The Orange County Register published Peter Larsen's previous blog review of my Orange County: A Personal History book (go to the Yost tonight! 7pm! Corner of Third and Spurgeon in SanTana! 714-973-7900) in today's paper. Larsen didn't particularly like it and threw in a bunch of digs–it happens. I only take issue with one of his criticisms, involving a subject I've been covering for years: the Catholic Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal.
Here's an outraged Pedro:
In trying to be clever and cutting, he can go too far. We get that the whole alt-weekly deal is to push the envelope, spout off outrageous opinions, and try to get people riled up at the same time other people are laughing. Still, there’s a line that you sometimes might not want to cross. Like when Arellano lays into the Diocese of Orange for its piece of the priest abuse scandals, and refers to it as ”…the most horrific crime perpetuated in Orange County’s history, even more disgusting than Taco Bell: the rape of innocents.” Comparing mediocre Mexican food to molested kids? Does that really help make your point? Really?
Yes, Peter: yes it does. The Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal is so absurd in how county residents, politicians, and the law have never really given a shit about it that the only way to truly cover the story is by belittling it, by treating the Orange diocese hierarchy that covered everything up and its supporters as the jokers they are.
The Taco Bell mention isn't even the worst comparison I've written regarding this subject. The best of the worst after the jump!
In the five years I've covered the sex-abuse scandal for the Weekly, I've:
*Called Mater Dei High a “pedophilic piñata.”
*Said St. John's Seminary in Camarillo–alma mater of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown and many of OC's pedo-priests–produced rapists the way USC wins Heisman Trophies (I reworked this joke in the book to say Mater Dei has hired statutory rapists the way Notre Dame once won college football championships.
*Made a comparison chart between Brown, disgraced ex-Sheriff Mike Carona, and Michael Corleone
*Published a pedo-quiz involving former Bishop Michael Driscoll
*Once did a story comparing an Angels and Dodgers trade to a trade between the Orange and Los Angeles diocese regarding Eleuterio Ramos and Ted Llanos, who would become the worst rapists in the history of each respective diocese.
*Wrote this headline: Boy-Buggering Bingo!
*Covered the Boner Jesus mural at St. Joseph's in SanTana
And it goes on like this. Honestly, the only people who have ever been offended by such language in covering the scandal are pedo-apologists, their supporters and Larsen. The only people whose opinion truly matters in this–the actual innocents destroyed by the Orange diocese and other Catholic priests–have always praised my flippant coverage because they have the gallows humor necessary to deal with terrestrial evil. Larsen isn't a bad reporter–he did a great series on my pal Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. a couple years ago–but to express shock about my sex-abuse scandal angle is bizarre and pretty petty.