A Feb. 20 CNSNews.com article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how right-wing activists "launched a $2 million-plus campaign to expose how President Joe Biden's call for "unity" in the country is questionable given the radical left background of some of his executive branch nominees, who are pushing extreme agendas that mirror the desires of the dark money donors who put Biden in office." It seems CNS may have gotten some of that money, because it joined in the attacks on one of the group's targets, Health and Human Services nominee Xavier Becerra.
We've already documented how CNS bashed Becerra upon his nomination, and it kept up those attacks as his confirmation hearing approached.
A Feb. 5 commentary by Bill Donohue -- who had previously ranted that Becerra is ""an enemy of the Catholic Church" -- listed "16 reasons why Becerra should not be confirmed," one of which was that "he brought charges against pro-life activists who went undercover to film Planned Parenthood officials trafficking in aborted baby parts. He brought felony charges against them." In fact, 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.
Donobhue also claimed that "Few Attorneys General in the United States fought more ferociously to deny the Little Sisters of the Poor their religious rights than Becerra." In fact, Becerra initiated no legal action against the religious order; Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the Little Sisters of the Poor later filed to intervene and chose to become a party to the suit.
Donohue repeated his bogus attacks on Becerra in a Feb. 24 column, huffing that "Becerra is no victim of anti-Catholicism. In fact, he is a master sponsor of it." The same day, editor Terry Jeffrey highlighted hostile Republican questions to Becerra during his confirmation hearing:
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who President Joe Biden has nominated to be the secretary of Health and Human Services, dodged a question at his confirmation hearing today about whether he believed an unborn child who is targeted for a late-term abortion should be given anesthesia to minimize the pain the child will suffer.
Rather than give a yes-or-no, Becerra gave a long-winded answer that talked around the question.
In a Feb. 26 article, Emma Riley touted how "63 pro-life leaders urged the lawmakers to reject Becerra, stating he is “an enemy to every pro-life policy and law, and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion.” Similarly, a March 11 article by Quinn Weimer highlighted how "some conservative leaders told CNS News why they oppose Becerra. Pro-life leader Lila Rose, in particular, stressed that, “Becerra is a pro-abortion activist and friend of the abortion industry, with no medical background.” Weimer didn't mention that most HHS secretaries have had no medical background; like Becerra, their background is in government.
CNS acknowledged Becerra's confirmation only in a March 18 article by Melanie Arter that began with an attack on on him by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, "saying he is 'woefully unqualified to lead that department,' because he has no medical or science experience or in logistics, having 'never so much as distributed French fries at a McDonald’s.'" Arter didn't mention that the HHS secretary under Trump, Alex Azar, also has no medical or science degree (though he was the former head of drugmaker Eli Lilly).
Riley returned with some conservative sore-loser complaining the next day, repeating how "pro-life leaders denounced the vote, stating that the confirmation is a 'blow to all Americans who value religious liberty and the sanctity of life.'" There was no mention of the $2 million campaign right-wing activists ran against Becerra, let alone that it could only be described as a failure.