No Weigel Room For NBC's Non-Disclosure
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:18:49 PM EST
George Weigel, who has frequently appeared on the NBC Nightly News as a "Vatican analyst" in the run up to the Conclave of Cardinals that will select the next pope, has served as a  consultant on Catholic issues to NBC since 1999.  But what NBC does not tell us -- is that Weigel is no ordinary expert.  He is one of the leaders of today's Catholic Right.
NBC's go to guy on all things Catholic in fact, has a long record of helping to create a more stridently conservative Catholic Church and has published a new book to help evangelize for it. (The book was was recently cheered on Twitter by no less than mega-church Pastor Rick Warren.)  This comes on the heels of years of working in the trenches building a conservative Catholic-Evangelical alliance that has culminated in The Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto attacking a series of progressive positions from contraception to marriage equality.

I've noted over and over again, Weigel is a Catholic neocon par excellence, having served as a leader of both the Institute on Religion and Democracy and Ethics Public Policy Center as well as being one of the original signatories of the Project for the New American Century.  

NBC's failure to disclose Weigel's relevant affiliations and obvious biases violates the most basic standards of journalism.

As if any and all of this were not enough, there is more that merits disclosure:  Notably, his service as an Adviser to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights headed by the bombastic William Donohue.Nightly News viewers might be taken aback by Donohue's recent role in trying to obfuscate Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn's misdemeanor conviction for failing to report suspected child abuse by Father Shawn Ratigan.

NBC viewers are also kept in the dark about Weigel's disapproval of over a century Catholic economic principles.  And not only is he one of the most prominent Catholic neo-conservatives, he condescendingly dismisses those co-religionists who disagree with his orthodox Catholic vision as "Catholic Lite" or as being "a culture of dissent." In essence, he belittles the majority of American Catholics..

There are many good reasons why disclosure of potential bias if not conflict of interest is considered the minimum ethical standard for news organizations.

Weigel is, for example, using his analyst perch to subtlety advance his agenda. Consider this recent appearance on MSNBC's Hardball (countered here at least by National Catholic Reporter editor, Tom Roberts). At the 1:21 mark, Weigel substitutes his desire for that of the Cardinals that the next pope continues in the more aggressive evangelization begun by John Paul II. (That Weigel is, in fact, selling a new book on the subject, went unmentioned.)  Later, at the 3:41 mark, he dissembles on priestly celibacy, speaking as if it always existed. As Tom Roberts pointed out, that was not the case.

To fully comprehend how far off the mark NBC is in failing to disclose their Vatican analyst's outlook, just consider that even Fox News generally alerts its viewers of an on-air guest's philosophical leanings.




Display:
(see my recent post about a former Maranatha Campus Ministries pastor on Fox and Friends) but not of MSNBC's parent network. Though, sadly, many Christian Right talking heads from the most to least influential are VERY circumspect about their affiliations and biases... they know their audiences, plural... and most mainstream media don't dig very far to find out, either.

by ulyankee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:16:56 AM EST
When I was working on my MA, part of the research was seeing if I could find the dominionist connections to a major homeless program in Florida.  My professor thought it would be reasonably easy, but as the web of connections spread further and more complex, we discovered that it wasn't nearly as easy as we thought - downright difficult.  A handful were obvious, but others... well, there were a couple that we found connections near the end of the semester.  There were others that we heard rumors were dominionist, but couldn't find evidence.  Over half of the board had "Suspected" or "Documented" designations.  Only a couple were found to be "OK" (progressive and being involved with groups that really care about people who are homeless or very poor).  The others - hardcore conservative.

It was during that search that I uncovered some Bank of America top management involved with the dominionist churches , and that by accident.  There were also ties between the program and people donating huge sums of money to the Republican party (many thousands of dollars), and the network we were finding had connections between the really suspect ones and the Republican-supporters.  (There were hints that those supporters might be dominionist, but again nothing substantial.)

This research took place before the 2008 election campaign really started getting rolling.  If I can find my notes, I'd bet that there would be all sorts of Tea Party connections found now.

The upshot of that semester's worth of work was that it seemed that the more powerful or wealthy a dominionist was, the more effort they put into hiding their connections.  We also discovered how much effort was needed to research these people - in some cases I might have had to attend those churches (which wouldn't happen - I know how dangerous they are) to see if they were members.  They are very secretive.


by ArchaeoBob on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:17:40 AM EST
Parent


Sadly, I think they are all Fox News now.

by CautionIndicated on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:25:41 PM EST
Parent


Weigel supported Marcial Maciel Degollado until Maciel's death, and a lot of us haven't forgotten that Weigel has never admitted that Maciel fooled him, nor has Weigel apologized for his support of Maciel and the Legion of Christ.

by khughes1963 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:59:15 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (3 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (5 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (4 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.