Contraception mandate: MSM stuck in “narrative capture”?

posted at 7:15 pm on February 11, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

On retrieving my paper copy of the Wall Street Journal this morning, I saw the discouraging headline:

Obama Retreats on Contraception

My first thought was, “Surely the Journal knows better than this.  Why would they headline this story as if Obama had, in fact, backed off on the mandate?  What are they, USA Today?”

The headline doesn’t reflect reality.

As Ed Morrissey pointed out yesterday, Obama has merely shifted the basis for the mandate.  The insurance companies – I use that term loosely – will be required to provide “free” contraception services to the insured who work for Catholic employers.  This means that the premiums paid by Catholic employers will fund contraception services.  And the overall mandate to purchase the insurance will continue.

I expected better of WSJ.  I expect the editors to recognize the significance of distinctions like this, and refrain from using headlines that bolster a counterfactual narrative.  Obama has not retreated.  He has moved laterally and reset the defenses for the same strategic position.

And in fact, he has done more than that.  I referred above to using the term “insurance companies” loosely, because Obama has just made crystal clear that “insurance” is not what we will be paying for under ObamaCare.  With actual “insurance,” the insured cannot expect to line up for “free” goodies mandated – arbitrarily, and at any time – by the government.  An insurance contract is finite and specific.  The insured pays a premium; the insurer makes defined pay-outs in the case of a contingency.  In most cases, for the average person, the contingency is a major personal setback of some kind:  an auto accident, the house burning down, being diagnosed with cancer.

If the federal government can step in and arbitrarily require a company to provide things for “free” that were previously elective, premium-based services, then it is no longer an insurance company.  We are not buying insurance from it; we are simply participating in a mandatory government program whose features can be changed at any time, regardless of what we or the “insurers” want.  There is no contract.  There are only the one-sided decisions of bureaucrats and future presidents.

This Obama move is the opposite of a retreat.  It’s a decision to reveal the future to us, and to insist on remaining on course for it.

Yet on their news pages (as opposed to the opinion pages), the mainstream media are stuck in the old mode of interpreting political events in a single dimension, as if all other things remain equal, and a rhetorical “retreat” from a president means the same thing it usually has in the past.  We see this in numerous aspects of their coverage.  They keep putting out stories in the same old narrative ruts, as if we have a business-as-usual political situation.  The president’s people say he has changed his mind on the contraception mandate; in the shallowest of political terms, that can be seen as a “retreat”; and no care is taken to frame the overriding reality that Catholic employers will be required to pay for “insurance” programs that distribute contraception to their employees.

That is not a change of heart, it’s a significant broadening of the state’s control, undertaken at the drop of a hat – and we have a huge mainstream media apparatus that simply does not frame what’s going on in realistic terms.  The clear implications of the Obama decision were widely discussed across the conservative blogosphere yesterday, and even on some MSM opinion pages.  But in their news reporting, the MSM characterized what had happened – falsely – as a retreat by the president.

Are they idiots?  Are they all “in the tank” for Obama?  It may feel good to excoriate them in these terms, but I see it differently in the case of at least some of the MSM.  There is no doubt that a significant segment of the MSM has the same peculiar worldview as Obama and his advisors, and takes care to frame everything in the terms of that worldview.  But that doesn’t necessarily explain the behavior of the entire MSM.

Please note:  I am speaking here of how “straight news” is framed in the news pages or broadcasts.  Various opinions may be expressed on the editorial pages, but it matters greatly how the MSM attempt to reflect reality, which is what we all tacitly accept they are doing in “straight news” reporting.  This reporting comes, over time, to write the narratives in our heads about what is going on in the world.  And I have never seen reality so reflexively misinterpreted in the retailing of “news.”

