Media coverage of both the "Fortnight for Freedom" events sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the competing "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, reveal interesting results.
A total of 141 dioceses, involving tens of thousands of Catholics, participated in the USCCB events; it ended with a crowd of 5,000 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on July 4. Although Bill Moyers wrote that "a bus filled with nuns" participated in the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, in actual fact a total of two nuns made the entire bus trip; there were never more than six at any one time on the bus. No matter, CNN did eight stories on the nuns, and none on the bishops; MSNBC did six on the nuns, and one on the bishops; and CBS News did two on the nuns and none on the bishops.
The nuns were helped by a media advisor for Faith in Public Life. As I pointed out in my news release of June 18, the group is funded by atheist billionaire George Soros; its Catholic Program Director is John Gehring, a left-wing operative who sought to manipulate the media against the USCCB events. Leading the nuns was a registered Washington lobbyist, Sr. Simone Campbell of Network. This group’s founder, Sr. Marjorie Tuite, was threatened with expulsion in the 1980s for her pro-abortion work. Today, Network employs nine people, three of whom are nuns.
The “Nuns on the Bus” tour made its biggest splash when the luxury bus parked outside the United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. Lauding them was a leader of the Islamic Society of North America. According to renowned student of terrorism, Steve Emerson, this organization “has sponsored extremists, racists, people who call for Jihad against the United States.” Not that the embrace of totalitarianism is anything foreign to these activists: an 88 year-old nun who took a spin on the bus said she had just gotten back from Cuba, where she expressed her solidarity with the Communists.
Media bias has rarely been so starkly naked.