Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Richard (RJ) Eskow Headshot

Media Amnesia As Catholic Charity Head Rebukes Bush

Posted: Updated:

This month the Catholic priest who runs the national association of Catholic charities condemned the Bush Administration budget as a moral failure. He said it "weaken(s) family life" and fails to address "the dignity of the human person," and he called on Congress to change it. Also this month, fringe rightwing activist Bill Donohue attacked two fairly low-level bloggers working for the Edwards campaign by claiming their writings were "anti-Catholic."

Which story do you think got more play in the media?

Father Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA, said that "the federal budget is a moral document that serves to tell us where we place our priorities." He observed that "the president's new budget hurts those living in poverty at a time when we should be doing even more to help the most vulnerable among us."

From The Catholic Online:

"In fact, with cuts to key programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, the president's budget will only serve to exacerbate the problems facing millions of our nation's poor families," Father Snyder said, noting that there are "drastic cuts and changes" to a range of programs that address the health and well-being of low-income families and individuals.

The press largely ignored Father Snyder's comments, while giving a huge splash to Bill Donohue's comments about the bloggers. Donohue heads an organization whose Board is weighted down with conservative Republican politicians. He's a "cafeteria Catholic" who picks and chooses which Church teachings to follow based on his extreme rightwing views.

Father Snyder, on the other hand, is a nonpartisan ordained priest who heads one of the largest social service organizations in the nation. Yet guess which one of them is a frequent talking head on the news channels and is routinely put forward as a "voice" for American Catholics?

Meanwhile, as this story illustrates, hospitals are already being forced to shut down more services to the poor as current Medicare budget cuts slash away at vitally needed funding. How much more disease and death will this nation see under next year's budget? It's unlikely you saw those figures in the media recently.

Bill Donohue was successful in his mission this month. Those bloggers don't work for John Edwards anymore. They both resigned, citing the waves of hate mail and death threats they received after Donohue's attacks (and for which Donohue has expressed no remorse).

Will Father Larry be as successful in his campaign? Will he help bring moral balance to the Federal budget?

Not with this kind of coverage.

The Sentinel Effect: Healthcare Blog

A Night Light