New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein, in Atlanta to cover the annual meeting of Roman Catholic bishops, "Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama's Policy on Birth Control Coverage," portrayed the church as on the defensive over its fight for religious freedom, as did the story's text box ("Acknowledging criticism, even from some Catholics"). It was embellished with a photo not of the bishops but a small group of protesters in support of liberal nuns censored by the Vatican.
At least Goodstein didn't put the phrase "religious liberty" in scare quotes, as she did with "religious freedom" in a February article hostile to the church's opposition to Obama requiring religious institutions to provide birth control.
ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed true to their liberal slant and ignored the 164 rallies across the United States on Friday against the federal government's abortifacient/birth control mandate under ObamaCare. Religious leaders and conservative politicians, like former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, addressed the tens of thousands of pro-religious freedom activists who attended the rallies. But the Big Three apparently didn't think this was worthy of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
By contrast, CBS played up the supporters of a group of left-leaning Catholic nuns during four on-air segments between May 30 and June 1, 2012. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews hyped how "hundreds of Catholics have rallied behind the sisters," and that "protests in support of the nuns have been held in almost 50 cities."
Chalk another one up for media anti-Catholic bigotry.
Syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich, working for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, created a cartoon bashing the Catholic Church for controlling women. The cartoon features a wizened old bishop in a confessional, saying to a woman that “The contraception debate’s about controlling you.” The cartoon has the caption “Confession” at the bottom.
Last month 43 Catholic institutions across America joined together to defend the First Amendment and filed a total of twelve lawsuits against the Administration in order to protect the right to freedom of religion on behalf of all Americans.
This is the most significant religious lawsuit in U.S. history and Christian leaders all across America have joined in support of the Catholic institutions. This lawsuit is not a single action by a few “out of touch religious leaders,” as the liberal national media would like to portray it.
CBS made little effort to hide that it was siding with liberal dissenters inside the Catholic Church on Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's CBS This Morning. Scott Pelley hyped that there was a Vatican "crackdown on America's 57,000 nuns." Gayle King touted how "some Catholics compare it to the dark days of the Inquisition, a crackdown on a prominent organization of nuns accused of being radical feminists."
King and co-anchor Charlie Rose sympathized with the group of dissenting sisters during an interview of left-wing public radio host Sister Maureen Fiedler, and hinted that the Catholic hierarchy was "out of touch." Correspondent Wyatt Andrews also overwhelmingly slanted towards the disobedient religious and their supporters during his reports on the two programs, and played only one brief soundbite from a spokeswoman for the bishops.
The central issue in the fight between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church is the right of the federal government to redefine religious institutions as entities that hire and serve mostly people of their own faith. Secondarily, the fight is over forcing Catholics to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. But one looks in vain for the Church’s critics to even acknowledge this reality. It’s not contraception that is in play—“It’s the First Amendment, Stupid.”
The New York Times says the Obama mandate “specifically exempts houses of worship.” Try telling that to Donald Cardinal Wuerl who runs the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; it is a self-insured entity and thus must be forced to pay for morally objectionable services. The Times says most American Catholic women do not agree with the Church’s contraception stand, but fails to mention that because of the Obama administration’s disrespect for religious liberty, support for Obama has dropped precipitously among Catholic women.
Naturally, this leftist group opposes the lawsuits against the Obama administration as a baldly political move (as if their website displays a group that's more religious than political): "There is also no denying that many Catholics believe that the bishops’ religious freedom campaign and the timing of the recent lawsuits have more to do with politics than faith. Not everyone is on board." But these people were pretty much always on board with Obama.
Appearing as a guest just past 9:30 a.m. on FNC's America's Newsroom on Monday, liberal FNC analyst Kirsten Powers, as already recounted by Mediaite, observed that "obviously, there's a bias behind" the broadcast networks giving so little attention to the lawsuit against the Obama administration that was recently filed by numerous Catholic institutions challenging the requirement that employers provide free contraception to employees.
