Scientology investigates the investigators

Tip 'o the hat to the Religion News service blog for this one:

A church hiring journalists to investigate a newspaper?

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported on Monday that the Church of Scientology has hired three prize-winning journalist to go sleuthing in the St. Pete Times after the paper published a scathing multi-part series on the religion's leaders last summer.

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Neil Brown, the Times' executive editor, told Kurtz that he "couldn't take this request very seriously because its a study bought and paid for by the Church of Scientology."

Brown also said that he's "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."

Read more here.

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