CNN, during a report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," mislead its viewers by reporting that a new document issued by the Catholic bishops on voting stated that "the candidate who supports abortion rights shouldn't necessarily be counted out for your vote." Besides this misrepresentation, the report also highlighted the issue of denying pro-abortion politicians Communion. CNN correspondent Mary Snow reported that some "critics" state that "the Communion question was created by extremists, and they hope they're shut out of this election cycle." Speaking of "shutting out," conservative and faithful Catholics were not featured at all in the report. Instead, Snow played two sound bites from prominent liberal Catholics.
A trip to the United States from Pope Benedict is still nearly six months away (April 2008), but the Los Angeles Times is already in a tizzy. An editorial in Wednesday's Times (11/14/07) advises the Pope to shun "hard-liners" and "conservative Catholics" and listen to "other Catholics." The Times is concerned with the issue of whether or not abortion-friendly politicians who claim they are Catholic should receive Holy Communion. As they so often do, the Times avoided the "liberal" tag for these "other Catholics":
An opinion article by author Jason Berry in Sunday's Los Angeles Times (11/11/07) claims that United States Catholic bishops "released data [in 2004] showing that they had identified about 4,400 abusive U.S. priests." The truth? That number refers to the number of priests who had allegations of abuse.
This discrepancy is significant for a number of reasons:
Planned Parenthood is at it again -- lying about its construction plans. Catholic News Agency reports the Catholic bishops of Colorado (Denver, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs) are calling out the abortion industry giant's tactics:
The bishops write, “In early November, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) broke ground on a new headquarters and clinic in northeast Denver.” They “purchased this property secretly under the guise of Fuller 38 LLC.”
“Planned Parenthood told the Denver Post that PPRM planned to complete the entire project in secrecy to avoid protests and delays that other Planned Parenthood buildings have encountered around the country.”
As the movie studios gear up for a big Christmas movie season, one trailer that looks like a blockbuster is “The Golden Compass,” which must be trying to cash in on the “Narnia” movies. It has flashy special-effect polar bears in armor and a young heroic damsel in distress facing off against evil forces. The casting is top-notch, led by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the current star spy in the James Bond movies.
But buyer beware: Narnia it’s not. It’s the anti-Narnia. Instead of a Christian allegory, it’s an anti-Christian allegory. The author of “The Golden Compass,” Philip Pullman, is an atheist who despises C. S. Lewis and his much-beloved Narnia series. “I thought they were loathsome,” he said of those books, “full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself.”
Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.
But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:
Update (Nov. 8 | 13:00 EST): International and Beijing Olympic officials are denying any such Bible ban exists. Click here for the story.
"Olympic agencies of the free world shouldn't tolerate this kind of intolerance. But will the media notice?" NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham asked in a Sunday blog post, referring to a November 2 Catholic News Agency article reporting the Communist Chinese government's plan to bar athletes from bringing Bibles along with their other personal effects in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Unfortunately, a full four days after the CNA article, it seems major print and television media have ignored the story. A Nexis search of major newspapers from November 2-6 yielded no stories on the matter. Ditto with a search of ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts, as well as a search of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.
A notable exception to the general media silence: Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto. Just after the half-hour mark to his November 6 program the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" covered the controversy as he interviewed evangelist Bill Keller, who is urging the United States government to boycott next year's Summer Games should China not repeal the policy.
Cavuto and Keller noted that the Koran, unlike the Bible, was not similarly on the censorship list.
The Washington Post might have surprised its "pro-choice" base on Tuesday morning with a front-page story headlined "Teen Wins Fight for Antiabortion Club at School." (The "anti" theme continued with the headline on A-12: "Antiabortion Club Might Be First in Region at Public School.") Reporter Theresa Vargas noted that Stephanie Hoffmeier started the "Pro-Life Club" (not the Antiabortion Club) at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Virginia. School officials there first refused her request to start the club, and Hoffmeier and the Alliance Defense Fund sued in federal court. The high school looked at the legal case and then allowed the club to meet.
"Representatives for NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-rights group, did not respond to requests for comment," Vargas also reported.
Organizers of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have published a list of “prohibited objects” in the Olympic village where athletes will stay. To the surprise of many, Bibles are among the objects that will not be allowed. According to the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, organizers have cited “security reasons” and have prohibited athletes from bearing any kind of religious symbol at Olympic facilities.
This sounds contrary to what the communist government was promising just a few weeks ago. See Reuters:
Ann Coulter's been a naughty girl! She has to go sit a time out in the corner, according to Chris Matthews, who's withdrawing the distinct and high honor of inviting the columnist on "Hardball" as punishment for the Donny Deutsch row, which was hyped by the liberal smear machine Media Matters for America.
