Now Cough

Saturday, April 02, 2005

CNN: Catholic News Network

Hagiography v. Facts

Me thinks the CNN anchors and producers have been drinking from the holy water font.

How else to explain the mawkish, fawning, softball questioning and phoney baloney anchor blather over the death of Pope John Paul?

If CNN were looking for a 'reason' to fire Paula Zahn (and only a blind and deaf person would have to search for more than 10 minutes), they have a complete rap sheet on her today. Her anchoring has been so insipid, so aimed at getting stodgy, garrulous priests to 'FEEL' that even she has topped any of her previous CNN moments. In a sick paradox, the nadir of her work has reached its pinnacle today.

I especially like the oleaginous Aaron Brown who even proclaimed a blathering line by a bishop as 'perfect.'

CNN has abandoned contextual reporting for days of repeating the same boring empty rhetoric about the pope, his reign and his death. This creates an impression on people, where being nice replaces being critical, fair and complete.

Best coverage of the day? NPR's Sylvia Paggiaoli who crafted an unvarnished, non-sentimental recounting of the pope. Look, he was a very, very conservative guy who stood in the way of increased roles for women in the church, firmly against homosexuals, birth control and abortion. His slow response to the child sexual abuse by priests was appalling.

I'll give him this: he travelled more than any pope and seemed to work his ass of for the church.

Seeing a Pope

I saw one pope, Pope Paul VI.

At Castelgandolfo, the pope's summer residence outside of Rome. 1971.

And it was complete pandemonium. I remember waiting for what seemed like hours against the rope line where the pope would walk by and bless the crowd. As the buzz swept the crowd that he was coming, two or three ancient German nuns began trying to butt in front of us. They were like jacked up kids at a Kurt Cobain concert.

I was so shocked at being battered, pushed, elbowed by these habit-wearing linebackers, I barely recall seeing the pope shuffle past.

The lesson: don't get between a German nun and her pope.


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