Christopher Hitchens has been brought back from the dead by Slate, but it won’t do them any good. Yesterday, they republished a hit piece by the atheist from 2010 that was vintage Hitchens: the man was a great polemicist but a third-class scholar. Facts never mattered to him. ("The Pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it.")
Hitchens said the scandal “has only just begun.” Wrong. It began in the mid-60s and ended in the mid-80s. Current reports are almost all about old cases.
There clearly is no limit to Bill Maher’s depravity.
On TBS’s Conan Tuesday, the comedian beloved by the liberal media said that Catholic priests would use birth control if altar boys could get pregnant (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested ulterior motives behind Pope Benedict XIV's abdication: "Vatican intrigue. Is there more to Pope Benedict's sudden decision to step down?" In the report that followed, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel also insinuated something more: "Although there's no evidence to suggest a motive, other than old age, the Pope's unusual departure has left some wondering." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel then turned to a random man on the street wearing a fedora, who speculated: "It could be deeper, you know, than what we've been told at the moment." Moments later, Engel provided more anonymous rumors: "Italians say his age and the weight of scandals, especially revelations of sexual abuse by priests, may have gotten to the scholarly Pontiff."
According to an analysis by the Media Research Center, the three broadcast networks are using the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI to advance their left-wing social agenda and attack the Catholic Church’s centuries-old doctrine on the priesthood, abortion, and gay marriage. While NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News predictably dwelled on scandals and the Pope’s "conservatism," their anti-Catholic coverage paled in comparison to the disgraceful onslaught on ABC World News.
"Instead of reporting the historic news of Pope Benedict’s resignation, Diane Sawyer... used the opportunity to bludgeon the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict with every left-wing grievance imaginable. It was a disgusting and deeply offensive assault on the Church," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
As if more proof were needed that the broadcast networks don’t get religion, and really don’t get Catholicism, analysis of the evening news programs from Feb. 11 showed a how inadequate the assumptions of liberal secular journalists were in explaining the Church, its mission and its role in the lives of the faithful.
On the day of the surprise resignation of 85-yr-old Pope Benedict XVI, ABC, CBS and NBC all danced the “The Papal Reporting Two-Step”: dwell on the negatives of the recent past before wondering hopefully if the Church will now finally step out of the dark ages of orthodoxy. Of the three, however, ABC was far and away the worst. Video after the Break.
Discussing the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI on the February 11 edition of MSNBC's "The Cycle," co-host Krystal Ball praised the retiring pontiff for being a "real advocate for addressing climate change" and for joining Twitter, but lamented that he was "outspoken in keeping women from being ordained" and "went after the largest group of nuns in America for basically spending too much time focused on the poor and not enough on abortion and gay marriage."
But as we at NewsBusters have noted time and again, the nuns who were corrected by the Vatican were NOT attacked for their good social work and most certainly were not denounced for being too busy caring for the poor to deal with the politics of abortion or gay marriage. No, the Vatican's rebuke -- which was tenderly-worded and pastoral in nature, by the way -- was largely centered on questions of Catholic doctrine and ecclesiology, as my colleague Paul Wilson explained in an April 2012 post addressing a similar gripe by the Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger (emphases mine):
Early this morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d abdicate the papal throne at the end of the month, which is the first time a pontiff will have stepped down in seven centuries. Such breaking news was bound to set off rampant media speculation about next month's meeting of the College of Cardinals --which will decide Benedict's successor -- and talk in the media about the outgoing bishop of Rome's legacy.
All that is well and good, but on MSNBC, it was the perfect excuse for the liberal network to feature liberal Catholics Chris Matthews and E.J. Dionne scolding the Church as out of touch with modernity on issues of sexuality and women as priests. And that was on top of laughingly treating the election of a new pope as though it were some presidential primary where candidates work feverishly to line up enough delegates to win nomination. Read the relevant transcript below the page break:
It will be interesting to see if the media soften their almost uniform hostility to Pope Benedict XVI in the few remaining weeks of his papacy. It’s doubtful, since resigning his office won’t make Joseph Ratzinger any less Catholic. And his real sin, in liberal eyes, is just being too Catholic.
When the long, vigorously orthodox pontificate of John Paul II came to an end in 2005, liberals in and out of the Church hoped the next Pope would roll over on their most cherished issues: women priests, married priests, homosexuality and abortion. To say that Ratzinger’s selection was a disappointment is an understatement.
On the day Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be stepping down from the Papacy, NBC's Monday Today featured a report by correspondent Michelle Kosinski, who offered these highlights of the Pontiff's tenure: "As a Cardinal, some criticized him for being strict and conservative, calling him, 'God's Rottweiler.' Becoming Pope meant he had to take on the Church's sexual abuse scandal that reverberated throughout America and Europe, and for which he apologized." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As Kosinski mentioned the Pope's response to the sex abuse scandal, footage appeared on screen of protesters holding signs with pictures of Benedict and the words: "Catholic Paedophile Cover Up."
