Fury Spreads: Catholic Leaders Join MRC Outrage Over Network Silence on Catholics vs. Obama Lawsuit

May 23rd, 2012 12:13 PM

Nine prominent Catholic leaders have joined the Media Research Center to voice outrage over the broadcast networks deliberately withholding news of the momentous 43 Catholic entities suing the Obama administration for violating their religious freedoms. They represent major organizations including the Acton Institute, Cardinal Newman Society, SBA List and others. More are coming in every hour.

There are 60 million Catholics in the US.  The Catholic vote will be the most important swing vote this year.  So it’s not just a major policy issue, it is one with massive political implications.  Yet, 19 seconds of news coverage remains the only attention given by the evening broadcast networks. Two days after news broke, the tally is:

- ABC World News – ZERO seconds of coverage. But, last night there was time for a full report on sleep apnea and Katie Couric discussing how she met Queen Elizabeth; how she wore a peach coat and "a lovely peach hat."

- NBC Nightly News – ZERO seconds of coverage. But last night there was time to squeeze in a story on a new computer app that shows America's eating habits, "graphic evidence" of how we eat badly late at night. 

- CBS Evening News – a brief 19 seconds of coverage on the evening the lawsuit became public. ZERO coverage last night.  But there was time in the broadcast for a Cincinnati Reds baseball fan lucky enough to catch two home runs in left field. 

“The intentional, deafening silence continues,” stated Brent Bozell, MRC President, “and we are not the only ones concerned. This deliberate censorship must come to an end.”


“Beginning with the 367,000 people who protested Notre Dame's 2009 honoring of President Obama, Catholics across America have united to oppose unconstitutional threats to their rights of conscience and religious freedom.   Now in an unprecedented move, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, along with over 40 other catholic institutions, has sued the Obama administration.   And rather than covering what is perhaps the most significant lawsuit in the history of the US Catholic Church, the media have deliberately chosen to ignore the story outright. It is shameful and yet another example of why Americans are increasingly getting their news elsewhere.”

 Patrick Reilly
 President, Cardinal Newman Society

“The suit by the Catholic Bishops, and other catholic institutions, against the Obama administration is a courageous and bold move in defending the religious freedom of all citizens; especially women and the unborn.  As members of religious institutions and leaders in business, women must not be coerced to pay for insurance policies which violate their most deeply held religious convictions when it comes to the rights of the unborn.  As a result of not covering this lawsuit against the Administration, the media are deliberately choosing to side with the administration’s attack on religious liberty.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser
President, SBA List

“Any national media outlet that fails to report the obvious raping of our First Amendment rights by this Health and Human Service mandate, is trumpeting either woeful incompetence or shameless bias.  The Catholic Church didn't pick this fight, but it knew that if it didn't fight back now, every religion would eventually lose, and America would be fundamentally redefined.”

Father Jonathan Morris
Fox News Analyst
Program Director, The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio

"Catholics are united like never before in defending our religious liberty. Unfortunately, the media are silencing our voices through their lack of coverage.  They are deliberately choosing to ignore what is perhaps the most significant lawsuit ever filed by the Catholic Church in the history of this country."

Matt Smith
President, Catholic Advocate

“The elite media may attempt to ignore what is about to happen in our nation regarding religious freedom, but believers of all religious traditions, and even non-believers who are fair minded, are about to retrieve America’s rich and firm tradition of religious liberty, sending intolerant secularists into retreat. It’s about time.”

Fr. Robert Sirico
President, Acton Institute
Author of “In Defense of the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy

"The Obama Administration's assault on religious liberty has united the Catholic Church in a way no one thought possible.  Among those suing the Obama Administration Monday are some of the most prestigious Catholic institutions in America, with many more expected to follow.  These organizations are united in their demand that the government end its unprecedented assault on a once cherished core constitutional principle.  This issue and these lawsuits are historic. The media blackout on these lawsuits confirm the shameful prejudice that is growing against the Catholic Church in America."

Brian Burch
President, CatholicVote.org

“Religious liberty is a right we hold dear as Americans--and recent attacks on that right by the Obama Administration threaten not only Catholics, but everyone. For the sake of religious liberty, and for the lives of pre-born children, we support the courageous decision of 43 Catholic institutions to sue the current administration for the HHS mandate that would force them to purchase healthcare plans with contraceptives and abortifacients. Many of the major media outlets shocking non-coverage of such a historic news development is a wake up call to Americans to seek newsgroups that will not allow extreme pro-Obama bias to control their reporting.”

Lila Rose
President, Live Action

“The lawsuits by the University of Notre Dame and a broad range of other Catholic institutions against the Obama Administration are a major development in the important battle over religious freedom. They should be big news.”

Ed Whelan
Ethics and Public Policy Center

"On May 22, the New York Times did not run a front-page story on the 43 Catholic dioceses and institutions suing the Obama administration for violating the First Amendment; instead, a 459 word story was printed on p. 17. On the front page was a 4611 word piece slamming private Catholic and Protestant schools that qualified for a publicly funded scholarship program. And they have the audacity to ask for evidence of bias?"

Bill Donohue
The Catholic League

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Colleen Sullivan - csullivan@crcpublicrelations.com or Hayley McConnell -hmcconnell@crcpublicrelations.com or call (703) 683-5004.