What I perceive is a sort of “capture”: the MSM being stuck in a retrograde narrative about American political conditions that no longer obtains.  We are not in the old political conditions today.  We have not had a federal budget for more than 1,000 days.  That’s extremely abnormal.  The 2010 election was a large-scale repudiation of the sitting president and his policies, but the new Congress is gridlocked, unable to exercise its proper role in the separation of powers.  President Obama, besides presiding over a network of executive agencies larger and more powerful than any previous president had at his disposal, is a deliberate political “divider,” constantly – constantly – making divisive appeals to one constituency and rhetorically “flaming” another.  No president has behaved in anything close to this manner since FDR in the mid-1930s.

This president is not Bill Clinton, or even Jimmy Carter; he is not Lyndon Johnson or JFK.  He and his administration have broken with America’s trademark political mindset of gradualism and respect – however grudging at times – for the people.  So why is the narrative by which his administration’s actions are explained the same one the MSM has used for decades?  Why is this administration being interpreted on the same terms as its predecessors, when its actions and perspectives, in both domestic and foreign policy, are so very different?

I’m not sure I have an answer for that.  But the outcome is consistent.  The longer we go in this presidency, the less relation MSM headlines have to reality.  If you asked a random sample of journalists at WSJ what the practical effect of Obama’s “retreat” on the contraception mandate would be, I’m betting more than 50% of them would get it right.  The Catholics are still stuck with paying for contraception services.  But the misleading headlines march on of their own accord, even at WSJ.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Orwell had it figured out.

txmomof6 on February 11, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Obama didn’t retreat.

So long as the righties don’t argue for the First Amendment, they are dumb azzes and each deserves to lose.

So long as Romney doesn’t defend it, he is NOT fit to win the nomination, nor to be anything.

If this stands, and it’s way more than contraception/abortion, then soon Obama could say “no more pork consumption because it offends muzzies and some Jews”, just one ex.

It’s a gift Obama gave the right but they don’t know how to argue and to fight.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I’m surprised HotAir hasn’t made a separate thread celebrating their God, Mitt Romney, and his “win” in the Maine caucuses. Of course, one caucus site was “cancelled” due to “bad weather,” the same caucus site Mitt’s campaign happened to “complain” about. Not only that, but the entirety of the vote isn’t in yet, and the media’s busy fapping to Mitt.

Oh, and about the contraception mandate, Obama is a statist.

Aizen on February 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

And don’t forget many Catholic institutions are self-insuring. So they’re screwed either way.

Iblis on February 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

hmmm. Good catch, JE.

ted c on February 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Of course, the media will make the Catholic church look like they are the ones not compromising.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Excellent Blog Post J E Dyer..:)

Dire Straits on February 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Jazz – you are coming on nicely.

Carry on.

CorporatePiggy on February 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM

At the rate that Obama is shredding the constitution, I am surprised he hasn’t canceled the election and declared himself dictator for life.

karenhasfreedom on February 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

J.E.

This is the age of “newspeak”.

Somewhere, George Orwell is laughing his ass off.

GarandFan on February 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

At church they are letting parishioners take letters to send to our Senator in Washington. And this is in Massachusetts. There must be democrat senators and representatives in tight races that think Obama is nuts for doing this to them in an election year.

Little Boomer on February 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Good piece, J.E.

Although we think of the WSJ as a conservative stalwart, while the WSJ opinion pages are conservative, the news pages are liberal.

Buy Danish on February 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Can someone please impeach the Keynesian azz hat now??? Please???

Roy Rogers on February 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Remember when people “got through school” because they took courses like “basket weaving”…now, I guess it’s “journalism”!

KOOLAID2 on February 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Of course he retreated on contraception. He wants to punish a bunch of women with babies.

platypus on February 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I also thought the WSJ knew better. I was very surprise in the choice of headling.

kpm01428 on February 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Co-conspirators

CrazyGene on February 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

The most disappointing thing about the WSJ missing this is that they’re supposed to be the business-focused newspaper. Isn’t there anyone there who can see through the magical thinking that supposes you can force an insurance company to offer a product for free without passing the cost along to its customers?

sadarj on February 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

So why is the narrative by which his administration’s actions are explained the same one the MSM has used for decades? Why is this administration being interpreted on the same terms as its predecessors, when its actions and perspectives, in both domestic and foreign policy, are so very different?

