Updated with new statements | Fury over the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts’ continued refusal to report the lawsuits Catholic entities have filed against the Obama administration has spread beyond the Media Research Center watchdog group and Catholic leaders to 11 additional Christian leaders equally concerned about this decision to deliberately not report national news. Below are statements released by FRC’s Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer of American Values and nine more leaders.
For the third night in a row the broadcast networks have refused to cover this correctly. This momentum is fueled by CBS Evening News’ outrageous decision not only to spike the Catholic lawsuits but instead to lead the news with yet another story about the Catholic sex abuse scandal. The broadcast devoted two minutes and 31 seconds to the accused abusers and allegations that occurred decades ago. That’s roughly eight times more coverage than CBS Evening News gave the historic lawsuit on Monday.
“Those fleeting 19 seconds remain the only evening news coverage of the damning anti-Obama lawsuit in 72 hours since the unprecedented suing by one of the largest institutions in the country,” stated Media Research Center President Brent Bozell. “Make no mistake – CBS intentionally resurrected the decade-old scandal last night while ignoring the lawsuit to throw salt on the wound of America’s 60 million Catholics. The media are holding this historic news hostage from the American people. At least CBS has heard of the word 'Catholic.' ABC and NBC are behaving like the Catholic Church -- and one out of every four Americans -- don’t exist.”
"This week Catholic leaders filed lawsuits responding to an unprecedented federal government intrusion into the church. Several major netwrks have chosen to ignore the stand that these Catholic organizations have taken in defense of our most fundament freedom. However, thousands of priests, pastors, and rabbis will continue to speak out and refuse to surrender their most fundamental right to live and exercise faith without compromise. The church will not allow itself to be conscripted to advance anyone's liberal political agenda."
President, Family Research Council
"It is a shame (though hardly surprising) that the mainstream media have virtually ignored the lawsuit by the Catholic bishops and other Catholic institutions against the Obama administration’s unconstitutional assault on religious liberty. With its attempt to force Catholic institutions to purchase healthcare plans with contraceptives and abortifacients, the administration has revealed how willing it is to trample constitutional rights. By ignoring this story, the media’s liberal bias has never been clearer."
Gary L. Bauer
Former Presidential Candidate
President American Values
Chairman the Campaign for Working Families
"The media have been irresponsible in ignoring growing problems with President Obama's healthcare law. The violations of First Amendment Rights of Conscience has been an AUL concern throughout this process, and the lack of coverage of this unprecedented intrusion into the life of faith should not be ignored. If any Administration is permitted to force Americans to act against their consciences as a matter of policy, it will change the very fabric of the American way of life. The very real concerns expressed in the Catholic lawsuits should be a major media focus, particularly in this election season."
Dr. Charmaine Yoest
President and CEO of Americans United for Life
"Once again, the mainstream media ignore the news. Now that the Catholic bishops have stood tall, it's the media that fell down and abased themselves before Obama's throne. Obama has declared war on truth, conscience, and the religious liberties that have defined America. If Judeo-Christian values ever had a Valley Forge, the legal action against the HHS mandate is that moment."
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition
President, Traditional Values Coalition
"The controversy over the HHS mandate is not just a Catholic issue, but one that affects people of all faiths, including our Christian schools, as it is a direct attack on the religious liberty that is a vital part of the foundation of our country. Despite the media’s deafening silence on the tremendous outcry over this issue, people of faith will not stand idly by while our religious freedoms are stripped away."
Dr. Keith Wiebe
President. American Association of Christian Schools
“The lack of media attention regarding the 12 law suits that over 40 organizations have filed against the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate is disappointing and yet predictable. The Obama Administration’s assault on religious liberty is not new, but the President has become more bold with every attack, likely because the main stream media has erected a shield of silence to protect him from public scrutiny. Undermining the conscience rights of individuals by requiring people of faith to directly pay for abortion-inducing drugs, despite their religious convictions, Obama has ignited a firestorm among millions of Americans who understand the threats Obama’s mandates pose to our freedom.”
Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Dean and Professor, Liberty University School of Law
Director, Liberty Center for Law and Policy
“The simultaneous filing of more than 40 lawsuits by Catholic institutions against Obama's mandate to suppress religious liberty is one of the biggest news stories of the year. An even bigger news story is that the mainstream media tried to suppress it.”
Founder and President, Eagle Forum
“With the failure to properly address, or even address at all, the most astounding, massive lawsuit ever filed by religious institutions, the mainstream media has removed any doubt regarding their sold-out allegiance to the party of the Democrats. The mainstream media’s intentional and flagrant disregard of the most monumental legal defense in American history by a religious institution, the Catholic Church, against an overreaching, religious-freedom-usurpation by any U.S. administration shows two things. First, it shows a blind allegiance by the mainstream media to the party and causes of the Democrats that far exceeds adherence to anything remotely resembling journalistic integrity. Second, it shows a disdain, disregard and dismissive attitude of decision makers in the mainstream media toward organized Christian religion. It is indeed a sad time in America for those who admired true journalistic integrity.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R- 1st District of Texas)
“The Obama Administration’s unprecedented attack on freedom has been met appropriately with an unprecedented response. The mass challenge to the unconstitutional Obama Care mandate filed by Catholic groups this week was the latest in a long list of challenges from faith groups across the country and across the spectrum. These groups – evangelical, Protestant and Catholic – are all united by one purpose: to stop Washington politicians and bureaucrats from punishing people of faith for living according to their convictions. The mainstream media’s resistance to giving these latest lawsuits the proper level and depth of coverage is disappointing, but unfortunately, not surprising. What’s worse is the media’s pervasive and seemingly purposeful distortion of the issue. These suits are not about Catholics and contraception; they are about securing our fundamental freedom, as the legal complaints make abundantly and emphatically clear. It’s time for the media to live up to its responsibility to provide the American people a full, true, and accurate account of what’s at stake in this battle.”
Gregory Baylor, ADF Senior Counsel
“The freedom of religious expression is so foundational to our country our founders wrote it into the first amendment to our Constitution. It is unfortunate the news media don’t seem to recognize the importance of the Catholic Church’s lawsuit as a principled defense of that freedom for people of all religious convictions. Even if you’re generally in favor of government-funded health care, you should be able to understand – and journalists should see the need to report on -- the grave implications of forcing religious institutions and individuals to violate their rights of conscience by forcing them to pay for abortions with their tax dollars, even indirectly through mandatory insurance policies.”
Focus on the Family
PS: Read more in Brent Bozell's column "Shameless Bias By Omission."