Pete Buttigieg wasn't the only Biden administration cabinet nominee CNSNews.com lashed out at upon the announcement of their nomination.
When California attorney general Xavier Becerra was nominated to be secretary of Health and Human Services, managing editor Michael W. Chapman cobbled together an article on how his fellow right-wingers "strongly denounced" the nomination, "noting his long pro-abortion record, anti-free speech actions, and opposition to religious liberty." He quoted Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser declaring that "Becerra is aggressively pro-abortion and a foe of free speech. As attorney general of California, he continued what his predecessor Kamala Harris started by persecuting citizen journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in baby parts trafficking."
That would be a reference to David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist who secretly and illegally taped people at abortion industry conferences while falsely presenting themselves as workers for a fake company interested in buying fetal body parts. No crimes were found, and a jury ruled in 2019 that Daleiden should pay Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages for his attempt to try and destroy the organization under false pretenses. In December, the judge in the case order Daleiden and his associates to pay Planned Parenthood $13.6 million in legal fees.
Chapman also wrote:
Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with the Catholic Association, said, "President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra to run HHS is a gross insult to Catholics. Becerra spent years tormenting the Little Sisters of the Poor in court, trying to force them to pay for things like abortion pills against their consciences. He also led efforts to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers to advertise for abortion."
Actually, it appears McGuire is lying a bit here. What actually happened was that Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and then the Little Sisters of the Poor filed to intervene and became a party to the suit. In other words, if there was any "tormenting," the Little Sisters chose to have it happen.
Nevertheless, Chapman went on to uncritically quote another Catholic organizaiton claiming that Becerra "has targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor."
From there, CNS lobbed attack op-eds at Becerra:
- Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue ranted that "Becerra's record is positively obscene."
- Tim Graham of CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, complained that "Becerra has zero medical expertise" and grumbled that he successfully prosecuted Daleiden: "California's Justice Department entered Daleiden's home and seized computers, digital storage devices and identification documents. A jury ordered Daleiden to pay $2.3 million in damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing its heinous trafficking."
- Another column by Donohue raged that Becerra is a Catholic but is actually "an enemy of the Catholic Church," adding that "Biden himself is at war with these Church teachings."
CNS editor Terry Jeffrey devoted his Jan. 6 column to bashing Becerra, citing a case where California attempted to make "crisis pregnancy centers" had to inform clients that they could go elsewhere to get an abortion if they decided they ultimately wanted one. Jeffrey didn't mention that these "pro-life pregnancy centers" have a long history of coercing women into not having abortions, which was the basis for the proposed law. He concluded by huffing that "Xavier Becerra — if confirmed — will lead a Biden HHS that is focused on advancing the killing of unborn babies and funding that killing with federal tax dollars."