Alex Wagner took the unusual step of running to the defense of Pope Francis on her MSNBC program on Wednesday. Wagner blasted Rick Santorum for asserting that the Catholic Church was "probably...better off leaving science to the scientists," especially on the controversial issue of climate change. She pointed out that the Pope "has a master's degree in chemistry," and therefore, has more "cred" to speak on the climate issue than Santorum, who only has a political science degree.
Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's in political science and history.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts were too busy giving 48 minutes of coverage to Bruce Jenner's Vanity Fair photo spread to give one second of coverage to the four Americans currently being held hostage by the oppressive regime in Iran. NBC mentioned two of them – Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson – back on the April 24, 2015 edition of NBC Nightly News. However, ABC and CBS haven't covered Hekmati's captivity since 2013, according to a search on Nexis.
On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello surprisingly interviewed a man who "transitioned" to being a woman, but reversed the cosmetic process after eight years. Costello respectfully interviewed Walt Heyer, even as she touted how Bruce Jenner "true to form...is breaking records – becoming the fastest Twitter account to reach one million followers," after he made his debut as "Caitlyn."
On Sunday, HBO's John Oliver gave the latest evidence that the last acceptable prejudice is bigotry against Christianity, especially anti-Catholicism. Oliver blasted the Vatican secretary of state's "defeat for humanity" condemnation of Ireland's vote that legalized same-sex marriage: "Okay, settle down a little, Catholic Church. Remember, you're an organization whose victories for humanity include the Crusades, forced adoptions, and running a widely-successful international pedophile exchange program."
On Friday's World News Tonight, ABC's David Muir avoided mentioning the critics as he reported on the Obama administration removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Instead, Muir spotlighted how "President Obama [told] us back in December his plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Cuban government," and that during a January 2015 visit to the island country, "the children of Cuba [told] us they want to visit America."
Friday's Morning Edition on NPR did its best to try to promote the liberal cause of expanding Medicaid in Texas. Wade Goodwyn lined up six soundbites from pro-expansion talking heads, versus only two from former Texas Governor Rick Perry, an opponent. Goodwyn played up that "in hating the Affordable Care Act, the state is leaving on the table as much as a hundred billion dollars of federal money over ten years – money that would pay for health insurance for more than a million of its working poor."
Paul J. Weber of the Associated Press made his liberal slant clear in a Wednesday article detailing how a pro-traditional marriage bill failed to pass in the Texas state legislature. Weber played up the supposedly "divisive efforts by Texas Republicans to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if same-sex marriage is legalized." He clearly labeled the proponents of the bill as conservatives, but failed to identify the socially liberal agenda of opponents.
The Big Three's morning newscasts on Wednesday and Thursday all covered the breach of an online IRS system by hackers that compromised the personal information of 100,000 taxpayers. However, none of the programs mentioned President Obama by name during their reporting, nor did they revisit any of the other problems or scandals involving the agency in recent years. CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have yet to cover the IRS hacking, as of Wednesday evening.
TBS host Conan O'Brien took a new comedic shot at Hillary Clinton in a Wednesday post on Twitter – specifically, six-figure speaking fees that the former first lady charges; and, along with her husband's speaking engagements, has netted the couple $30 million in 16 months. O'Brien wrote, "I'd love to have @HillaryClinton as a guest on the show, but I can't afford her speaking fee."
Wednesday's New Day shut out social conservatives from a panel discussion on Senator Marco Rubio's Tuesday remark that "if you do not support same-sex marriage, you're labeled a homophobe and a hater," and that "the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity – the Catechism of the Catholic Church – is hate speech." Instead, the CNN morning show brought on a Republican and Democrat – Ana Navarro and Donna Brazile – who both blasted Rubio for his warning.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King touted Bill and Hillary Clinton's participation in a Memorial Day parade in Chappaqua, New York. King played up how "we don't see them together in public all that often," and gushed over how it was apparently "smart on her part" for not taking "any questions about politics."
Friday's New Day on CNN played up that the Hillary Clinton e-mails revealed by the New York Times "dispute the narrative that has been around for two years that she was trying to cover something up" about the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, as Alisyn Camerota put it. The CNN anchor also wondered, "Isn't this the opposite of what the GOP has been saying about her – that she...tried to keep it secret?"
Patricia Miller ecstatically touted that the apparent "demographic free-fall" of the Catholic Church is "good news for the country" in a Thursday item for Salon. Miller bemoaned the American Catholic bishops' "outsize role in U.S. politics" in the past, given their opposition to abortion, contraception, and same-sex "marriage," and asserted that "with their flock fleeing and Pope Francis espousing a more conciliatory form of Catholicism less focused on the pelvic zone, the U.S. bishops don't look so powerful."
On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo wondered if some in the 2016 Republican presidential field might be making the possible redeployment of U.S. troops into Iraq a political issue. When GOP strategist Kevin Madden underlined that "so many Republicans disagree with the President's [Obama's] approach on combating ISIS that so many of these candidates are going to want to draw as stark a contrast as possible," Cuomo replied, "You playing politics, though – with the troops, though?"
The media's reputation for bias was confirmed in a poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports, which found 61 percent of "likely U.S. voters do not trust the political news they are getting. That's a 16-point jump from 45% last October." Rasmussen also asked the 965 likely voters, "When it comes to the  presidential campaign, will most reporters try to help or hurt Hillary Clinton, or will they try to offer unbiased coverage?" Not even a quarter of the group (23 percent) replied that "most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage."
CNN's Gloria Borger asserted on Wednesday's Wolf program that the latest revelation involving a potential conflict of interest for Hillary Clinton – her e-mail exchanges with Sidney Blumenthal on Libya when she was secretary of state – wasn't much of a scandal: "I don't think this rises to a huge level, but it does show you that when you've been in public life for decades, you do collect a lot of people...who still want to get your ear." This came moments after Borger acknowledged that this issue was "kind of embarrassing."
On Tuesday, the Washington Post's Janell Ross spotlighted a Twitter post attacking Sarah Palin, as she forwarded the left's narrative about a supposed double standard between coverage of black violence and the recent shootings involving biker gangs in Waco, Texas. The Tweet included a photo of Palin at the 2011 Rolling Thunder event in Washington, DC, which honors America's fallen members of the military, and bemoaned how "radical white politicians coddle these thugs." The Washington Post's Twitter account included the picture when they promoted Ross's item.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Michaela Pereira and Alisyn Camerota heralded the first Twitter conversation between President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Pereira touted how Obama "has finally joined Twitter" (despite pointing out his previous @BarackObama name). Camerota later gushed over the exchange: "That's cute!"
CNN's Chris Cuomo asserted that Jeb Bush "doesn't seem to be the new Republican" on Monday's New Day, after the former Florida governor voiced his support of traditional marriage during a recent interview on CBN. Cuomo later underlined that Bush is "going to have to figure out how to please the plurality" on the marriage issue, and added that "this is not a well-calculated move on that front."
On Saturday, the Twitter account of CNN Politics posted a cartoon portrayal of Hillary Clinton to promote an article about the Democratic presidential candidate's visit to her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The caricature depicted Mrs. Clinton in "6 things Hillary could use in Brooklyn," and placed a cup of "artisinal (sic) coffee" in her hand, a floral print suit with matching "skinny pants," silver Birkenstocks, iPhone earbuds, and Warby Parker eyeglass frames.