Scientology Church hires reporters to investigate newspaper

skollie

Silver Meritorious Patron
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."

Steve Weinberg, the former IRE executive who has taught at the University of Missouri's journalism school for a quarter-century, says he was paid $5,000 to edit the study and "tried to make sure it's a good piece of journalism criticism, just like I've written a gazillion times. . . . For me it's kind of like editing a Columbia Journalism Review piece."
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.

Lots more to read at link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...02/21/AR2010022103692.html?hpid=news-col-blog
 

Kookaburra

Gold Meritorious Patron
Bought and paid for investigations have a long history of going the way of the entity that bought and paid for it.
 

byte301

Crusader
"Asked about taking on the assignment, the two chose to respond in a joint statement Sunday. "We were hesitant," they said. "That's why we insisted on being paid in full before we started our work, total editorial independence and having someone with the reputation of Steve Weinberg involved. Every entity has the right to receive fair treatment in the press."

Well, at least they were smart enough to get their money up front. :D

Who wants to bet we'll never see that study?
 

KnightVision

Gold Meritorious Patron
The Glaring Pink Elephant in the room is.... WHY would a 'Church' spend parishioners money to have journalists review the work of other journalists that are reporting on that 'Church'?

The obvious and repeated fact that the Co$ continues to demonstrate it's never ending attempts to denounce any and everybody that speaks of or reports on it's abusive policies and treatment of public and staff alike... has anchored them in the minds of millions as an untrustworthy group, period.
 

FinallyFree

Gold Meritorious Patron

My Mom pointed something out to me the other day. DM is very uneducated and very in experienced in the real world. I think that this is why he will fail in every attempt just as he continues to fail.

You can't cover up the truth forever. Even from the scientologists that are buying the BS DM is spewing. You also cannot control the world outside of scientology in the same way that you can the scientology community. I see this as an attempt by DM to turn the tables by getting the reporters to turn on themselves.

I know what hubbard says about reporters as any tenured scientologist would. Therefore I know what DM thinks about the same. The problem is, without a real grasp on how the real world operats and therefore basing plans on scientology technology, DM will never be able to get a successful plan into action. Never. And with the ego and arragance, DM will never listen to someone who can get a successful plan into action.

I think this will be one of the worst moves DM ever made. I see even more exposure of scientology. Just when I thought they wouldn't give us as useful a tool as Tommy Davis.

And yes Tommy, you are a tool. (insult intended)
 

Tigger

Patron Meritorious
Not smart enough

"Asked about taking on the assignment, the two chose to respond in a joint statement Sunday. "We were hesitant," they said. "That's why we insisted on being paid in full before we started our work, total editorial independence and having someone with the reputation of Steve Weinberg involved. Every entity has the right to receive fair treatment in the press."

Well, at least they were smart enough to get their money up front. :D

Who wants to bet we'll never see that study?

But apparently they weren't smart enough to do their homework ....i.e. investigate the M.O of $CN or realize they were manipulated by $CN to do something that doesn't speak well for their ethics or enhance their careers.

We may never see that study, but who wants to bet that it and those award-winning reporters....albeit nameless.... will be used by $CN in some way in an effort to fool the ignorant.......

Although $CN supposedly can't publicize it unless the whole study is published, that doesn't prohibit them from saying....a study by Pulitizer Prize winning reporters
shows...............? Even if it did, $CN would probably do it anyway.

Tigger
 

TalleyWhacker

Patron with Honors
"Hey, we'll pay you to go over there and smell that dog's butt and let us know if it really smells like shit."

Extremely brilliant move there, Slappy.
:duh:
 

FinallyMe

Silver Meritorious Patron
...snip...

Although $CN supposedly can't publicize it unless the whole study is published, that doesn't prohibit them from saying....a study by Pulitizer Prize winning reporters
shows...............?

...snip...
Tigger

EXACTLY what I was thinking! Or they'll show it to some "parishioners" who will then talk about and "quote" the study on various forums, Facebook, etc.
 

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
In the end you'll have three more journalists who've seen the belly of this beast.
 

Tigger

Patron Meritorious
Questions Raised About Motives

Posed by Sponge on OCMB


The Nonprofit Road: When Nonprofits Attack

http://journalismnonprofit.blogspot.com/2010/02/when-nonprofits-attack.html

What's disturbing is that the church is trying to pass off the study as "journalism criticism" -- the label applied by Steve Weinberg, a former IRE executive whom Kurtz says was was paid $5,000 to edit the study. Weinberg told Kurtz that his contract calls for the study to be published in full, but only if the church chooses to make it public.

“(T)he contract says the church has the right to do nothing with it except put it in a drawer,” Weinberg told Kurtz.

And for now, it looks like that's where the study will stay.

