Time 'Nuns on the Bus' Puff Piece Factually Negates Itself on Sister's 'Politeness'

Time magazine is merely the latest liberal media outlet to offer a puff piece on leftist Sister Simone Campbell, headlined “Holy Strategist.” But reporter John Cloud factually negated himself. He began: “From behind sensible eyewear and unfailing politeness, Campbell is using the shrewd tools of political campaigns--from a social-media blitz to an appearance on The Colbert Report -- to outflank the church hierarchy.”

Unfailing politeness? Campbell has snottily smeared the Catholic hierarchy all over the media, including in Cloud’s own piece, as he described the Nuns on the Bus tour as her “personal act of retaliation,” and highlighted her attack in the pull quote:

Says Campbell about the attack on her group: “Some guy who’s never talked to me says we’re a problem? Ooh, that hurts.”

(Speaking of impoliteness, Campbell arrogantly announced on NPR that the women were the smart people in the Catholic Church, educating the stupid males: “we know as women is, the women were the first ones at the tomb on Sunday morning. Women get it first and then try to explain it to the guys who -- I mean, as the women did to the Apostles. So, we will try to explain it to the guys. We'll keep up our roles from the Scriptures.”)

Cloud followed up the “ooh, that hurts” snark with this:

Now the bishops are hurting. At a June 14 meeting of U.S. church officials in Atlanta, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston said the furor over the Vatican criticism of nuns turned into a p.r. “debacle.” In a bit of understatement, he said the church, “both in the states and the Holy See, does not to a good job of communicating around controversial topics. We need more help and sophistication in our messaging.”

It’s an “understatement” that the church has a “messaging” problem. Cloud does not acknowledge that the Vatican is facing a hostile media that wants to distort and  poison its image inside and outside the church walls – including Time magazine. It's easy for Sister Simone to "outflank the church hierarchy" by manipulating the radical feminists and secular leftists of the news media.

The Catholic News Service reported O’Malley also said a spokesperson would be welcome and would “help frame information in light of church teaching rather than having it distorted by voices in the media.” The media distortion part was left out.

The most ridiculous part of the story came when Cloud explained how the sisters were "robbing" the bishops of publicity, as if the media weren't choosing their usual liberal messaging: “Now the Nuns on the Bus tour is robbing attention from the Fortnight for Freedom, a series of special events long planned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to oppose an Obama administration rule requiring some Catholic charities to cover contraceptives in their health plans.”

This passage is almost as funny: “But Campbell is cheered by the idea that her activism is being noticed not only in liberal circles, but in the wider media.”

Apparently, Time magazine is the “wider media,” not the liberal circle.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis