On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro couldn't be bothered to feature any of the religious leaders who spoke at the inter-faith service in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, Instead, Shapiro zeroed in on the liberal politicians who spoke, playing five straight clips from President Obama's speech at the memorial event.
The correspondent also played up the President's speaking ability: "This was Obama the orator, a man who is famous for his ability to give a speech that, even in a time of mourning, can bring a crowd roaring to its feet."
ABC is really proud of its hoax "exclusive." Tuesday's Nightline and Wednesday's Good Morning America hyped an interview with the man who allegedly perpetrated an elaborate fiction, smearing Pastor Joel Osteen as renouncing his Christian faith. GMA's Elizabeth Vargas touted, "...The hoaxer is explaining why he did it in an exclusive interview with ABC's David Wright." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "Revealing overnight, why he went after Joel Osteen. An ABC news exclusive." The odd, sometimes bizarre answers of alleged hoaxer, Justin Tribble, didn't stop the network from airing the story. After David Wright wondered how "we know you're Justin and how do we know this is not a hoax," Tribble weirdly responded, "Well, you don't. No, I'm kidding. You do."
During the highly publicized exchange between Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham on gay marriage, O'Reilly made this statement: "There are Bible thumpers, and all they do is say, 'I object to gay marriage because God objects to it.' You don't win a policy debate in America with that."
Mollie Hemingway at Get Religion is amazed that people would say the most notable, memorable thing evangelical preacher Rick Warren ever did was give the invocation at President Obama's first Inauguration. Warren's son Matthew committed suicide on Saturday.
"Not having heard of Warren prior to 2008 means that you had to have been in utero (or high school, or something similar) during 2002 or whenever [The] Purpose Driven Life came out and became one of the best selling books in history," Hemingway wrote. But Warren accomplished that massive success inside the Christian world, and the secular national media, especially TV network news, wasn't really paying attention. Check out this snippet of our 2005 Special Report on network TV religion coverage:
Brooks Thistlethwaite was praising the Fox News anchor for "vigorously defending his statement that opponents of same-sex marriage needed to do more than 'thump the Bible' if they wanted to win the debate." "If you want to influence public policy from a faith perspective, thumping the Bible does not constitute a religious argument," the Chicago Theological Seminary professor pontificated. But as we at NewsBusters have documented repeatedly, Brooks Thistlethwaite repeatedly uses the Bible to justify her calls for liberal policy prescriptions on everything from gun control to tax hikes to gay marriage.
On Thursday, Mollie Hemingway of the GetReligion blog pointed out CBS's "major mistake" on the March 31, 2013 edition of Sunday Morning. On the Easter Sunday broadcast, Martha Teichner confused two biblical figures with the same name when she stated that "only one of the Gospels places Mary at the crucifixion, alongside the so-called 'beloved disciple' – possibly John the Baptist." Actually, the prophet was beheaded many months before Jesus' arrest.
During her report, Teichner also spotlighted the Broadway adaptation of Irish author Colm Toibin's novella "The Testament of Mary," which perverts the biblical Mary of Nazareth into an angry woman bitter over her son Jesus' execution and openly disdainful of His followers. [audio available here; video below the jump]
Last week, I gave 12 examples of how religious liberty has been assaulted in just the past two years in the U.S. Here are about two dozen more instances just for good measure, as reported by the Family Research Council, the office of Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and various media outlets.
—The following public institutions recently have joined the growing ranks of those that have banned the use of the word "Easter" in order to diminish or eliminate references to religion: East Meadow School District in New York, Prospect Heights Public Library in Illinois, Heritage Elementary School in Alabama, Manhattan Beach Unified School District in California, Flat Rock Elementary School in South Carolina and West Shore School District in Pennsylvania.
The recent murders of local prosecutors in a north Texas county -- possibly at the hands of white supremacists -- was the news hook for MSNBC's The Cycle to bring Heidi Beirich of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on to the April 2 program. In introducing the guest and justifying her expertise, co-host Ari Melber merely described the SPLC as "a group that documents that state of hate groups in America." [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
It fell to token conservative co-host S.E. Cupp to remind viewers that SPLC leans to the left and has been criticized by conservatives for "smearing religious and far-right groups and ignoring far-left hate groups." "Shouldn't people be aware of your ideological biases before they take seriously [SPLC's] claims of who they should be afraid of?" Cupp argued. A bemused Beirich insisted she had to "dispute the notion of the question on its premise," adding that:
At the Weekly Standard's blog today, Daniel Halper relayed a pool reporter's notes from the Easter service President Barack Obama and his family attended this morning. The highlights from the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon's sermon" included the following statement: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."
As religious people are bludgeoned with secular views by America's media practically 24/7, it would be nice if they could be given a break on their holiest days.
George Stephanopoulos clearly doesn't feel that way for on Easter Sunday he invited an atheist on ABC's This Week to join a panel discussion about - wait for it! - religion (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Maybe we should take to ironically nicknaming Sally Quinn as "Scoop" for this: On March 27, in a column headlined "Does Ben Carson Have a Prayer?" the Washington Post On Faith editor attacked Dr. Ben Carson for his National Prayer Breakfast speech delivered on February 7. That's 48 days between the speech and Quinn's holding forth on why Carson, in her view, improperly politicized a characteristically apolitical prayer breakfast.
Of course, this is rich coming from Quinn because On Faith is chock full of columns by liberal Christians who contort Scripture to make political cases for more gun control, tax hikes, and same-sex marriage.
The Catholic League has clearly had enough of Bill Maher's regular anti-religious tirades on HBO's Real Time.
On Tuesday, League president Bill Donohue sent a letter to Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt saying, "The time has come for someone in a position of responsibility to sit down and have a serious talk with this man":
The debauchery at the Huffington Post knows no bounds.
On Monday, the website actually offered readers a slideshow of the best places to lose one's virginity in San Francisco, and coming in seventh was under the Mount Davidson Cross, one of the city's most beloved religious landmarks:
Monday's CBS This Morning brought on only liberals for a panel discussion about the recent success of The History Channel's new miniseries, The Bible. One panelist, Michael Hogan of the left-wing Huffington Post, erroneously asserted that "biblical films have been kind of out of favor since 1965, when 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' came out and was a huge flop. 'Last Temptation of Christ' was the last serious attempt."
Of course, the editor for the left-wing website completely overlooked Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, which made over $600 million at the box office worldwide.
On Morning Joe today, the Reverend Al Sharpton agreed with Mike Barnicle that anti-Semitism explains the opposition to Mike Bloomberg in his gun control campaign. H/t NB reader cobokat.
If ever there were an expert on anti-Semitism in America, it could be Al Sharpton, he of Freddie's Fashion Mart and Crown Heights riot infamy. The spectacle of Sharpton lamenting the supposed anti-Semitism of others was ironic, if not repulsive. Note that Dan Senor, who might also know something about anti-Semitism, being Jewish and having attended university in Israel, rejected the notion. View the video after the jump.
In a report for Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Jim Maceda seized on an account in a 2012 book in which Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, recalled being attracted to a woman when he was a young seminarian preparing to enter the priesthood: "Well, it turns out that Francis...came to the priesthood rather late, at age 32, and not before he had his own moments of doubt and temptation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Maceda went so far as to make a sensational comparison to a soap opera about a priest falling in love with a woman. After a clip of the show played, Maceda declared: "Like the conflicted Catholic priest in the 1980 TV mini-series Thorn Birds, the former Jorge Bergoglio admitted in a book published in Spanish last year, to be 'dazzled' by a young woman at the time he was studying to be a priest."
As I noted on Monday, the "On Faith" section at the Washington Post is hard at work attacking faithful Catholics by publishing, bit by bit, excerpts of a Sally Quinn interview with Garry Wills, a critic of the church. Well, on Tuesday -- the day of Pope Francis's installation Mass -- the attack continued with another excerpt in which Wills was given a platform to wish the papacy would become a mere figurehead position, much like the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
On Faith editor and religious agnostic Sally Quinn opened with the query, "What do you think should be done with the papacy? Do you think it should be abolished?" That softball over the plate allowed Wills to swing for the fences with his attack on thousands of years of church tradition. Wills went on to give his advice to recalcitrant Catholics, which was not to leave the church but rather to simply ignore the pastoral oversight of the bishops and the pope himself, whom the church teaches is the successor of St. Peter:
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today as part of its Vatican coverage of Pope Francis's installation mass, former correspondent Maria Shriver offered a report that urged the Catholic Church to allow female priests: "Catholic women, and nuns in particular....cannot be ordained, they cannot say Mass and they cannot vote for the pope. Now millions of women think it's time for the hierarchy of this Church to open its eyes to the reality of what women can and should be allowed to do." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Speaking to Sister Judith Zoebelein, a high-ranking Vatican official, later in the report, Shriver wondered: "You know in the United States, we often talk about the glass ceiling for women professionally. Is there a stained glass ceiling?" The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "The Stained Glass Ceiling; Maria Shriver On Women's Roles in the Catholic Church."
