It’s been almost a year since Pope Francis began his pontificate, and the liberal media has hung on his every word, searching for evidence the head of the Church is an ideological, if not theological ally.
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
The myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist never dies. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is the latest Obama administration official to peddle this odious narrative. Cue John Lennon's cloying "Imagine," don your plaid pajamas, and curl up with a warm cup of deadly naivete.
While meeting with Catholic Church officials at the Vatican in Rome on Monday, Kerry expounded on their "huge common interest in dealing with this issue of poverty, which in many cases is the root cause of terrorism or even the root cause of the disenfranchisement of millions of people on this planet." In other words: If only every al-Qaida and Taliban recruit had a fraction of Kerry's $200 million fortune, they'd all be frolicking peacefully with infidels on jet skis sporting "Coexist" bumper stickers.
Whatever the question, politicians have a way of working their issue of the day into the answer. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) took that tendency to new heights today.
Asked on Morning Joe to explain the disproportionate amount of terrorism against the United States that emanates from the Islamic world, Ellison, the first Muslim Member of Congress, asserted that it is the struggle for democracy, not the Islamic faith, that motivates the terrorism. In a giant leap, Ellison then compared people in Islamic countries "who don't want to yield power to the vast majority" . . . to the struggle in the United States over "income inequality." View the video after the jump.
Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's New Day on CNN followed the lead of Reuters in giving ideologically-tinged reporting about Pope Francis's latest condemnation of abortion. Kate Bolduan hyped the "blunt words from Pope Francis on abortion", and played up how "conservative Catholics have complained the new pontiff...hasn't been tough enough on the issue until now."
Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen added that "this is one of the strongest statements that this pope has made on abortion, and it comes after he was criticized by some conservatives in the Catholic Church for not taking a forceful enough position." In reality, the Argentinian-born Bishop of Rome made an equally-sharp denunciation of abortion in November in his first apostolic exhortation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The real source of poverty for women in this country is religion, according … a nun? Relax. Sister Joan Chittister is an outspoken liberal – the kind of malcontent nun the media loves to use as a stick against the Catholic Church. And that’s why she’s included in a free e-book compiled by (Kennedy Catholic) Maria Shriver to mark the fifty year anniversary of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
Maria Shriver came out with a collection of feminist essays by high profile people, including such leading thinkers as Beyonce Knowles and Eva Longoria. The idea: that spectacular failure of the War on Poverty, which has failed women in especially spectacular ways – it’s rather like the old joke about The New York Times headline: “Asteroid to destroy Earth; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit.”
At least one government watchdog is learning to bark again.
USA Today’s Opinion section dedicated “Today’s Debate” to religious freedom – or the fight over Obamacare’s contraception mandate. In a January 13 piece entitled, “Obamacare Overreach Tramples Little Sisters of the Poor,” USA Today rebelled against its own (media) kind to call out the Obama administration for having “picked a fight with Catholics and other religious groups.” Among other faults, the article found the administration’s “position” on the mandate “constitutionally suspect, politically foolish and ultimately unproductive.”
This isn’t a new book, but now, finally released in soft cover, it’s every bit as important to Christians and pop-culture watchers it was in 2009. Because, as you might guess, the cultural atmosphere that produced Peter E. Dans’ “Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners” hasn’t changed much.
Hollywood has turned its back on Christians in the movies – or rather – its decided to make them reliable villains or comic foils.
A few hours ago, the folks at Twitchy.com caught the following headline at Reuters at a story about Pope Francis: "Pope, in nod to conservatives, calls abortion 'horrific.'" At roughly 11:45 Eastern Time, the headline at Philip Pullella's story carried at Yahoo News ventured even further into the unreal: "Pope, after conservatives' criticism, calls abortion "horrific.'"
Phil, the Pope is Catholic. Abortion is and always will be a grave, i.e., mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Alleged "conservative" influence is utterly irrelevant. As would be expected, Pullella's content isn't any less ignorant (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Apparently to Time magazine and Reuters, using the term "martyr" to refer to a Christian slain for the sake of his or her faith -- often at the hands of "radical Islamists" -- is deserving of scare quotes.
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of conservative Christians making plans to push their agenda, liberal guest Frank Schaeffer charged that Republicans have a "pathological hatred" of President Obama, asserted that the GOP's goal is to "Stop the first African-American President from succeeding at all costs," and then drew a parallel with racist opposition to school intregration decades ago.
After recounting conservative concerns about same-sex marriage, Schaeffer continued:
Whatever are you to do when you're a journalist who favors Team Obama but the administration is going up against an underdog that you'd have to be a monster to hate: the Little Sisters of the Poor. Well, you simply call the Obama administration the "U.S. government" and you structure your story in such a way that it sounds like those silly sisters are making much ado about nothing against a "so-called contraceptive mandate."
CBS stood out as the only Big Three network to devote full coverage to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Tuesday night stay of the federal government's birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare. As of Thursday morning, CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News devoted three full reports and a news brief to the ruling against the controversial regulation.
By contrast, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have only aired one news brief on Sotomayor's decision, and mentioned it in passing in two other reports on the Affordable Care Act. ABC has yet to report on the development on either Good Morning America or World News.
Islamic terrorists were suspected in the terrorist bombings that just killed dozens in Russia. But reporters at ABC, NBC and CBS went out of their way to avoid the obvious connection or even to call the suspects “terrorists,” preferring instead the squishy word “militant.”
Friday, Sunday and Monday, three separate suicide bombings left at least 37 people dead in the Volgograd and Pyatigorsk, Russia. In October, a female suicide bomber killed 5 people on a bus in Volgograd. U.S. officials and terrorism experts believe these attacks are related instances tied to an Islamic Chechen rebel leader, Doku Umarov, who threatened of attacks in the area last summer. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is close to Sochi, the site for the upcoming Winter Olympics and a particular target for the attacks.
