It's laughable when CNN's Erin Burnett claims to police "sandbox" politics when she covers for Obama like she did Thursday. Like her colleague Brooke Baldwin did earlier, she stood by the Obama spin that he "compromised" with Catholics on the birth control mandate and attacked a Mitt Romney ad accusing him of waging "war on religion."
"[T]o say this President is waging a war on religion, I mean, the man goes to church. That's ridiculous," Burnett complained. "That ad does not add up," she stated, adding it "seems to be at best simplistic and at worst just wrong." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Trip Gabriel, two of the New York Times's more slanted campaign reporters, teamed up to cover Obama's campaign trip to Colorado and Romney's trip to Iowa: "Obama Assails Romney on Women’s Health Care." Covering Obama in Denver, the Times credited the president's popularity among women, while the Romney coverage from Iowa emphasized a controversy in that state, underlined by an accompanying photo caption: "Mitt Romney, visiting Iowa, kept quiet about his opposition to tax credits for wind power."
For a network claiming to be non-partisan, CNN was quite partisan on Thursday when it used a Democratic talking point to fact-check a claim made by many conservatives. Anchor Brooke Baldwin focused on a Romney campaign ad claiming, as many conservatives are, that the Obama administration is infringing on religious liberty with its contraception mandate.
"One, this article is an opinion piece," Baldwin said of a headline in the ad accusing Obama of waging "war on religion," adding that "it came out actually before the President made this compromise back in February when he compromised putting birth control mandates on insurance companies and not on religious employers, right?" That was enough for her to ask if the ad was "misleading."
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Andrea Mitchell filed a report recounting that President Obama is running ahead of Mitt Romney with female voters, Mitchell referred to liberal birth control activist Sandra Fluke's political activities as a push for "contraception rights" rather than more accurately relaying her desire to force health insurance to pay for birth control pills for women as if they could not choose to purchase such products on their own.
On its Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts, CBS didn't file one report or news brief on the controversial federal abortifacient/contraception mandate going into effect. Even worse, the only mention of religious liberty scandal over the regulation was CBS This Morning playing a clip of liberal comedian Stephen Colbert making fun of it.
ABC's Diane Sawyer heralded the mandate taking effect as "an important day for women's health" on Wednesday's World News, and forwarded the White House's talking points on the regulation: "Religious employers, like Catholic charities and hospitals, do not have to directly include free birth control under their health plans." On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams lamented that "simply by taking effect, it started up the health care fight all over again."
When NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross conducted an "I feel your pain" interview with radical-feminist Sister Pat Farrell on July 17, she promised a rebuttal from Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo. But Gross was much tougher in that interview on July 25. She laughably said "I don't mean to speak on their behalf here," but that's exactly what she did throughout the interview.
Gross said her "ultimate question" was why wouldn't the Catholic Church bend to changing times and liberalize on female priests, contraception, and homosexuality? "Churches change," so why won't the Catholics? Bishop Blair very calmly educated Gross that churches that have tried to obey Gross's dogmatism and follow "the spirit of the times" like the Episcopalians are having trouble retaining members:
The Washington Post’s fact checkers must be too busy chasing down emotionally scarred seventh grade classmates of Mitt Romney to look at ads the company accepts.
The Washington Express, a free daily publication of The Washington Post, put a four page ad on its cover by Catholic dissident group Catholics for Choice, which took remarks about Pope’s stance on condoms completely out of context and claimed that “abstinence has a high failure rate.”
Media coverage of both the "Fortnight for Freedom" events sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the competing "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, reveal interesting results.
A total of 141 dioceses, involving tens of thousands of Catholics, participated in the USCCB events; it ended with a crowd of 5,000 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on July 4. Although Bill Moyers wrote that "a bus filled with nuns" participated in the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, in actual fact a total of two nuns made the entire bus trip; there were never more than six at any one time on the bus. No matter, CNN did eight stories on the nuns, and none on the bishops; MSNBC did six on the nuns, and one on the bishops; and CBS News did two on the nuns and none on the bishops.
New York Times liberal reporter turned liberal columnist Timothy Egan's Thursday nytimes.com column, "Tribes of the Swing States," began with an intriguing rundown of what Obama and Romney have in common, before swerving into ridiculously self-righteous liberalism:
What’s little known, and certainly unmentioned on the campaign trail, is what Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have in common. Both have family histories with polygamy. Both had fathers born in foreign countries. Both went to Harvard. Both are wealthy.
The Washington Post met the Huffington Post on Sunday -- in the "Date Lab" feature in The Washington Post Magazine. Huff-Po political reporter Laura Bassett went on a blind date with lawyer Eli Savit.
In a post-article interview with the blog Fishbowl DC, Bassett suggested that her date’s unsuitably non-feminist view of ObamaCare’s birth control mandate fizzled any sexual attraction that may have come about:
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."