Does Mika Brzezinski see Barack Obama as the Messiah? Mika dismissed the notion, but Joe Scarborough had a very different point of view.
As today's Morning Joe rolled live footage of President Obama's arrival in Tel Aviv, former Bush foreign policy advisor Dan Senor couldn't help sarcastically observing "the Messiah has returned to Israel." Mika Brzezinski feigned dismissiveness, asking: "are you kidding me?" Retorted Joe Scarborough: "no, he's channeling you." View the video after the jump.
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal cracked on New York Times columnist Frank Bruni for his Sunday Review column urging the new pope to "dwell less in the bedroom, more in the soup kitchen." (Last week Bruni guest-hosted the Charlie Rose show and pushed similar talking points.)
Taranto had fun with Bruni in his "Best of the Web" column Monday:
Many millions of Catholics around the world were joyous with the naming of a new pope – a holy man from the Third World, no less. Even in choosing his name, Pope Francis is emphasizing a devotion to the poor, and a humility in his clothing and manners.
The liberal media should be lapping this up. There was an accurate recounting of the global rejoicing, especially in Argentina. There were hopeful words about his pastoral modesty. But as the day came for the Pope to be installed, the natural secular liberal nastiness toward the oldest Christian faith bubbled up in demands for “tolerance” and women’s liberation.
Monday night's CBS Evening News followed CNN and ABC to the ugly decades-old accusations against Pope Francis from his time in Argentina. CBS featured the same critic of Pope Francis that ABC did on Sunday. CNN, meanwhile, was the only one of the three networks to seriously question the accusations.
"There are still questions, though, about the Pope's relationship with Argentina's former government, a military dictatorship that kidnapped and killed thousands in the '70s and '80s," reported fill-in anchor Bob Schieffer. CBS centered the story around Francis' accuser, with only one quote in his defense. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Allen Pizzey readily identified Pope Francis as a "conservative" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to give an equivalent ideological label to Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who attended his installation Mass in St. Peter's Sqaure. Pizzey spotlighted the apparent "stark contrast" between the new pontiff and the two liberal politicians, whom he described as being "pro-choice and support[ing] same-sex marriage."
Secular reporters can easily show a lack of expertise when they crack wise that the pope is “infallible” in everything he does, as if he never sins or makes mistakes -- as if he's the man to fill our your March Madness bracket, because he cannot fail. In fact, the definition of church teaching is much narrower, only that the pope cannot err when he speaks for the church on matters of faith or morals.
This happened in Tuesday’s Washington Post, when reporter Jason Horowitz lightly wrote the pope’s clothes make the “infallible man,” which should require a correction:
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS ran to the aid of dissident Catholic sisters in the U.S. and recycled many of its talking points from their sympathetic coverage of the sisters' "Nuns on the Bus" tour in 2012. Bob Simon trumpeted the supposed "rock star" status of the leader of the sisters' coalition and tossed mostly softball questions at her. He also repeatedly used the loaded term "Inquisition" to ballyhoo the apparent "crackdown" against the heterodox nuns.
Simon made his slant toward the dissenters clear when another prominent dissident sister compared the battle between the bishops and her allies to a schoolyard battle of the sexes: "The boys played the girls. And for once, the girls won, and the boys are upset." The journalist replied, "Isn't that what it's all about?"
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today as part of the Today's Professionals panel discussion, the network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman urged the Catholic Church to abandon its opposition to contraception: "Here's one thing I really would implore the Catholic Church to do on a global issue.... poverty without birth control begets more poverty....So this is a chance to take the humility and the poverty and say now we're really going to talk about this in a civilized way and move it forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Advertising executive Donny Deutsch chimed in: "Well that's my point, we're not talking about the real issues....And we can talk about tolerance with gays and attitudes towards women." Snyderman agreed: "And women in the Church."
As we've documented time and again, the Washington Post's On Faith section is hostile to traditional religious faith. Section editor Sally Quinn failed to disappoint on St. Patrick's Day with her publication online of an excerpt from an interview with liberal Catholic author Garry Wills, who is promoting his new book, "Why Priests? A Failed Tradition."
Coming a mere four days after the election of Argentina's Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis, Quinn published a portion of her interview wherein Wills argued that the papacy was irrelevant and that the priesthood was an arrogant "monopolization" of power by the clergy. On March 14, just one day after Pope Francis's election, Quinn published another excerpt of Wills which she entitled "The pope shouldn't be king," where she let Wills flesh out his thoughts on the papacy being a "crime":