Skip to comments.Leftist Media: Pope Getting 'Reagan Treatment'
Posted on 04/06/2005 12:41:17 PM PDT by wagglebee
The late Pope John Paul II is allegedly getting the so-called "Reagan treatment" and the liberal media do not like it any more than they liked Ronald Reagan.
"Many critics argue that the media are doing now what they did when former President Ronald Reagan died in June: reducing a deeply controversial figure to a warm, grandfatherly caricature," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
One critic peddled the current - and dubious - media line that the pope was out step with members of the Church in the West.
"This is a church with declining priests, with declining nuns, with declining church attendance," Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Inquirer. "This was a very conservative pope. Most of his Western flock was not with his program."
Like the overwhelming number of her mainstream media colleagues, Miss Jamieson failed to understand that the program she mentioned was not John Paul's but the 2,000-year-old dogma of the Roman Catholic Church that he or any other pope is powerless to change.
Another popular media fiction is that the pope was a "polarizing" figure who created needless divisions within the Roman Catholic Church - a notion that avoids recognition of the fact that the alleged polarization arose from his defending what his church defines as good against that which it declares to be evil.
Jeff Sharlet, editor of The Revealer, a Web magazine about media coverage of religion funded by New York University's department of journalism and its Center for Religion and Media, adopted that line of attack.
"The reason we're getting sick of thinking about it is because this complicated story line is being reduced to a shallower level even than Ronald Reagan," he said. "The Pope was a figure of tremendous polarization. ... Now people are being asked to turn on a dime and consider him ... a mythic figure who had a simple and straightforward meaning."
Christopher Winner of United Press International, who the Inquirer noted covered both papal deaths in 1978, says the pope has been transformed in death into another one-dimensional cult celebrity. "The coverage to me is extremely manipulative. It's Hollywood coverage - it's celebrity coverage. It's uncritical. ... I'm not suggesting that he wasn't a remarkable figure - he was. But this is completely out of proportion."
Stewart Stehlin, described by the Inquirer as an NYU history professor familiar with the Vatican, disagrees that coverage has been uncritical and notes there is a natural tendency to speak well of the dead.
"I've read an awful lot where they would be laudatory but then say, well, he hasn't accomplished this, he was too strict on that. ... I would expect in a situation like this that most comments would be laudatory."
To the leftist media elite (who view Ronald Reagan - who, with the pope, brought Communism tumbling down - as an amiable dunce), John Paul is likely seen as a cranky old conservative wedded to outmoded doctrines who stood in the way of what they regard as human progress.
The left will never understand that most people never considered the Pope or President Reagan to be "controversial," they actually did seem "grandfatherly" to most of us. Besides, we stood by while the media lamented the death of the mass-murdering terrorist Arafat, we had to hear about how he was the biggest peacenik of all time.
SHUT YOUR GODLESS PIE HOLE!
The culture of MEEEEEEEEEEE is so pathetic.
The left went through hell during Reagan's funeral last summer. They don't want to go through it again for the Pope's.
Disgusting, isn't it?
Agreed - that is part of why we elected and loved Reagan, and why so many loved John Paul II. They completely miss the point - witness their absolute astonishment at the turnout for Reagan's state funeral.
Too bad - for them. It's going to be worse this time, because they can't dismiss it as "just an American misconception" - not when a significant portion of the civilized world is in mourning, and a not insignificant number are travelling to Rome to pay their respects.
Does anyone besides me see this as perfectly fitting the definition of insanity?
If a church has by definition a concept of itself that defines the determination of truth, reality and its circumscribing universe, and "some" members disagree, who is out of step?
That's like buying a pre-cut house, ignoring the assemby instructions and then complaining that the results looks like a 60-year-old Arkansas single-wide ...
I thought it was the "Nixon treatment"... when he died, one would have thought from the coverage that he was an uncontroversial figure.
And if you don't agree with it, there are many other options - one doesn't have to listen to them.
Let them pout.
What is it exactly that would trigger a nut-job to call this kind man a "neanderthal"?
"This was a very conservative pope. Most of his Western flock was not with his program."
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Shame the pope didnt live long enough for Kathleen Hall Jamieson to impart her lessons on how to be a better Catholic upon him.
It makes my day when the lefties are mad. I laugh at them.....
The leftists just aren't comfortable with the idea of routine civility. A nice old man, who meant well, and did his best, just died. Civility decrees that we not turn the occasion into a loud and vicious debate of whatever shortcomings anybody can find in his life. Yeah, he should have cracked down harder on the priests-molesting-little-boys-and-bishops-covering-it-up stuff. We can talk about it some other time.
I can't believe they have the nerve to actually print something like that. Down here, we say a paper like that is only good for wrapping mullet in.