scatman Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    The scientology crime syndicate has placed the St. Petersburg Times at the top of its Fair Game list. Echos of Lunatic Ron Hubbard: "of course ruin them utterly if you can" "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause."

  3. amaX Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    LOL! The two reporters got their money upfront!

    Why do I get the feeling that no one will ever see this report?


    .
  4. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    This looks like a campaign of intimidation as a Fair game response to the S P Times articles.
    Tax exempt money being used to harass free speech/First Amendment?
    Is that legal?
  5. Triumph Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    The Bigger question is who's going to investigate Tommy Davis...

    Davis says the paper "relied on sources that had not only been removed by the person they were attacking, but . . . admitted to having engaged in the same behavior they accused others of. These guys got removed for gross malfeasance." He and the church's lawyer told the paper that some staffers were beaten up, but that Miscavige never engaged in violence.
    excerpts of Davis's statements accusing the paper of "naked bias" against "the fastest-growing religion on earth."

    Davis says the church plans more scrutiny of its media adversary which comes as no surprise to Brown. "I counted up something like six or seven journalists the church has hired to look into the St. Petersburg Times
  6. Scatman Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    I would venture that it violates the terms of 501(c)3 status, but according to Lunatic Ron Hubbard, scientology is whatever you can get away with.

  7. Triumph Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Hitler attacked the Newspapers in Germany who wrote anything critical the same way
  8. crimsanon Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Is it legal for them to even spend money on things like this, surely there are regulations for ''non-profit'' organisations. it seems weird that when showing use of cash for the purpose of it being tax freethat they can show this type of spending and get away with it.
  9. zebra18 Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    in my florida?!?!? oh, heck no!!!

    nothere.jpg
  10. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Where have I come across the Dayton Daily News before...

    Oh yes!
    Voice of Bart Simpson to present scholarship at Fairmont graduation
    DaytonDailyNews: Dayton, Ohio, news and information

    A journalism educator from Missouri? You'd think he'd know about Applied Scholastics/study tech, and be quite allergic to it.

    This Kurtz column is pure journalism ethics pr0n, and I would expect to see lots of other outlets comment on it.
  11. mongrel Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Really, this tactic doesn't surprise me at all. The thing that does surprise me is that a professor from MU's J-school signed on. I hope he keeps his integrity. Guess we'll wait and see.

    (For those not aware, the journalism school at MU is considered to be the best in the nation. I know, I've spoken with several editors who've said exactly that.)
  12. AnonLover Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    kudos to Howard Kutz for covering it, but shame on Russell Carollo and Christopher Szechenyi for crawling into bed with faux publishing scum. Here's hoping their seen as bottom feeders from this point forward an find themselves even more hard up for work from here on out.
  13. Triumph Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    I imagine the CoS waved cash under the nose of several other journalists, these were just the ones who sold out their journalistic integrity.
  14. LocalSP Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Of course this could be a way for the reporters to get deep into Scientology, undercover so to speak...and get paid by scientology to do it. Could be hilarious.
  15. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Any way these reporters could be provided with vital factual data concerning Scientology and its scam?
    Just asking....
  16. TinyDancer Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Re-read the last edition of the "Freedom Magazine" (sic).

    Edit: That may have been a different journalist. I recall he had credentials.
  17. subgenius Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Footbullet maybe?
    Depends on who has control of their product when finished.
    Maintain integrity and if Co$ doesn't release it, there's a story.
    If it is released and is critical of SP Times, its tainted from the get go.
    Shit or go blind?
  18. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Well that didn't take long...

    THE NONPROFIT ROAD

    NEWS, RESEARCH AND INSIGHT ON JOURNALISM'S EMERGING BUSINESS MODEL
    Jim Barnett

    The Nonprofit Road: When Nonprofits Attack
  19. TinyDancer Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    I suspect a lot of people will say that the Times is just getting the same treatment it dishes out (being investigated and critiqued). I imagine they won't get much sympathy. But the story will probably hit a lot of journalists between the eyes and cause a debate within the industry.

    The "chilling effect" point is an important one.

