CBS wasted little time to play up newly-elected Pope Francis' "conservative" views on issues like abortion, same-sex "marriage", and birth control. On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell underlined how the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was "described as a staunch conservative". Mark Phillips also used the "conservative" label, and pointed out how the Pope's doctrinal stand has "not made him popular with relatively progressive Jesuit brothers."
Charlie Rose also pressed New York City Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan during the morning newscast about "doctrinal changes on ordination of women, on celibacy, on divorce." When Dolan emphasized that "doctrine can't change," Rose interjected, "But how do you respond to the fact that this really is the century of women?"
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal had fun with liberal journalists calling for a female pope in his Best of the Web Today column on Tuesday. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote a piece for the Sunday paper insisting: "It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff."
Dionne acknowledged that "this hope of mine is the longest of long shots," but Taranto added "if he were Catholic he would know that a female holy father isn't just a long shot, it's a contradiction in terms. Dionne wants a mome, not a pope."
In her October 9 column “Ryan v. Biden: the Catholic ‘Thrilla in Manila,’” Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger made a common journalistic error when discussing the Catholic Church, introducing a false dichotomy between “liberal” Catholicism’s emphasis on social issues and “conservative” Catholicism’s emphasis on pro-life issues. Predictably, she came down hard on “conservative” Catholics and “Fox News bishops” for “unwittingly whittling away at their own influence with the increasingly secular Democratic party.” (And, needless to say, that’s the only influence that matters at The Washington Post.)
But the Catholic Church has not altered her moral teaching. It’s Democratic politicians that have changed and increasingly embraced policies directly opposed to Church teaching, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Henneberger herself noted the Democrats' enthusiastic embrace of abortion at their convention just over a month ago.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
CNN foolishly asked if the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was playing politics by giving the benediction at the Republican National Convention, leaving out that the same Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently invited President Obama, along with Mitt Romney, to a high-profile Catholic event, the Al Smith dinner.
"Is this a big play to help shore up Paul Ryan's Catholic base?" anchor Don Lemon asked of the RNC benediction. "How does Dolan help Mitt Romney win Catholics?" inquired OutFront host Erin Burnett.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts have all but punted so far on the 12 lawsuits filed on Monday against the Obama administration, challenging the abortifacient/birth control mandate which is part of ObamaCare. However, CBS actually followed up on their exclusive interview of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan on the regulation on Tuesday's CBS This Morning.
Correspondent Norah O'Donnell confronted Press Secretary Jay Carney during the Tuesday White House press briefing over Dolan's sharp critique of the mandate on the morning newscast: "He [Dolan] said that it's a 'strait-jacketing' and 'handcuffing exemption.'...Is that what the President is doing...strait-jacketing and hand-cuffing religious institutions?" O'Donnell's question didn't make it on the air on Tuesday's CBS Evening News or Wednesday's CBS This Morning, even after Carney evaded directly answering her question.
ABC on Monday and Tuesday completely ignored 12 major lawsuits filed by Catholic groups over the Obama-imposed birth control mandate. NBC allowed a mere 20 seconds to the topic.
CBS This Morning, however, was the only show on the networks to devote a full report to the lawsuits. Co-host Charlie Rose allowed Cardinal Timothy Dolan to make his case that the mandate limits religious liberty. Rose wondered, "What is it you want the administration to do?" However, co-host Erica Hill pushed the responsibility on Catholics: "So, have you reached out specifically to President Obama to again plead your case and say, here's where my problem is?"
The liberal media love the Catholic Church when it publicly makes pronouncements that tend to favor liberal Democratic priorities. Not so much when the Church seeks to guard its doctrine and discipline deviations from orthodoxy.
So it's no surprise that MSNBC's Chris Jansing touted Cardinal Timothy Dolan this morning for "taking aim at Republicans over immigration policy" only to turn around in the same interview and practically accuse the church of waging a war on nuns in the same interview.
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.
It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."
How far would a New York sportswriter get in his career if he mocked a black liberal football player for sounding like he was playing without a helmet (brain-damaged)? New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica certainly feels safe trashing former NFL wide receiver David Tyree for opposing gay marriage:
On the sports pages we get the ex-Giant, David Tyree, who once made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history pressing a ball against his helmet one night against the Patriots in Glendale, Ariz. and now sounds as if he might have occasionally played without one. A helmet. And this isn't because Tyree says he would give up his Super Bowl win to prevent gay marriage from becoming the law in New York.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is a nominal Catholic. She doesn’t believe at all in the church’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin. When Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, opposes “gay marriage” in New York, the best Dowd could do in her Saturday column was call him the “Starchbishop” and drag out (repeatedly) the sexual abuse scandal of the 1960s and 1970s. If this kind of knee-jerk thinking is annoying at the dinner table, who'd enjoy it in the newspaper?
Archbishop Dolan was born in 1950. Maureen Dowd was born in 1952. Can Dowd really blame Dolan for something that she was “equally” as responsible for in the Catholic church of their childhood? Dolan didn't become a priest until 1976 and didn't get a bishop's responsiblities until 2002. But Dowd is offended that the prelate would dare intervene or speak out on a matter of sexuality:
He saw this homeland for the first time in 51 years.
I've spent the last week on a fundraising cruise for National Review magazine. We dropped by the Cayman Islands, Grand Turk and Cozumel. (I gather there are harder jobs.) It was more than just people listening to seminars, meeting one another, sharing gratitude for people and principles they appreciate and hold dear.
And we passed by Cuba. A usual late-riser, our Cuban exile cruiser says he was given "a gift from God," when he found himself awake, to look out and see the country he fled as a youth. A flood of memories came back, and a dream that a future cruise might bring him home.
He was so grateful. Not bitter. Not sad. Just grateful.