The Washington Post offered a balance of experts in their story on the new apostolic exhortation published by Pope Francis -- including Ed Morrissey of Hot Air -- even as they were impressed at how Francis used “trickle-down” like a liberal Democrat. The “direct reference to 'trickle-down' economics in the English translation of his statement is striking,” confessed reporters Zachary Goldfarb and Michelle Boorstein.
But demonstrating the liberal media’s dual tendency to praise Francis and slam his predecessor Pope Benedict, Goldfarb and Boorstein uncorked a sentence that is factually false:
The Washington Post tried to turn the camera lens around on the violent Tsarnaev brothers. Their arrogant liberal assumption: the real question is what this says about us backwards Americans, not about the bombers. The headline in huge type was “Who do we think they are? The answer says a lot about who we are.”
What we are, apparently, is a sad gathering of “Islamophobes,” because the story is a collection of quotes from Muslim activists and authors who tweeted “please don’t be a Muslim” and feared that Muslim assailants would spur Americans to practice “discrimination or retaliation or shame.” Even after the Tsarnaevs were found, the Post reported “Brown Muslims” were relieved:
The Washington Post's religion writers have been hard at work of late to boost the religious left's push for more stringent gun control legislation. On Thursday, for example, Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein treated readers of the paper's Metro section with a puffy front-page item celebrating the pulpit-pounding for gun control from the likes of the dean of the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, a self-described "left-wing Democrat." Hall has cravenly lumped gun control in with the message of the Christian gospel, using liberal applause lines like "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
She had 12 paragraphs to play with, but in none of them did Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein find any space for a conservative Episcopalian or Anglican to voice objection to the decision by Episcopal authorities to permit same-sex wedding ceremonies in the historic Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington, D.C.
"In some ways, the announcement that is expected Wednesday morning is unsurprising for a denomination and a diocese that long ago took up the cause of marriage equality," Boorstein noted in the second paragraph of her January 9 story, but added that "the cathedral's stature and the image of same-sex couples exchanging vows in the soaring Gothic structure... is symbolically powerful."
Now here’s a stretch: what began on the front page of Thursday’s Washington Post as a story on the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia asking volunteer religion teachers to sign a fidelity oath to church teachings concluded with an image of German Catholic bishops doing a Heil Hitler salute.
This loaded Nazi reference – in a church now led by someone conscripted into Hitler’s army – came from a Rev. Ronald Nuzzi at Notre Dame, a college which quite publicly displayed its lack of orthodoxy by honoring President HHS Mandate Obama in 2009:
Liberal media outlets have never met a dissenting Catholic they didn’t like. The flavor of this month – a liberal nun and her publicity tour group for “social justice” – got the requisite puff piece in The Washington Post to complete the adoration heaped on them by CNN,Time, and MSNBC.
In her June 27 article “The Nuns on the Bus tour promotes social justice – and turns a blind eye to the Vatican,” the Post’s Michelle Boorstein fawned over activist nun Sister Simone Campbell and her “Nuns on the Bus” tour, which she calls “an attempt to motivate opposition to a House budget that would sharply reduce spending on social services” and a “response of sorts to a Vatican report in April raising alarm about ‘radical feminism’ among top American nuns.”
Just days after Maryland's state legislature passed same-sex "marriage," the Washington Post trumpeted on its front page how a "deep in grief" woman in a long-term lesbian relationship had been denied Communion by a Catholic priest during her mother's funeral in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The woman accused the cleric of playing "politics...and you will pay dearly on the day of judgment for judging me."
It took writer Michelle Boorstein seven paragraphs to finally give a statement from a representative of the Archdiocese of Washington, who criticized the pastoral approach of the priest, but not necessarily his defense of Catholic teaching, which states that those living in mortal sin cannot approach the Eucharist. It took the journalist another four paragraphs to reproduce a comment defending the priest's actions from an anonymous blogger.
A Baptist minister from Washington, D.C., who in a sermon once indirectly compared President Obama to Queen Esther -- the biblical figure whose intercession saved Jews from extermination -- has been tapped by the president to "bolster support for President Obama among black and religious voters."
Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein gave readers of the October 21 Metro section a positive 13-paragraph profile of Rev. Derrick Harkins, "a popular D.C. pastor with a shaved head and a remarkable resume." Nowhere in her article did Boorstein examine how Harkins will address conservative religious voters' concerns over Obama's stance on issues such as gay marriage, gays in the military, and abortion, particularly taxpayer-subsidized abortion possible through ObamaCare.
Two men testified yesterday before a U.S. House of Representatives panel about how their loved ones were radicalized by Islamist extremists and how local mosque leaders did nothing to help alert U.S. authorities of the potential danger.
Yet accounts of their testimony were buried in the Washington Post's front page March 11 story about the Homeland Security Committee's March 10 hearings formally entitled an inquiry into "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is a devout liberal, including on contentious social issues like abortion and homosexuality. But on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein began a story on Archbishop Donald Wuerl's elevation to Cardinal at the Vatican like this:
The archbishop's two brothers will be there. So will a rabbi he knows from Pittsburgh, the D.C. barber who cuts his hair and the fast-talking (and devoutly Catholic) television commentator Chris Matthews.
Do "devout" Catholics lecture their bishops that they should get their churchy noses out of our legislating? Boorstein apparently missed Matthews lecturing the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, in defense of Rep. Patrick Kennedy's pro-abortion politics on "Hardball" last November.
Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein is generally a careful reporter, not prone to outbursts of liberal bias. But the general liberal-media bias that ignorance breeds "Islamophobia" came through between the lines in a Monday story on the aftermath of the Koran-burning publicity stunt week in Florida:
In fact, like much of the country, Gainesville's racial and religious diversity is minimal. Personal contact with Muslims is limited.
Nationally, more than half of the respondents in a recent Pew poll said they knew little or nothing about Islam. In that vacuum, violence overseas in the name of Islam defines that faith for many.
The implication is that truly learned people who have diverse human contacts have no logical reason to be concerned about the negative impact of Islam. (The story is not yet online.)
"Protesters use 'sharia' as a slur and rallying cry against Islam," reads the dismissive print edition headline for Michelle Boorstein's page A5 August 27 story. The Washington Post's online edition used different wording: "For critics of Islam, 'sharia' a loaded word."
Boorstein cited "controversial" conservative scholar Daniel Pipes warning that pro-sharia Muslims "want to implement sharia in every detail on everyone in a stringest way." For an opposing view, the Post religion writer also cited Imam Yahya Hendi, a Muslim chaplain for Georgetown University and "spokesman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America," who argued that more moderate Muslims see sharia as more like a set of guidelines to guide personal and family life than a rigid code of law which must supplant secular governance.
Fair enough, yet Boorstein put her thumb on the scale by lamenting that "the word has become akin to a slur in some camps... an alarming development to many religious and political leaders."
Krista Gesaman of Newsweek.com's Gaggle blog could have saved herself from the indignity of making the absurd claim that young women were "missing" from protests marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by merely searching through the past coverage of the March for Life by the Washington Post, Newsweek's sister publication. In past years, the Post has highlighted the "youthful throng," the "large turnout of young people," and has quoted from teenagers participating at the annual pro-life March.
My colleague Ken Shepherd noted Gesaman's beyond faulty conclusion on Friday, and highlighted a recent Marist poll that indicated that "58 percent of persons aged 18-29 view abortion as 'morally wrong.'" Members of this age were all born after the 1973 Roe decision by the Supreme Court, so it's not that surprising of a statistic. He also underlined how "hundreds if not thousands of busloads teeming with teenagers and college students, many of them young women, descend on the nation's capital for the annual March for Life."
Imagine for a moment that Sen. John McCain won the election in November and that John Hagee gave a sermon at Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University the Sunday preceding the inauguration wherein he slammed the "egregious menage a trois of homosexuals, Hollywood, and hell-bound atheists" for destroying the United States.
The coverage would be non-stop and President-elect McCain would be pressed to repudiate the remarks from his stalwart evangelical supporter, even though he's already distanced himself during in the campaign.
Yet it's a vastly different story when it was Rev. Jeremiah Wright at Howard University's chapel and the "egregious menage a trois" was that of "racism, militarism and capitalism."
While his colleague Michelle Boorstein helpfully edited Wright's more embarrassing rhetoric (see more below the fold), Washington Post's Dana Milbank reminded readers just how loopy Rev. Wright is in his page A9 January 19 article, "You Thought the Jeremiad Was Over?" (emphasis mine):
Can you spot the mistake? It's in this story about parishes and dioceses that have split from the Episcopal Church since the ordination of a practicing homosexual as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003:
"They say the Episcopal leadership defines Scripture on modern rather than eternal standards, and they take exception to the ordination of female clergy, the full acceptance of gays and lesbians and what they see as reduced importance in the role of Jesus for a believer's redemption."
But the indisputable problem with the story, I think involves the claim that "they" (breakaway Episcopalians) "take exception to the ordination of female clergy." That will come as a surprise to the ordained Episcopal women who have left the Episcopal Church in the past five years to protest its policies.
George Stephanopoulos might be Chief Washington Correspondent of ABC News, but that apparently doesn’t stop him from hosting partisan book parties at his Georgetown home for Democratic authors trying to help the Democrats "get religion" and nab some more voters of faith. In Thursday’s Washington Post, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein wrote a story boosting the new book by Michael Sean Winters on wooing Catholics back into the Democratic fold:
All the pieces were there for a classic Washington celebrity book party: George Stephanopoulos's gorgeously appointed Georgetown home, media glitterati like Chris Matthews milling around, a book about politics, a bunch of priests.
A bunch of priests?
If anything embodied the complicated, shifting and sort of weird relationship between politics and religion these days -- particularly on the left -- it was the party Tuesday night for local writer Michael Sean Winters's new book: "Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats."
With Pope Benedict back in Rome, the media are rendering their verdict of the pontiff's U.S. visit. The pontiff did "better than expected" seems to be the verdict coming from secular journalists, who, of course, found that the pontiff bested the low expectations of unnamed "experts."
NEW YORK, April 20 -- After thanking the United States for his "many memorable experiences of American hospitality," Pope Benedict XVI headed back to Rome on Sunday night, ending a six-day visit in which he directly confronted the clergy sex-abuse crisis and surprised many by drawing large, enthusiastic crowds.
The Washington Post’s Sunday Style & Arts section spotlights Satanic music on the Lord’s day. The headline is “Going Down-Market: Satan Rules the Night at Jaxx.” Religion reporter Michelle Boorstein begins by reproducing the lyrics of a band called Dark Funeral: "Sin stands for beauty, sin stands for life. Sexual sin is every man's right!! He will exalt the wicked of man: our king the Antichrist!"
The ugliness continues as Boorstein explained:
Most common T-shirt of the night: "The day you die is the day I smile." Most common adjective: brutal (in a good way). Most common piece of jewelry: It's a tie between chains and upside-down crosses.