The Washington Post offered a balance of experts in their story on the new apostolic exhortation published by Pope Francis -- including Ed Morrissey of Hot Air -- even as they were impressed at how Francis used “trickle-down” like a liberal Democrat. The “direct reference to 'trickle-down' economics in the English translation of his statement is striking,” confessed reporters Zachary Goldfarb and Michelle Boorstein.
But demonstrating the liberal media’s dual tendency to praise Francis and slam his predecessor Pope Benedict, Goldfarb and Boorstein uncorked a sentence that is factually false:
The Catholic Church in the United States has taken extraordinary steps in the last decade to stamp out any sexual abuse by clergy or other responsible adults at Catholic churches. The problem is becoming a rarity. But vicious homosexual activists take any Catholic opposition to their agenda and accuse every church official of either sexual abuse or complete tolerance of sexual abuse.
On Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, America’s leading basher of religion welcomed leftist sex columnist Dan Savage, who claims to be against bullying but often sounds like a bully. He unleashed a tirade against “Catholic f—ing bishops, priests, cardinals” that oppose gay marriage:
There may be no more misleading newspaper sentence in the Virginia governor’s race than this one from reporter Carol Morello in the October 26 Washington Post: “The two major-party candidates running for governor of Virginia are both practicing Catholics.”
The Post did not ask McAuliffe where near his home in Fairfax County he attends church every Sunday and holy day of obligation, which is part of the definition of a “practicing Catholic.” When radio show host Hugh Hewitt pressed him in 2007 about his church attendance after McAuliffe repeatedly cited his “Irish Catholic” bona fides in his autobiography “What a Party,” McAuliffe shot back “I don’t pretend to be a priest, and I don’t pretend to be citing…I don’t cite the Bible once in the book.”
Let’s look at the way the print media reacted to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis after their first six months as pontiff.
We looked at the editorials in 15 of the nation’s largest newspapers to see what they said about the current pope, and his predecessor, after their first six months in office (Pope Francis will celebrate his first six months on September 13).
No one likes to see his religion trashed, and from everything we have learned about [the PBS documentary] "The Life of Muhammad," Muslims have nothing to worry about. The New York Daily News says the film could be subtitled "Islam 101," boasting that "If it helps with greater understanding, it has done its job." A professor who appears in the series praises it for its "balance."
However, a look back at PBS' treatment of the Catholic Church yields few films that could reasonably be dubbed "Catholicism 101," or that could in any way be praised for promoting "greater understanding." In fact, most of the films were flagrantly imbalanced.
A federal judge has ruled that the creation of a cemetery trust fund in 2007 by then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee – the subject of a lot of hysterical coverage a month ago in the New York Times – was a completely legitimate and warranted financial transfer.
"Because these funds were held in trust as prescribed by canon law, they were independent of the general assets and could only be used for their intended and pledged purpose – to care for the resting places of the departed as sacred places under canon law," according to the judge's statement published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The media is imagining a whole new Pope that it can hug and squeeze and calls its own. In its narrative, Pope Francis is a liberal modernizer, and everything he does sweeps that caveman Pope Benedict under the rug. See AP's Vatican reporter Nicole Winfield at the end of the pope's trip to Brazil: "The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased."
Catholics see the two popes as very similar in doctrine, if not in personality. But Winfield is going looking for traditionalist Catholics who are wailing and gnashing their teeth in defeat, for Francis is supposedly driving out the "poisonously homophobic culture" that surrounded the "dusty, doctrinaire" realm of Benedict. So much for AP's policy discouraging the use of "homophobia" in news stories!
Pope Francis is learning the hard way about the media’s predilection for hearing – and reporting – only what they want. First, they twisted his unremarkable restatement of Catholic doctrine on homosexuality into headlines like “POPE OK WITH GAYS.”
Now, journalists are angry about Francis’ unremarkable restatement of Catholic doctrine refuting liberal calls for women priests, and ignoring what Francis had to say about the real importance of women to the faith and in the life of the Church.
Last year, Entertainment Weekly magazine honored the arrival of a viciously anti-Catholic tilt on the FX show “American Horror Story: Asylum,” promoting how actress “Jessica Lange returns, this time as a terrifying nun."
Bigotry sells – big – in Tinseltown. This year, after that “Asylum” season aired, Hollywood has honored the show again by showering it with 17 Emmy nominations. There’s a reason Hollywood revels in Catholic-bashing. The Catholic Church best represents for them an ancient organization with a creed which refuses to genuflect before the modern god of La La Land: untrammeled whims of lust and greed.
It wasn’t labeled “news analysis” or “commentary,” but AP reporters Gregory Katz and Angela Charlton began a story on England approving gay marriage by mocking the French.
“The French like to make fun of the British, joking about their repressed ways in matters of the heart,” wrote the AP duo. “But when it came time to debate same-sex marriage, it was France that betrayed a deeply conservative streak in sometimes violent protests — while the British showed themselves to be modern and tolerant.”
The New York Times may have rebuffed Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting with journalists about leak investigations, but they displayed how they really weren’t angry by burying an actual account of that meeting inside Friday’s paper, while the front page carried stories like “A New Step in Wrestling With the Bra.”
Perhaps the most surprising judgment of what was front page-worthy was an obituary for Father Andrew Greeley, as if he were the Cardinal of Chicago. The Washington Post summed him up well: “an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex.” He was also a liberal newspaper columnist. Greeley's “New Deal liberalism” equals newsworthy?
The 2012 annual report on priestly sexual abuse in the Catholic Church featured an audit done by StoneBridge Business Partners, and the data were gathered by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
The report on sexual abuse, part of an annual audit, is available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Apparently, almost no one has read it. Not a single secular newspaper in the United States reported on it.