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Yahoo News Live: ‘Spotlight’ and the Catholic Church scandal that inspired it

·Yahoo News and Finance Anchor
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By Alex Bregman

The film, “Spotlight” is already getting Oscar buzz for its portrayal of one of the most groundbreaking stories in the history of journalism: the Boston Globe’s investigation into the coverup of child sex abuse rampant in the Catholic Church. Ben Bradlee Jr. was the former deputy managing editor at the Boston Globe who oversaw the paper’s investigation by a reporting team known as Spotlight. He is portrayed in the film by actor John Slattery. Bradlee sat down with Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga on “Yahoo News Live” to give his take on the film and investigating the Catholic Church.

On the investigation itself, Bradlee said, “I think perhaps I was a little skeptical at first because you don’t want to engage in overkill on a story. You want to be fair, but as soon as the reporters began developing the goods, we all were all in.”

On the film’s portrayal of the investigation, Bradlee said: “The film does a good job of capturing dominance of church as institution. You’ve got to follow the story and take it where it leads. The stakes were high. We never called a meeting and said, ‘Better get it right.’ You always want to get it right.”

On how Pope Francis has handled the scandal since he was installed, Bradlee told Golodryga, “I think he could do more. He made a mistake when he came here and addressed bishops and sympathized with them for what they endured. That’s really wrong.”

The film is being compared to “All the President’s Men,” the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate investigation at the Washington Post, which was overseen by Bradlee’s father, Ben. On what his late father would have thought of the film, Bradlee told Golodryga: “He probably would have enjoyed this, I think. We would talk shop a lot. He was always very interested in the progress of this story and, I think, proud when we were lucky enough to get Pulitzer Prize in 2003.” Bradlee described how the comparisons of the two investigations make sense: “It is similar in that it involves — the targets involve — two very important institutions: the White House and Catholic Church.”

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