NBC's Today on Monday aired a sensationalistic report on the upcoming release of two books that are "exposing alleged corruption and infighting within the Catholic Church." Keir Simmons boosted a statement from one of the publishers involved, who claimed that "if the Vatican were a company they'd be in Chapter 11, and heads would be rolling from all the mistrust and financial abuses." Simmons also injected the political into his segment, underlining that "Pope Francis has introduced controversial changes opposed by some of the more conservative Church officials."
A group of purported Catholic professors wrote an open letter on October 26, 2015 to "the editor of the New York Times" decrying a October 18 op-ed item about the Catholic Church by a conservative writer Ross Douthat. The letter, which was initially signed by 25 academics from Georgetown University, Villanova University, and other schools (the list has grown in subsequent days), claimed that Douthat "has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject," and "his view...has very little to do with what Catholicism really is." The objectors concluded, "This is not what we expect of the New York Times."
For journalists, it was the best of popes and it was the worst of popes. News outlets were often negative when Pope Benedict visited the United States in 2008, calling him an “enforcer,” “God’s Rottweiler,” and “very conservative.”
Not so this time around for Pope Francis. The current pontiff shares the media’s views on climate change, immigration and inequality, and seems ambivalent at best about capitalism. Even better, his language on certain social issues has been less than precise, leading them to speculate that the Church might change its teaching on homosexuality, contraception and other near-and-dear lefty issues.
In short, the media suspects Francis is really one of them.
Liberal Esquire political columnist Charles Pierce, formerly with the Boston Globe, joined MSNBC’s All In on Thursday during live coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to New York City and used the occasion of the Pope’s speech hours earlier before Congress to lash out at Ted Cruz and conservatives for not endorsing climate change or other liberal social issues as does the Pontiff.
Joining Brian Williams for his second day back anchoring MSNBC’s coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States on Wednesday afternoon, Catholic and Hardball host Chris Matthews blasted Francis’s predecessor Pope Benedict XVI for being “so fragile and removed” and possessing a “weakness” and “coldness” that Francis does not have. The disgraced former NBC Nightly News anchor gushed over Matthews’s “patriotism” for the U.S. that’s “matched only by his exuberance.”
Thomas Roberts set aside four full segments on his MSNBC Live program on Monday and Tuesday to a panel of six Catholics who dissent from the Church's teachings on sexuality and abortion. Roberts hyped his guests as "Catholics like me who have been deeply wounded in life by the Church." He noted how a divorced woman stayed with the Church and asked, "Do you feel as if you're almost on a cyclical relationship with someone that is almost abusive to you, but that you still go back seeking acceptance?"
Left-wing academics Candida Moss and Joel Baden blasted conservative and traditionalist Catholics in a Sunday post on The Daily Beast website for their opposition to Pope Francis's change in tone on social issues. Moss and Baden made their loathing of orthodox believers clear by hyping how supposedly, "conservative Catholics have had their chastity belts in a twist over Francis and apparently, the chafing has finally grown too much to bear."
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.
Five years ago, Pope Benedict arrived in London to erupting controversy. Around 10,000 people took to the capital's streets for a rally against the Holy Father's “intolerance,” and as the Guardian reported, against “the child abuse scandal for which so many hold the pontiff personally responsible, for both accelerating it and then covering it up.”
The abuse in question centered for the most part on incidents that were 40 years old or more. So where are the media on the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham, England?
The nastiest corners of popular culture in Hollywood and Manhattan usually love nothing better than denying their filthiness by hectoring orthodox Christians for the sex scandals lurking behind their "judgmental" ways. But the last few weeks have shown that the current aura around Pope Francis, and the false hope that he'll "go native" with the permissive crowd, is exploited in a different way.
Rolling Stone put Pope Francis on the cover, which hardly puts a practicing Catholic's mind at ease. But perhaps it was only natural that this weed-and-leftist-screed magazine would try to absolve itself for its horrendous James Dean-like cover of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told."
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: