On Friday, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the news that Meriam Ibrahaim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, fled Sudan with an Italian diplomat on an Italian jet to Rome Thursday and received a blessing from Pope Francis in a private meeting at the Vatican.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning did cover the story and provided a 29 second news brief at the conclusion of the 7:00 a.m. half hour. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “And an extraordinary turn of events for a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death in Sudan. Well, she is now free and this morning, she's on her way to the United States after meeting with the pope. Meriam Ibrahim flew to Rome Thursday after being allowed to leave Sudan. She and her family had a private moment with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ibrahim faced execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian. The decision was overturned last month. Ibrahim has in-laws in New Hampshire.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
While Stephen Colbert usually regulates his humor to bashing Republicans, on the July 24 edition of The Colbert Report the Comedy Central comedian actually made a joke both his liberal and conservative audience could enjoy.
As Colbert’s faux conservative personality expressed his outrage over the “transparent Hollywood attack on Republicans” in HBO’s latest episode of the explicit vampire series True Blood, he joked “we should not be surprised at all that vampires are Democrats. After all, they scream when they see a cross.” (See video below)
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS's takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Yousef Younan III, along with Fox News Channel's Father Jonathan Morris, detailed ISIS's anti-Christian pogrom on Wednesday's Fox and Friends: [video below the jump]
When the New York Times starts praising religious activists, you know there's a deeper agenda at work. National religion reporter Michael Paulson, whose reporting is preoccupied with gay marriage and the church, praised denominations of all stripes that lined up on the Times' side of an issue -- granting amnesty to the streams of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border illegally, while fighting conservative "anger," outrage," and "hate talk."
Billy Hallowell at The Blaze passed along a Billboard magazine interview with classic rocker Tom Petty, who’s now 63 and writing protest songs about the hot issues of...2002. His new album “Hypnotic Eye” carries a bonus track called “Playing Dumb” that attacks the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Is he playing dumb that the church hasn’t made any strides in correcting the problem? A Georgetown study found of the nearly 40,000 priests in the United States, there were 34 allegations made by minors in 2012.
But then, Petty doesn’t think much of religion overall, saying "No one's got Christ wrong more than the Christians."
It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development.
Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage.
These days, if a former NFL coach makes a vague statement about an openly gay sports player who was fawned over by the media, he can expect to be called a “homophobe” and “bigot” for not getting aboard the pro-gay train.
Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and current NBC sports analyst, told The Tampa Tribune, “I wouldn’t have taken him [Michael Sam]. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”
Dungy elaborated, "It’s not going to be totally smooth...things will happen.” For this cautious statement, Dungy was attacked by the media as homophobic and discriminatory.
Sally Quinn founded the “On Faith” section of The Washington Post, and she’s shown a repeated pattern of loathing conservative Christians, especially Sarah Palin.
In Saturday’s Post, she went there again, trashing Sarah Palin as selfishly ruining our political culture, insisting she recommends a “long long silent retreat for her.” Rather typically, Quinn was cooing over a feminist Buddhist lecturer named Tara Brach:
Gay playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick was assigned by The New Yorker to mock the Hobby Lobby decision and those religious freaks who support it. This came naturally, since Rudnick wrote the satire “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” in which God makes Adam and Steve, along with the first lesbians, Jane and Mabel. In the script’s introduction, he writes “I believe in what human beings can do when you give them fifty bucks to guy some cheap red polyester velvet. Some people need more, something with vengeance and commandments and jihads.”
In a perfectly arrogant example of the self-congratulating secular superiority of The New Yorker and its readership, Rudnick apparently found it hilarious to merge tacky crafting with tacky religious metaphors:
On Thursday, Reuters's Carey Gillam underlined that the "embattled" Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Missouri is under "scrutiny," as she covered a former church employee's lawsuit against his diocese. The litigant, Colleen Simon, asserts that "she was wrongfully fired from her salaried position as a pastoral associate after her marriage to another woman was mentioned in a local newspaper."
Gilliam spotlighted how Simon filed her suit less than a year after an arbitrator ordered Bishop Robert Finn and his diocese to pay $1.1 million to the victims of a priest who sexually abused children:
CBS put on an anti-religion jeremiad early Thursday morning on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: a feminist musician who likes “wearing and making something Satanic since music is so not right now.”
