Friday, October 19, 2012


As I exercised this morning at the health club I go to CNN was on as I toiled away doing things to my body more intense than any spiritual exercise or flagellation! But as far as I could tell from the reporting on CNN which made the Al Smith Dinner its lead story made no mention that this is hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York as a fundraiser for charity in the Archdiocese. It was begun by Cardinal Spellman in light of Al Smith, a Catholic, who is the first Catholic to run for the Presidency but lost primarily because of anti-Catholic bigotry at the time.

Why wouldn't a major cable news network indicate the origin and reason for this dinner???????

Governor Mitt Romney:

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President Barack Obama:

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The Catholic Host, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan gives a powerful Catholic witness in his talk, did you see this in the news:


Anonymous said...

Why are you watching CNN? Fox News reported on the Catholic origins. Give Fox your viewership and ratings.

Unknown said...

I hate to say it, but I have to bag on this. First, I am not at all impressed that Cardinal Dolan invited President Obama to this dinner. He is arguably the most anti-Catholic President this country has ever seen. He is definitely the most outwardly pro-abortion. I might have been a little less critical had Cardinal Dolan taken the opportunity to catechize (because he is supposedly Christian) President Obama, but he didn't.

It saddens me that Cardinal Dolan used a pro-abort to raise money for the Archdiocese. I know that it is supposed to be in good fun, but in all reality it is a travesty. It is a travesty because Dolan had a chance to bring the message and he didn't do it. It is a travesty because he allowed Obama to speak. It is a travesty because, like Notre Dame, he gave a stage and a pulpit to a man who embodies everything the Church does not. I am sure there are other reasons that it was a travesty, but I won't continue on that line.

Secondly, I am not at all impressed because this stage was a chance, a real chance for Cardinal Dolan to admonish and correct President Obama, but he didn't do it. It was a real chance for Cardinal Dolan to stand up to the tyranny of abortion and he didn't do it. It was a chance for Cardinal Dolan to shout down the evils which are embodied in the HHS mandate and Obamacare and he DID NOT DO IT! Cardinal Dolan made jokes instead.

As a Catholic, Cardinal Dolan lost points in my book. Does that matter to Cardinal Dolan. Nope. Does it matter to me? Yep. Should it matter to Cardinal Dolan? Yep. He is a pastor. And as a pastor he didn't do his job in this instance. He played politics and didn't teach the Catholic faith to the greatest extent.

I know that this is my opining. And for some, this is my whining. Fine. Think that. But honestly, how did Cardinal Dolan benefit Holy Mother Church in New York City, by allowing Obama to speak?

Finally, so as to be clear, I am not all that impressed that he invited Romney either. He is supportive of abortion too; just in fewer and a more limited circumstance. Sorry, the mustard should have been cut. Instead it was not even smeared very well.

Too bad.

Anonymous 2 said...

Andy: I WAS impressed by your last paragraph. Finally, some honesty and some balance. Thank you. Yes, a pox on both their houses (for this reason and for other reasons)!

Anonymous 2 said...


I believe, and hope, that Father watches CNN because it is the only one of the three networks (CNN, MSNBC, FOX) that can make a colorable claim to objectivity. FOX is essentially the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, MSNBC that of the Democratic Party, and CNN is an equal opportunity critic of both. All of them, however, distort by omission or by inaccuracy (in the same order, in my view). I know because I watch all three.

The problem, as I see it, is that we live in an Orwellian world. In that world we suffer from facile slogans such as: “Democrats good, Republicans bad;” or "Republicans good, Democrats bad.” And in that world, history is constantly rewritten as items are thrown down the memory hole. That is why I urged all of us in a comment to an earlier post to keep our independence of mind and to double check asserted claims by fact checking them. Only in this way can we hope to maintain our freedom instead of becoming enslaved to this or that ideology or gang of political hucksters.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Father McDonald said that he went to a health club ("the health club I go to") - presumably a commercial business not connected to or controlled by him - and that at that place it was CNN that was playing. I do not see how questions asking why he was not watching a different broadcaster are a propos.

Ancil Payne

James W. said...

Anon 2,

CNN objective? Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Oh, dear, don't kid yourself. CNN is just as much devoted to the far left agenda as NBC. The only one close to being objective and neutral is C-Span.

But thanks for the good laugh.

Anonymous 2 said...

My internet connection went down so I don't think this was sent. Therefore I am trying again. Please ignore if it did come through before. Thanks


Actually I did not say that CNN was objective. What I said was that they were the only one of the three networks I named (that is, cable networks) that have a “colorable claim” to being objective. This invokes a legal term of art. Thus a “colorable” legal claim is defined by the Cornell Legal Information Institute as follows:

“A plausible legal claim. In other words, a claim strong enough to have a reasonable chance of being valid if the legal basis is generally correct and the facts can be proven in court. The claim need not actually result in a win.”

My point was simply that MSNBC and FOX are so obviously partisan as to have no such colorable claim. In effect they present only one side and are essentially advocates for the Democrats and the Republicans respectively, although in my experience the distortions of the truth (i.e., misrepresentation and suppression of facts) are worse on FOX than on MSNBC. CNN, by contrast, does not appear to favor either party.

Now, I should explain that my experience base is limited to the evening “news” shows between 8 and 11. Within that sampling, I have been particularly impressed by the way in which people like Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, and Piers Morgan criticize both Obama-Biden as well as Romney-Ryan, challenging claims made by both, so much so that I am unable to discern support for one or the other. I can clearly discern support for Romney-Ryan on FOX and for Obama-Biden on MSNBC.

However, I am not suggesting that CNN is completely objective or that they are completely accurate. I was suggesting a sliding scale, with CNN being the closest to objectivity (and then only with a colorable claim). And I agree with you about C-Span. What about PBS?

As for there being a Far Left or “socialist” agenda in this country, those of us who have lived in Britain and Europe during the 1960s and 70s can only laugh when we hear this. Quite honestly, most Americans don’t have much of a clue what actual far left or socialist policies are really like. How about an 83% income tax rate (with a 15% surcharge for unearned income, thus 98%), with a relatively low threshold (I do not recall the exact figure), and nationalized industries in coal mining, steel, electricity, gas, railways, and on and on, not to mention the NHS? That was Britain during the Wilson-Callahan years. Even in Britain today, after the Thatcher-Major-Blair era, the inheritance tax kicks in at about $400,000. Try that over here and you would have another Revolution. So, compared to far left/socialist parties in Britain and Europe, both the Democrats and the Republicans are clearly to the right.

I understand that things are relative, but I do wish people would be more careful with their use of language, thinking things through instead of using slogans and labels as a shortcut for thought. Whatever happened to critical thinking? I suppose that went down the memory hole too.

All that said, these are only my own impressions and evaluations, and I would be very happy to receive examples of CNN’s “far left” agenda. Because I do not spend all day watching television and so necessarily have only a limited sample base, I am sure there are important instances of which I am unaware. So, it would be helpful in coming closer to the truth of the matter to get more information.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. To clarify the inheritance tax point, in the U.K. the threshold in the U.K. is probably more like $450,000. The rate is 40%. There are a few states in the U.S. that do impose an estate tax or an inheritance tax at levels below the federal estate tax level, although I do not know what the rates are. I am not very good at numbers.

Anonymous said...

MSNBC also identified it as being sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of NY.