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Fox & Friends' Guest, Catholic Archbishop Dolan, Doesn't Deliver The "Red Meat" On No 9-11 Clergy "Outrage"

Reported by Priscilla - September 9, 2011 -

As the mouthpiece for the Christian right, Fox "News" has been ceaselessly flogging the right wing Christian outrage about how Mayor Bloomberg is continuing the tradition of not inviting clergy to the 9-11 anniversary commemoration. Fox's only official religious correspondent clergyperson, Catholic Father Jonathan Morris, in keeping with the message of his paymasters, expressed his strong opposition to the Mayor's program. Bill Donohue (not an official Catholic spokesperson), head of the right wing "Catholic League," loudly spluttered his protestation. So when Fox's Alysin Camerota began her interview with the NY Catholic Archbishop, I thought "oh here we go again." I was pleasantly surprised when what I thought would transpire, didn't come to pass; although the agitprop chyrons presented some cognitive dissonance in that they contradicted the tenor of the discussion. The Fox & Friends audience didn't get their usual cup of morning histrionic hatred. They must be rather confused. Oh, well....

Alysin Camerota provided some background without the usual editorial comments, verbal histrionics, and sneers that accompany reporting by the usual Christian curvy couch crew. She introduced NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan. But no Fox segment would be complete without the perfunctory whine about how Muslims get special treatment. Thus, as Dolan spoke, the Fox chyron was "Living on a Prayer, But Bloomberg Defends WTC Mosque and Atheists." (Reality Check - Bloomberg, appropriately, defended the right of a religious group, in this case Muslims, to build their cultural center after the zoning was cleared. He defended the *right of the atheists to file a lawsuit regarding the "Ground Zero Mosque." There is no right to public prayer.) Dolan said that he didn't take offense when Bloomberg, a man whom Dolan described as being very open to the NY faith community, told him that there would be no official clergy presence at the ceremony because of the nature of the program and time constraints. The chyron, however, told a different story: "Problem With Prayer, Clergy Left Out of 9-11 Ceremony." Alyson Camerota, whose presentation was far more professional than that of others on Fox & Friends, did tow the party line with a comment about how 10 years ago, people prayed. While Dolan spoke about how after 9-11, NY'ers turned to helping each other rather than immersing themselves in fear and paranoia, Fox reinforced their message: "Invite List Sparks Outrages, Exclusion of Clergy at 9-11 Commemoration." As Dolan spoke about how there will be religious observances across the city, the chyron read "Problem With Prayer, Clergy Left Out of 9-11 Ceremony." Dolan said that he thinks that "faith and religion is being represented in the wider celebrations in NY."

Comment: Thank the goddess that finally, at last, Fox & Friends has conducted a rational, professional, objective, unemotional interview with somebody who had a rational, professional, and unemotional perspective on what Fox "News" has been promoting as the worst offense to religion since Christians vs Lions and I don't mean the sports team in Detroit! Given that Fox and the Catholic Church seem to have a cozy relationship, I expected the Bishop to reinforce the faux, Fox "outrage." He didn't. Rather, he spoke calmly of the greater meaning of 9-11. Compared to past segments, both he and Camerota were class acts. But it is ironic that while NY'ers, after 9-11, didn't turn to fear and paranoia, Fox News, as seen by the messaging chyrons for this segment, presents it on an ongoing basis.

*Bloomberg does not agree with the atheists lawsuit. However, he defends their right to sue. He said this: "A lot of people looked to religion for strength after the attack.My personal opinion is always been you shouldn't tell people what religion to practice or whether to practice a religion but you shouldn't also prevent people from practicing a religion they want in any ways they want."


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