CBS Ballyhoos 'Stark Contrast' Between 'Conservative' Pope and 'Pro-Choice' Pelosi

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."

The correspondent also omitted that the American delegation to the Mass at the Vatican included a pro-life officeholder – New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Allen Pizzey, CBS News Correspondent; Screen Cap From 19 March 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgOverall, Pizzey gave positive coverage to Pope Francis, noting early in his report that "Francis' tour of the crowd in his Popemobile...was a modern version of the triumph ancient Romans held to reward conquering heroes...Francis connected with the adoring crowd....stopping his open Popemobile to kiss babies, even getting out to bless a disabled man."

However, the CBS journalist's double standard in labeling came near the end of the segment, when he zeroed-in on the dignitaries who attended the Pope's installation:

ALLEN PIZZEY: An unmentioned feature of this ceremony is that many of the dignitaries, including Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are pro-choice and support same-sex marriage – a stark contrast to the conservative pope. Nonetheless, he's greeting all of the dignitaries, and we doubt very much that the issues will be raised at that ceremony.

On the March 14, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning, Pizzey hyped that the Latin American pontiff is a "conservative...[who] opposes abortion, supports celibacy, and called gay adoption discrimination against children." The correspondent's report aired in the midst of CBS's overall biased coverage of the papal election.

The full transcript of Allen Pizzey's report from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:


CHARLIE ROSE: Hundreds of thousands packed St. Peter's Square once again today.

NORAH O'DONNELL: This time, they watched the inaugural Mass formally installing Pope Francis. He is now officially the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Allen Pizzey is in Vatican City. Allen, what a morning. Good morning to you.

[CBS News Graphic: "Pope's Inaugural Mass: One Million People Attend Elaborate Ceremony"]

ALLEN PIZZEY: Good morning, Charlie and Norah. Well, as you can see behind me, the square is now being cleaned up and emptied out, so the Church can get down to business. Papal inaugurations used to be known as enthronements. This one was much simplified, but it still carried the weight of centuries of ritual and tradition.

PIZZEY (voice-over): Francis' tour of the crowd in his Popemobile through a sea of flags from dozens of nations was a modern version of the triumph ancient Romans held to reward conquering heroes. But in keeping with the new style he is setting for the papacy, Francis connected with the adoring crowd, rather than lording over them – stopping his open Popemobile to kiss babies, even getting out to bless a disabled man.

The service is known as the beginning of the Petrine ministry of the Bishop of Rome, a reference to St. Peter, and Francis prayed in front of his tomb before the Mass began. To a hymn celebrating Christ and innumerable saints, two major symbols of the papacy were presented: the pallium, a woolen stole representing a lamb being carried on shepherd's shoulder; followed by the Ring of the Fisherman, so named because Peter, a fisherman by trade, was instructed by Christ to be a fisher of men.

By contrast, none of the dignitaries, who ranged from royalties to heads of state; U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; and various prime ministers and diplomats were actually personally invited. For the first time in almost a thousand years, the patriarch of the Orthodox Church chose to come. And Francis had simple message: protection and hope. Invoking the saint from which he took his name, Francis called for respect for people and the environment. 'In the end, everything is entrusted to our protection', he said, 'and all of us are responsible for it.' The crowd wasn't as huge as predicted, but there was no doubting the enthusiasm.

KAREN REIS, ST. LOUIS, MO RESIDENT: I am so excited. I feel so blessed. I can't believe I'm here still.

PIZZEY: And in another example of simplicity, the Pope didn't give anyone in the crowd Communion, but 500 priests did.

PIZZEY (on-camera): An unmentioned feature of this ceremony is that many of the dignitaries, including Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are pro-choice and support same-sex marriage – a stark contrast to the conservative pope. Nonetheless, he's greeting all of the dignitaries, and we doubt very much that the issues will be raised at that ceremony. Charlie, Norah?

O'DONNELL: Allen Pizzey, thank you. You know, Charlie, it is interesting to see that ceremony this morning and the Mass.

ROSE: And to have been there and walked those grounds. And, you know, he came in as a cardinal and we looked at all of these cardinals. Now, he looks like a pope. Something – the job becomes infused in your personality.

O'DONNELL: Right, and he has a big job ahead of him, certainly, dealing with the Vatican there and some of the problems.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center