Several media outlets on Sunday did their best to cast doubt on the legacy of Pope John Paul II as the Catholic Church beatified the late pontiff. NPR highlighted how the pope apparently "alienated many Catholics who began leaving the church in droves." CNN brought on a liberal theologian who claimed that John Paul II "led us backwards rather than forward." NBC played up the "avalanche of claims of sexual abuse by priests" during his papacy.
On Sunday's All Things Considered, Sylvia Poggioli, NPR's Rome-based senior European correspondent, turned to "investigative journalist" Jason Berry midway through her report, who blasted John Paul on his handling of the priestly sex abuse issue: "Someone who was so fearless in his confrontation with the communist empire, I for one do not understand how he could not have engaged in the same fearless introspection about the church internal." More than 3 years earlier, Berry, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Times, falsely claimed in a November 2007 opinion piece that the American bishops "had identified about 4,400 abusive U.S. priests," when that figure is actually the number of priests who faced allegations.
CNN International’s Jonathan Mann labeled Rush Limbaugh the “anti-Obama” in a CNN.com article on Friday, and condescendingly listed the reasons why the talk show host is the antithesis of the president: “Rush Limbaugh isn’t black, slim, stylish or well schooled.” He later described why Democrats are so eager to portray Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party: “They think that Limbaugh, 58, is the very personification of an ugly Republican stereotype: he’s a small-town college drop-out, an angry white man, who they believe offends the ethnic, urban and educated Americans the Democrats want to attract.”
Mann, a native of Montreal, Canada, seemingly wrote the article with an overseas audience in mind. He began with the assumption that the whole globe is familiar with President Obama and that his major domestic opponent on the airwaves needed to be introduced: “It seems like the whole world knows all about Barack Obama, so let me introduce you to the anti-Obama, the second most interesting man in American politics.” After giving his “black, slim, stylish or well schooled” line, the CNN anchor went on to describe Limbaugh further, repeating some other common liberal characterizations of the talk show host: “He’s a Republican with no elected office but a powerful hold on his party and a place in the news once again. Limbaugh is the host of a radio show heard across the United States, a big-bellied man who bellows into the radios of millions of people. He’s confident, uncomplicated and almost always on the attack against Democrats, feminists and anyone on the Left.” In so many words, the impression Mann gives is that Limbaugh is a right-wing, overweight simpleton.
CNN International’s Jonathan Mann, during an hour-long "love fest" in honor of Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, gushed over the former vice president. "You went from being 'Ozone Man' to 'The Goracle.' This became -- the Nobel Prize became 'The Goronation.' You must be conscious of the change in perceptions about you in particular because of that film [An Inconvenient Truth]."
Later, at the very end of the program, Mann speculated that Gore’s prize could actually be shared with all those who contribute to the planet-saving cause. "We may not all agree about the politics of global warming or about the big solutions, but we can all do our own little part, and it will add up. And for that reason, this year, for the first time that I can remember, we can all share the Nobel Prize."