MSNBC's Chris Matthews revealed his loathing for a part of his Catholic upbringing on Wednesday's Hardball, and ended up mangling the theology behind a beautiful and ancient Church ritual for new mothers. Matthews turned to Catholic dissident Sister Simone Campbell for her take on Pope Francis's visit. Sister Campbell touted her liberal "Nuns on the Bus" campaign as a supposed way to "take the Gospel to where it wouldn't be otherwise, and all the other people that we meet along the road – so many of them are not churched...but that we can be in touch with them."
Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's in political science and history.
Two journalists on Friday's NBC Nightly News played up how the supposed "far right" of the Republican Party pushed out Rep. John Boehner, who announced earlier in the day that he would be stepping down as Speaker of the House. Lester Holt underlined that Boehner is "resigning from Congress at the end of next month in the face of a challenge from members of the far right of his party, who believe he's gone soft on Democrats."
Friday's NBC Nightly News failed to cover how the Defense Department revealed earlier in the day that they found an "email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department, as a Reuters report put it. Mrs. Clinton exchanged the e-mails with then-General David Petraeus between January and February of 2009. Anchor Lester Holt did air a 16-second news brief on the other "big news from Washington" – Michelle Obama and the first lady of China revealing the name of the panda cub at the National Zoo.
On Thursday, the New York Post, Mediaite, and several other online outlets reported that CNN's live feed of the Pope's address to Congress caught a woman saying off-camera that she wanted to "take my shoe off and throw it at his head" – moments before the pontiff entered the House chamber. The threat was also caught on the audio of MSNBC and Fox News (though on-air personalities were also speaking at the same time), as well as ABC's local Washington, DC affiliate, WJLA.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour wildly claimed that "top" Republican presidential candidates "have decided to make a war on Moslems...1.5 billion members of another faith." Amanpour didn't name any names, but since she pointed out how Pope Francis referenced "Thomas Merton, a Cistercian friar" during address to Congress, who, in her words, "had tolerance and interreligious dialogue as his leitmotif;" and because Dr. Ben Carson was among the attendees at the pontiff's speech; she likely had him in mind when she made that accusation.
The media have a knack of turning giving liberal activists a platform when it covers the Catholic Church. The latest example is CNN's Chris Cuomo turning to Episcopalian bishop/LGBT activist Gene Robinson moments after Pope Francis spoke at the White House on Wednesday. Cuomo noted that Robinson was part of "a number of people that were seen as controversial" among the invited guests at the presidential event, and tossed softballs at the liberal guest regarding his pet cause: "You are controversial, sir. Do you feel that way, and what do you think it is about?"
Thomas Roberts set aside four full segments on his MSNBC Live program on Monday and Tuesday to a panel of six Catholics who dissent from the Church's teachings on sexuality and abortion. Roberts hyped his guests as "Catholics like me who have been deeply wounded in life by the Church." He noted how a divorced woman stayed with the Church and asked, "Do you feel as if you're almost on a cyclical relationship with someone that is almost abusive to you, but that you still go back seeking acceptance?"
Anderson Cooper gave liberal author Reza Aslan a platform to bash Republicans on the Monday edition of his CNN program. Aslan asserted that Dr. Ben Carson's "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation" remark is just the latest example that "xenophobia [and] anti-Muslim bashing...[is] how you get votes." He also stated that "the only thing I'm surprised about is that the..Muslim bashing has taken this long to come out in the GOP field."
On Monday, Catherine Lucey of the Associated Press played up how Bernie Sanders's supporters find his "grouchy persona" to be "one of his charms." Lucey touted how "Democratic imaginations and hearts are fired up by a white-haired 74-year-old socialist who is riding a populist surge." She also underlined how Sanders's backers "believe him when he bellows his unvarnished liberal message, pledging to work for single-payer health care, paid maternity leave and a higher minimum wage."
CNN's Alisyn Camerota badgered and lectured Armstrong Williams, Ben Carson's business manager, on Monday's New Day over the Republican presidential candidate's Sunday statement that he "would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation." Camerota quoted Article VI of the U.S. Constitution regarding religious tests for public office, and contended that "Dr. Carson's belief system violates that part of the Constitution." She later accused the neurosurgeon of having a double standard regarding religion's role in public life.