On Friday, far-left actress Roseanne Barr went on an anti-Catholic rant on Twitter, as she seemingly gave her take on the controversy over ObamaCare's abortifacient/contraception mandate. Barr reused some of her previous bigoted attacks: painting Catholic priests as child molesters, and calling for the registration of the Church as a PAC. She even called for the taxation of the Catholic Church.
In her first Tweet, the washed-up comedian spewed, "Catholic employers need to include psychiatric coverage for their women employees's [sic] children who might get molested by catholic priests!" This echoes an April 2010 post Barr made on her personal blog, where she blasted church-going Catholics: "I am starting to think that any parent who takes their kids to catholic churches from now on should lose custody. Taking your kid where you know sex offenders hang out is inexcusable!!!"
NPR obviously thought the case of Monsignor William Lynn, "the highest ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be criminally tried for covering up child sex abuse by priests," was newsworthy, as they devoted four and a half minutes to the story on Thursday's All Things Considered. Meanwhile, the public radio network has yet to cover the Monday filing of 12 major lawsuits against ObamaCare's contraception/abortifacient mandate by Catholic dioceses and organizations on the air.
Maureen Dowd has devoted her last two Times columns to her problems with the male hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
Wednesday's edition featured "Father Doesn't Know Best" (get it?). Dowd is confused about the idea of a church insisting its members adhere to its core beliefs, while ranting about "women's lower caste in the church." That subject is a hobbyhorse for Dowd, who has previously compared the status of women in the church to that of women in Saudi Arabia.
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.
CNN devoted over twice the air-time to a "stroller moms" protest against toxic chemicals than it did to the biggest religious lawsuit in U.S. history filed Monday.
A dozen lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic institutions against the Obama administration merited only news briefs on Monday with one full segment on Tuesday morning. The coverage totaled under seven minutes. In contrast, CNN gave almost 18 minutes to a march of about 100 people pushing for a Democratic-sponsored bill.
MSNBC journalist Andrea Mitchell berated Rush Limbaugh in an interview with More magazine, deriding the conservative star as a "bully with a megaphone." Mitchell is often billed as one of the network's serious journalists, but sounded more like Rachel Maddow in the article.
Discussing Sandra Fluke in the June issue, the reporter sympathized that the college student became "part of a national debate where her reputation was being sullied by a bully with a megaphone." "That just really touched me," she added. On the issue of the so-called war on women, Mitchell lectured, "The women who live in the suburbs and work every day inside and outside the home don’t want to be told what to do with their bodies."
Nine prominent Catholic leaders have joined the Media Research Center to voice outrage over the broadcast networks deliberately withholding news of the momentous 43 Catholic entities suing the Obama administration for violating their religious freedoms. They represent major organizations including the Acton Institute, Cardinal Newman Society, SBA List and others. More are coming in every hour.
There are 60 million Catholics in the US. The Catholic vote will be the most important swing vote this year. So it’s not just a major policy issue, it is one with massive political implications. Yet, 19 seconds of news coverage remains the only attention given by the evening broadcast networks. Two days after news broke, the tally is:
“[sigh] When will those mouth-breathing right-wingers give up their caves and clubs and learn to love science?” Pity the sophisticated liberal like CNN contributor Laura Sessions Stepp, whose impatience at Neanderthal misogynists and snake-handlers is palpable.
The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our constitutionally protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.
This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.
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 University of Notre Dame along with dozens of other Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration Monday to block the mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives to employees.
In a discussion about this matter on MSNBC's Hardball Monday, host Chris Matthews asked one of his guests, "Do you think they’re all Republican, the bishops?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ESPN's Grantland website jumped on the bash Manny Pacquiao bandwagon on Thursday by giving a platform to a homosexual activist, who predictably trashed the Catholic Church as she took the Filipino boxing sensation to task for defending traditional marriage.
Writer Laurel Fantauzzo ripped the "the Church's cruel, untrue dictates about me," and promised if he didn't "evolve" like President Obama, "I'll simply have to sigh wearily and turn away from you, the way I've turned away from all of the idiotic bigots I've come across in my life, carrying a cross or a heavy book or a Constitution."
