Religion is politics at CNSNews.com -- and it proved that yet again by trying to tie a Catholic cardinal defrocked over sexual abuse of children to Democratic politicians.
An anonymously written Feb. 25 article worked hard to do just that:
Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by the Catholic Church on Jan. 11 for abusing minors and the Sacrament of Confession, presided over the Aug. 29, 2009 burial service for Sen. Ted Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.
The burial, which took place at sunset, was televised and preserved on video by CSPAN. McCarrick, at the time, was the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.
The video shows Vice President Joe Biden chatting amiably with McCarrick before the burial.
The anonymous writer also made sure to rehash an old Kennedy scandal: "On the night of July 18, 1969, after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island along with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne (who had been a staffer on Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign), Kennedy drove off a bridge into a channel of water. Kopechne drowned."
(But we thought the MRC hated when the media brought up unfortunate stories about dead people's pasts.)
The next day, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey tried to hang McCarrick around the neck of another Democratic politician:
On Jan. 6, 2009, the day that Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) was re-elected to serve as speaker of the House for the 111th Congress, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said the opening prayer for the House of Representatives and Pelosi said he had honored the House by doing so.
She then called all the children in the chamber that day to join her at the podium as she took the oath of office and said: “I want to thank the children for joining me at the podium so that, as we called the House to order earlier today, it will be clear that the House will be called to order for all of America’s children."
At the opening of that day’s session, McCarrick, who was then the archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., was introduced at the podium at the front of the chamber to say the traditional prayer. This was the first meeting of the 111th Congress, which had been elected in November 2008, with majorities in both chambers going to the Democrats. In that same election, Barack Obama was elected president.
But CNS doesn't want to tell you that McCarrick was very much a bipartisan cardinal. The Washington Post reported that McCarrick curried favor on both sides of the political aisle -- reading at a memorial service for Ronald Reagan and earning praise from President George W. Bush -- and that he "basked in the glow of being a crossover figure who presented himself as the righteous person whom politicians sought when they faced their own theological questions of right and wrong." The Post also points out -- where CNS failed to -- that nobody knew about McCarrick's proclivities.
But then, nobody reads CNS for fairness and balance in reporting.