Fox News is always on the cutting edge of right wing anti-Obama outrages, especially those that involve persecuted Christians. Yesterday, in following up on the Fox Nation article, Fox & Friends zeroed in on the latest "controversy" over the moving of the US embassy to the Vatican into the larger compound which houses the US Embassy to Italy.(Not, as headlined on right wing blogs, "closing the embassy.") While the move was done to save money and increase security, the same folks who bray about budget deficits and Benghazi security lapses, howled in indignation, claiming that this was clear evidence of our secret Muslim president's hatred of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular - and, of course, religious freedom. While the Vatican is cool with the move, some former Vatican ambassadors, conservatives all, are indignant. And who better to advance that bogus indignation than Fox & Friends.
The discussion, about whether this move will "hurt American relations with the Vatican," was between Fox's religion correspondent, Lauren Green and Fox reporter Kelly Wright who is also a Protestant Pastor who officiated at Megyn Kelly's second marriage. (Fr. Morris' wasn't available? Oh, right, this was a post-divorce second marriage!) After the patented Fox & Friends "Fight for Faith" visual was shown, Wright said that "we're talking about the fight for faith, the Obama administration to move the American embassy to the Holy See from it's Vatican facility to a compound shared by the US Embassy in Italy is drawing quite a bit of criticism as you can imagine." Pastor Wright lied. The current embassy is NOT at the Vatican which houses no foreign embassies because there is no room. Wright then straight for the propaganda message went straight for the "some say" propaganda message: "Some are calling [this move] a slap in the face to millions of Catholics across the world."
After saying "this is really something," he went to video of former Vatican ambassador, Jim Nicholson who is very critical of the decision. The chyron set the patented Fox "controversy:" "'Holy Controversy,' White House Changing Location of Vatican Embassy."Nicholson, who was also a former Republican party chairman and US Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Bush 43, brayed about how this building is a "bastion of religious freedom and the protection of Christians." (WTF?) He claimed that the move has will "diminish the stature" of the embassy by "moving it into some office annex building down the hall from other things."
Green reported that other Vatican ambassadors are "up in arms" because they see it as a "slight to Catholics." (The other ambassadors are Ray Flynn (conservative, anti-choice Democrat who endorsed Mitt Romney, Thomas Melady (also endorsed Romney), Mary Ann Glendon (anti-choice zealot who refused to accept an award from Notre Dame because the school awarded the president an honorary degree.) and Francis Rooney (billionaire Romney supporter). Green asserted that this move will hinder "soft diplomacy" with the Holy See.
After noting the administration's concern for security, Wright said that he hadn't heard of any security threats. Green said that Nicholson "never felt vulnerable." (So that proves it!) More video of Nicholson, claiming that the security concerns weren't a "good enough" reason" for the move, was shown. Green did say that the current ambassador agrees with the move which satisfies the requirements for an embassy. After a quote from this man was shown, Green said that Jim Nicholson claims that this isn't "carved in stone" if there is so much conflict about this. The Cavuto marked chyron reinforced Nicholson's dismissal of security concerns: "Safety First? Nicholson: Security Not an Issue."
So while there was a slight veneer of fairness and balance, the positions of those opposing the move, i.e. that this is an Obama slap to Catholics, were front and center. After all, if Jim Nicholson says it, it must be true! Once again, Fox & Friends uses a non-issue from the right wing world of perpetual anti-Obama outrage and takes it national. Wonder what Pope Francis would say. Oh right, he's just concerned about those lazy "takers!"
So is the rest of RW Radio, Stewart Varney, the curvy couch, I haven’t been watching the Five the last couple days, but Gutfeld took some Twitter pop shots at him…
And check out the right blogosphere sometime later. Yeah… They suddenly hate the idea of a religious government with a pope that acts like a Christian.
Not to mention that the fringe electorate is doubling down under Palin over this. I’m honestly waiting for one of them to call Pope Francis an Obama plant.
I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. Much less to ever see the Pope himself on FNC. He’s far too much of a caring humanist for the likes of that crowd. They’re far more comfortable getting the Catholic point of view from homophobic, ultra-conservative clergy like Timothy “Chuckles the Cardinal” Dolan…
… oh wait. His Eminence won’t be available for a while, as he deflates from his Thursday stint floating down Broadway at the end of 50-foot ropes. Maybe Dolan’s spokesman Bill Donahue can fill in?
Sucks to be christian!
Oh, and someone should remind the FoxLiars that the Embassy is part of the Vatican’s WORLDLY concerns and how the Vatican interacts with the SECULAR side of the world. Unless Pres Obama makes a move to shut down actual Catholic churches anywhere, the Embassy does NOT constitute a “slight” to Catholics. (In fact, if anything, having an Embassy and dealing with the Vatican in a political manner is a slap in the face of American Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, etc—none of which have an American Embassy to be moved anywhere.)