CNN's Jack Cafferty slammed the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI during his regular commentaries on Wednesday and Thursday, for a total of three times during the course of a week, as he also targeted them on March 25. On all three occasions, Cafferty also read mostly Catholic-bashing e-mails from viewers.
During the March 25 "Cafferty File" segment, the CNN commentator wasted little time in trying to cast the Church in the worst possible light, forwarding the NY Times's recent slanted coverage of the abuse scandal: "Here we go again. Time now for another chapter in the tawdry tale titled: The Pope and the Pedophile Priests. The New York Times reports that top Vatican officials - including the future Pope Benedict XVI - refused to defrock a Wisconsin priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys." He later asked as his "Question of the Hour" if Benedict XVI should resign. The five responses he read at the end of the hour all criticized the Pope and the Church.
No, hell hasn't frozen over but, yes, the Huffington Post now has a religion blog. The Huffington Post, a Web site devoted to rankling conservatives and pushing a liberal agenda, announced on Feb. 24 that it was launching HuffPost Religion.
Huffington Post's co-founder, Arianna Huffington, claimed it would simply be "a section featuring a wide-ranging discussion about religion [and] spirituality," but the numbers prove that it is more of an attack on traditional Christianity than a discussion.
The site didn't waste any time throwing punches. In its first two weeks, it churned out articles by a liberal nun calling Catholicism sexist; a Rabbi claiming that Judaism will "stagnate and cease to be meaningful" unless it participates in the "green movement;" an avowed atheist comparing those who believe in God to a 7-year-old still believing in the tooth fairy; a science writer warning being religious could lead to "dangerous side-effects" such as "the crusader jihadist mentality;" and a neuroscientist calling those who believe in "obsolete religious ideas" a "lunatic fringe."
HuffPost Religion is the religion blog that hates religion, but the faith it abuses the most is Christianity.
Editor's Note: In a statement released today, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell denounced CNN for relying on bigoted anti-Catholic singer Sinead O'Connor as a credible source to discuss recent allegations brought against the Catholic Church in the cable network's repeated interviews with her. Those comments are posted below.
Sinead O’Connor is a despicable, hate-filled person who has no business being portrayed as a reasonable voice to discuss the Catholic Church that she has disgraced for the past twenty years.
CNN’s decision to have her on as a credible source to bash and criticize the Pope and the Catholic Church is like having the KKK on to criticize President Obama, or Nazis on to criticize Jews. It’s disgusting, unacceptable, and disgraceful.
When CNN decides to have legitimate, non-bigoted guests on, perhaps Americans will begin to trust them again as a viable news source.
Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller has two big articles in this week's issue. "The Bad Shepherd" is another piece trashing Pope Benedict over the sex-abuse charges emerging in Europe. But Miller even trashed Jesus Christ as a "typically cranky" religious figure. This came in an excerpt from Miller's new book on Heaven, as she explained how implausible the religious concept of resurrection is:
Resurrection presented credibility problems from the outset. Who, the Sadducees taunted Jesus, does the man who married seven wives in succession reside with in heaven? The subtext of their teasing is obvious: if the resurrection is true, as Jesus promised, then in heaven you must have your wife, and all the things that go along with wives: sex, arguments, dinner. Jesus responds in a typically cranky way: "You just don't get it," he says (my paraphrase). "You are wrong," he said in Matthew's Gospel, "because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God."
It's easier to pitch Jesus as "typically cranky" when one paraphrases the Bible in contemporary lingo. Miller concluded that she doesn't buy this tall Easter tale:
How dare pro-life activists have an unassuming Web site and advertising campaign that doesn't explicitly condemn abortion!
That was the message Susan Dominus conveyed in her March 26 New York Times article, "In Subway Ads on Abortion, a Pretense of Neutrality."
Dominus attacked recent ads for abortionchangesyou.com, a Web site in which anybody touched by abortion can anonymously share their feelings and learn that they are not alone. Dominus began her story by noting the innocuous nature of the advertisement, but turns on the Web site after revealing its association with Project Rachel, a Catholic initiative.
