Kelly, Kurtz, Cruz Excoriate Media for Painting Pope’s Visit as Bad for GOP, Ignoring His Pro-Life Stance

At the top of Tuesday’s The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly joined MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz in scorching the liberal media for their portrayal of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States as bad for the GOP while ignoring his steadfast support for life and traditional marriage.

Kelly was the first to broach the subject as she ran through a sampling of recent headlines in the media touting the Pope’s trip as “damaging for Republicans” but “hope for Dems” and a week that “may deepen Republicans’ Hispanic problem.”

Turning to Kurtz, Kelly sarcastically quipped: “So, there you have it, Howie. This is terrible development for Republicans. A wonderful one for Democrats.” After alluding to one headline he saw on Tuesday that he found to be fair, Kurtz admitted to Kelly:

[T]he major theme of the coverage for weeks has been because this Pope speaks out against the excesses of capitalism and for helping the poor because he sounded a tolerant note on gays and because he issued a treatise on combating climate change in this is an awkward, very difficult headache for the GOP. What is far less emphasized is that this Pope and his church vehemently oppose abortion.

Following a short pause for more sarcasm from the Kelly File host, Kurtz added that some policy positions Francis holds pose “a problem for Democrats as well” with Senate Democrats moving Tuesday to filibuster “a vote to outlaw late-term abortions that Francis and the Catholic Church oppose gay marriage, oppose contraception which, as you know, has been a subject of battles with the Obama administration.”

Kelly later started her interview with Cruz by asking about the media’s role in trying to drive a wedge between the Pope and Republicans (particularly those in elected office): “Do you think there’s a reason why the media is trying to draw some sort – draw this as some sort of rift between the Republicans running for office – all of them and the Holy Father?”

Ruling that “of course there is,” Cruz tore into “[t]he mainstream media” as both “not fair and impartial observers” but instead “partisans” who serve as “Obama’s number one protectors and they’re rooting for Hillary.”

Speaking of how “Pope Francis has been an incredible voice for life,” “marriage,” and “religious liberty,” Cruz pointed to the unfortunate reality that “in all three of them, we are seeing an assault that is unprecedented in our history of our country” plus the media’s refusal to accurately cover any of these issues:

You know, the Democrats and the media don’t want to talk about the fact that today, Senate Democrats stood virtually united in support of late-term abortions. They don’t want to talk about these horrifying Planned Parenthood videos that show them selling the body parts of unborn children. They don’t want to talk about the assault on marriage that Pope Francis has stood up against and they certainly don’t address the continued assault on religious liberty.

Continuing on this theme of exposing a double standard in the media, Kelly showed Cruz a recent headline from The New York Times that gushed over abortion supporter and liberal Catholic Nancy Pelosi’s “strong Catholic faith” where “abortion rights coexist” before remarking: “That's fine. You can co-exist if it's pro-choice, but when it comes to income equality or immigration, you need to avoid your photo ops with the Pope.”

The conservative presidential candidate echoed that observation and his previous point before moving onto discussing the state of his presidential campaign: “Well, you know, the media, as I said, are partisans and they're trying to distract the public. They’re trying to lie to the public, but there is power to truth.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The Kelly File on September 23 can be found below.

FNC’s The Kelly File
September 22, 2015
9:01 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Tonight; Reaction to Media Coverage of Pope Visit]

MEGYN KELLY: But even before the Pope speaks, the media declaring this visit, quote, “damaging for Republicans.” Politico says the visit brings, quote, “hope for Dems, trepidation for GOP.” Reuters predicting this, quote, “may deepen Republicans’ Hispanic problem.” CNN has been running the headline, quote, “The Pope versus the GOP.”

(....)

KELLY: So, there you have it, Howie. This is terrible development for Republicans. A wonderful one for Democrats. 

FNC’s MEDIABUZZ HOST HOWARD KURTZ: Well, some news outlets have been fair. New York Times today, “Pope’s visit could benefit both left and right,” but I confess the major theme of the coverage for weeks has been because this Pope speaks out against the excesses of capitalism and for helping the poor because he sounded a tolerant note on gays and because he issued a treatise on combating climate change in this is an awkward, very difficult headache for the GOP. What is far less emphasized is that this Pope and his church vehemently oppose abortion and his landing on a day – 

KELLY: Oh, they do? Oh.

KURTZ: Yes, that’s part of the story. 

KELLY: Oh, that’s –

KURTZ: He’s landing on day when Senate Democrats blocked a vote to outlaw late-term abortions that Francis and the Catholic Church oppose gay marriage, oppose contraception which, as you know, has been a subject of battles with the Obama administration. So it’s a problem for Democrats as well.

(....)

KELLY: Do you think there’s a reason why the media is trying to draw some sort – draw this as some sort of rift between the Republicans running for office – all of them and the Holy Father?

REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ (Tex.): Oh, of course there is. You know, it’s great to be with you, Megyn, you know, look. The mainstream media – they are not fair and impartial observers. They are partisans, they are Obama’s number one protectors and they’re rooting for Hillary and you know, Pope Francis has been an incredible voice for life. He’s been an incredible voice for marriage. He’s been an incredible voice for religious liberty and in all three of them, we are seeing an assault that is unprecedented in our history of our country. You know, the Democrats and the media don’t want to talk about the fact that today, Senate Democrats stood virtually united in support of late-term abortions. They don’t want to talk about these horrifying Planned Parenthood videos that show them selling the body parts of unborn children. They don’t want to talk about the assault on marriage that Pope Francis has stood up against and they certainly don’t address the continued assault on religious liberty.

(....)

KELLY: The same media in The New York Times, I’m going to give you the floor, but the same media – The New York Times, look at what they put up about Nancy Pelosi. On September 21, look at this: “In Pelosi, Strong Catholic Faith and Abortion Rights Coexist.” That's fine. You can co-exist if it's pro-choice, but when it comes to income equality or immigration, you need to avoid your photo ops with the Pope. 

CRUZ: Well, you know, the media, as I said, are partisans and they're trying to distract the public. They’re trying to lie to the public, but there is power to truth.


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