Bias, What Bias? There’s nothing to see here. Move along, move along.
Only Fox News Aired Bush’s Texas Homecoming Ceremony Tuesday.
It seems inaugural attendees weren’t the only ones cheerful about George W. Bush’s departure from Washington, D.C., Tuesday, for only the Fox News Channel aired a live broadcast of the homecoming ceremony held in Midland, Texas, for our 43rd President.
As the Los Angeles Times reported:
The rest of the networks, however, did not see the Bush address as news fit to broadcast. At 6:40 p.m. EST, MSNBC was in the middle of “Hardball,” with host Chris Matthews and guests batting around the meaning of Obama’s swearing-in. CNN was carrying live ongoing coverage of the final moments of the inaugural parade, with the Obamas beaming from the White House reviewing stand.
NBC’s Lee Cowan…
On Monday’s inaugural edition of the “NBC Nightly News,” well known Obama fan Lee Cowan made no effort to restrain his fawning over the new president, likening the experience of watching the Democrat’s speech to being in a “political cathedral.” After featuring clips of people viewing the address all over the country, Cowan cooed, “In the end, though, it really didn’t matter where you were as long as you weren’t alone.” (audio excerpt available here)
He added, “Just ordinary street corners like this one here in Chicago fell silent, almost becoming a political cathedral of sorts.” Cowan, the man who once announced that covering Barack Obama made his “knees quake,” closed the segment by rhapsodizing, “And almost everyone was making that mental scrapbook, noting the time and place where they were on this day and, perhaps, shared a collective tear.” It was, he said, “An event meant to be remembered and one meant to be shared.”
Obama Inauguration Sacred Event
At the end of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith reflected on Barack Obama’s inauguration: “Politics, and patriotism, and the presidency. It is the place where the secular and the religious merge. And one of the sacraments of our national religion is the inauguration…So it was that as many as 2 million pilgrims made their way to Washington and the Mall to witness this most sacred event.”
Smith continued to use religious language throughout the report: “As the oath was recited, as the speech was delivered…emotions were laid bear. Tears were shed…An inauguration is a renewal of faith…A confirmation that the republic, and our belief in it, endures.”
During a short segment on Wednesday’s American Morning, CNN anchor John Roberts responded to the excited demeanor of the crowds attending President Barack Obama’s inauguration by labeling the festivity “Barack-stock.” Earlier in the segment, correspondent Carol Costello dubbed it “a gigantic love fest” after she stated how there were no serious incidents or arrests involving the approximately 1.5 million people in attendance for the inauguration.
Lisa Miller Dumb…
While she pronounced his prayer as a “good job” for being generally non-offensive and inclusive-sounding, Newsweek’s Lisa Miller — who earlier this month suggested ditching inaugural prayers altogether — was nagged by the “lingering question” that “remains” from the way evangelical pastor Rick Warren closed his inauguration ceremony invocation in the name of Jesus:
Warren’s conservative theology teaches him that there is one path to God, and that is Jesus. So when he wraps his great big arms around Muslims and Jews (and homosexuals), does he really believe there’s hope for us? Or is he just being nice?
Miller, as a religion reporter, should know better. Yes — the evangelical Christian would answer — there is hope for everyone who puts his or her hope in Christ alone, and that’s why preachers like Rick Warren preach the Gospel of salvation in Christ alone. They truly believe it, and as such, it’s not nice to keep the good news of salvation and peace with God to one’s self for fear of the niceness cops of the media world.
The inauguration of the first African-American president is an historic affair, one that should be properly celebrated by all. But when the so-called “objective” network anchors begin comparing a routine political ceremony to a spiritual awakening, have they gone too far?
“Sacred.” “Majesty.” “Sacrament.” “Pilgrimage.” These are words loaded with religious and spiritual meaning. And they’re words used to describe the inauguration of President Barack Obama by CBS, NBC and ABC anchors on their evening and mornings news shows.
Perhaps the most blatant conflation of politics and spirituality came from CBS chief national correspondent Byron Pitts when he described the event to Evening News anchor Katie Couric as a quiet church service, “more like the nation’s pulpit and the chapel stretched on for miles.”