NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
The Washington Post said happy Sunday to Christians with an article titled “Five Myths About Jesus” by Muslim author Reza Aslan. First question: How likely is the Post to run a feature by Aslan or anyone else titled “Five Myths About Muhammad”? Or “Five Uncomfortable Truths About Muhammad”?
The second question is: Couldn’t the Post have published the article “Five Myths on Reza Aslan’s Resume?” The Post exposed his lies to a Fox News reporter. This Post favor to Aslan seems odd since almost two months ago, their Sunday book review by liberal Stephen Prothero panned his book “Zealot”:
NPR is a very favorable place for atheists. Richard Dawkins, the harsh leftist author of “The God Delusion,” was smothered in air-kisses on the Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday (distributed across the country from WAMU-FM in DC). Fill-in host Katty Kay of the BBC began: “This year Richard Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect Magazine's poll of 10,000 readers in more than 100 countries.”
As he touts the first half of his memoirs in a book called “An Appetite for Wonder,” Kay oozed: “I wanted to start by asking you if it's a prerequisite for the world's top thinker to have an appetite for wonder?” This followed:
By now a clear pattern is developing in how the liberal media cover Pope Francis. Step one: the pontiff makes frank, off-the-cuff comments in a speech or an interview which contains statements easy for the liberal media to misconstrue. Step two: the media do what they do best, misconstrue and spin the pope in order to hail him as a liberal who will reform the church in a leftward direction on the unholy trinity of concerns for the secular left: abortion, sexual ethics (particularly on homosexuality), and women in the priesthood. Step three, liberal activists within the church are given platforms in secular media outlets to caution that, no, Francis is not the liberal you hope he is, at least, not yet, but that with some gentle prodding maybe he can be won over.
The bishop of Rome's interview with La Civilta Cattolica -- accessible in English here at the Jesuit magazine America -- is the latest instance where we see this pattern playing out. Witness how Time magazine today gave a platform to liberal nun Sister Simone Campbell, who explained to readers "What Pope Francis Thinks About Women in the Church." Campbell began:
Well, that’s some “Good Morning America” on a Sunday. ABC’s morning-show website carried this Sunday sermon: “Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health, Study Finds.”
Liz Fields reported with great solemnity that "Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on 'holy' springs." Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna found that holy water in the baptismal font could kill your baby:
In this last installment of my back-to-school series, I will address possibly the most controversial aspect of Thomas Jefferson and public education: Did he advocate and expect only a completely secular public education system?
Rather than have it remain only in churches or private schools, Jefferson proposed that religious education be incorporated in the public education system, too — but with a twist.
In March, the Associated Press ran a 470-word "Big Story" item about the case of of Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer "who declined to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple." The couple filed an anti-discrimination claim with the state's Human Rights Commission, which found that Huguenin, who runs her business with her husband, had violated state law.
New Mexico's highest court upheld the commission's ruling against Ms. Huguenin on Thursday. Though the AP has an 11-paragraph story on the ruling by Barry Massey which several AP-subscribing outlets throughout the country have picked up, searches on Ms. Huguenin's last name which returned no results and no new "Big Story" result indicate that it is not present at the AP's national site. Especially since it was such a big deal five months ago, what explains the, well, light exposure? Excerpts from what AP management is apparently now treating as a local story follow the jump:
The Washington Post reporter today that Mayor Vince Gray (D-Washington, D.C.) confirmed it was he who pressured gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to back out of Saturday's city-sponsored concert honoring the late Martin Luther King, Jr. McClurkin was the target of local gay activists because of comments he made in 2002 in which he testified about how he used to practice homosexuality but repented of that lifestyle because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Although a group of local African-American pastors are furious about Gray's "insidious bullying tactics" and "outright infringement of Pastor McClurkin's civil rights," the Washington Post downplayed that angle in today's page B3 story, burying their outrage in the final third of the 9-paragraph article, "Gray made call to cut gospel singer from show." "Gay activists objected to scheduled headliner at King memorial," noted the subheader, giving the casual reader scanning the page no indication that McClurkin's treatment by the mayor has sparked outrage.
A federal judge has ruled that the creation of a cemetery trust fund in 2007 by then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee – the subject of a lot of hysterical coverage a month ago in the New York Times – was a completely legitimate and warranted financial transfer.
"Because these funds were held in trust as prescribed by canon law, they were independent of the general assets and could only be used for their intended and pledged purpose – to care for the resting places of the departed as sacred places under canon law," according to the judge's statement published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
In Sunday's edition, the Washington Post perhaps unintentionally did conservative critics of Reza Aslan a favor by printing liberal religion scholar Stephen Prothero's review of the UC Riverside creative writing professor's new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.
