It’s been a full week since the state of New York legalized late-term abortions, yet none of the major national TV networks has bothered to mention the story. This deafening silence is in stark contrast to the alarmist coverage seen when a state passes legislation that the media see as curtailing “abortion rights.”
The editorial in today's New York Times, "Victims of Priests' Abuse Face a Choice," must be challenged on several counts. Its principal focus is the new initiative by the Archdiocese of New York, the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. This program is designed to deal fairly with claims of clergy sexual abuse.
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?"
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.
Monday's CBS Evening News offered the usual biased coverage of religion, and specifically, the Catholic Church, as it reported on Pope Francis' widely misrepresented remarks on homosexuals. Dean Reynolds' only talking head was a former priest who apparently "quit the priesthood...after he felt the Church intended to purge gays", and even wondered if the Pope was throwing out Catholic teaching: "Do you think he's breaking with the Vatican?"
Reynolds also hyped that the Roman pontiff offered a "potentially controversial position" with his recent remarks, when in reality, they are consistent with what the Catechism of the Catholic Church outlines. [audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS wasted little time to play up newly-elected Pope Francis' "conservative" views on issues like abortion, same-sex "marriage", and birth control. On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell underlined how the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was "described as a staunch conservative". Mark Phillips also used the "conservative" label, and pointed out how the Pope's doctrinal stand has "not made him popular with relatively progressive Jesuit brothers."
Charlie Rose also pressed New York City Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan during the morning newscast about "doctrinal changes on ordination of women, on celibacy, on divorce." When Dolan emphasized that "doctrine can't change," Rose interjected, "But how do you respond to the fact that this really is the century of women?"
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal had fun with liberal journalists calling for a female pope in his Best of the Web Today column on Tuesday. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote a piece for the Sunday paper insisting: "It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff."
Dionne acknowledged that "this hope of mine is the longest of long shots," but Taranto added "if he were Catholic he would know that a female holy father isn't just a long shot, it's a contradiction in terms. Dionne wants a mome, not a pope."
In her October 9 column “Ryan v. Biden: the Catholic ‘Thrilla in Manila,’” Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger made a common journalistic error when discussing the Catholic Church, introducing a false dichotomy between “liberal” Catholicism’s emphasis on social issues and “conservative” Catholicism’s emphasis on pro-life issues. Predictably, she came down hard on “conservative” Catholics and “Fox News bishops” for “unwittingly whittling away at their own influence with the increasingly secular Democratic party.” (And, needless to say, that’s the only influence that matters at The Washington Post.)
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
CNN foolishly asked if the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was playing politics by giving the benediction at the Republican National Convention, leaving out that the same Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently invited President Obama, along with Mitt Romney, to a high-profile Catholic event, the Al Smith dinner.
"Is this a big play to help shore up Paul Ryan's Catholic base?" anchor Don Lemon asked of the RNC benediction. "How does Dolan help Mitt Romney win Catholics?" inquired OutFront host Erin Burnett.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts have all but punted so far on the 12 lawsuits filed on Monday against the Obama administration, challenging the abortifacient/birth control mandate which is part of ObamaCare. However, CBS actually followed up on their exclusive interview of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan on the regulation on Tuesday's CBS This Morning.
Correspondent Norah O'Donnell confronted Press Secretary Jay Carney during the Tuesday White House press briefing over Dolan's sharp critique of the mandate on the morning newscast: "He [Dolan] said that it's a 'strait-jacketing' and 'handcuffing exemption.'...Is that what the President is doing...strait-jacketing and hand-cuffing religious institutions?" O'Donnell's question didn't make it on the air on Tuesday's CBS Evening News or Wednesday's CBS This Morning, even after Carney evaded directly answering her question.
ABC on Monday and Tuesday completely ignored 12 major lawsuits filed by Catholic groups over the Obama-imposed birth control mandate. NBC allowed a mere 20 seconds to the topic.
CBS This Morning, however, was the only show on the networks to devote a full report to the lawsuits. Co-host Charlie Rose allowed Cardinal Timothy Dolan to make his case that the mandate limits religious liberty. Rose wondered, "What is it you want the administration to do?" However, co-host Erica Hill pushed the responsibility on Catholics: "So, have you reached out specifically to President Obama to again plead your case and say, here's where my problem is?"