How much did CNSNews.com love Attorney General William Barr's speech at Notre Dame in mid-October that cheered religion and attacked secularism? It devoted three "news" side articles and two columns to it.
As it usually does with things it likes, CNS split claims up over several articles, presumably to increase clickability. The first was an anonymous written piece touting how Barr said that the framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that a "free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people." The article repeated that phrase four times -- three times in the body and once more in a transcript -- as well as in the headline.
Craig Bannister then contributed a couple blog posts excerpting other parts of Barr's speech: the first attacking "secular religion" that is supposedly "an inverse of Christian morality," and the second going further on the attack against "militant secularism" purportedly inflicting "organized destruction" on American society by attacking religion and "traditional values."
CNS then called in its favorite dishonest right-wing Catholic, Bill Donohue, to gush all over Barr's speech, proclaiming it "an historically accurate and sociologically sound presentation" that made "astute" points. He conlcuded: "Bill Barr gave a courageous and much-needed statement on the current state of religious liberty. It sounded like it was taken right out of the Catholic League playbook."
This lovefest was capped by a column from CNS' editor in chief, Terry Jeffrey (which seems to have disappeared from the CNS website, possibly lost in the site's redesign; here's the syndicated version at Townhall). Jeffrey loves his football metaphors, and he fully indulged in themhere:
Many Americans know Notre Dame as the place where Knute Rockne once coached the football team and George Gipp -- played by Ronald Reagan in the movie -- was his legendary halfback.
It should now also be noted as the place where Attorney General William P. Barr delivered one of the most important speeches any Cabinet official has given in recent times.
Imagine your team is backed up on its own 1-yard line. On first down, the quarterback hands the ball off to the fullback in a play cautiously designed to put another few yards between the line of scrimmage and the goal line.
The fullback smashes through a defensive tackle, runs over a linebacker, straight-arms a safety straight into the ground and ends up running 99 yards for a touchdown.
Humbly, he does not even spike the ball.
Bill Barr was that fullback last Friday while speaking at Notre Dame Law School.
Of course, Jeffrey and the rest of the CNS crew have been more than happy to spike the ball in Barr's stead (and, yes, the line "free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people" made its sixth appearance at CNS in Jeffrey's column). Indeed, Jeffrey wasn't done with his secondhand football-spiking (or other football metaphors). He cheered Barr's criticism of schools teaching about gender identity that refuse to let children out out, interpreting his words this way: "In other words, if you cannot afford to liberate your child from the government school, you must allow that government agency to teach your child that a boy can become a girl."
At no point in any of these CNSarticles was any criticism of Barr permitted, meaning that it was a completely one-sided presentation. Yet Jeffrey concluded his column by declaring: "Score: Barr 7, secularists 0." It's easy to declare victory when you don't allow the other side a chance to take the field.