On the day after Christmas, NPR’s All Things Considered offered a little gift to openly gay reporter Ari Shapiro: seven minutes of air time for a story with the online title “How 2013 Became The ‘Gayest Year Ever’.”
As anchor Robert Siegel said NPR was looking at the “winners and losers of 2013...for gay rights groups, the last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures to Congress to the Supreme Court. The surprise ruling in Utah legalizing same-sex marriage is just the latest win. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on why some LGBT advocates are calling 2013 the gayest year ever.”
The first Christmas mass of Pope Francis drew positive attention from all three networks on Christmas Eve morning, but CBS took the cake in celebrating what it perceives as the liberal tilt of the new pontiff.
Allen Pizzey openly declared Time magazine gives out honors for liberalism: the pope’s exhortation against the “absolute autonomy of the marketplace” and “comments like who am I to judge in relationship to homosexuality contributed to making the Pope Time magazine's Man of the Year.” (Technically, it’s “Person of the Year” now.) Somehow, previous popes never cared about the poor like the new pope:
For decades, there has been a lot of discussion about a “cultural war,” primarily between people of traditional faith and those who see religion as something of little value. Whether war is quite the right metaphor to describe the phenomenon, there certainly is a lot of pressure on people who adhere to traditionalist opinions, as Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty can certainly attest.
Yet while opponents of traditional beliefs and a politically unbalanced media have certainly proved harmful to faith in the public square, those two groups cannot be entirely blamed for the less prominent place that Christians now have in American culture. According to poet and art critic Dana Gioia, Christians also have themselves to blame as well for basically withdrawing from the cultural scene.
My nomination for the best comment of the week regarding the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson goes to syndicated columnist George Will.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, "[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Today's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, with Joy Reid guest-hosting, displayed a "Pope" poster of Pope Francis in the style of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama made famous in 2008.
The show featured a long segment analyzing the Pope's critique of capitalism. What's the message of the poster and of MSNBC's decision to display it? That Pope Francis and Barack Obama share a critique of capitalism? That Barack Obama is himself a Pope-like figure? Something else? View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC political analyst Goldie Taylor ludicrously saw "hypocrisy" in Republicans speaking out against A&E possibly firing Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson while opposing ObamaCare's contraception mandate as she failed to note that ObamaCare, as opposed to the Duck Dynasty controversy, is an issue of forcing employers by law to obey the government in spite of religious objections.
Without providing any quotes directly referencing the Constitution as evidence, she accused conservatives of making Phil Robertson's employment with A&E into a First Amendment issue, and then failed to note that ObamaCare actually does involve the First Amendment, and went on to make a lame joke quoting Gomer Pyle from the 1960s television show Gomer Pyle, USMC. Taylor:
The Daily Beast has a new year's resolution for Pope Francis: be open to women in the priesthood.
Correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau opened her December 20 story "Does Pope Francis Have a Woman Problem," with the obligatory statement that "Pope Francis is undoubtedly a good guy" who "has managed to impress almost everyone." But, alas, "for all the papal cheerleading there is still at least one demographic that won’t be lauding the great pontiff quite yet: women." Nadeau explained, with decidedly loaded language:
If you thought the issue of Santa's skin color was going to die, you don't understand how the media works.
Consider the leftists at the Huffington Post who actually published a piece Friday with the misleading and inflammatory front page headline "Americans Don't Care What Race Santa Is - Except For Republicans."
'Tis the season for the liberal media to ramp up it's attacks on the Catholic Church.
"One in nine hospital beds is now in a Catholic institution. That may be bad news for pregnant women," reads the caption on the front-page tease for a December 19 Irin Carmon story, "What Catholic hospital expansion means for women," wherein the abortion-rights absolutist turns the network's "war on women" artillery on Church-run hospitals. Here's how Carmon opened her story (emphasis mine):
Can you imagine a priest taking a group of altar boys to see the movie “Deliverance?”
According to Tim Robbins, when he was an altar boy in New York City, at the age of ten or eleven, a priest at his church took him and some other altar boys into Times Square to see the R-rated film which contained a brutal homosexual rape scene.
Gushing journalists Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts met Pope Francis on Wednesday and thrilled over the fact that a gay magazine has made him "person of the year." The Good Morning America anchors traveled to the Vatican for "Christmas With the Pope." According to Elliott, "[Pope Francis has] ushered in a kind of truce in the culture wars."
He touted, "And both Time magazine and the leading gay magazine, The Advocate, have named him their person of the year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Elliott offered tremendously positive coverage, narrating, "He walks the streets, poses for pictures, embraces the sick and is not afraid to have a bit of fun." ABC wasn't always so friendly. On March 14, correspondent Terry Moran warned, "Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
In a flourish of exaggeration, CNN's Piers Morgan compared Rush Limbaugh to the devil and conservatives to Genghis Khan on his Tuesday night show.
"Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis which is, you know, it's like watching the devil incarnate taking on Mother Teresa," Morgan said in his interview with Ann Coulter. He also took a shot at Limbaugh, Coulter, and other conservatives who are unhappy with Pope Francis's popularity with liberals. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, levied charges against free market capitalism, denying that "economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world" and concluding that "this opinion ... has never been confirmed by the facts." He went on to label unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny." Let's look at the pope's tragic vision.
First, I acknowledge that capitalism fails miserably when compared with heaven or a utopia. Any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. However, mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist on earth. For the common man, capitalism is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires.