The US Council of Catholic Bishops spends beaucoup bucks on lobbying the Congress to role back American women's reproductive rights. But they get to lobby the American people for free as a result of their cozy relationship with Fox News which provides a platform for a Catholic Diocesan attorney and Fox host to articulate whatever it is the men in black want articulated. But given that Fox's Peter Johnson Jr. was "knighted" by the Catholic Church (as was Rupert Murdoch; albeit a different royal posse), it's only fair, I guess, that he's dancing with those who brung him. Monday morning, Peter Johnson Jr. and Steve Doocy continued Fox & Friends' ongoing Fox "sausage fest" in support of the bishops' position regarding the HHS birth control mandate. As usual it was a verbatim restatement of the bishop's talking points, including the lie that emergency contraception is abortion as well as - wait for it - the assertion that birth control kills babies. Seriously! With friends like Fox News, who needs lobbyists? Certainly, not the bishops!
As you know the Obama administration provided a way for the bishops to keep their hands clean (?!) regarding that "immoral" birth control that only dirty girls use. But the bishops won't be happy until they role back the birth control mandate in its entirety or get legislation that allows employers to deny health insurance coverage, for anything, based on religious views. On Monday's Fox & Friends, Catholic Peter Johnson Jr., who also does legal work for the NY Catholic Diocese (mentioned by him only once), made his seventh appearance, on Fox & Friends, on behalf of the bishops in yet another segment laughingly titled "Prescription for Truth." As with his other Fox & Friends segments, Johnson was mano-a-mano (although Steve Doocy's mano qualifications are a little weak!)
Good Catholic Steve Doocy spit out the news that "despite opposition from Catholic Bishops, the White House is standing by its compromise..." He did air quotes around "compromise." The answer, to his question of "are they just passing the buck," was predictable in Johnson's comment that it's a "bait and switch" - a phrase he used in his February 11th installment of Catholic Bishop talking points. He said that nothing has changed in the new policy because "abortion drugs" will continue to be covered. Once again, he's lying because apart from the Catholic Church, emergency contraception is not abortion inducing and actual abortion drugs aren't covered. Without noting that a bunch of Catholic organizations support the new policy, he said that priests and nuns are "conscientious objectors to the war on babies, on the unborn." Johnson's wingman Doocy said "sure."
He did the same old, same old blither about how this is unconsitutional which is kinda interesting in that Catholic SCOTUS Judge Scalia said that "we have never held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate." Doocy validated Johnson's contention that the church is still providing birth control. While Johnson didn't acknowledge that Sister Carol Keehan, the head of the Catholic Hospital Association supports the new policy, the Fox chyron noted that a "nun's media network" is "filing suit" about the contraceptive mandate. LOL - That's the Catholic EWTN, run by an elderly, cloistered nun, Mother Angelica. This is a proselytizing network run on donations that is entirely religious - and that means it's exempt! Johnson continued to ignore that fact that a number of Catholic universities cover contraception.
Johnson worked in a smear of the Obama administration in a comment that made all Catholics look united, he said that Catholics are saying that this is a matter of internal Church governance and "don't make this part of some petty, partisan, political give away in an election year." He claimed that political pandering, in the form of "giving way abortion drugs" is a "derogation of the Constitution." Doocy asserted that "it's not over." So in addition to the birth control mandate being a "war on Catholics," it's also a "war on babies?" Who knew? I guess every sperm is sacred!
And BTW, when I mentioned sausage, I was talking serious salami. Of the 11 pro-bishop segments (7 with Johnson, 1 with Fr. Morris, 1 with Stephen Baldwin, 2 interviews with bishops) done on Fox & Friends, only three had women present. Gretchen Carlson spoke with a bishop (as did Doocy) and Alysin Camerota was on the set when Fr. Morris whined about the contraception mandate and when Stephen Baldwin said something incoherent about it.