Clearly, the church is more interested in its reputation than in supporting quality journalism. But the church's attack on the Times undermines journalism in several ways: It lures top journalists into compromising roles; it raises questions about their motives ("I can certainly use the money these days," Weinberg told Kurtz); it tramples any notion of transparency; it raises doubts about the professional integrity of the church's own magazine; and it clearly attempts to cast a chilling effect on the Times' future reporting on the church.
 

dchoiceisalwaysrs

Gold Meritorious Patron
These journalists need to investigate the source of this money. Often obtained by fiduciary constructive fraud, precipitating bankruptcy and even suicide.

I sure wouldn't want that blood money in my bank account. It certainly taints ones soul.
 

Kha Khan

Patron Meritorious
This has made the Drudge Report. Fourth item in the far left column.

drudgereport.png
 

freethinker

Sponsor
It occured to me that it is probably not to be published to sway non-Scio public but rather incorporated into a future Scio event to convince existing Scio's that even Pulitzer prize winning reporters suspect the validity of Times reporting.

I really don't see the world outside Scientology, in the main buying anything favorable about Scientology no matter who writes it. It would be an obvious counter-move to unfavorable reporting which is plentiful.
 

Tigger

Patron Meritorious
Objections

From a.r.s.

On Feb 22, 9:10 pm, Tigger <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Feb 22, 8:58 pm, Astrid <[email protected]> wrote:


http://www.cjr.org/the_kicker/an_unfortunate_analogy.php

>
> > From the above link, concerning mention of their name by the editor
> > working for the Scilons
>
> > From COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW:
>

> > "The quality of this effort is not the point as much as the fact of
> > this effort—hiring on to help an entity notorious for bringing
> > terrible pressure on any journalist who dares to examine it. While the
> > pay is likely meaningful to the journalists, and we know that times
> > are hard, it is chump change to the Church. The Church can essentially
> > gamble that these veteran journalists will find something of value
> > that it can use as a weapon against the Times.
>
> > That’s not a transaction we’d take part in, and we’re sorry Steve
> > invoked our name."
>
> LOL....Love this comment.
>
>
> Although Weinberg states that he has an agreement that the COS will
> not release any of the report, unless they release it unedited, Tommy
> Davis has already announced its purported contents-- i.e. allegedly
> very negative of the St. Petersburg Times reporting. So the question
> is, what is Weinberg's response in light of Tommy Davis' release of
> the alleged gist of the report? Is he now going to release the whole
> report, is he suing the COS for breach of contract, or is he full of
> it?
>
> Posted by Timmy Magnavox on Mon 22 Feb 2010 at 09:04 PM
 

dchoiceisalwaysrs

Gold Meritorious Patron
Meet the editor who fears reporters � Don Surber

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/9713

This is just plain old rotten Scientology (written not by DM but LRH) PR handling. DIVERSION stands out to me.

"""Scientology from inside out
A former insider reveals strategies for managing the news media

They say the first step in any recovery program is the admission,
so here it is: I handled public relations (PR) and the media for
L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientology empire for 20 years.
.......From 1969 to 1989, I worked at every echelon of the organization,
from a small, new "mission" up to national and then international
level, including handling media in other countries and working at
Hubbard's personal literary agency. During my tenure, I handled
reporters from high school papers and from The New York Times. I
have appeared as a Scientology spokesman on radio talk shows and
national TV news, as well as in magazines, books, and even a
documentary film. I was a member of the Guardian's Office, the
pseudo-naval Sea Organization, and the glitzy Author Services
Inc., Hubbard's literary agency in downtown Hollywood.
**********

There is much more insight in the full article at
http://www.lermanet.com/journalistbriefing.htm
 

Tigger

Patron Meritorious
SURBER Sides with CO$ Over REAL WORLD

LOL.....Socking it to Surber and the CO$....

Read the whole thing here:

Don Surber Sides with Church of Scientology Over Real World - Barrett Brown - The Great Pundit Hunt - True/Slant

http://trueslant.com/barrettbrown/2...urch-of-scientology-over-st-petersburg-times/

Feb. 23 2010 - 2:47 am

Don Surber Sides with Church of Scientology Over Real World

There are a few sets of circumstances in which one ought to pick the side of the Church of Scientology in such cases as that organization finds itself in a conflict with another party. For instance, if Joseph Stalin were to come back to life and start molesting kulak children and the CoS releases a statement denouncing him on such grounds as this, it would be appropriate to take the Church’s side on this one. In most other instances, though, it is safer to assume that the ridiculous cult is conducting itself in the manner of a ridiculous cult – particularly if one need not even assume such a thing because the known facts of the instance in question already point to the CoS acting in such a manner.

Daily Mail blogger Don Surber headlines a recent post thusly: “Meet the editor who fears reporters.” We are meant to begin his article with the impression that there exists some cowardly editor who is terrified of any journalistic scrutiny. What a hypocrite this fellow must be, sending out reporters to investigate others while being unwilling to provide assistance to reporters who are just trying to investigate him!
 
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