"Aslan is more a storyteller here than a historian" who doesn't bring "much new here other than [his] slick writing and cinematic sensibilities." "In the end, 'Zealot' offers readers not the historical Jesus but a Jesus for our place and time — an American Jesus for the 21st century, and more specifically for a post-Sept. 11 society struggling to make sense of Christianity’s ongoing rivalry with Islam," Prothero argued, adding in closing that in Aslan's eyes:
The media has proclaimed that conservatives and proponents of religious liberty are engaging in a “war against women.” Conservatives, so the narrative goes, fired the first shots by opposing taxpayer funded contraceptives and abortofacients under the HHS Mandate, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. Nancy Pelosi first claimed Republicans were engaging in a “war against women” in 2011, and the networks have followed suit, claiming that the GOP was trying to “limit women’s access to contraceptives and abortion.”
But hundreds of women met to host a “Women Speak for Themselves (WSFT) rally outside the White House on Aug. 1, 2013 to protest the HHS Mandate and what the media says about women’s rights.
You knew the warm fuzzies for Pope Francis couldn't last that long. While the media initially went gaga over Pope Francis, hoping beyond hope he was some liberal reformer who would open up the Catholic Church to all kinds of heterodoxy, the reality is slowly setting in. The first-ever Latin American pontiff is warm, genial, charismatic, and an excellent communicator with both the public and the press, but he's solidly conservative in doctrine, particularly the issue of biggest concern for the liberal media: sexual ethics.
The other day, it was TIME's Tim Padgett, blasting the pope over the Church's teaching on homosexuality. Today it's Vanity Fair contributing editor Janine di Giovanni, who penned an attack on Francis in a "world news" feature at the Daily Beast that was not tagged as commentary and headlined, "What About Women, Pope Francis?" Out of the gate, di Giovanni went after the bishop of Rome (emphasis mine):
Author Reza Aslan was disingenuous about his biases in his weekend interview with Fox News Channel's Lauren Green, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell told FNC's Shannon Bream on the July 31 edition of America Live. Aslan, as a Muslim, denies the divinity of Christ, and should have been straightforward about how his religious beliefs would necessarily color his view of Jesus, which he protests is purely a scholarly inquiry.
Besides proudly insisting he has no biases, Aslan got a number of basic things about Christ wrong, Bozell said, including the absurd claim that Jesus is never quoted in any biblical account as claiming divinity. Additionally, the MRC president noted, Aslan "also said, more than once, that he had a history degree in religion" when "in fact, he doesn't." [to watch the full segment, view the embedded video below the page break]
While most liberal media outlets have been positively giddy about Pope Francis's off-the-cuff remarks to the media about gay Catholics, Tim Padgett is having none of it, complaining, accurately, that the media have misconstrued the pontiff's comments. But Padgett's beef is not with inaccurate secular media outlets but with the church itself. "Catholic doctrine still vilifies homosexuality, and no amount of priestly 'love' makes that okay," huffed the sanctimonious headline to Padgett's July 30 story, "Pope Francis and Gays: 'Loving the Sinner' Is Still Intolerance."
"As TIME’s Stephen Faris has noted, while the Pope’s remarks might be a welcome and humane sentiment, they hardly represent a break with Catholic church doctrine, which still condemns homosexuality. The Vatican’s catechismal stance regarding the LGBTs in our midst remains the same: The church may love the sinner, but it hates the sin," complained Padgett in a post on the Time Ideas blog. Visitors to the main Time.com page were greeted this morning with a huge teaser headline which prompted readers to check out the piece, tagged as a "viewpoint" entry, not an objective news story [see screen capture below]:
Last year, Entertainment Weekly magazine honored the arrival of a viciously anti-Catholic tilt on the FX show “American Horror Story: Asylum,” promoting how actress “Jessica Lange returns, this time as a terrifying nun."
Bigotry sells – big – in Tinseltown. This year, after that “Asylum” season aired, Hollywood has honored the show again by showering it with 17 Emmy nominations. There’s a reason Hollywood revels in Catholic-bashing. The Catholic Church best represents for them an ancient organization with a creed which refuses to genuflect before the modern god of La La Land: untrammeled whims of lust and greed.
Bill Maher has said some disgusting things about religion before.
Possibly the most disgusting came on HBO’s Real Time Friday when the host actually said, “God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer” (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
It seems as though some media personalities never miss an opportunity to slam the Catholic Church. Take for example the July 18 Imus In The Morning on Fox Business, in which host Don Imus took an unnecessary swipe at Pope Francis and the sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church.
Speaking with Father Jonathan Morris, a regular Fox News contributor, Imus suggested that, “because of all the problems the church has had, he [should] get an ice cream truck," presumably making that crack because ice cream trucks are quite the draw for children. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Readers are advised to prepare themselves for a rare dose of sanity and reality on television.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, journalism professor Steve Roberts actually said, "What's missing often in TV newsrooms: there are plenty of gays, there are very few people of faith and very few evangelical Christians who in their own beliefs would be against gay marriage. And this has always bothered me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Offending gays or speaking ill of Muslims is a cultural taboo, but mocking the Blessed Virgin Mary is just good clean fun.
That was the approach the Santa Fe Reporter took when it published its 2013 Summer Guide. The New Mexico weekly’s cover featured a full-page cartoon of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a strapless yellow bikini and sunglasses, sipping a margarita, accompanied by a beer-drinking hiker and a shirtless cowboy.
Brightening up my Monday morning (not) is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they're nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn't make any sense.
Meghan Laslocky doesn't have the gumption to use those words. But what else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"? Not that there isn't some inadvertent humor, which I'll get to after excerpting her column (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):
Those paranoid Christians. Always thinking someone is persecuting them. Pro-gay violence? Christians bullied for supporting traditional marriage? Puh-leeze. Just grow up already. That stuff never happens. Only gays get bullied.
That was the sarcastic approach of comedian Samantha Bee in a fake reporting segment she filmed for “The Daily Show.” Interviewing (controversial) right-wing evangelical pastor Matt Slick, she scoffed at his claim that gay agenda activists are “not tolerant,” and mocked the idea in a satirical exposé of anti-Christian bullying.
In Tuesday's Washington Post, Tom Hundley of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting gave Post readers a textbook example in biased reporting freighted with loaded language. The target was a predictable bogeyman of secular liberal reporters: the Catholic Church.
Hundley painted the constitutional court battle over a "reproductive health law" in the Philippines as a struggle "pit[ting] the entrenched power of the Roman Catholic establishment against a rising tide of modernization and economic aspiration." You read that right. It's progress and prosperity against repression and Romanism according to Hundley.
And Rabbi Joshua Hammerman thought he had a “Tebow Problem” before. Back in 2011, the columnist at The Jewish Week fretted that the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos might beat his “beloved” New England Patriots in the upcoming AFC championship game. But his wasn’t a fan’s normal pre-game nervousness. It was the hand-wringing of a liberal bigot.
Hammerman imagined that the rubes in fly-over country regarded the “blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states” as the “Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarter back” their “diabolical hoodie-clad coach” and “the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.” Against Tebow, the “poster boy of the Christian right,” they’d be “playing the role of Pilate.” (In the event, the Broncos lost, forestalling Tebow’s Christian fans from “burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants” in celebration, as Hammerman had warned.)
On Comedy Central’s Colbert Report Monday, the anti-bullying advocate said that Vatican City’s healthcare plan doesn’t include birth control “because altar boys can’t get pregnant” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The New York Times may have rebuffed Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting with journalists about leak investigations, but they displayed how they really weren’t angry by burying an actual account of that meeting inside Friday’s paper, while the front page carried stories like “A New Step in Wrestling With the Bra.”
Perhaps the most surprising judgment of what was front page-worthy was an obituary for Father Andrew Greeley, as if he were the Cardinal of Chicago. The Washington Post summed him up well: “an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex.” He was also a liberal newspaper columnist. Greeley's “New Deal liberalism” equals newsworthy?
The New Republic has easily demonstrated just how ridiculous The Washington Post's book review of the new Dan Savage is to claim that “reconciliation is at the heart of everything Savage writes and says.”
In "The Waning Power of Dan Savage," Daniel D'Addario dismisses the new book as "a very public act of self-love." Later, he explained "The nadir of American Savage comes when Savage prints a one-act play called 'Jesus and the Huge A--hole,' about religious objectors to Obamacare." Jesus swears like a Savage:
NPR could stand for Not Pro-Religion. It’s the taxpayer-subsidized network with the Wiccan-priestess reporter. On Friday’s All Things Considered, NPR promoted a new horror movie in which “it’s not the Devil that’s scary.” Instead, “the religious horror is religion itself.”
NPR is pushing an “atheist’s take on Catholic horror.” Those teachings can be “terrifying.” (Disclaimer: NPR reserves the right to spare Muslims all of these criticisms.) The director’s name is Rodrigo Gudino, and reporter Beth Accomando explained the plot:
Police haven’t pinned responsibility on anyone yet for the alleged “hate crimes” against gays in New York, but “Social Justice Activist” Murray Lipp has already decided who’s to blame for the violence: religion, patriarchal society, and too many straight people.
That’s right. Writing on the Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” page, Lipp insisted the blame for violent hate crimes be laid at the door of traditional groups or beliefs he claims “create and fuel homophobia in society.” Catching the crime’s culprits isn’t enough, Lipp protested; it’s time to raze traditional societal structures and rebuild society from the ground up. “Homophobic beliefs drive homophobic conduct,” he opined.