And I thought that was only reserved for attractive business reporters who didn't lean into the camera.
New York Times reporter Michael Luo posted Sunday morning on "The Caucus" blog on his days at the recent Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the social conservative lobbying group Focus on the Family, where his Times credentials didn't exactly open doors of welcome.
Cadging about for interviews, Luo discovered once again that not everyone loves the Times.
"When I first met Mrs. Crowe, she had been wary after I identified myself as a reporter from The Times. She confessed her suspicions, saying she watched Bill O'Reilly and harbored serious reservations about The Times. I had, in fact, experienced this kind of wariness, sometimes outright hostility, from nearly every person I stopped to interview at the summit. It had gotten to the point that I was even a bit nervous of approaching anyone for fear of rejection.
A major presidential candidate is straddling the fence between two key constituencies: gay voters and black churchgoers who tend to frown on homosexuality. Yet when profiling Barack Obama's gospel concert campaign swing through South Carolina, Washington Post staffer Sridhar Pappu all but left that verse out of his October 29 hymn of praise, "In S.C., Obama Seeks a Spiritual Reawakening."
Gay activists have slammed Obama for inviting ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to perform/campaign for the Illinois Democrat. Obama has repudiated McClurkin's personal views on homosexuality and in response to criticism from gay activists invited an openly gay preacher, Andy Sidden, to appear at the same campaign event as McClurkin. Obama stopped short of asking McClurkin to withdraw from his scheduled performance.
Yet nowhere in Pappu's article did Sidden's name surface, and the only mention of consternation within the ranks of liberal interest groups over Obama's affiliation with McClurkin was relegated to an oblique parenthetical reference:
(The gospel series also draws attention because of the inclusion of the Grammy-winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who has publicly said he overcame his homosexual thoughts and desires through prayer.)
Pappu's treatment of the campaign gimmick of marrying Gospel music with an Obama campaign pitch was nowhere near the critical treatment conservative evangelicals get from liberal journalists for ventures such as "Justice Sunday" (emphases mine):
Don Feder doesn't take Ann Coulter seriously "as an evangelist," but "no one can get the left going like Ann." He captures some stunning Coulter-hatred in the media.
The piece de hysteria (believe me, the competition was stiff) was a column by L.A. Times media critic Tim Rutten, who darkly warned that, "The rails leading to Auschwitz were greased by precisely the opinion Coulter expressed on American television this week."
Rutten -- who's saying that evangelizing facilitates genocide -- needs to be kept away from a keyboard, for his own safety.
Congratulations, Bobby Jindal, on winning the governorship of Louisiana. Now if only you stood any chance of your constituents liking you, much less you getting anything done as governor. At least that's the highly pessimistic message readers of the October 21 New York Times received courtesy of reporter Adam Nossiter.
It's safe to say Nossiter, reporting from New Orleans, didn't exactly spend his "Louisiana Saturday Night" by dancing "in the kitchen 'til the morning light" over Jindal's victory (emphases mine):
The ascendancy of the Brown- and Oxford-educated Mr. Jindal, an unabashed policy wonk who has produced a stream of multipoint plans, is likely to be regarded as a racial breakthrough of sorts in this once-segregated state. Still, it is one with qualifiers attached.
On Friday’s "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen and reporter Chip Reid analyzed the Values Voters Conference in Washington this weekend and how conservative Evangelicals "are deeply frustrated because they can't find a Republican candidate they can coalesce around," according to Reid. He went on to exclaim that "There's one Republican candidate, though, who really has some Evangelicals dispirited. Rudy Giuliani, because of his support for abortion rights."
In order to emphasize the dire circumstances of the Republican Party, Reid continued by discussing how a third party candidate backed by the religious right could, "... allow Clinton to cruise to victory..." and that "Many Evangelicals say forming a third party to oppose Giuliani is a prescription for Republican disaster."
"If I'm an unborn child and I want the support of the far religious right I better stay unborn as long as possible because once I'm born I'm off the radar screen. No healthcare, no child care, no nothing, " said Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian group Sojourners.
Only he wasn't labeled a "liberal" by Katie Couric. He was called a "progressive."
Wallis got the royal treatment from Couric in the October 18 broadcast. In a piece about the Values Voters Summit being held in Washington, D.C. this weekend, Couric reported a segment on whether evangelical Christians can be counted on by the G.O.P.
She went hard left after the opening statement, in which she said there was "a new kind of holy war" for the hearts and minds of 50 million evangelical voters.
Smiling, she asked Wallis,“Do you believe that evangelical Christians are still the domain of the G.O.P?”
