Catholic convert Robert Novak died today. He was many things: a fellow University of Illinois alum, a devoted family man married to his beloved wife for 47 years, and a hard bitten journalist with a nose for news unrivaled in the business. Novak was a conservative, but he never let his politics get in the way of a story. Always staunchly pro-life, and respectful of Catholicism, his embrace of the Faith a decade ago came as little surprise to me. I never met him, but I will sorely miss his presence in the public square. May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.
Today Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that senators are excluding a provision on end-of-life care from the House bill. This is a major victory for ordinary Americans.
As senior citizens voice their displeasure with “death-panels” and other provisions in the House bill, the Democrat leaders are grudgingly realizing that maybe, just maybe, some provisions in their House bill will not pass with the American public.
The most recent polls show that the demonizing tactics of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have failed to cover the growing grassroots activism that is rising among ordinary Americans.
Here is Archbishop Chaput with a worthwhile reflection on how Catholics should think about the media. A few excerpts:
Most of what we know about the world comes from people we’ll never meet and don’t really understand. We don’t even think of them as individuals. Instead we usually talk about them in the collective – as “the media” or “the press.” Yet behind every Los Angeles Times editorial or Fox News broadcast are human beings with personal opinions and prejudices. These people select and frame the news. And when we read their newspaper articles or tune in their TV shows, we engage them in a kind of intellectual intimacy in the same way you’re listening to me right now….
…The media’s power to shape public thought is why it’s so vital for the rest of us to understand their human element. When we don’t recognize the personal chemistry of the men and women who bring us our news – their cultural and political views, their economic pressures, their social ambitions – then we fail the media by holding them to too low a standard. We also – and much more importantly — fail ourselves by neglecting to think and act as intelligent citizens…
“Conservatism–as a philosophical, cultural, and political project–does in fact have boundaries, and those have been set by the cluster of ideas offered by such giants as Burke, Lincoln, Chesterton, Lewis, Hayek, Chambers, Friedman, Kirk, Weaver, Gilder, Buckley, and Reagan. There are, of course, disagreements among these thinkers and their followers, but there is an identifiable stream of thought. It informs our understanding of human nature, families, civil society, just government, and markets.
“What contemporary conservatism has lost–especially in its Hannitized and Coulterized manifestations of superficial ranting–is the connection to a paternity that is necessary so that its intellectual DNA may be passed on to its progeny.
Although the subject of President Obama being honored by Notre Dame has quickly cooled in the fast-paced blogging universe- I wanted to weigh in with some comments because I think it is important to hold the President to account on some of the promises he made in his speech, and to offer some ideas for how Catholic universities should approach such political intersections in the future.
Updates below ?, Hans Küng accuses His Holiness of being “egomaniacal” (more below).
A dissident Catholic theologian from Germany is calling on the Pope to “resign”. Hermann Haering is the “theologian” in question who is asking for His Holiness’ resignation. Even the German Chancellor, Angela Merkell, has asked the Pope to strongly rebuke Williamson and distance himself from it–which he has already done though many in the secular world fail to recognize. What do they want, Richard Williamsons’ head on a stake?
We should always take what the mainstream media reports with a grain of salt. The mainstream media has more times than not, reported with a bias against the Catholic Church. With dissident Catholics such as Hermann Hearing, anything they say will be grasped upon quickly for a cheap shot against the Catholic Church. The smear campaign has begun in full throttle just as Fr. John Zuhlsdorf forewarned us about; Anti-Catholics and dissidents are coming out of the seeping cracks to take potshots at our Pope.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer misquoted and took out of context a lecture delivered by James Francis Cardinal Stafford at CUA several times when reporting on the good Cardinal’s critique of President-elect Obama’s abortion stance. Matthew Balan of NewsBusters reports the not-so-great journalism standards that Wolf Blitzer employs when “reporting” the news for CNN.
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer referred to a Catholic cardinal’s criticism of Barack Obama’s abortion position as a “scathing rant“ and a “diatribe.“ A CNN graphic also used the “scathing rant” term, and Blitzer later referred to the cardinal’s words as a “blistering rant.“
Thanks to the above video and this wonderful site we now have some answers. The Zogby poll on the website is pretty scary as to the level of voter knowledge. However most of the media was so far in the tank for Obama that I find it hard to blame voters for lacking knowledge as to many pieces of negative information about the President-Elect during the campaign.
Seems as if last weeks lecture by Cardinal Stafford at CUA where he referenced President-elect Obama’s presidential campaign as “apocalyptic” has gotten Church dissenter and gay activitist Andrew Sullivan all hot and bothered:
“The Vatican hierarchy has become radicalized under Benedict and John Paul II– so much so that they see the West since the 1960s as entirely a creature of resistance to Humanae Vitae, the papal declaration that all non-procreative sex is a moral evil. But the notion that the recent election of Obama is a sign of the Apocalypse has, until now, been restricted to Protestant loonies. Until now…”
A sure sign that the election is over: a member of the press notices that the mainstream press has a crush on Obama that a teenage girl would find gag-worthy if it involved a friend of hers and a boy.