After describing the advertisement, Dominus disparaged all pro-lifers by saying, "as anti-abortion strategies go, it is relatively oblique - a far cry from a brick in the window or a death threat to a member of Congress."
CNN's Anderson Cooper brought on anti-Catholic singer Sinead O'Connor on his program on Friday to discuss the Church sex scandal. Unsurprisingly, O'Connor, who infamously tore up a picture of then-Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992, has engaged in lesbian relationships, and went on to be "ordained" in a schismatic dissident church, spent much of the interview blasting Pope Benedict XVI.
The anchor aired the first part of his interview with O'Connor 15 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper never brought up the celebrity's open dissent with Church teaching and practice during the interview, and only referred to her as a "singer." In his first question to his guest, he referenced her recent Washington Post column (in it, she actually urged her fellow Irish to stop attending Mass, but Cooper never raised this controversial proposal): "Sinead, in The Washington Post, you talk about this letter of apology that Pope Benedict wrote to the people of Ireland, and you say the letter is an insult to the people of Ireland. Why?"
All three broadcast networks reported allegations of abuse by Catholic priests during their nightly news programs on March 25. But none of them provided an objective report.
ABC, CBS and NBC ran a combined total of 13 sound bites from victims and victim advocates, who claimed the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict XVI in particular, covered up sexual abuse by Father Lawrence Murphy.
They alleged that Murphy abused 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee, WI, throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Only NBC's report included a defender of the church: George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
CNN's Kyra Phillips brought on three heterodox Christians on Friday's Newsroom, all of whom endorse leftist "reforms" inside the Catholic Church, such as women priests and acceptance of homosexual behavior. Phillips didn't bring on any guests who defended the Church's positions, and actually egged on her guests: "I think all three of you need to head to the Vatican and institute some change."
On Friday's CBS Early Show, news reader Betty Nguyen continued the media barrage against the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict as she proclaimed: "They are circling the wagons at the Vatican, defending the Pope amid new charges that he helped cover up cases of sexual abuse when he was a cardinal."
In the report that followed, correspondent Allen Pizzey treated the Holy Father like a corrupt politician: "The abuse scandal, highlighted with pictures of the Pope, glared from the front pages of every major newspaper in Italy today. And in a clear sign of just how much trouble Benedict is in, only two of them defended him." Later in the report, a headline appeared on screen that read: "Catholic Abuse Cover-up? New Allegations About Pope's Role."
Pizzey noted how the Pope recently "told a Vatican youth rally...that the word of God would show them how to prevent falling into what he called 'the abyss of drugs, of alcohol, of addiction to sex and to money.'" He then added: "But victims of abuse...say the Pope failed to heed his own advice."
Newsweek knows who they hate. Its section "The Take" in the March 29 edition begins with a full-page picture of Pope Benedict with this nasty sentence imposed above his head: "I would argue that the pope is already sufficiently tainted to trade his Prada shoes for a hair shirt for the rest of his life." Turn to page 24, and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller’s hate-filled column is titled "Save the Children: Benedict & Co. need to do penance." The "hair shirt" quote is not in the article.
This is the same activist/journalist Lisa Miller who wrote the incendiary (and ridiculous) cover story on how the Bible supports gay marriage. This is not the first time Miller has bashed the Catholic Church in a column in 2010. Just two weeks ago, she was raging against the American Catholic bishops standing in the way of ObamaCare. There, she also declared the Catholic leadership was incapable of standing as a moral example:
On Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, as host Joy Behar discussed the ObamaCare debate during a segment that included Bloomberg News’s Margaret Carlson – formerly of Time magazine and CNN’s Capital Gang – the two took jabs at the "conscience" of Catholic bishops as Carlson argued that the group of nuns who recently endorsed ObamaCare are the "real conscience of the Catholic Church," and dismissed the opinions of bishops. Carlson: "[President Obama is] not going to get the Catholic bishops, they`re too busy denying Senators and Congressmen who are pro-choice, too busy denying them communion. They`re never coming over, so forget them."
