Last evening, Chicago's Fox News at Nine aired the segment "Cardinal George Talks About Pope's Visit to America." Reporter Nancy Pender's interview with Chicago's Cardinal Francis George included video of Pope Benedict XVI touring the United States as Ms. Pender provided the voice-over:
"The Cardinal says the visit reinforced his view of the Pope as a warm, compassionate man, and not the hardline conservative he's reputed to be."
CARDINAL GEORGE: None of us is totally responsible for our reputations, it's what you make of it. So if that's the reputation he had, then it turns out not to be entirely true, because the man I saw during this visit is the man I've known for the last 20 years since being a bishop.
In speaking with Ms. Pender, did the Cardinal himself contrast the "warm compassionate man" with his supposed reputation as a "hardline conservative"? That we don't know because we didn't hear him use those words.
What we do know is that Nancy Pender's language advances one of liberaldom's hoariest myths. that conservatives are by nature cold and uncompassionate. By contrast, liberals - who for obvious reasons now often prefer to be called "progressives" - are filled with love and concern.
They demonstrate this love and concern by using other people's money to operate huge social-welfare schemes. The fact these programs usually, if not always, fail is of no consequence. Just the realization that the original intention was noble is all that matters.
Nancy Pender's statement that His Holiness isn't a "hardline conservative" might assure some, but I wonder if she asked folks from, say, the National Abortion Rights Action League - which for obvious reasons now prefers to be called NARAL - whether they'd concur.