Unlike the liberal biological son of President Reagan, Ron Reagan Jr., Michael Reagan shares no DNA with the former president. But as his adopted son, Michael has taken on the mantle of his father in order to promote views that make his conservative father look downright moderate. Thus, not surprisingly, he is a frequent guest on the Fox News channel where he is allowed a full platform for his extremist and frequently incoherent positions. Given that the Catholic Church's opposition to the HHS contraceptive mandate dovetails nicely with the position of the hard right GOP, it's not surprising to see Reagan weigh in on the issue. Yesterday, on the alleged Fox "news" program, "America Live," Reagan was allowed to offer his usual brand of right wing blather not only as a conservative but as a Catholic which is rather interesting seeing that Reagan once called for the murder of an anti-war activist and the killing of Muslim women and their babies. Go figure!
Filling in for Megyn Kelly was fellow blonde Shannon Bream whose support for the Catholic Church includes a "news" piece, earlier this year, about what was framed as an anti-Catholic article in the Huffington Post. Bream's visual made it look like the article appeared on the main page when it was on the comedy section because it was satire. More fair & balanced Fox News but I digress. Yesterday, she began her piece with a Catholic video, noting that it "put an exclamation point on a massive federal lawsuit filed by dozens of Catholic organizations against the health care law." After quoting NY Cardinal and Fox fave, Cardinal Dolan who says that the White House is "treading dangerous grounds with contraceptive mandates that are strangling the church," she played video of his commentary. The chyron reinforced the message: "Cardinal Dolan, the White House is Strangling the Church with Mandates."
The usually robotic Bream exuded some enthusiasm in welcoming Michael Reagan. She wanted to know if the administration "underestimated the response they would get." Reagan claimed that the HHS mandate was all about getting women to vote for Obama. He then asserted that "most" Catholic organizations have come out against Barack Obama and "filed this great lawsuit." (Uh, it was one college, Notre Dame, and 41 other Catholic institutions - hardly "most") Reagan frothed that Obama is now fighting the Catholic Church and "doesn't know how to get out from underneath it and that's good." To Bream's question about whether the "exceptions" to the mandate "settle the issue," Catholic role model and divorced/remarried Reagan said it didn't settle it for him or the Catholic Church. He stated that "as a Catholic, it's nice to have one constant out there" because with Catholicism "you know where they stand" (the Middle Ages?) and they "won't move." He said that those Catholics who disagree can join Protestant churches and predicted that this issue will consume the Obama campaign while the Republicans focus on economic issues. The rest of the segment consisted of Reagan bashing Obama and declaring that he would debate him at any time. (As if!)
Official Fox "news" person, Shannon Bream didn't mention the failure of similar lawsuits filed by the Catholic Church against state birth control mandates. She didn't mention that, in addition to a Catholic nun who is head of a Catholic hospital association, mainline Protestant and Jewish groups have no problem with the policy. She could have mentioned that, according to a writer from the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal, First Amendment suits such as this one "face a slim chance of success" based on a 1999 SCOTUS decision that established that "groups cannot cite their religion as an excuse to disregard generally applicable laws." But what use are facts when Reagan's good son can be used to advance the propaganda on the ever "fair & balanced" Fox "News."