I think it’s because they just don’t care — they don’t care to see the difference and they don’t care to realize the seriousness of how Obama is so radically different from his predecessors.

The MSM is just as much a True Believer (as Eric Hoffer described) as Obama is. That kind of worldview is not easily renounced and their self-interest is too much at stake for them to risk writing otherwise.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Starve the MSM beast.

platypus on February 11, 2012 at 7:37 PM

the MFM makes me flip sh!t…then I make a cheese sandwich

DHChron on February 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

This president considers the “loyal opposition” to be an enemy that must be thoroughly vanquished. This is “change” all right – change to marxism. Those of us that steadfastly refuse to believe that such a thing is possible are unwittingly aiding in this transformation.
And the media? Camera time, ratings, and their fawning fans are all they care about. Actually “reporting” is so far down the list of priorities for them that we may as well consider them part and parcel of the Hollywood crowd that they share the airwaves with.

n0doz on February 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

“Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment,” Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post offered to Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

When I hear members of the press make harebrained comments like this, makes me prone to wonder if they were wrong to guarantee freedom of the press–or the freedom of speech of journalists who make harebrained comments.

stukinIL4now on February 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

On the nose.

Count to 10 on February 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

J. E. Dyer is stuck in the past, shocked, shocked! that the media does not report facts!

Get with it, Dyer! Go read about Walter Lippann and Media Matters.

Herald of Woe on February 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Once we regain the White House and repeal this pile of crap called ObamaCare, it’s time to move to a patient-owned model of health insurance and de-couple it from employment all together. Employers have become de facto nannies, all the more now that they must comply with any and all arbitrary mandates of the state through the insurance coverage they provide to their employees.

People should own their own policies, be able to shop freely for them and choose plans that have the features and benefits that suit their needs, and employers should not have to spend precious capital – human and financial – administering something that has zero impact on their business.

redfoxbluestate on February 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Isn’t there anyone there who can see through the magical thinking that supposes you can force an insurance company to offer a product for free without passing the cost along to its customers?

sadarj on February 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

This fantasy is of such long standing and broad application that it doesn’t seem like anything new or jarring to the dulled senses of any so-called “journalist” or political professional at all. It’s roots are all the way back in the 1930′s and 40′s when several court decisions allowed the Federal Government to literally deem someone a participant in interstate commerce by virtue of the fact that they refused to actively buy or sell something. And it’s compounded by the 1960′s Miranda decision that established the notion that if anyone has a “Right” but can’t afford to avail themselves of it, the State or some agent of the State is obliged to provide it free of charge.
Thus an insurance company, as an unwilling accomplice of the State, can be compelled to offer a product against it’s wishes in the cause of paying for someone’s “Right”, once that right is recognized.
Orwell is indeed laughing hysterically from somewhere out in the vast void.

Lew on February 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

the broadcast tv news local and national and newspapers have been doing this since obama came into the picture.

trailortrash on February 11, 2012 at 8:01 PM

“The longer we go in this presidency, the less relation MSM headlines have to reality.” Well said. Maybe because the longer we go, the closer we get to the time Obama runs for re-election?

Since the MSM have completely rolled over for Obama, it’s incumbent upon those of us who are paying attention to continue to call out his doublespeak for what it is. Heed the words of one Ellen Ripley, ‘you’re not gonna sleaze your way out of this one’ … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

ombdz on February 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

So long as Romney doesn’t defend it, he is NOT fit to win the nomination, nor to be anything.

What does he have to do – give blood! Of course he has said he will take out every rule/law/signing statement that effects the free exercise of religion. You just hate him!
I hope you listened to Breitbart who said he will follow anyone chosen to go after obama and if you won’t then you are not on our side you are on the other side. And that is exactly how I feel.

Bambi on February 11, 2012 at 8:05 PM

He never had the authority to begin with.

Period.

Key West Reader on February 11, 2012 at 8:06 PM

My priest began the homily today thus: “Two weeks ago the current administration declared pregnancy a DISEASE”.

He went on and on, till yesterday, when he asked do we really think the insurance companies are going to provide contraception et al, FOR FREE?