    There are lots of judgement calls to be made in journalism. So, there's always room for criticism. That doesn't mean a poor job has been done, necessarily. It would be challenging for them to reach valid conclusions without hearing from the Times, I'd have thought.
  20. Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Betting five dollars (rhethorically) to say that the Co$ will twist the words of these journalists into their own propaganda...
  21. whoever Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Hey, don't forget Steve Weinberg.
    At least he's up-front about where he was coming from.
  22. Belladonna Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Mlive.com
    Scientology's New Use For Veteran Reporters - NewsFlash - mlive.com

    Kurtz's Post column got picked up by the Associated Press? And if so, is this a normal thing?
  23. subgenius Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    He says their agreement requires that the church publish the study in full, if it decides to make it public, but that "the contract says the church has the right to do nothing with it except put it in a drawer." That means Scientology leaders have an out if the recently completed study isn't to their liking.
  24. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    So this story has legs, but Stovall's attempt to blackmail Anons out of their 1st Amendment rights doesn't get any coverage?!?

    Suck to be the journalists who are writing this piece. I'm sure they needed the money, but how much money is worth your credibility among your peers?
  25. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    ^ I know; it's very frustrating.

    _________________
    Story was just Twittered by a staff member of the Poynter Institute. Will be interesting to see if they actually cover it or not.

    Poynter Institute - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  26. LocalSP Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    This makes sound as if it is already completed? Does anyone know if it is?
  27. Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Meh. If the journalists want to be reduced to laughingstocks to their peers, they will write a story favourable to the cult. The headlines will read, "Journalism Fraternity concerned that their peers can be bought." The debate will focus, not on the content of the report, but on the ability of a tax-exempt cult to purchase favourable press. Win for us. If Scientology doesn't publish the article, then the headlines will read, "Scientology suppresses investigative report that they paid for." Also win for us.

    I see more possible win for us than loss for us. Leaning our way 80-20.
  28. greebly Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Harpoon this around, most real journalists will be interested.
  29. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Interesting footnote: Steve Weinberg has written for the SP Times in the past (as recently as last year).
  30. AnonLover Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    I'm cutting Weinberg some slack figuring that him being straight Kurtz is a good sign that when the cult's edited version of the study is released, he'll be the first one to raise a stink it aint the same as the one he reviewed.
  31. Major Boyle Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    No, but you'd have to proven that the cult actually intended to suppress free speech. On the other hand, the SP times could certainly launch a lawsuit if they wanted to.

    Mind you, those Journos who are taking cult money might not like how their fellow journalists view them for trying to suppress speech.

    Lulzy idea: Contact Bill O'Reilly and have him send Jessee Waters and his camera crew to interview the $ci stooges about why they're trying to suppress free speech.
  32. TinyDancer Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Davis says he received the 20-page report "recently".
  33. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Just because Scientology is a crazy, lying, UFO cult doesn't mean that the SP times has always acted ethically.

    This might be the smartest move made by the cult yet and worthy of either Kha Khan status or the RPF for the guy who suggested it, depending on how it turns out.
  34. Herro Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    How often do journalists do this kind of thing? It seems like something that would be looked down upon in that profession. But I could be wrong.
  35. incog712 Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    No question "real" journalists are becoming aware and interested. Hopefully aware enough to take a good look at the cult themselves. Leave it to scientology to pull them in. Maybe even somebody over at the San Jose Mercury News will grow a pair.
  36. Anonymous Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    That is one way to look at it i guess, I considered this to be a warning to journalists to be careful of what they say, write, and report. When a journalist sees that the cult is willing to hire the top members of the field to critique their work, I see it as Scientology saying that they best not report what ex's are saying with out anything to corroborate the story.
  37. Belladonna Member

  38. Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    I wonder if these objective journalists will report on how the vast Scientology enterprise that was convicted of fraud in France makes the tax-free money they are paying them with.

    Who controls exactly which findings are published in this unbiased investigation?

    Their objectivity ends where they commit journalistic sins of omission as well, early and often in their paid "investigation" is my bet.

    Who controls the publication of their "unbiased" investigation? www.whoisdavidmiscavige.com

    Scientology by its very design can't correct abuses and condones criminal activities by LRH policy, attack the accusers, never defend or admit anything.

    As far as the S. P. times is concerned, they are a declared enemy of the church for reporting negative stories about Scientology whether or not there is any truth to them.

    Per LRH Policy: "We welcome an investigation of these investigators" even if what they said was true and even if we have to pay for it.

    Google: Scientology / Abuses (Over 10 MILLION entries, yes over 10 MILLION entries, all denied)

    Read the first 10 of these 10,900,000 Tip of the iceberg, abusive cult needs to be stopped.
  39. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    It is a good bet that "Freedom" (LOL) Magazine will do a publication of all cult-favorable material from this expensive report.
  40. Kalashnikov Member

    Re: Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

    Send John Stossel!
    Fox news loves any story that has to do with our tax dollars since their main demographic is hard core conservatives.

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