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Fox Refers to Pope as "Honorary Republican"

Reported by Janie - April 16, 2008 -

Fox host Shepard Smith was given the pleasure of covering today's visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the White House, as well as both the Pope's and President Bush's speeches given during the event. Smith invited clergy members to act as pundits to discuss the event - as did many other news outlets this morning. However, Smith and Monsignor Jim Lisante used the event to refer to the Pope as an "honorary Republican" and lecture the Democrats on morality.

Smith immediately warped the point of the event, and turned the conversation to one of political ramifications, "There were some somewhat political moments in there, when he talked about the sanctity of life, that's certainly a political issue here, and I've heard this Pope described and read repeatedly in studying for these events as an honorary Republican. Is there politics intertwined here by design, or by happenstance?"

Rather than using the overplayed "some people say" that is a trademark of Fox, Smith retooled the phrase into "I've heard this Pope described and read repeatedly in studying these events." Typical of Fox anchors, Smith cited no sources but was able to interject today's obvious talking point into the minds of viewers - that the Pope and the Republican Party are closely aligned.

Lisante agreed with Smith's spin, and even took it a step further issuing a warning to and lecturing Democrats, "I think politics and morality go side-by-side. You can't miss one without the other, so Senator Obama or Hillary Clinton listen to speech, they have to know the Holy Father is saying, if you want this Catholic vote, which they certainly do, they better recognize that the sanctity of life is very important to us, and if you don't listen to that, if you're not willing to work with us, if you're not willing to dialogue with us, we aren't willing to take you seriously."

Lisante was voicing nothing more than his own opinion, and seems to hardly be in touch with his own flock. According to a poll researched during the 2004 Presidential Election, "three-quarters (74%) of Catholic voters DO NOT believe that Catholics have a religious obligation to vote against candidates who support legal abortion, even those who attend mass frequently (58%)."

Smith made certain the day's talking points were issued in typical Fox fashion, and was able to both lecture Democrats on morality while usurping the Catholic religion and intertwining it with the Republican party.