He ended it with a real shocker that even had me, who’d been complaining about lack of broadcast from our church’s pulpit (for whatever reason, it turned out that only ONE priest wasn’t broadcasting about the matter).

He said, as I paraphrase, that Obama stated that the insurance would save money by giving free contraceptive and day after pills by delivery room and OB fees they wouldn’t have to pay.

“You know what that means you senior citizens,” priest said, clasping podium with both hands bending head low in conspiratorial pose. “It means NEXT THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU!”

Cause if they are saving money by NOT bringing life into the world, next they’ll want to save money by eliminating an elder life that is costing money to maintain…so the priest concluded.

He’s right of course. But I was shocked at the rawness of his words.

The Catholics for now seem to be fighting back though the MSM, as this post purports, interprets it a bit differently than at least my own parish priest did.

patfish on February 11, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Stop him.

Key West Reader on February 11, 2012 at 8:07 PM

You are too kind to the MSM, J.E.

They are stupid. They are idealogical. They don’t care about “news”, they care about “stories”.

mockmook on February 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I appreciate your attempt to articulate the difficulty in speaking or writing about Obama. The articulation problem stems from the fact that Obama and his administration are intentionally seizing power that they do not have, both to impose their view of the world on American citizens and to destroy America’s long-standing institutions. We never before have had to deal with such a president, and we therefore have difficulty saying things about him.
But it does not have to be so. Keeping it simple allows clear articulation. Some examples:
Obama constantly lies to the American people.
Obama intends to destroy traditional American values.
Obama intends to destroy traditional American institutions.
Obama hates the US Constitution.
Obama does not believe that there is anything exceptionally good about America.
Obama believes that everything exceptional about America is bad.
Obama wants America to be no stronger than any run of the mill country.
Obama wants as many Americans as possible to become dependent on the federal government.
Obama wants the federal government to grow as large as possible.
Obama wants to increase taxes as much as possible.
Obama hates capitalism.
Obama hates America.
Simple truths; easy to articulate.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Come on, moslems! Next he’ll be calling for pig skin prayer rugs. Or pron in your Mosques

Key West Reader on February 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I just got back from Mass. The Catholics I spoke with weren’t fooled by the supposed “accommodation.” I hope and pray that the same can be said of Catholics and those of all denominations across the nation.

lukjuj on February 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM

The media no longer reports the news. They simply read the script provided by the producer/director/scriptwriter-in-chief. To do otherwise would risk being treated like bloggers, or (gasp) Fox News!

n0doz on February 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

patfish on February 11, 2012 at 8:06 PM

My Mass was a good one, but not a stem-winder like yours. I would love to sit in your pews and hear him.

These are the times when I start to feel good deep inside concerning my faith.

And he is right; when life is not respected at its beginning, its not respected at its end. My Dad was told Medicare would not pay for the hernia surgery he badly needed. He had to pay it out of his own pocket.

Death panels, here we come.

itsspideyman on February 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Fox News was using the same misleading language this morning.

tuffy on February 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

So long as Romney doesn’t defend it, he is NOT fit to win the nomination, nor to be anythin</blockquote

Yes. The bottom line.

congma on February 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Starve the MSM beast.

platypus on February 11, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I pray that one Sunday the sermon is about the lying, complicit MSM pushing this dictatorial governments message & agenda.

redridinghood on February 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I hope and pray that the same can be said of Catholics and those of all denominations across the nation.

The media still refuse to distinguish between the “But I Don’t Go to Church or Any of THAT Crap” Catholics and devout, pew-occupying Catholics.

bmmg39 on February 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM

This is a good article in terms of defining the problem but the author doesn’t answer his own question, or even proffer any possibilities: laziness, bias, cutbacks, transformation of the news media with 24 hour cycle; ignorance; arrogance; ideology etc

matthew8787 on February 11, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Come on, moslems! Next he’ll be calling for pig skin prayer rugs. Or pron in your Mosques

Key West Reader on February 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Or pork rinds in the vending machine.