Piano-banging rock singer Kristeen Young made her late-night TV debut, accompanied by Foo Fighters stars Dave Grohl and Pat Smear. She sang the song “Pearl of a Girl” that criticizes Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, but most gratuitously proclaims about Jesus “I wish the virgin would’ve had an abortion.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Every so often a liberal pundit argues that even though Paul Ryan considers himself Catholic, his beliefs (on economics, at least) are closer to those of Ayn Rand than those of the Vatican. In a Friday piece for AlterNet, atheist writer CJ Werleman, author of books such as God Hates You. Hate Him Back, made a similar but far broader charge, claiming that Republicans in general routinely “conflate…Rand’s Atlas Shrugged with the Bible.”
In his article, Werleman discussed findings from a recent survey in which respondents speculated about the positions Jesus Christ would have taken on current political issues. Werleman opined that 80 percent of Democrats were right to think that Jesus would have backed universal health care (“it’s hard to imagine Jesus would deny care to those who lack the financial means to enjoy the comfort of our for-profit capitalist healthcare industry”) and declared that overall, the poll results showed that “Democrats align themselves more with the values of Jesus than [does] the proclaimed party of Jesus, the GOP.”
The July 11 edition of ABC’s The View began with a discussion on a Kentucky bank teller fired from her job for violating the “high ethical standards” of US Bank. Her transgressions apparently were wishing patrons to “have a blessed day” after her interactions with them and, on at least one occasion, chastising a customer for taking the Lord’s name in vain.
While co-host Sherri Shepherd, a professing Christian, spoke to the discretion needed when Christians “are commanded to go out and tell the good news,” to others, guest panelist Sunny Hostin of CNN strangely brought up the “history, in our society” of people hiding “behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On his July 9 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually pressed abortion-rights absolutist Stephanie Schriock about the implications of her support for Democratic legislation to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. But Matthews put the EMILY's List president on the spot by asking if her position amounted to telling religious employers that they simply have to swallow their religious scruples in order to not run afoul of the law. Bullying religious Americans over their sincere beliefs is hardly a picture one wants painted of one's self, so Schriock sought to avoid the questions and double down on talking points. Here's the relevant transcript (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break; emphases mine):
Adam Ragusea provided little balance on Wednesday's Morning Edition on NPR, as he covered a homosexual man's lawsuit against his former employer – a Catholic school – who let him go after he announced his planned same-sex "marriage" on Facebook. Ragusea played just one soundbite from a conservative legal scholar, and failed to include any from the local Catholic diocese or the school.
The Georgia Public Broadcasting correspondent touted how the supposedly "beloved" music teacher "has hope that he may be among the last generation of people who risk losing their job because they're gay." He also zeroed in on an ongoing lawsuit in Washington, DC that may give the educator ammo in his own litigation:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who is known for softball interviews with pro-abortion activists, appeared distraught during her Andrea Mitchell Reports program on Wednesday, July 9 at the chances of a Democratic bill meant to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby passing Congress.
Speaking with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), one of the co-sponsors of the legislation, Mitchell fretted that the bill “can get through the Senate, but it’s not going to get through Congress.” [See video below.]
Michael Eric Dyson successfully filled in for Ed Schultz on the June 8 edition of The Ed Show by continuing the tradition of blaming America’s problems on Republicans and ranting about their heartlessness. For this show, Dyson chose to focus his opening monologue on blasting “the party that claims to believe in family values and Christian charity” that also calls for Obama to tighten border security and deport illegal immigrants crossing the border.
Dyson stated that “maybe it's time for people of faith to come forward to show conservatives what true compassion means.” He completed his attack on conservative devotion to religion by asking his liberal viewers to text their answer to his poll question “is compassionate conservatism dead?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Liberals have been spewing absolute nonsense since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and several other businesses that filed a suit against the HHS contraception mandate. Salon’s Paul Rosenberg is no different, except the fevered, high-pitched whine of his hysteria makes one suspect that, whatever he pays his drycleaner, it ain’t enough.