As the two ignored the apparent left-leaning nature of the nuns group – the Catholic Health Association – Behar agreed with Carlson’s characterization of nuns as the "conscience" of the Church: "Exactly. You`re not kidding, especially these days."
Behar soon declared herself to feel "sappy" toward President Obama: "I`m sappy for Obama. I`m not sappy generally, but I just believe in the guy. I think he`s a gentleman, and I think he gives a damn."
Below is a complete transcript of the segment with guests Margaret Carlson and Ari Melber of the liberal The Nation magazine, with critical portions in bold, from the Thursday, March 18, Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News:
On Friday's CBS Early Show correspondent Allen Pizzey made the over-the-top declaration that allegations of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church amounted to "a scandal that's threatening to become a plague of biblical proportions." A headline on-screen declared a "Catholic Crisis."
Pizzey was reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's efforts to address the scandal in a soon-to-be published Papal letter, but noted that such a statement "seems unlikely to assuage the anger of victims in parishes ranging from the U.S. to Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Brazil." Pizzey cited one victim of abuse, Andrew Madden, who argued: "I don't think a pastoral letter is the proper context in which to respond to a report about the cover-up of the rape of children."
Madden has made his opinions of the Catholic Church well-known on Twitter. One of his tweets reads: "Actual photo of the Devil at work in the Vatican," with a link to a picture of Pope. In response to another tweeter complimenting him on a recent television appearance, Madden replied: "do my best, but these really are the scum of the earth, I'd never have said that 6 months ago but I truly believe it today."
Given recent liberal statements disparaging having children, it's easier to understand left-wing opposition to a pro-life amendment to the health care reform bill. Just one day after Rosie O'Donnell essentially stated that public funding of abortion would solve the problem of paying for "all of the unwanted kids and the half-million of them in foster care," she disparaged the QuiverFull movement as "even scarier" when she found it was made up of conservative evangelical Christians.
QuiverFull became a topic of discussion on O'Donnell's March 16 Sirius XM "Rosie Radio" after she mentioned that her new girlfriend enjoyed watching the TLC program "19 and Counting," about the Duggar family. [Audio available here .]
The Duggars have 19 children and are part of the movement, in which married couples forgo birth control to give God complete control over how many children they will have.
"That's their religion. It's a movement among [stated in a fake-Southern accent] conservative evangelical Christians," explained Pete Mele, a staff member.
"Oh. Uh-huh. Even scarier," O'Donnell interrupted.
Bloggers and activists on the left are furious when anyone suggests that the religion of Islam leads to violence. But on Thursday, bomb-throwing secularist Barrett Brown on the Daily Kos (and also on the blog True/Slant) compares the Catholic Church – unfavorably – to the atrocities of Stalinism and Maoism.
He even wrote, more broadly, that "Next to the Christian God, Stalin was a piker" – in that, Stalin only killed your body, while God torments the souls of unbelievers like him for eternity. Brown argues that the Catholic Church was a remarkable slaughterer without modern technology:
To smile upon the Church for reigning [sic] in its excesses is to smile upon the Soviet hardliners for reigning in its own. Both were dragged into an age of individual liberty by way of other ideologies. Look back upon the road on which they were taken, and one sees the marks made by fingernails grasping frantically at the ground in an effort to stop the process.
NBC’s "Law & Order" programs are long-established and all over the schedule. But the sex-obsessed vice cops of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are a breed apart. They exist to be socially provocative, which is to say, to rattle, to disturb. Viewers at home probably weren’t ready for the plot that aired on NBC on March 3. These script writers are so revolting that they become almost comical.
As you read what follows, you decided how closely this mirrors anything resembling the world of reality.
