June 29, 1996
Mr. Paul Furiga, Editor
Pittsburgh Business Times
2313 East Carson Street #200
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
What's your excuse?
You'd better have a very good excuse for publishing a vile screed of rank bigotry as an "Editorial Notebook" by one John Berger (Business Times, June 17-23).
There is nearly no end to the offensive, insulting, outrageous, and even blasphemous puerilities displayed in that hack piece, that spleen-venting welter of crudity:
Yes, you had better have a very good excuse for offending and insulting millions of people, most of whom had never even heard of your periodical before you decided it was okay to do a cheap, base hatchet job on a businessman by desecrating what is sacred and dear to them.
Of course, a number of possible very good excuses come to mind:
A-P-O-L-O-G-Y. What does that spell? "Apology."
That's what I want, Mr. Furiga: an apology. A public, no-nonsense, unambiguous, bold, abject apology.
None of that We didn't mean to offend anybody malarkey, either. The whole tawdry diatribe was deliberately, purposefully, and intentionally offensive and insulting and I will not permit you to further insult me by feigning that it was not so.
This is something like what I want, and I demand it: We are sorry. We should never have printed such a vile piece of bigotry, and we will never even think about printing such a foul piece of bigotry again.
A sentence or two like--that that's all I'm asking.
I feel sure, though, that you would rather make the typical dodge for cover under the protection of the First Amendment freedom of press, speech, expression, and all that. So do cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies of the dank, dark basement scurry for cover when a human being turns on the light.
But it works both ways, doesn't it, that freedom of expression?
If a public, no-nonsense, unambiguous, bold, abject apology is not forthcoming from you, quickly and decidedly, I will proceed to exercise my own freedom of press, speech, and expression.
I will personally contact as many fellow Catholics as I can--by phone, by letter, by fax, by e-mail, by newspaper, by whatever it takes--and convey to them the contents of Mr. Berger's bilious tirade. Then, I shall ask the following of them:
Mr. Lane Core Jr.