Selective Coverage of Selective Catholic Principles

Media critic blogger Mark Howard (News Corpse, 5/16/09) has a problem with the voluble media controversy over “the fact that Obamaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s pro-choice position is in conflict with [Notre Dame] University’s Catholic principles”–namely, “neither the Catholic protesters nor the media ever threw similar tantrums when George W. Bush delivered the commencement speech in 2001, after receiving his honorary degree”:

Every good Catholic knows that the church is strictly opposed to capital punishment. Since Bush set records for carrying out death sentences when he was governor of Texas, you would think that the same guardians of virtue that are protesting Obama, who has never personally signed an abortion certificate, would have been out in force for a man who presided over 152 executions. But there was nary a peep. There were no bishops signing petitions opposing Bush’s appearance. There were no protests on campus. There were no students refusing to participate in graduation ceremonies. And there were no cameras from national news networks circling like buzzards.

If these Catholic Crusaders are truly interested in demonstrating their piety without prejudice, they should immediately call for Notre Dame to revoke Bush’s honorary degree. If the press is honestly endeavoring to be objective, they should pose this question to the protesters.

Making clear that he doesn’t “fault the pro-life movement’s efforts to advance their beliefs through protest and civil disobedience,” Howard maintains his own right to “fault the media for the inflated sense of importance they bestow on such a tiny assemblage of adversaries. Polls show overwhelming support for the president’s visit to Notre Dame.”