Someone was strangling prostitutes to death and leaving prayer cards behind. The first suspect was a perverted man whose wife proclaimed he had converted to Christianity and overcome his sinful ways. The cops quickly discovered the man dismissed his wife as a "prude" and he was cheating on her with a variety of young girls, because "it’s not a crime to want a little variety" in his sex life, including "toys, role play, and threesomes." Despite his ardor for sexual gunplay as well, this so-called Christian was not the strangler.
On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, during a discussion of Mitt Romney’s recent altercation with rapper Sky Blu on an airplane, host Maher seemed to suggest that Romney might have been motivated by anti-black racism in confronting the rapper as the Real Time host brought up racially tinged quotes from former Mormon church president Joseph Fielding Smith – who died in 1972 at the age of 95 after serving two years as president – as if the words were relevant to Romney’s scuffle. Maher: "I just couldn't help but think maybe this has something to do with the fact that the Mormons traditionally have not had a great relation with the black people."
After reading a quote from Smith that came from a 1963 article in Look magazine, in which Smith contended that "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. Darkies are wonderful people," Maher claimed that the words were only 20 or 30 years old. Maher: "I'm just saying if you're a Mormon and this is the ‘pope’ of your church and he says things like this about Negro and darkies – and this is only like, I don't know how long ago this was, 20, 30 years ago." The HBO host then read a quote from the book, The Way to Perfection, published by Smith in the 1930s, without divulging the date.
It’s quite striking to see the degree to which traditional Islam has come under ferocious attack from the anti-religious impulse in Hollywood and New York and other bohemian centers in America. It is clearly anti-Islamic religious bigotry. Take a look at just some examples over the last year alone.
January: The Source Weekly, a weekly arts publication in Bend, Oregon, featured on its cover an image of Mohammed holding a child with President Obama’s head crudely posted on its body. Muslim protests were greeted with this dismissive response: "What is printed is printed, and we will not apologize."
February 12: The NBC sitcom "30 Rock" poked fun at Muslims when the Alec Baldwin character attempted to ingratiate himself with his beautiful Muslim girlfriend by fraudulently going through the motions at her mosque.
Having closely examined this week's slanted coverage by the Washington Post of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington's decision to end spousal health care benefits, GetReligion.org's Mollie Z. Hemingway zeroed in on the heart of the media bias present in today's piece, "Catholic Charities' health-plan change called 'devastating'"*, which begins with a former Catholic Charities officer lamenting the organization's decision to not grant health insurance to spouses of future employees in order to avoid having to cover same-sex couples married in the District of Columbia:
The narrative on this story could be framed as one where the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to be able to continue serving the poor here in DC against an oppressive government crackdown on religious freedom — even changing its benefits structure so that it won’t be in violation of church teaching. Instead, it’s basically framed as a choice that the Archbishop decided to make so as to mess with gays. The power to frame a story is huge and largely unseen by readers.
In a CNN video posted at Story Balloon, left-wing comedian Sarah Silverman expressed her disgust at the nation’s rejection of same-sex marriage as she declared that she is "starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age." She went on to compare getting married to joining a racially exclusive country club in the 1960s. Silverman: "I mean, it’s like, if you say, if you joined a club, a country club, you know, in the 60s that, where no blacks or Jews were allowed. Why would you want to join that country club? ... I find marriage has a very ugly mark on it right now, and I would not want to be a part of it."
And, as she made a distinction between her Jewish ethnic heritage and her religious beliefs, she described herself as agnostic, and related that she is only religious when "I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor." Silverman: "I’m not religious. I mean, the only times I’m religious are when I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor, like in sweat, I will definitely find God, or in incredible amounts of turbulence."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the video, which can be seen at Story Balloon:
It's no surprise that elitism and a pretentious point of view have a place on The Washington Post editorial page, but even this is a little much.
Pseudo-conservative columnist Kathleen Parker asserted that Trig Palin, the Down syndrome son of the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin might one day find his mother's abortion comments "hurtful." A Feb 14 column published in the Post focused on the delicate art of criticizing Palin's recent political and personal defense of the special-needs community, stemming from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's controversial comments involving the word "retarded."
Parker recounted Palin's brief mention that she understands how women entertain the thought of abortion when learning about the special needs of an unborn child. Instead of praise for Palin's honesty and candor, Parker seized the opportunity to criticize Palin's outspokenness and attempted to speak on behalf of her son.
Even though, the day after it aired on the Super Bowl broadcast, the consensus on the Focus on the Family advertisement featuring former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was that it wasn't as bad as the left had feared, at least one person that isn't going to let it go.
On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough made the point that the TV spot played during the Feb. 7 game was inoffensive and painted the opponents of it as being upset about nothing.
"One other thing too, talking about the soft touch - Focus on the Family's ad with Tim Tebow was soft, it was subtle and it made all the people who criticized it over the past week look like shrill idiots," Scarborough said. "It was a mom talking about a son she loved - her take with soft music."
Picking up on the story, "Hannity" substitute host Tucker Carlson had Bozell and fellow signatory American Papist blogger Thomas Peters on the Friday, February 5 show to discuss Knox's record of anti-Catholic rhetoric, including his refusal to apologize for saying that the Pope's opposition to condoms was "hurting people in the name of Jesus."
Harry Knox is not exactly a household name, and the media elite have no interest in making hime one. The media are in the controversy-making business, but not when Barack Obama picks "spiritual advisers" who think condoms are holier than the Pope.
Some could say Bush's faith-based initiatives office didn't get much ink, either. But back in July 2001, the networks picked up and promoted gay-left groups like Knox's group (the Human Rights Campaign) in complaining about the Bush faith-based initiative. They made the Salvation Army a target of political criticism. (Here and here.)
UPDATE (11:57 a.m. EST):Brent Bozell is confirmed to appear on "Hannity" tonight to discuss this. He should appear around 9:10 p.m. Eastern time.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has joined Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) and a coalition of Catholic leaders today in an open letter to the White House demanding that President Obama fire Harry Knox (depicted at right*), an appointed member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
This week Knox once again boldly and shamelessly showcased his hatred for the Catholic faith, its teachings and leader by reaffirming his belief that the Pope “is hurting people in the name of Jesus” by not promoting the use of condoms as a means to control the spread of HIV. As first reported by the MRC's CNSNews.com who documented the attack with video footage, Knox reaffirmed the charge he made against the Pope in March of 2009 by declaring “I do” when directly asked by CNS News if he still stood behind those words.
The outrage has spurred Catholic leaders from across the country to convene and issue the following open letter:
In the Groundhog Day edition of the Washington Post, liberal, pro-choice sports columnist Sally Jenkins took direct aim at the National Organization for Women (NOW) for its campaign to keep a pro-life ad featuring Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother from airing during Sunday's Super Bowl.
Jenkins slammed NOW, mocking it as one of the few "Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep" (DOLL) that is coming off more "pro-abortion" than pro-choice with its anti-Tebow crusade (emphasis mine):
Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
Yet that's exactly how Huffington Post religion editor and ordained American Baptist minister Paul Raushenbush went off on Pat Robertson for his controversial "pact with the devil" remarks about this week's devastating Haitian earthquake in a January 13 blog post:
Haiti is suffering, and the only response from Christians and other decent human beings is compassion, love, and all the concrete support we can supply. [...] Instead, Pat Robertson opined on his TV show, the 700 Club that this happened because, in order to gain liberty from the French, Haiti (read: black people) made a pact with the Devil. [...] Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better. Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God...
"Radical cleric" is a term many news outlets, including the Associated Press, have used to describe Islamic clerics who encourage and/or train radical Muslims for jihad against civilians in the West. Case in point: Anwar al Awlaki, who reportedly inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting spree.
But a commenter on Time magazine's Swampland blog seems to have convinced writer Karen Tumulty that the term is appropriate to apply to Pat Robertson, given his loopy pronouncement that a long-ago "pact with the devil" made by Haiti has cursed the Caribbean nation and resulted in yesterday's devastating earthquake: