According to the head honchos at Fox News, Bret Baier's evening show is the flagship for Fox's alleged "Fair & Balanced" news programming - as opposed to the clearly conservative partisanship shown on the "opinion" shows such as Fox & Friends, Hannity, and O'Reilly. Last Monday, however, Baier provided a report on the Catholic lawsuits against the HHS mandate that would seem to contradict the fairness and balance that are touted on the logo for the Fox News channel. But given that Fox "News," seems to have become the media mouthpiece of the US Conference of Catholic bishops, headed by Fox fave Cardinal Timothy Dolan whose antipathy toward the president dovetails nicely with that of the GOP, it's not surprising that the blatant bias that is such a part of Fox "opinion" programming would spill over into Fox "news" which is supposed to be "fair & balanced." Go figure!
Monday night, the agitprop "news" ball started rolling on the official Fox News program, "Special Report," hosted by Bret Baier, a man whose "deep abiding faith" Catholic faith earned him a fundraising speaker slot at an Indiana Catholic school whose headmaster is connected to the Tea Party. After citing the "dozens" of lawsuits, alleging violation of - one guess as to the next two words - "religious freedom" had been filed against the Obama administration by Catholic entities, he tossed to Jim Angle for an in-depth report. Angle wasted no time in commenting about how the lawsuits were based on what is defined as - wait for it - "religious freedom" and objections to the bogus charge that the law will cover abortion drugs. Lawrence Morris, from Catholic University, spoke about - what, what, - "religious liberty." John Goodman, who played a role in the defeat of Bill Clinton's health care plan, criticized the mandate. Angle explained how the Catholic Church is objecting to the narrowness of the "exemptions" to the policy.
Jane Belford, spokesperson for the Diocese of Washington DC, which is part of the lawsuits, reinforced the exemption complaint which was further reinforced by Angle who noted that the archdiocese serves everybody regardless of faith. That the policy would affect non-Catholic as well as Catholic female employees who use birth control (lots) was not noted. Angle interjected the money quote for the piece: "When it first issued the ruling, the Obama administration sought to turn the uproar over a fight on contraception which Catholic organizations vigorously dispute." Angle also didn't mention that the "compromise" on the mandate was in response to the Church's collective hissy fit. To his comment about the "uproar" over contraception, video of Belford, saying that "it's not about contraception" was shown. Not mentioned is that women's rights groups dispute the church's talking point and assert that, yes, it's all about birth control. Angle played video of the aforementioned Goodman who said that birth control is widely and cheaply available. That there are laws which allow Catholic pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions was not mentioned. Angle summarized that according to the Church, "it's about" - one more time with vigor - "religious freedom and government compulsion." He added that the uber traditionalist Catholic Ave Maria University is dropping health coverage over costs and concern that they would be "forced to cover abortion inducing drugs."
If Fox viewers are misinformed this is a classic example of why this happens. There was no mention of unsuccessful lawsuits filed by the church against state birth control mandates or that the mainstream Protestant and Jewish faiths have no problem with it. Nothing was said about how Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic health association, is on board with the HHS "compromise" language. And of course, nobody said bupkis about women's rights to equal treatment under the law. - position articulated by a guest on an actual "fair & balanced" MSNBC news show. And like Fox's Maltese Knight, Peter Johnson Jr, Angle advanced the bogus bullshit misinformation about how the HHS mandate covers abortion drugs.
Fox News - Fair & Balanced as always!