Schaeffer toned down his rhetoric a tad bit from previous excursions on the "Lean Forward" network, but he still managed to work in grotesquely misleading and hateful slams of evangelicals and conservative Catholics.
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.
TV star Cybill Shepherd went on a radical feminist bender on Friday's CBS This Morning, touting that there really is a "war on women" manifested by the "attack on Planned Parenthood." Anchor Gayle King had to cut her off, as Shepherd inserted her diatribe at the end of the segment, but revealed her sympathies with her guest: "I think you're raising a good point. We just need more time to do it."
The far left actress made her devotion to the pro-abortion cause clear, and hinted that pro-lifers were so extreme that they would try to kill her: "Abortion is our constitutional right. We should keep it legal. And also, birth control should be available to everyone....I'm coming to lead the next march on Washington, and I'm not going to wear a bulletproof vest. My mother's scared for me." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on NBC's Sunday web-based feature Press Pass, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley tore apart the media obsession with the contraception debate: "The media thinks that women only care about contraception, that's not true. They care about contraception, and education, and health care, and jobs, and the economy."
Haley leveled the criticism after Meet the Press host David Gregory grilled her on the "gender gap" in Republican support being an obstacle to Mitt Romney defeating President Obama in November. Haley took Gregory to task for the question: "I find it comical that the news media wants to continue to talk about a gender gap, and so I'll challenge you to ask a man about the gender gap as well."
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday night used Republican troubles with women to trumpet how “a former candidate, who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out.” Andrea Mitchell claimed Republicans spurred “a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama.” She insisted, without naming a single Republican, that “across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton...”
Mitchell cued up Clinton: “Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?” Mitchell then laid out the case for the former First Lady, relaying how “she’s the most popular woman in America” and, as if it should matter, “Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.” She pressed Clinton: “There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.” When she didn’t get an immediate affirmation, Mitchell pleaded: “Why not?”
Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS saw a ridiculing of the Catholic bishops and Republicans for their stances against contraception and the HHS mandate. The liberal panel was quite hostile to conservative Christians when the discussion came to religion and contraception.
The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan ludicrously accused the Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders of using their opposition to contraception for political gain. "My concern is that the Church and the churches have become politicized," he quipped. He insisted that the bishops want to make Obama a "one-term president" in the wake of the HHS birth control mandate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
“Thousands of atheists, agnostics and other non-believers turned out in the US capital on Saturday to celebrate their rejection of the idea of God and to claim a bigger place in public life,” wrote Agence France-Press of the “Reason Rally” on the National Mall March 24, 2012.
The Reason Rallyers carried crucifixes with profane statements on them, and signs like “So many Christians, so few lions.” They cheered the headline speaker, militant British atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins stressed that, “I don't despise religious people. I despise what they stand for ...” But he went on to exhort the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for believers and their faith.
Update/correction (30 March 2012, 16:12 p.m. EDT): Brewer is no longer employed with MSNBC. I was going off of outdated information on her Facebook fan page. The post below is corrected accordingly.
"A compelling, alarming case against the GOP and its 'War on Women.' Lest you think it can't happen here, just ask Iranian women how conservative, religious fanatics ripped their rights away." [see screen capture below page break; h/t @mattjmobile]
Saturday's front-page New York Times story by Susan Saulny focused on the Santorum campaign in Louisiana before Santorum's easy win in the Republican primary there: "On the Right, Santorum Has Women's Vote."
Saulny emphasized the religious angle of Santorum's appeal. The condescending story provided slight corrective to the paper's misleading previous coverage assuming Santorum lacked support from women, but maintained the unsubstantiated idea, embraced by the Times, that moderate Republican women are turned off by appeals to social conservatism.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks, the Obama-loving media - quite contrary to what they did when George W. Bush was in office - are doing their darnedest to downplay the seriousness of the exploding prices people are paying at the pump.
Doing its part Wednesday was CNN Money which actually published a piece with the laughable headline, "Rising Gas Prices Aren't as Bad as You Think."