After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.
It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."
Filed from CPAC 2012 in Washington, D.C. -- Shortly before noon Eastern today, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) walked through the bloggers lounge here at CPAC, answering a few questions from reporters and bloggers.
I asked Gov. Perry if, in light of the Obama administration's move to force Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, he felt vindicated about his claims of an Obama administration war on religion. His response:
“Stop Compromising,” pleaded New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal on his “Loyal Opposition” blog Wednesday morning.
Rosenthal was aggrieved to hear Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod suggest the president was open to “compromise”on the administration’s plan requiring religious institutions to violate their beliefs and cover birth control in their employees’ health insurance plans. (Apparently compromise is no longer a good thing in Washington.)
Rosenthal (pictured) urged Obama to make a more full-throated defense of the rule, pointing out that “this isn’t a theocracy.”
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
Washington Post political writer Melinda Henneberger shockingly stated, Wednesday, that "maybe the Founders were wrong" to guarantee religious liberty. Henneberger appeared on Hardball to discuss the Obama administration's decision to force the Catholic Church to provide birth control in health care.
Discussing the battle between the left and those who see it as a threat to the First Amendment, she declared, " Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment but that is what they did and I don't think we have to choose here. " Henneberger's awkward comment came as she attempted to defend the Catholic Church. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."
Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."
Even Chris Matthews, who famously gushed about the "thrill" Barack Obama gave his leg, is troubled by the President's "frightening" decision to force Catholic charities to provide birth control through health care. Discussing the issue on Tuesday's Hardball, the host sputtered, "...How can you make the [religious] teacher pay for birth control without losing their authority, their moral authority?"
Matthews didn't seem sure how to broach the subject. Talking to E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Susan Milligan of U.S. News and World Reports, he warned, "It gets to that interesting point to me, which is frightening, when the state tells the church what to do." (Interesting?)
Media critic Mollie Hemingway, a contributor to GetReligion.org, has an excellent post up today at CNN's Belief Blog about how the liberal media did a horrible job when it came to objectively reporting the implications of the recent Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood row. In fact, the media have shown themselves "effective partisans" by telling only "half the story," the half spoon-fed by socially liberal lobby groups like Planned Parenthood.
Be sure to check out the whole thing here, but below the page break I've appended some key excerpts (emphasis mine):
Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
Even when told that paying for birth control would violate the consciences of certain religious organizations, CNN's Soledad O'Brien wondered why the groups still shouldn't have to cover contraceptives for interested employees.
O'Brien cited statistics from the abortion-supportive Guttmacher Institute showing that even the vast majority of Catholic women use birth control. She then asked why so many shouldn't have the option to pursue such practices, regardless of what the Catholic Church teaches. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
For 60 years the National Prayer Breakfast has been a nonpolitical event where speakers put aside their earthly biases and focus on a Higher Authority. Last Thursday, President Obama departed from that tradition to claim the endorsement of Jesus for raising taxes. It beat the endorsement of Mitt Romney by Donald Trump.
In his remarks, the president quoted Luke 12:48: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." The president sees this verse as a command for him to raise taxes on the successful so the money can be "spread around" to the less successful. If the president's interpretation of this verse sounds a little like Karl Marx, it should. Marx said, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
After finally deciding to actually cover the controversy swirling around the Obama administration's attempt to force Catholic institutions to pay for birth control in health insurance plans, NBC's Today on Tuesday brought on leftist MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to dismiss all legitimate opposition to the move as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While co-host Matt Lauer began by wondering if President Obama had "miscalculated on the issue," he quickly seized on Maddow's supposed "logic" on the topic: "...you hear people saying President Obama could suffer because of this in the election, and yet, you use your logic there, if the majority of women in this country say that they use birth control, could this backfire on the Republican candidates who are now making it the issue?"
CNN's blatant double-standard in covering religious and social issues was manifested in its lopsided coverage of two different stories over the past few weeks.
When prominent religious leaders condemned an Obama administration mandate as an attack on religious freedom, the network gave the controversy one brief mention in ten days. But when liberal outrage ensued over a cancer charity pulling its funding of leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood, CNN reported the story the next day and promptly followed it up with more coverage.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
Of course, true to MSNBC form, Bashir ignored the legitimate policy and religious liberty implications of Gingrich's complaint to dredge up Gingrich's past moral failings, namely his adulteries, as a way of fatally wounding the messenger and hence, Bashir hopes, negating the message [MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break]:
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter that NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent to the presidents of the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC as well as to CNN president Jim Walton. It has also been carbon copied to 10 leaders representing various Catholic and Protestant faith organizations.
The broadcast and cable television networks need to report the current, unprecedented assault against freedom of religion in this country, as well as the millions of Americans who would be left out in the cold by the Obama administration if it does not rescind HHS’s recently issued insurance mandate requiring contraceptive coverage. As our statistics and analysis below outline, they are not, and it’s a glaring double standard.
