Steve Doocy usually has a vacuous grin on this face while he's promoting right wing propaganda. But today, he was uncharacteristically snarling as he got almost histrionic over the Obama HHS decision to give religious organizations an extra year to figure out how they will be able to comply with the HHS decision requiring them to provide free birth control to their employees - a victory for women's reproductive rights. This Fox enabled "outrage" against the Obama administration policy, as a way to foment anti-Obama sentiment in the Catholic electorate, began in November with the super Catholic Maltese Knight, Peter Johnson, Jr's. promotion of the talking points of his liege lords in the US Council of Catholic Bishops to his fellow Catholic, the head bobbing Steve Doocy. Yesterday, in his weekly sermonette, Foxpriest Fr. Jonathan Morris vehemently opined that the HHS policy is "offensive." And this morning, Doocy and Johnson were back to do some more pimping of the bishops positions - the womens' position not so much - in fact not at all as far as I can tell. As the "church lady" would say, "isn't that special."
As the Fox agitprop chyron framed the message with "Battle Over Faith, Opponents Say Rules Violate Religious Right," Steve Doocy reported on the decision and quoted "religious leaders" who "say it forces them to violate their conscience." He then tossed to Peter Johnson Jr., who along with being a Fox contributor, does legal work for the Catholic archdiocese of NY (no conflict here, no sireee) who spoke about how Obama met, "allegedly," with Fox fave cardinal designate (no, not the baseball team) Archbishop Dolan and told him that Catholic institutions must provide contraception, sterilization, and drugs that induce abortion. Doocy shook his head in amazement.One more time - the Catholic Church says that Plan B "induces abortion." It merely prevents implantation of a fertilized egg which, according to the medical community, isn't an abortion because pregnancy begins at implantation. If a there is a pregnancy, Plan B will not abort it.
Johnson mentioned that evangelicals and Orthodox Jews also object to the policy which they say is "a massive incursion into religious liberty." In a shot at Obama, the agitprop chyron read "Bending to the Base, Liberals and Women's Groups Please With Rule." (And George W Bush bent to the base when he tried to keep Plan B off the market!). Johnson repeated the Catholic view that these drugs will provide abortions. When Johnson said that the government is giving them a choice to follow the law or violate their conscience, Doocy nearly jumped out of his chair as he shouted "you can't do both." Johnson claimed that's a violation of the Constitution. The "Cavuto Marked" chyron reinforced the "question" of how this will impact Catholic votes (in the hope of doing just that): "Conflict With Catholics, Will Policies Hurt Obama in 2012?" Johnson reinforced the Fox message as he predicted that Catholics will ask why Obama is "picking on us."
Johnson and Doocy admitted that they are Catholics. (No conflict here, nosiree). Doocy said that he "has a problem with abortion" and asked if Obama is pandering to those who support Planned Parenthood and are going (he raised his arms) "yeah, good." Johnson opined that it's really not about abortion but about the Constitution. Doocy groaned when Johnson asked if the government should be telling a church what services it provides "in derogation of its faith."
Once again, no mention was made of how the Catholic Church can opt out of providing health benefits. No mention was made of how the Catholic Church position impacts non-Catholic employees. And what about the constitutionality of women, who work for large Catholic employers, having to pay for the birth control that is provided for free for those who aren't employed by the church. And about that religious liberty thing - should a Jehovah's Witness employer be able to deny coverage for their employee's drug transfusions or organ transplants? Or should a Muslim hospital be able to get a religious waiver to provide female circumcisions which are illegal in the US? And note to Steve Doocy - I have a problem with the biased presentation of an issue important to women - a presentation that is both a blatant pander to the Catholic bishops and a way to sow distrust of Obama among Catholics. And when I heard the HHS decision, I said "yeah" - cuz unlike you, I support women. Too bad Fox News doesn't.