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?"
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.
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."
Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore vomited up the oft-used leftist insults of social conservatives on Tuesday's Nightly Show in a rant about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Wilmore hinted that her supporters were akin to the Ku Klux Klan, and mocked her Christian prayer gesture as a Nazi salute. The "comedian" later likened Davis to notorious segregationist George Wallace, and hyped that "going to jail for what you believe in does not necessarily put you on par with Martin Luther King. Jeffrey Dahmer was in jail because he believes in eating people."
CNN's Alisyn Camerota confronted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday's New Day, after the Democrat used the shooting of his aide to advance gun control. When Cuomo admitted that "we passed a law...that is probably the most restrictive gun control law in the nation," Camerota interrupted the governor and pointed out that "opponents of more laws say the criminals are the ones who will always have the guns – and this appears to be an illustration of that. What gun law could have been on the books that would have prevented this tragedy?"
Anthony Faiola hyped how Pope Francis is "grappling with a conservative backlash to the liberal momentum building inside the [Catholic] [C]hurch" in a front-page, above-the-fold item in Monday's Washington Post. Faiola played up the "growing sense of alarm among strict conservatives, exposing what is fast emerging as a culture war over Francis's papacy," and underlined that the "conservative rebellion" against the pontiff is "taking on many guises."
Friday's CBS Evening News stood out for not covering Hillary Clinton's interview with NBC's Andrew Mitchell. The newscast didn't even mention the former first lady during their 2016 election coverage. Instead, Scott Pelley played up how Donald Trump "seems to stumble a lot, but never seems to fall" – specifically, his confused answers on foreign policy during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. Pelley also covered Vice President Joe Biden "agonizing publicly about whether he would run" for president.
Montel Williams targeted 'Black Lives Matter' activists on Wednesday's CNN Tonight, especially in the wake of the anti-police "pigs in a blanket; fry like bacon!" chant that its protesters recently used in Minnesota: "The rhetoric is being ratcheted up way too high in 'Black Lives Matter.' And we ought to ratchet it back down, and come up with solutions." Williams later criticized the left-leaning movement for not paying enough attention to black-on-black murders: "I would love to see this whole movement turn to 'Black Lives Matter' – hell, yeah! – in my neighborhood to me!"