Huckabye-Romney on February 11, 2012 at 9:10 PM

My priest also went with the pregnancy as disease deal. I am in westchester county, near NYC. Watching all the probable Zerobama voters squirm was delicious. So glad the church finally dug in and stood up for the right thing. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my church. Heh.

Huckabye-Romney on February 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Of course, the media will make the Catholic church look like they are the ones not compromising.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Why in a nation with freedom of religious practice should anyone expect the Church to have to compromise at all? The whole point of the Catholic Church is that they do not compromise on truth or sin. One thing that sets the Catholic Church apart is that they have eternal truths and priniciples that do not yeild to the passions or fashions of the day.

KW64 on February 11, 2012 at 9:15 PM

The handling of these follows the usual scenario for virtually everything. It relabels the situation, like no “War on Terror” it’s “overseas contingency operations”. In this case, it’s not the Church paying, it’s some magical mystery benefactor.

J_Crater on February 11, 2012 at 9:25 PM

I just got back from Mass. The Catholics I spoke with weren’t fooled by the supposed “accommodation.” I hope and pray that the same can be said of Catholics and those of all denominations across the nation.

lukjuj on February 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Maybe if the Catholic Church leads some of the other denominations will follow. I would expect the Baptist Church might oppose this mandate. I imagine the Methodists will sit this one out.

KW64 on February 11, 2012 at 9:27 PM

It’s a gift Obama gave the right but they don’t know how to argue and to fight.
Schadenfreude on February 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

.
Seriously ? – do not bite on this Catholic contraception stupidity. It’s not a gift- it’s a ploy. Over 50% of Catholics were unfazed by our late-term abortion prez. And voted for him. The battle is not about 1st Ammend. The extracted outrage from the constitutionalists is only cover for Ocommie to pull back as many women and liberal Catholics that think it’s unfair for the oppressive SoCons to infringe on their rights. Herr Axelfraud is not that stupid and the obiecare rejection Is already a constitutional debate. It’s a high profile MSM non-issue. Mittens needs to expose Ocommie for this divisive manipulative treatment of Americans from dear leader. And add some 1st amend. Puffery as well.

FlaMurph on February 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM

***

The extracted outrage from the constitutionalists is only cover for Ocommie to pull back as many women and liberal Catholics that think it’s unfair for the oppressive SoCons to infringe on their rights.

***

FlaMurph on February 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Something along these lines occurred to me too. Beyond that, I wonder whether Obama, Axelrod, et al.–hard left folks–saw this as a great opportunity to drive a wedge between American Catholics and their clergy. It seems to me that many American Catholics are still smarting from the priest-pedophile scandals.

That said, I wish Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul would huddle and come up with a uniform response similar to what you’ve described. Whoever the nominee ends up being, I’d like all of them on the same page–one that accuses the Obama administration of being manipulative SOBs.

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2012 at 9:54 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on February 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Spot on.

And once you’ve read through that list, it should be obvious how naive are those who describe Barry’s reign as a failure. He has already succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and plunges further ahead daily.

bofh on February 11, 2012 at 10:10 PM

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2012 at 9:54 PM

.
One thing is for sure. The MSM will stay as far away from this to make sure they don’t take sides. And Ocommie knows he can count on them for their ” objectivity”

FlaMurph on February 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM

The media still refuse to distinguish between the “But I Don’t Go to Church or Any of THAT Crap” Catholics and devout, pew-occupying Catholics.

bmmg39 on February 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM

And you can be sure they’ll be the first to give all the air time in the world to the first group and freeze out the second to further fit their narrative that “most” Catholics “approve” of the contraception mandate.

The second group will get lumped in with those eeeeevil Social Conservatives who “just want to deny women their rights.”

