Newsweek's Alter: Sideways on Pope, Down on Cheney for Fishy Photo Flap

Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom is something of a throwaway feature that senior editor Jonathan Alter could easily churn out in between his morning constitutional and brushing his teeth.

His choices are almost always reliably liberal, as his recent takes on Pope Benedict XVI and Vice President Dick Cheney reflect.

Alter gave the pontiff a sideways arrow on April 16 for his U.S. trip. It's dripping with the usual talking points in the liberal media:

Gets a warm welcome in D.C. on his birthday, but can he win over disgruntled Roman Catholics? | Screencap from

This is an election year, but last I checked the only election that matters in the Catholic Church is the one that selects the new pope after the old one dies. Benedict is a religious leader holding forth a Christian tradition, not a politician courting support from the masses. Catholic Church teaching holds Benedict as a successor to the Apostle Peter and as such a guardian of divinely inspired apostolic teaching. Yet to Alter, Benedict is just another poll-plagued politico looking to curry favor from a U.S. publicity tour.

Biased as it is, at least Alter's swipe at Benedict makes some measure of sense compared to his April 21 print edition snark about Vice President Cheney. Alter assigned the veep a down arrow although the text of his gripe complains about the media:

A nude woman reflected in his shades? No, a fishing rod. Grow up, media. | screencap from

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