He answered with an emphatic, “No,” adding their votes are "up for grabs."
In an interview with televangelist Joel Osteen and his wife on Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Hannah Storm began the segment by asking Osteen: "Last week, conservative right-wing pundit Ann Coulter made waves, she said, quote, "Christians consider themselves perfected Jews,"saying that it would be "a lot easier for Jews if they would become Christians." What did you make of her remarks?" In contrast, ABC’s "Good Morning America" managed to interview Osteen without such politically charged language on Monday.
Storm then followed up with the bizarre theological observation: "And there should, should there be sort of an Old Testament, New Testament debate going on at this point in our country? Is that productive?" Coulter comments aside, last time I checked Christians believed in both parts of the Bible Hannah.
Continuing the theme of political correctness, Storm was impressed with the diversity of Osteen’s flock:
One of the most stunning things about your church, you know, when someone attends one of your services, you do see all races there. You see black, you see white, you see Hispanic, you see gay couples, you see family people, you see janitors and CEOs. What is it about your message that crosses all of those boundaries, that's so universally accepted?
She even went on to ask Osteen about critics who say: "You're Christianity-lite, you should be talking about suffering and sin and all the real, you know, things that happen to people." Apparently Storm sees "real" Christianity as being nothing but doom and gloom. Sorry Hannah, most Christians do not operate like the mainstream media.
Washington Post reporter and author of "God's Harvard," Hanna Rosin, admitted in an October 15 blog post that she disagrees politically with most evangelical Christians and that she thinks that the religious views informing their political ideology and activism is downright unhealthy for democracy.
Posting an entry in a "blogalogue" at Beliefnet.com, Rosin offered these reflections on conservative evangelical Christians and their participation in politics (emphasis mine):
What is a divorced father with a devout Evangelical Christian daughter to do when his anti-religious beliefs come between his daughter and his visitation? If you are mainstream media advice columnist from Slate.com he should discuss his views about science and homosexuality; even though he never mentioned that he had such views.
In addition to furthering her "open minded" views on religion and homosexuality the columnist quips with the typical broad brushed generalization of how rude these religious people can really be; “I get a disturbing number of letters from nonreligious relatives of religiously raised children saying that the kids have been warning them of eternal damnation, and even threatening to stop seeing them, unless the relatives repent their Godless ways. Isn't it rather devilish, however, to raise children to be rude, and cruel, to loving family members?”
"Would the media laugh at a nude chocolate Mohammed?"
So asks Arkansas Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood with the headline to a October 16 blog post hitting fellow journalists for a double standard in reporting insults to religious faith.
Reacting with disdain towards a flippant Associated Press article about a confectionery rendering of a naked Jesus Christ, Lockwood answers with a resounding no:
Can you imagine the national media laughing it up about an anatomically-correct chocolate Mohammed, on display in Manhattan with his genitals on display? They'd be too afraid to print the pictures. They don't have the nerve to print artistic renderings of the Prophet with his clothes on!
On Tuesday (10/9/07), the Los Angeles Times published this story about four women reaching a $6.8 million settlement in molestation lawsuits against the Catholic Church's diocese of Orange County, California.
The article, by Christine Hanley, exhibits the paper's continuing lack of fairness in coverage of the Church abuse narrative. Hanley's piece omits much important information.
1. Wrote Hanley,
The deal came about a week before [Christina] Ruiz's lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in a case that had already exposed [Orange County Bishop Tod] Brown to a contempt-of-court order, and rekindled the anger leveled at the church. Ruiz accused former Mater Dei assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade of molesting her for more than a year, starting when she was 15. In a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit, Andrade admitted to having had sex with the then-teenager.
During an interview by "GQ" magazine's Wil Hylton posted on the magazine's blog on September 20, CNN founder Ted Turner blamed Fox News for pushing America into the Iraq war, tagging the conflict as "Rupert's war," and contended that he is more afraid of America's possession of nuclear weapons than he is of rogue states like Iran obtaining such weapons. Turner: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands. We have to get rid of them." The CNN founder, who has a history of defending North Korea, ignoring the country's problem of starvation, complimented its "thin" citizens as "healthy," and suggested the despotic regime is of no more danger to America than Cleveland, Ohio. Turner: "They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat. ...
If you thought the proper way to refer to terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam was by using such terms as "Islamic terrorists," "Islamic militants," or even "Islamic extremists," be on notice that you may be offending Alan Colmes. In fact, even if you refer to the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad" by that name, which is the name the group uses to refer to itself, you're still not in the clear.