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM

” … n-n-now, now, come on guys …. y-y-you know that my only concern here is, ah, women’s health … c-c-catholic bishops must put aside partisan, uh, interests and, uh, join with me in defending women’s health from, uh, having to choose between, uh, a back-alley coat-hanger abortion, and. ah, er, a modern antiseptic, uh, breathaliser, uh, I mean, abortion, not a breathaliser, uh, no not an abortion, uh, yeah, an abortion, I mean, I would never want to punish a child of mine with an abortion … I mean, a baby, I mean, Hey! I hear your excitement, uhmm, I’m excited too … I hear ya, now, uh, now wait, I can’t hear myself think, okay, so the thing is a woman must always have the right to choose, and uh, to have the option to abort, or, uh, to, well g’night, folks, I’me being told we need to move on to the next, uh, campaign, uh, well, no, not campaign, but, uh, public, er, get-togeather? event. So until then rest assured that I am your president. I am completely on top of things. I have everything under control. I did indeed write my own memoirs and Bill Ayers had nothing to do with it. Good bye. I mean, good night. (Does anybody have a goddam match?)

minnesoter on February 11, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Why do they keep getting it wrong?

Well, I can’t answer specifically in the case of the WSJ, but I think media-wide, the answer lies in a younger, lazier segment of journalists who’ve been educated in the most progressive journalism schools and are being spoon-fed their information from the White House and their allies like CAP. I think there is a coordinated effort like never before between the White House and the mainstream media to get out the Obama message.

I didn’t make the connection initially, but I heard Glenn Beck make it the other day on the radio: Remember a couple of weeks ago when George Snufalufagus spent more than 15 minutes on contraception while moderating a recent GOP debate? Remember how confused we all were- wondering just why in the hell he was talking about something nobody else in the country was talking about? Well, lookie here; George was ahead of the curve, wasn’t he? And how could that be? I mean of all things, contraception? But he set them up and he did it specifically because he knew what was coming from the White House before the rest of us. And he knew because the White House was feeding him the info.

Now I know Snuffy isn’t a young journalist, and he should be have more integrity than to run with something so ludicrous during a GOP debate, but he is, after all, a democratic operative. The young ones though, are just so enamored with Obama, and almost assuredly raised lazy, that being fed their columns by someone from the White House, the campaign, or CAP is not only a thrill, it also saves them from actually having to investigate work. They’re compliant and they believe in what they’re doing.

This dynamic is the only thing keeping Obama’s approval rating above that of Congress.

BKeyser on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM

I just got back from Mass. The Catholics I spoke with weren’t fooled by the supposed “accommodation.” I hope and pray that the same can be said of Catholics and those of all denominations across the nation.

lukjuj on February 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Well good for them. On the other hand, the Catholics that don’t go to mass will think this is just swell.

Sometimes I think the Catholic Church in the U.S. is less than 20 years away from a great schism into a liberal wing that supports abortion, contraception, women priests, and homosexual marriages and a true Church that stays aligned with Rome.

And then the Liberal American Catholic Church (as they’ll call themselves) will be completely gone within a generation of its creation.

PackerBronco on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 PM

And you can be sure they’ll be the first to give all the air time in the world to the first group and freeze out the second to further fit their narrative that “most” Catholics “approve” of the contraception mandate.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Early this week our local news covered this story by giving equal time to our Bishop and to a liberal local Catholic, who claimed that contraception was not against Church teaching because of some writings of “prominent catholic theologians.”

I’ve long ago learned that the MSM doesn’t have the first clue about Catholicism.

PackerBronco on February 11, 2012 at 11:01 PM

My first thought was, “Surely the Journal knows better than this. Why would they headline this story as if Obama had, in fact, backed off on the mandate? What are they, USA Today?”

The headline doesn’t reflect reality.

I expected better of WSJ.

J.E. Dyer

I have no idea why. WSJ’s “news” coverage has been rated by Tim Groseclose’s UCLA media bias study as the single most liberal mess in media. Their opinion pages are often cited as conservative, but this is news we’re talking about, and they are awful.

Jaibones on February 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM

I’m not sure which Catholics that have been talked to that actually agree with anything Obama says on this, or any other, issue. My priest got a standing ovation after reading the Archbishop’s letter condemning this particular dictatorial fiat. Maybe the polls solely consist of non-precticing Catholics. The ones who show up every week have a decidedly different view

jayhawkingeorgia on February 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Every word Dyer wrote is accurate. I, too, have been amazed at all this “Obama backs down talk” in news stories. You have to have an I.Q. of 5 to believe that if you looked at any of the details of Obama’s “compromise.”