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories.A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
The broadcast network evening and morning newscast blackout, of the Obama administration plan to force health insurance offered by Catholic charities and hospitals to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception without a co-pay, continued over the weekend, yet the ABC and NBC Sunday morning talk shows took up the topic.
Meanwhile, the media double standard in ignoring the ObamaCare imposition on religious institutions while jumping to defend Planned Parenthood when Komen pulled funding, is being noticed by media observers ranging from from Fox News to even a New York Times columnist.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, told host David Gregory, "You just managed to precisely repeat the Obama administration's line."
The subject being discussed was the new edict from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring religious organizations to provide contraception to their employees (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of The American Conservative magazine cited an article by MRC analyst and NewsBuster Matthew Balan, who recounted the media obsession with the Komen foundation's decision to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, while the same media have completely ignored the brewing conflict between President Obama and the Catholic Church as the Obama administration tries to force Catholic employers to go against their religious beliefs and provide coverage for contraception in its health insurance plans. Pinkerton:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, as the panel discussed the new Obama administration rule that requires even Catholic employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraception to their employees, both liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer hit Obama for the decision, while NPR's Nina Totenberg claimed that there were valid arguments in both directions as she made a flawed analogy between contraception and immunization as a defense of the Obama position.
But the blunt criticism directed at Obama by the liberal Shields, who is also a longtime regular on the PBS NewsHour, was the most surprising part of the show. After host Gordon Peterson noted that some Catholic leaders had supported Obamacare, and asked if they are "being hung out to dry," Shields responded:
On the same day that President Obama tells the National Prayer Breakfast crowd that Jesus told him to enact ObamaCare, his staunchest ally in Congress declares that she will stand against the Christian community and support Obama's decision to order Christian organizations to violate their conscience and bow down to ObamaCare.
Talk about irony.
On the one hand, Obama declares that he would be “remiss” if his Christian values “were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends,” and that he must make sure his values “motivate me as one leader of this great nation."
After warning for years of the dangers posed by the Religious Right in politics, the New York Times is suddenly interested in injecting Mormon (and Catholic) religion into politics, at least when it comes to pet issues like amnesty for illegal immigrants. The top of Friday’s National section featured religion reporter Laurie Goodstein’s “Romney’s Tough Immigration View Is at Odds With His Church.”
There was no “I Wouldn't Buy the Underwear Just Yet” mockery of Mormons this time. And while the paper aimed a harsh front-page spotlight on the Mormon church for its involvement in passing California’s Proposition 8, which preserved the state ban on gay marriage, Goodstein has no criticism of its involvement in the Democratic-friendly cause of amnesty.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer was apparently quite moved by President Obama's speech at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast. Blitzer hailed it as a candid address and noted that the President spoke "very movingly" of his faith.
Of course, Obama's profession of his faith came shortly after his administration mandated religious-affiliated organizations to act against their church's teaching, a decision that caused great uproar. Blitzer did not mention that fact, but did cast Obama in a positive light as opposed to GOP candidate Mitt Romney. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.
Mormon fear at the New York Times. The paper’s online “Room for Debate” section, which “invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss news events and other timely issues” on Monday asked “What Is It About Mormons?," inspired by the prospect of Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination for president. The fact that the Senate has for the last five years been led by a Mormon, Democrat Harry Reid, has failed to trigger similar concerns at the Times. The Times also shows it feels free to shower at least some religions with derision and mockery.
President Obama and his radical feminist enforcers have had it in for Catholic medical providers from the get-go. It's about time all people of faith fought back against this unprecedented encroachment on religious liberty. First, they came for the Catholics. Who's next?
This weekend, Catholic bishops informed parishioners of the recent White House edict forcing religious hospitals, schools, charities and other health and social service providers to provide "free" abortifacient pills, sterilizations and contraception on demand in their insurance plans — even if it violates their moral consciences and the teachings of their churches.
On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.
Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.
Everyone knows the folks at MSNBC nearly faint in outrage whenever the words “Obama” and “Kenya” are used in the same sentence. Barack Hussein Obama Senior had four wives (one at a time), and fathered eight children from 1958 to 1982, but climbing that family tree is no doubt seen as racist by MSNBC.
But on Monday night’s Last Word on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell not only mocked Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather Miles Park Romney leaving America for Mexico to preserve his polygamy. He claimed their history is “profoundly weirder” than you would think – and didn’t really explain what he meant. [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Only the politically correct media could think a film about the dangers of radical Islam would be controversial … in New York City, the city of the World Trade Center attack by radical Islamists.
But that's exactly the case, as The New York Times has written seven separate pieces - including an op-ed and an editorial - on the ''firestorm'' over the movie ''The Third Jihad.'' The editorial, headlined ''Hate Film,'' criticized the New York Police Department's ''decision to show a hate-filled film about Muslims to more than 1,400 city police officers.''