A daily feature of MSNBC host Chris Jansing's 10 a.m. Eastern program Jansing & Co. is the "Tweet of the Day." Given the astonishing breaking news about Pope Benedict XVI's decision to abdicate the papacy at the end of the month, it was almost certain the tweet highlighted would have to do with this development.
But given that this is the "Lean Forward" network, Jansing highlighted the call of a liberal columnist for a pope who would accept contraception and women priests:
Today's "On Faith" page in the Washington Post featured a puzzling contrast that shows the left-wing media's schizophrenia when it comes to traditional religious faith. The paper's religion section editors ran these two items side-by-side: a Religion News Service (RNS) article that was thoroughly positive about Muslim women who want to design and/or model fashionable yet modest clothing, and Post religion writer Lisa Miller's attack on Catholic bishops for their stances on Christian sexual ethics in general and opposition to the ObamaCare contraception mandate in particular.
In "A Muslim fashion statement: Agency connects modesty-minded models with designers," Omar Sacirbey of RNS opened his 23-paragraph feature with the story of Savannah Uqdah, a devout Muslim woman who at one time aspired to be a fashion model but "didn't want to violate Islam's tenets on modesty." As such, Uqdah "shelved her modeling dreams and instead expressed herself through the fashions she wore." But now that modeling agencies eye a lucrative market in fashionable yet modest attire, Sacirbey notes, women like Uqdah are excited at the potential to live out their dreams.
In a new Lean Forward promo spot for MSNBC, Politics Nation host the Rev. Al Sharpton invoked the language of the Pledge of Allegiance, sans the term "under God." In the spot, Sharpton rattled off a laundry list of pet issues that MSNBC obsessed over in 2012 as he dreamed of a "nation that is really living up to the creed of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." [MP3 audio here; Watch the video below the page break; Transcript follows page break]
Tossing aside honesty, fairness, and perspective in its desire to browbeat the Catholic Church, HBO serves up healthy doses of factual distortion, misleading claims, and bigoted sources in a new documentary scheduled to begin airing on the network on Monday.
The Washington Post's religion writers have been hard at work of late to boost the religious left's push for more stringent gun control legislation. On Thursday, for example, Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein treated readers of the paper's Metro section with a puffy front-page item celebrating the pulpit-pounding for gun control from the likes of the dean of the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, a self-described "left-wing Democrat." Hall has cravenly lumped gun control in with the message of the Christian gospel, using liberal applause lines like "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
According to Peter Drier on the far-left website Alternet, Martin Luther King, Jr., “was a radical. He believed that America needed a ‘radical redistribution of economic and political power’. He challenged America’s class system and its racial caste system. He was a strong ally of the nation's labor union movement. He opposed U.S. militarism and imperialism, especially the country's misadventure in Vietnam.”
Wow. So King was the perfect man of the left? Er, well, except for one thing: “Like most Americans in his day, King was homophobic, even though one of his closest advisors, Bayard Rustin, was gay.”
Kaili Joy Gray, Daily Kos's "Angry Mouse" of an associate editor (seriously, that is her nickname at the far left website) tried her darndest to stuff every bigoted term the radical left has for pro-life activists in a Monday item for the "online political community." Gray bewailed how the "terrorists dressed up like sweet little grandmothers" were coming to Washington, DC for their "Fetuspalooza 2013" (her name for the annual March for Life).
The writer went on to smear pro-lifers as "terrorists" or acting in a "terrorizing" manner five other times, and claimed that the social conservative movement "still regularly use violence as a means of trying to shut down the clinics." Gray also singled out one Pennsylvania pro-lifer cited in a Monday article in the Washington Post as somehow complicit with a firebombing at an abortion mill. She barely concealed her anti-Catholicism in her account:
As NewsBusters previously reported, Catholic League President Bill Donohue on Friday in response to some disgusting comments made by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell said President Obama might want to swear on Karl Marx's Das Kapital during the upcoming inaugural festivities.
NPR contributing anchor Louise Schiavone took to her Twitter account Saturday asking the disgraceful question, "What is this group? Do they wear hoods?"
On Monday, far-left director Michael Moore went on an anti-Catholic bender at an awards presentation, and also targeted "those who would deify Reagan and Pope John Paul II" as somehow to blame for "the deaths of thousands of people...because of their bigotry."
The New York Post's Page Six on Wednesday spotlighted how the Occupy Wall Street-supporting filmmaker served as a presenter at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Moore gave the Best First Film award to fledgling director Armond White, who made a documentary about the radical activist group ACT UP.
She had 12 paragraphs to play with, but in none of them did Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein find any space for a conservative Episcopalian or Anglican to voice objection to the decision by Episcopal authorities to permit same-sex wedding ceremonies in the historic Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington, D.C.
