Column: The Journalistic Malpractice of Touting 'Devout' Biden

July 22nd, 2020 6:23 AM

Naivete can be defined as the notion that Joe Biden is going to be covered objectively, “without fear or favor.” After all this rampaging media activism against Donald Trump, now described as lagging in the polls by 15 points, surely the front-runner in this race is going to face some tough investigative journalism?

Instead, get a load of this badly disguised press release from the Associated Press, headlined “Biden’s bid touts faith, courts even religious conservatives.” Barack Obama was a great Christian, Hillary Clinton was a great Christian, and now it’s whitewash time for Biden.

Reporters Elena Schor and Jack Jenkins insisted “Joe Biden is a different kind of foe than Trump has faced before: one who makes faith a central part of his persona — often literally wearing it on his sleeve.” They played up Biden carrying a rosary that belonged to his late son Beau into a Democrat debate. You know a reporter is doing Biden’s bidding when they work in sympathetic mentions of deaths of Biden’s family members, for maximum emotional punch.

Deputy political director John McCarthy declared Biden’s identity as “a very devout Catholic and person of deep faith" is “baked into the core messaging and core functions of the campaign.”

This qualifies as free campaign advertising because no Catholic or conservative critics are allowed to say a word challenging Biden’s “devout” Catholicism. An objective reporter would see that objectively, Biden is at odds with his church on many issues.

There’s no mention of Biden currently supporting abortion on demand, including forcing devout Christians into funding it with their taxpayer dollars. Or that he’s been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, which shamelessly said they backed Biden because it was “literally a life and death election.”

There’s no mention of the Obama-Biden administration dragging Catholic nuns – the Little Sisters of the Poor – through the courts to force them to pay for contraceptive coverage in health plans for their employees. Suing the nuns doesn’t sound “devoutly Catholic.”

There’s no mention of Biden pressuring Obama into advocating for same-sex marriages, or that Biden presided over a gay wedding in 2016, drawing a rebuke from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

There are a few paragraphs – starting with paragraph 22 -- where religious conservatives explain their support for Trump, but there’s no space for criticizing the Democrat. This article is journalistic malpractice.

CNN reporter Sarah Mucha offered a similar report. She tweeted “As a publicly devout man of faith, Joe Biden is uniquely positioned to make inroads with white evangelicals, a demographic President Trump won easily in 2016.”

Her pro-Biden story began with Biden getting up at an evangelical church and saying "As we say in my church, ‘Bless me Father, I need some help.'" In reality, Catholics begin confession with a priest by saying “Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”

She also turned to Biden’s religious-outreach guy John McCarthy touting his candidate’s “faith and values narrative.” But CNN was better than AP, because eventually Mucha noted Biden was at odds with Catholic teaching on some issues, and she let a Catholic critic get a word in edgewise. Austin Ruse said Trump "has done more on the life issues than any president in our history. He more closely adheres to Catholic social teaching than Joe Biden."

It’s more than a little bizarre when secular liberal journalists who routinely insist on their beloved “separation of church and state” turn around and write gushy articles about “publicly devout man of faith” Joe Biden. That’s the tip that this is just passing off their badly disguised campaign pamphlets as “real news.”