North Kansas City School Superintendent Dan Clemens must say a prayer every morning–not on the school grounds, of course–that the Kansas City Star is the area’s paper of record.
Six of his NKC School District employees got busted for sex with students in one very recent 13-month span, and the Star never thought to question Clemens about it. In fact, Clemens has yet to get his name in the paper.
Catholic priests have no such luck. On Thursday, the Star established a new bar for anti-Catholic bigotry by running a breathless headline story on an 86-year-old former Wyoming bishop who left the Kansas City area in 1976, some 42 years ago.
The Star headline reads, “Former Kansas City priest faces third credible sex abuse claim, Wyoming diocese says.” Apparently, after the Cheyenne diocese announced that it had two credible claims against Bishop Joseph Hart, a third claimant came forward saying he had been abused in 1980.
The claimant may be telling the truth, but it is not at all impossible that dollar signs have awakened his memories. Not surprisingly, the Star turned to resident Catholic-basher Judy Thomas to break this story open. Most notoriously, Thomas penned the the ultra-Gothic, front-page, three-part series, “The Altar Boys’ Secret,” served up by the Star just in time for Christmas 2011 and later convincingly denounced by the one living witness not suing the Church.
“Once again, a front-page breaking news story that is a non-story in Kansas City,” one well connected area Catholic told the Sentinel. “It gives Thomas a chance to re-run her stories from the last month to further contaminate the jury pool and troll for more repressed memories. The Star’s collusion in this betrayal of journalistic integrity is disgusting albeit not surprising.”
While the Star trolls for victims as far away as Wyoming, for cases at least 38 years old, public school superintendents rest easy knowing that they will never have to see front-page stories about their own “mobile molesters.”