On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace not only interviewed Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington DC, but asked him about the MRC’s finding that the broadcast network evening news shows only gave the Catholic lawsuits against Obamacare 19 seconds of air time.
He asked: “I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but it you haven’t, I’ll inform you. What do you make of the fact that the broadcast networks have spent a grand total of 19 seconds this week on their evening newscasts – 19 seconds covering the lawsuits by the 43 Catholic organizations. What do you make of that?” (More transcript as well as video below)
They had this exchange:
CARDINAL DONALD WUERL: Well, it is puzzling, particularly since they’re focusing so much attention right now on the Pope’s butler. It seems to me that somehow they’ve missed the boat. They’ve missed the story. And that’s why I think it’s important for us to have a moment like this –
WALLACE: Do you think it’s political bias on the part of the networks?
WUERL: I think we have to take a look at this in the much larger picture and certainly people have their own mindset when they comment on an issue. That’s one of the reasons why we will continue to say to our people the issue is religious liberty.
In other words, the media has an anti-Catholic mindset and we have to communicate our message to our own parishes – and to media outlets that aren’t so hostile that they won’t put religious leaders on unless they’re Rev. Al Sharpton.
FoxNews.com included the note that the citation was from MRC research. Asked about speculation that the suits were just a vehicle for conservative members of the church to go after President Obama -- considering dozens of dioceses did not join the suit -- Wuerl said the Catholic community is unified. "I have yet to see among the bishops any split at all," he said.
They also discussed the MRC findings with Chris Wallace (complete with a screen shot) on Sunday's Fox & Friends:
JULIET HUDDY: Welcome back. Is the mainstream media deliberately ignoring the Catholic lawsuits filed against the Obama administration? Take a look at this chart: The first two nights the story broke, only 19 seconds of total air time on all three broadcast networks: zero on ABC, zero NBC, CBS had the 19 seconds.
DAVE BRIGGS: Whopping 19 seconds.;;..
HUDDY: So, you know, I know this isn't, this isn't an area you, you know, that you focus on, but it is interesting that, but it is interesting that you don't, you're not getting a lot of play within the media on this, and you said it's not political, but it really turns out to be political, I think, for a lot of these mainstream media organizations.
CHRIS WALLACE: Well, I don't know, Juliet, that I think that they're sitting there saying, "Well, this is a challenge to the Obama administration, so therefore we're not going to cover it." I do think, though, that it does speak to the mainstream media and their definition of news, and the, and, clearly, I mean, I can't put myself in the minds of the broadcast executives, the producers, the anchors, but they don't seem to consider it news that, as I say ... 43 Catholic organizations, 13 archdioceses, the Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Washington, you know, pretty big parts of the country, view the Obama administration as abridging their religious freedom...I just think it goes to the bias of what they consider news and what they don't consider news.