CNN's Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo pressed former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on Friday's New Day over his current refusal to endorse Hillary Clinton or any candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. When Schweitzer pointed out that "Hillary Clinton has been in our living room, on our television now for the last 20 years," Camerota interjected, "But isn't that a good thing? Isn't that a sign of experience?"
MSNBC's Morning Joe and CNN's New Day both interviewed Carly Fiorina on Thursday after she did well at the Republican presidential debate. However, the two programs failed to bring up her dare to President Obama and Hillary Clinton to watch the hidden camera videos exposing Planned Parenthood's sale of unborn babies' organs and tissue. CNN's Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo largely skirted the issues during their segment with Fiorina, with Cuomo asking about her lack of smiling during the debate.
Wednesday's New Day boosted Jimmy Fallon's anti-Dick Cheney crack from hours earlier on NBC's Tonight Show. Fallon spotlighted how Bernie Sanders was "concerned about what he called 'war talk' coming from the Republicans," and added, "Yeah, 'war talk' – or, as Dick Cheney calls it, 'phone sex.'" The CNN morning newscast included the line in a video round-up of late night shows' jabs at Republicans. Anchor Alisyn Camerota laughed at the compilation, and when asked which was her favorite, she replied, "I like the 'phone sex' one."
Paul Begala tried to put the best spin on Hillary Clinton's sharp decline of support among women voters on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, but even he was forced to admit, "If I were running her campaign, we would take this very seriously." Begala later added, "If I were coaching her – I'd hate to say this; she would hate this – watch Donald Trump....He talks about what he wants to talk about." The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy gave a more blunt analysis: "These poll numbers are a disaster for Hillary Clinton."
Monday's CBS This Morning and NewsNation on MSNBC both failed to give a political label for a liberal group that put up a billboard in Kentucky that mocks that social conservative beliefs of Kim Davis and traditional marriage supporters. CBS correspondent Jericka Duncan referred to Planting Peace as merely a "non-profit organization." MSNBC journalist Sarah Dollof also noted their non-profit status and reported that "they're focused on humanitarian and environmental initiatives."
On Monday's New Day, CNN's Alisyn Camerota hounded Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, after he suggested that Kim Davis should "follow her conscience" in refusing to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Camerota underlined how the Supreme Court "decided...that not allowing gay marriage is discrimination," and asserted that "there are lots of laws that you yourself don't agree with, but you follow the law. That's what we do as Americans."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Friday evening newscasts all barely mentioned former Texas Governor Rick Perry suspending his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Altogether, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News set aside 54 seconds to Perry's announcement. By contrast, the Big Three news programs devoted 6 minutes and 11 seconds to Vice President Joe Biden's Thursday appearance on CBS's Late Show. NBC's Peter Alexander touted how Biden was still "riding a wave of emotion" after his son Beau's death in May 2015.
The long and short of Jill Filipovic's Friday op-ed in the New York Times was her outrage that the Catholic Church – and specifically, Pope Francis – still considered abortion to be a grave sin. The former Cosmopolitan political writer asserted that Pope Francis "offering forgiveness" to women who've had abortion is "a softer version of the same judgment: that the millions of women around the world who have abortions every year are sinners. Inviting women to feel shame and guilt for their abortions isn't a mercy; it's cruelty."
NPR's Jennifer Ludden's liberal bias was clear on Wednesday's All Things Considered, as she covered a congressional hearing on abortion from earlier in the day. The House Judiciary Committee scheduled the hearing in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress's release of hidden camera videos on the sale of organs and tissues from abortion babies. Ludden pointed out how "Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing," and asserted that "the videos show no evidence of it."
The Los Angeles Times apparently doesn't think "women who were born during botched abortions in the 1970s" are abortion "survivors," as a Wednesday article about two such women featured a title that put the term in scare quotes: "Abortion 'survivors' criticize Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill." Marcus E. Howard led the item by hyping that "House Republicans on Wednesday fueled an already emotional and partisan debate by hearing testimony" from Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, who "survived failed saline-infusion abortion attempts."