MSNBC is not known as a champion of religion, unless it’s someone who is liberal coming on to criticize religious individuals, especially if they are a member of the Catholic Church. Take Sister Simone Campbell, president of the liberal Catholic organization NETWORK, who has been featured on the “Lean Forward” network multiple times for her criticism of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his budget priorities.
Appearing as a guest on Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday April 16, the fawning over Ms. Campbell was evident, with Mitchell proclaiming how “the honor is all mine” to finally meet Campbell in person. [See video below.]
The segment began with Mitchell taking the liberal and erroneous claim that “when Sister Simone Campbell organized a group of Roman Catholic nuns for a tour across the country, objecting to then to House Budget chair’s Paul Ryan's plan which would have cut social programs impacting the poor. Which did cut them in fact.
First off, Mitchell peddled the lie that the Ryan budget would “cut social programs impacting the poor” when in reality his budget merely slows the rate of spending increases these programs receive. The MSNBC host then went on to prop up Campbell’s book “Nun on a Bus” and hyped her agenda:
First of all, I love the cover. This is just so bright and it's so embracing. Of the whole issue of poverty, wage disparity, the growing wage disparity, income disparity, I should say, in this country, and the fact that government doesn’t seem to be able to respond to the needs of people.
Mitchell continued her puff interview by lobbying Campbell to express her liberal views on including women in the Catholic Church:
I think it's a key role for leadership. And I was really heartened that Pope Francis appointed a commission that was half women, half men, to look at the issue of abuse in the church, and to make recommendations for change. We move slowly. We don’t move quickly as a church but we're making progress.
Mitchell concluded the segment by hyping how “The honor is all mine, believe me” before Campbell expressed her joy that MSNBC gave her “this opportunity. It's a big honor.” Unsurprisingly, this was not the first time Campbell has been given a platform to promote her liberal views.
In 2012, MSNBC brought Campbell on and gave her a soap box to warn of “nation’s soul” being “corrupted” by the GOP budget and in July of the same year NPR, another left-wing outlet, gave her 14 minutes to bash the GOP.
See relevant transcript below.
Andrea Mitchell Reports
April 16, 2014
12:47 p.m. Eastern
ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, they call themselves nuns on the bus. Their mission, to rally support for those living in poverty. The trip began back in 2012 when Sister Simone Campbell organized a group of Roman Catholic nuns for a tour across the country, objecting to then to House Budget chair’s Paul Ryan's plan which would have cut social programs impacting the poor. Which did cut them in fact. Now Sister Simone has written in a book what she experienced on that remarkable road trip. It’s called, what else, “A Nun On a Bus.” In this holy week, Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of Network joins me now to talk about the book and the current state of the Catholic Church, and the issue of poverty. Thank you so much. It's great to see you. We did do an interview back in 2012, but you were on the road on during your bus tour.
SIMONE CAMPBELL: That's right.
MITCHELL: And it's so great to meet you in person. Tell me your mission now and why you wrote the book.
CAMPBELL: Well, I wrote the book to hold up two aspects. One is our nation is best when we're community. As your story about the reality in Boston illustrated. And the second was to encourage all of us to share our own stories. What we all hold values that treasure the common good, we need to share those stories and be more bold about it. So, hopefully my book is nourishment for that desire.
MITCHELL: Well, first of all, I love the cover. This is just so bright and it's so embracing. Of the whole issue of poverty, wage disparity, the growing wage disparity, income disparity, I should say, in this country, and the fact that government doesn’t seem to be able to respond to the needs of people.
CAMPBELL: Absolutely. It's really worrisome that our government is so gridlocked at this point by polarization. And what I know is that we the people of the United States need to stand up for what's best for the whole nation. It's not about the 99%, it's about the 100%. Because we all do better. We have better health better education, better roads and services if we all participate. And if we're all a part of the story. Wages need to be higher, and we need to care for each other. That's the key.
MITCHELL: What is the role of the church in all of this, and what comfort, if any, do you take from the - from Pope France is and from his emphasis, renewed emphasis on helping the poor?
CAMPBELL: Oh, Pope Francis is a joy of my heart. To have our Pope speaking of the needs of those who struggle at the margins of society and challenging all of us to focus our care on their needs is key. That's what really makes the message, that he brings, key for us. We need to have safety nets, but we need to have a reformed economy and that's what he's challenging us to do.
MITCHELL: And as the church tries to fulfill this mission, there's so many other hierarchies involved, and so many other issues, the social issues that have divided this country, and divided the church itself.
CAMPBELL: That's true. And we must atone for the horror of pedophilia that's taking place in our church and acknowledge the sinfulness. I was so glad Pope Francis apologized and is atoning for that. But the thing is, we need to have the conversations about these tough issues, not divide each other. We need to come together and talk about it. That's what's really important.
MITCHELL: What about the role of women in the church?
CAMPBELL: Well, I think it's a key role for leadership. And I was really heartened that Pope Francis appointed a commission that was half women, half men, to look at the issue of abuse in the church, and to make recommendations for change. We move slowly. We don’t move quickly as a church but we're making progress.
MITCHELL: You write in the book about the issue of abortion. That abortion rights have come to dominate the institutional Catholic Church's priorities creating an opportunity for champions of one segment of the church’s ministry, to downplay the social justice agenda. The church’s mission has thus become a competition rather than a model of complementarity, and the hierarchy has increasingly put its thumb on the scale to the advantage of what I tend to call the pro-birth movement rather than the pro-life movement. Interesting choice of words.
CAMPBELL: Right but Pope Benedict raised this up, actually, as being the key thing. That both the orientation towards individual and care for the unborn as well as care for individuals is rooted in the same love that the social mission is rooted in. And what we forget within the church is that we’re working for the dignity of all life at all time. And so I'm hoping that by balancing this out, that we can move together into the future, living out Jesus' command in this holy week to love one another. That's the key.
MITCHELL; Well, sister, it is such a pleasure to meet you in person. And the book is "A nun on the bus." And thank you. Safe travels.
CAMPBELL: Thank you for this opportunity. It's a big honor.
MITCHELL: The honor is all mine, believe me.