Fox News is facing quite the conundrum when it comes to covering Pope Francis. While Fox was in lockstep with past conservative popes, it isn't quite sure about the positions of the present Pope whose teachings don't fit the orthodoxy of the Christian right. The Pope's call for "redistribution" of wealth, an idea anathema to Christian capitalists, was met with a scolding from Sean Hannity. Official Foxpriest, Fr. Jonathan Morris was brought in to explain to Fox Christians that the Pope wasn't really talking about nasty welfare for the takers. But now that the Pope will be issuing an encyclical on climate change, which, in Fox world, is a myth, Fox isn't really sure about how to handle it; although Tuesday's coverage might indicate the direction in which it's heading.
On Bret Baier's allegedly "fair & balanced" news show, Fox news tool, Ed Henry, set the tone with his opening statement about how the new boss, Pope Francis, isn't the same as the old boss. He added that the Pope's focus for the new year will be on climate change. He tossed to reporter Doug McElway, a big Fox "death panel" guy, whose "gross insubordination and misconduct," over his coverage of the President, got him fired from his last job. Oh, yeah, and he once threatened to punch a blogger in the face.
McElway began his backstory with the comment that the pope "is no stranger to argument and now he has a big one on his hands while he is preparing an encyclical...that calls on Catholics to fight change." McElway informed us that this is "already proving deeply divisive." Two men spoke. One, a representative from a Catholic climate change group, supported the Pope. Former advisor to climate denialist Sen. Jim Inhofe, Marc Morano, who was named "climate change misinformer of the year" by Media Matters, disagreed with the Pope. Not suprisngly, Morano made the debunked claim, frequently advanced on Fox, that global warming isn't happening and that "the global warming argument has weakened and to know have the Pope jump on that bandwagon would sew confusion among Catholics."
McElway continued to frame the narrative of a controversial Pope: "The climate encyclical is only latest of the Pope's controversies." He listed some of these "controversies" which are only controversial in the Fox/right wing: Pope Francis' role in "brokering this contentious Cuba reset," his "calling for moderation in the Church's divorce and of gays" (whom we all know are going straight to hell), his "attack" on "the cult of money and unchecked capitalism." (big on Fox News)
McElway cited Cardinal Raymond Burke, a hardline right wing prelate who was recently demoted by the Pope. He quoted Burke's comment that the Catholic Church, under Pope Francis, "is like a ship without a rudder." He also quoted retired cardinal Francis George who asked if the Pope "does not realize the repercussions." McElway didn't provide context here; but George was talking about the Pope's "who am I to judge" comment when asked about gay relationships.
After a Catholic theologian said that the Pope was winning the arguments, McElway wrapped it up with a nice propaganda bow: "If the Pope goes through with this encyclical, he'll be aligning himself with some Church enemies, a few environmentalist extremists [actually 97% of climate scientists] who favor wide-spread population control, and [OMG] wealth redistribution, an alignment that may test the faith of some Catholics."
Was that fair & balanced or what? While there are lots of clergy who support the Pope, McElway didn't mention them. But notice how Doug saved his best agitprop for last when he suggests that the Marxist pope isn't doing what Fox and its right wing paymasters want it do. Gotta love the subtlety there.
And where, pray tell did Doug get his scary information about how the Pope might be palling around with "extremists?" It seems that he just might have culled them from an editorial in the right wing Investor's Business Daily which actually claims that the Vatican is being infiltrated by radical, "pagan" environmentalists.
Is the Pope Catholic? I guess for Fox News, not necessarily so!
I find it encouraging to report that the Vatican newspaper “Avvenire” has strongly defended the Pope. Interesting times ahead, indeed. Must buy more popcorn.
Happy New Year to all.
Obviously, within the Diocese of Fux Noise, the Pope is infallible only when he spews out right-wing talking points.
The way FoxNoise is attacking Pope Francis’s authority here, you’d think that someone at the network wants to overthrow the Pope and set himself up as Pope. (It’s kind of funny. Not so long ago, when liberal American Catholics were criticizing Popes John Paul II and Benedict over their intransigence on bringing the Church into the 21st Century, FoxNoise was right there lambasting these “radicals” for their audacity in criticizing the Papal authority and supported the idea that the Pope should just ignore the “liberals.” Now, when there’s a Pope who more closely embodies Jesus’s teachings—as reported in the Gospels—FoxNoise is at the forefront of criticizing the Pope.)