"In some ways, the announcement that is expected Wednesday morning is unsurprising for a denomination and a diocese that long ago took up the cause of marriage equality," Boorstein noted in the second paragraph of her January 9 story, but added that "the cathedral's stature and the image of same-sex couples exchanging vows in the soaring Gothic structure... is symbolically powerful."
Usually when President Obama’s opponents are handed a defeat, ABC, CBS and NBC are quick to crow about it. That’s why their silence on the Supreme Court’s Christmas ruling against retail chain Hobby Lobby is so curious.
Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, filed a suit against the Federal government earlier this year, arguing that ObamaCare’s so-called contraception mandate would “violate their faith by covering abortion-causing drugs or be exposed to severe penalties.” The Greens are evangelical Christians and wanted an injunction that would shield them from covering the abortifacients or paying monetary penalties while their case played out in the courts. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rebuffed the company’s injunction request, and on Dec. 26, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor concurred.
Most of the January 2 front page for The Washington Post was devoted to the resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff, but editors made sure to leave space for a gauzy 33-paragraph story entitled "History at the altar: Maryland sees wave of same-sex weddings as law takes effect."
By contrast, an uplifting story involving a non-controversial religious tradition in African-American churches was shuffled to the bottom of page A2, despite the tremendous historical significance of the 2012 New Year's Eve "watch night" celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
To paraphrase the late President Ronald Reagan: “There he goes again!” Apparently, it's not enough for CNN weeknight host Piers Morgan to be the target of petitions to the White House demanding him to either be sent packing to his native England or be forced to remain in America because “No one in the U.K. wants him back.”
Then on Christmas Eve, Morgan used his interview with evangelical Pastor Rick Warren -- author of the popular “Purpose Driven Life” book -- to charge that “the Bible and the Constitution were very well-intentioned” but are “basically inherently flawed,” thus requiring an amendment to the Bible.
Does anyone in the media ever attempt to read and understand the speeches of Pope Benedict? The New York Daily News account of his December 21 speech to the curia (the “Vatican bureaucracy”) is being mangled by the Daily Kos into “Pope gives special holiday hate speech against gays because it's Christmas.” The Mediaite headline (off London’s Daily Mail) is “Merry Christmas? Pope Benedict XVI Denounces Gay Marriage As A ‘Manipulation Of Nature’.”
Someone who reads the original would find the term “gay marriage” is missing, although there is a defense of traditional marriage. He denounced the idea that one's gender is not a fact, but a social construct. The pope was also taking on the notion that in the broader culture, men and women are afraid of making lifelong commitments:
Here’s a novel take in the left’s war on Christ and Christmas: a celebration of sinful behavior. The gay-friendly channel “Logo” – which airs shows such as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” – is lauding their “7 Days of Holiday Sin” with an especially lewd promo.
The ad begins with the words “O Come All Ye Sinful” in front of clips of male strippers. Afterwards, a nearly topless woman shakes her breasts at the camera while saying “Let’s get naked.”
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about hiring people to do Christmas chores like decorating the tree or buying gifts, the network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman suddenly broke into an anti-religious rant: "I don't like the religion part. I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up....I think that's what makes the holidays so stressful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snyderman's take-the-Christ-out-of-Christmas commentary was prompted by fellow panelist Star Jones explaining: "I focus on, honestly, the religion part of it. I really and truly do. So I can't out-source that part of it. I can send you to get my tree, but I can't help – you can't help me pray." When Snyderman launched into her attack on faith, Jones countered: "That's the only reason for me to have the holiday....We wouldn't have the holiday if it wasn't for the religion part."
As I argued yesterday, the Advent season is exploited every year by the liberal media to tweak faithful Christians, using the holidays as a hook for liberal political and religious themes or to advance ancient heresies. Ditto with the Lenten season.
Well, the latest example comes from David Gibson of the Religion News Service, who has picked up on a new complaint from a feminist scholar, Margaret Miles, which boils down to essentially this: How come we never see depictions of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus. I kid you not.
Christmas: a season of generosity, good cheer, preparation for Christ’s birth – and a swarm of lawyers seeking to purge any mention of Christianity from the public square.
Every Christmas, the so-called secular community starts shrieking whenever any mention of religion is brought into the public eye. Lawyers successfully targeted a school’s performance of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Even Christmas trees have too much religious content to suit the self-appointed censors.
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, Advent and Lent seem to be the times of year that the liberal secular media loves to tweak devout Christians with attacks on historic, orthodox Christian teaching. The latest example is the media being abuzz over Irish playwright and novelist Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary."
The "silent, obedient, observant" Mary of Scripture that has "echoed down" through church history is ripped apart by "the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin" who "puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version" of the Mother of God, gushed Karen Long of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a December 7 Religion News Service piece accessible at the Washington Post's "On Faith" section.