CBS, USA Today, and the Associated Press all sang from the same sheet of music on Saturday, as they covered the end of the Catholic bishops' Extraordinary Synod on the Family. On CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod played up a supposed "deep split over the direction Pope Francis wants to take the Church," after the Church's leaders rejected controversial language about homosexuals and divorced Catholics in an earlier draft report. Axelrod also underlined that the bishops "considered language in [the] document...that would welcome gays."
While the cultural commissars keep throwing praise and awards at raunchy shows on trendy Internet streaming channels, CBS has a series of highly-rated traditional police or military shows that get no attention or respect. “NCIS” keeps spinning off shows – this year in New Orleans – and “Blue Bloods” is a consistent Top 20 performer despite airing on Friday night. You won’t see its star Tom Selleck at Emmy awards time.
“Blue Bloods” deals with an Irish-Catholic family of cops, headed by New York police commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Selleck. But CBS just had to insist the Catholics are hopelessly "behind the times" in viewing homosexuality as a sin.
The CBS This Morning anchors stayed true to their reputation of playing softball with liberal guests, while badgering conservative/traditional ones with their Wednesday interview of Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Norah O'Donnell raised the much-hyped midterm report from the bishops' synod underway at the Vatican, and wondered, "How groundbreaking is it for the Catholic Church to raise even that question about whether the Catholic Church should welcome gay people?"
NPR talk show host Diane Rehm devoted an hour Monday to the synod on the family in the Catholic Church. Her three guests were all progressives. Rehm and fellow public-radio host Sister Maureen Fiedler (a radical leftist) both turned to mocking Republican politicians with multiple marriages, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani.
They did not bring up the case of former congressman Joseph Kennedy, since the Kennedys are NPR's kind of Catholics.
On Tuesday morning, Catholic author George Weigel took to National Review Online to describe “The Great Catholic Cave-In That Wasn’t.” Weigel slammed a Monday article in The New York Times headlined “Vatican Signals More Tolerance Toward Gays and Remarriage” as the latest in a long series of biased articles awaiting the Catholic Church’s surrender to the liberal, modernist Times zeitgeist.
Weigel asked: Why would the Catholic Church please the papers and "emulate the pattern of the dying communities of liberal Protestantism?"
While many reporters are giddy as schoolgirls over a document released by the Vatican regarding how to appropriately welcome homosexuals in the life of the Catholic Church, Time magazine religion reporter Elizabeth Dias has a good word of rebuke for her colleagues. "Looking for revolution can be misleading. It can mar the actual story of what is and what is not happening," Dias concludes.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli promoted the cause of dissenters inside the Catholic Church on Sunday's Weekend Edition, as she covered the beginning of special meeting of bishops at the Vatican. She featured seven soundbites from four such dissenters (and didn't identify three of them as such), and none from orthodox Catholics.
The correspondent also played up the "vehement response" from five cardinals to "the Pope's favorite theologian" over his proposal to loosen the Church's discipline regarding divorced Catholics.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The gay-obsessed New York Times is letting a gay columnist whack away at the Catholic church as having a “gay obsession.” No one obsesses about the gays as much as the gays, but you are only allowed to be “obsessed” if it’s relentlessly, propagandistically positive.
Openly gay columnist Frank Bruni calls it “persecution” for Catholic schools to dismiss employees who flagrantly, publicly dissent from church teaching by getting married to a person of the same sex (currently dramatized by Hollywood in “Love Is Strange”). Bizarrely in contradiction of the facts, Bruni says this political activity is not political and that the activists are not “calling any special attention to themselves.”
The New York Times has a story today about the Diocese of Harrisburg's decision to ban high school boys from competing against girls in school wrestling. This is the second day in a row that the Times has covered this story, and there is nothing new of any substance in today's piece.
Today's news story on the Pennsylvania Catholic high school wrestling policy merited 978 words. By contrast, today's New York Times ran a story on Oslo withdrawing from a bid to host the 2022 winter Olympics that totaled 406 words. A story on Derek Jeter starting his own web forum was a mere 599 words.
NPR's Jason Beaubien spotlighted a woman's "nightmare with El Salvador's abortion law" on Monday's All Things Considered. Beaubien zeroed in on the case of Christina Quintanilla, who served four years of a thirty-year prison sentence, after a dubious conviction for the death of her unborn child. He also cited unnamed "activists who are pushing to liberalize El Salvador's abortion law [who] argue that the total ban is unjust because it only applies to the poor."
Mark Litke hyped the "population explosion – what some are calling a crisis" in the Philippines on Sunday's PBS NewsHour Weekend, and played up how poor "families in Asia's most Catholic country...have had little or no access to contraception or family planning advice." Litke confronted a retired Catholic archbishop on his Church's teaching against birth control: "If the people of the Philippines are in support of...contraception...why would the Church oppose any of that?"
The former ABC correspondent later lamented how the Supreme Court of the Philippines protected the religious liberties of Catholic institutions in the country as it upheld a "new reproductive health care law" that subsidizes birth control: [video below the jump]
On Thursday, the al Qaeda spinoff group the Islamic State seized numerous towns in northern Iraq that are home to much of the country’s minority Christian population, sending tens of thousands of them fleeing further into the Kurdish-dominated region to avoid the unforgiving and deadly extremist group. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their Thursday morning news shows, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC provided their viewers with information on this story.
Meanwhile, CNN and its morning show, New Day, did cover the story with not one but two stories during its three-hour show. First, it aired a full, 3-minute-and-1-second report from CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson at the top of the 6:30 a.m. half hour and then a 21-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]