Ever sweet on liberal Catholic nuns, CNN played up a group of nuns lambasting the Ryan budget and hosted one of the leaders, Sr. Simone Campbell, three times in three weeks for an interview. In contrast, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) appeared not once on the network to defend his budget during that time span.
"You go, girls," CNN's Carol Costello cheered the "Nuns on the Bus" tour. The tour received eight different mentions from CNN from June 13 through July 3, including a report from the trail that aired twice, and three interviews of Sr. Campbell.
"It is the last thing a good Catholic boy wants, having a nun mad at you. Even worse, a whole bus load of them," hyped anchor Brooke Baldwin. During the reports, CNN didn't so much as read a statement from Ryan's office, letting the nuns hack away at his budget for hurting the poor.
"Congressman Paul Ryan. I mean, he is a faithful Catholic, but he's misguided," asserted Sr. Campbell in a clip that aired on the July 3 edition of Starting Point. "Many politicians offer deeply flawed justifications for the federal budget. They ought to get some theological help."
"[T]he Ryan budget actually is irresponsible in that it doesn't really deal with the deficit. It shifts tax cuts to the wealthy, more money to defense," Campbell told CNN on June 19.
The tour got rave reviews from correspondent Ted Rowlands, who hailed the "crowds of supporters at every stop" and touted that "these nuns...say they feel like they're getting rock star treatment."
At the tour's end on July 3, Sr. Campbell received this softball from anchor Brooke Baldwin: "I understand you were treated like rock stars. What was it that touched the nation so profoundly do you think?"
Amidst CNN's positive coverage of the tour, Baldwin did provide a question from Ryan's perspective on her June 19 interview of Sr. Campbell: "The congressman says his budget will eliminate the national debt and that Obama's budget will add $11 trillion to the debt. Aren't we at a point where we need to consider painful cuts to stay afloat?" she asked.
However, on July 3 it was up to conservative guest Margaret Hoover to provide the tough question to Campbell about something CNN never did – arrange for an on-air debate between her and Ryan.
"Since the spirit of your tour is about understanding and community, as you ended your tour in Washington, do you have plans to meet with Congressman Paul Ryan?" she pressed Sr. Campbell. "Because I am sure that he would not agree with you that his budget is hurting the poor. And I bet there is a good understanding you all could forge if you sat down and talked about it."
Aside from this story, it's no secret that CNN admires liberal Catholic nuns, especially those who cheer for ObamaCare, lambast Paul Ryan's budget, and dissent from the U.S. bishops and the Vatican on issues like gay marriage.