Larry King Deferential to Sinead O'Connor, Tough on Carrie Prejean

March 31st, 2010 4:45 PM
Larry King, CNN Host; & Sinead O'Connor, Irish Singer | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Larry King, moderating a panel discussing the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal on his program on Tuesday, tossed softballs at noted anti-Catholic Sinead O'Connor, who recently pushed for Catholics to stop attending Mass. By contrast, King hostilely interrogated former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean in November 2009, to the point where she almost walked out of the interview.

The CNN host spent the second half of his 9 pm Eastern  program to the Church scandal, bringing on Sinead O'Connor, two Catholic priests, the Catholic League's Bill Donahue, and former CNN anchor Thomas Roberts, a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager. After introducing his guests, King first turned to O'Connor and asked her about the previous segment, where he had interviewed two alleged victims of Father Lawrence Murphy, who was accused of molesting up to 200 deaf boys: "Did you hear the earlier guests talk about this, and what did you think about what they said?" Later, the anchor asked the Irish musician, "What do you think His Holiness [Pope Benedict XVI] should do?"

King would go on to give a false impression of O'Connor. He asked Roberts, "What do you make of all this? The Pope- do you go that high? You're a victim. You're the only victim here." The former CNN anchor tried to interject about O'Connor, and King replied, "Sinead is too- I'm sorry." That might lead one to believe that she was abused by a Catholic priest, but in her earlier interview with Anderson Cooper on Friday night, she flatly denied that this was the case: "I am a survivor of child abuse myself, not by clergy."

The host would go on to ask O'Connor two more questions. He again asked her about the Pope: "Sinead, what responsibility does the Pope have in this, do you believe?" Near the end of the program, King asked a final softball question: "Sinead, are you optimistic?"

On November 11, 2009, Carrie Prejean faced a much more hostile interview from the CNN personality, who, as the Culture and Media Institute's Colleen Raezler pointed out, is "notorious for his softball celebrity interviews." King twice asked her about a sex video she taped for her boyfriend when she was still a teenager, and repeatedly pressed her about her settlement with Donald Trump's Miss Universe organization, despite her insistence that it was a confidential matter. He also blindsided her by taking a call from a viewer who asked Prejean about her opposition to same-sex "marriage."