Well, sports fans, the conservative hit parade continued last week, for having first accused Fox News's Bill O'Reilly of being a racist, and Rush Limbaugh of being anti-military, the whackos on the left have now branded Ann Coulter an anti-Semite.
Expectedly, Hillary Clinton's Media Matters for America was once again right in the middle of the controversy.
Fortunately, much like Limbaugh and O'Reilly before her, Coulter wasn't taking the attacks lying down, and, instead, explained what was meant by her statements - which was clearly lost on the secular media - to Steve Malzberg of WOR Radio Thursday (audio available here):
Anyone contrarian enough to tune into CNBC in prime time certainly doesn’t tune into The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch thinking it’s going to be an hour on theology -- Dogma and Kerygma with Donnie Deutsch. The host can hardly claim he booked Ann Coulter with the idea that they were going to discuss the Christology in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, or they were simply going to discuss how conservative women could franchise McCoulter’s formula. He booked her looking for snap,crackle, and pop, for ratings and headlines, a chance to get his multi-millionaire mug on the Today cameras.
(Or was there an underlying political gambit: Hmm, isn’t that John Edwards donations Donny Deutsch just made?)
CNBC host Donny Deutsch appeared on Friday’s "Today" with co-host Meredith Vieira, to get his take on his recent interview of Ann Coulter, and for his response to something Vieira mentioned in the promo for the segment: "We're going to show you what she said, and then, you decide if you think, maybe she should be taken off the airwaves permanently. Some people are actually saying she should not be on television anymore."
During his earlier interview of Coulter, Deutsch compared the conservative writer to Iranian president Ahmadinejad, after Coulter confirmed that she believed all people should be Christians. "Why don't I put you with the head of Iran? Come on, you can't believe that." Coulter made an awkward defense of this belief, which may have dug the hole deeper for the writer, since she immediately responded by saying, "We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say."
Teasing yet another (manufactured) Ann Coulter controversy, ABCNews.com practically suggested that Coulter is an anti-Semite, and when you follow the bread crumbs, you'll find Media Matters the culprit behind the half-baked cake. "The columnist suggested that the U.S. would be a better place without Jews," teased a headline in the rotating news summary on ABC's Web site (see screencap at right).
Yet in context, it's quite logical to conclude Coulter means that, as a Christian, she would like everyone to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hence securing them eternal life in Heaven. Grounded in historical Christian teaching, her desire for all to believe in Jesus (and hence be Christians) is not a racist or genocidal point-of-view, but a loving, religious one, however awkwardly stated it may have been in her recent interview.
Here we go again. Another instance of a reporter mocking conservative Christian teaching. And giving an atta-boy to Jimmy Carter to boot.
In an October 11 post to The Skinny blog at CBSNews.com, Keach Hagey took a reductionist and highly stereotypical slant to biblical teaching on Christian households, mocking the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for offering women "an academic degree in their special, God-given role," which Hagey described as making dinner:
"This is Anne Jones, reporting live from the headquarters of the ACLU, where the organization has issued a 'DEFCON 1 Threat-to-the-Constitution Alert' in the wake of a Republican presidential candidate's call for the creation of God's 'kingdom on earth.' We're speaking with ACLU representative Amanda Rogers. Ms. Rogers, now that a Republican candidate has brought the wall that separates church and state crashing to the ground, can our constitutional system be saved?"
"Anne, I'm afraid the answer is a resounding 'no,' at least, not if someone who thinks like this, and who sadly reflects the thinking of his entire party, is elected president. Fortunately, there are candidates from another party who respect the constitutionally decreed separaration of church and state."
"Thank you, Amanda; very frightening stuff. Now back to our studio, where we'll be breaking into our regularly-scheduled programming throughout the day to bring you updates on this unfolding crisis. I'll be back a little later with an interview with the pro-Constitution group 'People for the American Way,' which has called the Republican candidate's statement 'the gravest threat to America since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.'"
OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a tad with this apocryphal dialogue, but you get the point. The MSM would surely be in full threat-to-the-Constitution cry if ever a Republican presidential candidate had said exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday:
The harm wrecked upon victims of sexual abuse is real and damaging. That is not an excuse, however, for reckless, false, and misleading reporting about Catholic Church officials. Take the egregiously wobbly op-ed from Monday's Los Angeles Times, "O.C.'s wayward bishop" (10/1/07). (For those of you outside California and unfamiliar with the TV show a couple of years back, "O.C." stands for Orange County.)
Contributing editor Gustavo Arellano goes after Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange in California. Arellano perceives a lack of openness by Brown in reporting about sexual abuse in the diocese. But Arellano's premise falls completely flat in light of a flagrant disregard for honest facts and fairness.