In a July 8 piece at Salon, Rosenberg actually tried to make the case that “right-wing propaganda about “‘religious liberty’” is a smokescreen to hide the fact that conservatives are pushing for “the advancement of theocracy,” or as Rosenberg put it “ religious dictatorship.” Yes, because SCOTUS didn’t find an absolute right to free birth control in the Constitution, we’re headed for inquisition, forced conversions and heretic burnings, and all the other theocratic nightmares of the dark days of … 2008.
Andrea Mitchell devoted three minutes of the July 7 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports to assist Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in promoting the abortion-clinic chain’s latest publicity gimmick.
What’s more, instead of inviting a conservative pundit on to rebut the guest or perhaps attempting an unbiased, tough-but-fair interview in the first place, Mitchell tag-teamed with Richards in denouncing the conservative wing of the Court – and logic would dictate, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer as well. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
Since the Hobby Lobby decision, liberals have been sputtering about the War on WomenTM and trotting out arguments that are both beside the point and dubious in themselves.
Take for example liberal radio personality Stephanie Miller. On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley on July 6, Miller declared, “Every woman I know is furious about the hobby lobby decision.” Yes, she needs to get out more. But then she pulled out this liberal chestnut: “Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control.”
The Federalist's David Harsanyi pointed out the New York Times's clear double standard when it comes to advertising in a Thursday post on Twitter. The writer recounted that the liberal paper "rejected an ad aimed at one religion" in 2012, but printed a full-page ad in Thursday's edition from the far-left Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), which blasted the "all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority" on the Supreme Court for its decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
Harsanyi linked to a March 15, 2012 item on the ultra-liberal Think Progress blog that spotlighted how the Times "rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement submitted by anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." What Think Progress left out was the fact that Geller and Spencer's ad was a response to a previous anti-Catholic ad from FFRF, as libertarian blogger David Volokh documented at the time:
The media are poring over each and every detail of the life of U.S. soccer team’s heroic goalkeeper. Here’s one they probably won’t mention: Tim Howard is a Christian.
Beating the U.S. soccer team in a 2-1 game, Belgium eliminated the U.S. from the World Cup, on July 1. Despite that, the U.S. team still boasted a win: goalkeeper Tim Howard made 16 goal saves during the match, the most in World Cup history since 1966 (when record-keeping first began). ABC, CBS and NBC noted the champion’s popularity – but failed to mention his faith.
NBC and ABC omitted covering the Supreme Court's final two rulings from their Tuesday morning newscasts, despite the fact that the decisions came down after their Monday episodes aired. Only CBS This Morning set aside air time for the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations.
Viewers of ABC's Good Morning America might have guessed that the Supreme Court handed down some decisions, as the morning show devoted a full segment to the "running of the interns," where the summer interns of media outlets run copies of Court's "big rulings" to the journalists outside. GMA even held their own intern race, where the competitors run cups of iced coffee to the anchors inside the studio: [video below the jump]
On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when "A federal judge in Alabama ... dismissed a Catholic broadcaster's legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional." The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).
After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News's Steven Ertelt called "a resounding victory," when it "was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals," thus enabling it to "freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court." A search on "EWTN" at the AP's national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman underlined that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate was "another setback to the administration, in what has been a difficult year for this White House." Berman later asserted that "this has to be very frustrating for them. They feel blocked politically, legally, foreign policy-wise. Pretty much, everywhere they look now, they're getting blocked."
Co-anchor Michaela Pereira also played up how all three female justices dissented in the Hobby Lobby case and forwarded the left's spin about the Court's ruling: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Hobby Lobby's objection on religious grounds to paying for abortion-causing contraceptives for its employees reminds Eugene Robinson of segregationists who cited the Bible in support of their views. In his great magnimity, Robinson allowed that the Hobby Lobby case "is perhaps a bit different." But if the WaPo columnist didn't think the segregation analogy were relevant, he presumably wouldn't have cited it in the first place on today's Morning Joe.
There was also a point of light on the show. Donny Deutsch, after announcing that he was "far from a conservative," nevertheless went on to make the explicitly free-market argument that "nobody is forcing anybody to work at Hobby Lobby." View the video after the jump.