BillCarson on February 12, 2012 at 1:39 AM

It appears we are all getting stupider or something.

Still I have enough brains left to hate HRM King Obama, may he reign forever.

God Save The Obummer!

(But do something about that gross wart on his Royal Person’s Nose!)

(Nosferatu called and said he wants his pointy ears back too…)

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2012 at 2:19 AM

But, hey, it’s FREE stuff! It doesn’t cost anything, according to the Democrats. If they can give away condoms and morning-after pills free, why not other stuff, too?

I’d like a pony. And a Range Rover.

Adjoran on February 12, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Good one, Adjoran!

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2012 at 3:24 AM

This president is not Bill Clinton, or even Jimmy Carter; he is not Lyndon Johnson or JFK. 

I think the name you’re looking for is ” Lucifer”.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2012 at 5:15 AM

There is no doubt that a significant segment of the MSM has the same peculiar worldview as Obama and his advisors, and takes care to frame everything in the terms of that worldview.  But that doesn’t necessarily explain the behavior of the entire MSM.

Very true, but I wonder sometimes if the average voter calling himself “conservative” could explain the differing worldviews if their lives depended on it.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2012 at 6:07 AM

A few years back, I read about a study regarding the political leanings (liberal or conservative) of newspapers across the nation. The study rated the hard news and opinion pages separately. The WSJ’s news coverage was deemed to lean very liberal, while its opinion pages conservative. Obviously, that is still the case. (Which probably doesn’t please Murdoch haters.)

Robin888 on February 12, 2012 at 7:02 AM

Is this how a civil war begins?

A dictatorial executive order, czar using, law and federal judge ignoring, smiling bullsh*t artist of a president, literally, rules by edict, and the media the supposed democracy loving media, either covers it up, or like this, outright lies about it.

People can accept it when an election is lost, they can adapt to having a partisan divide, what they cannot, will not accept, is being stomped on by a low rent political hatchetman elevated to the highest office.

even aside form the stupid and immoral “magic thinking”,…

even without that, where, do his supporters get the idea, he can or has the right to dictate areas of conscience?

When did he become Pope?

Where did he get the title, grand king of all Christian and Jewish thinking?

I’d love to see where they get that idea..

People forgive much..

but not mucking with their faith, that, has led to many a war, and you’d think a Harvard law professor would know he’s risking way too much, over voters who would never vote GOP anyway.

mark81150 on February 12, 2012 at 7:55 AM

The bottom line of this fine commentary is the MSM can no longer be trusted. You would think that one outlet, perhaps even 2, would get it right. You’d think the Washington Post or even ABC News(with Jake Tapper) could get it right. Alas, it appears they’ve been in the tank, for so long, they no longer take a step back and look at what they’re being told by the Administration and the Democrats.

bflat879 on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 AM

How stupid can these people get. Only a dictator can just say IT IS FREE.
Obama is the dumbest person I know. He has no concept of the real life economy. I am sorry I will have to stop my comments befro i say something offensive.

TomLawler on February 12, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Robin888 on February 12, 2012 at 7:02 AM

That was the same thing I thought about when reading this. Here’s the story from UCLA

RW_theoriginal on February 12, 2012 at 8:32 AM

The newspapers are filled with nothing but lechers and moochers, no surprise they would socialists.

ray on February 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Is this how a civil war begins?

mark81150 on February 12, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Only by a people with backbone.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Killing babies for free and getting rid of the old people is all in his wonderful Ocare. Hmmm, I wonder what else is in that stinking pile? Guess we’ll find out when it all gets rolled out. If you think anyone is going to repeal that law, go to the store and try to buy a lightbulb.

Kissmygrits on February 12, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I’ve been a WSJ subscriber since way before it went digital.

Something is going horribly wrong with the paper, and many of its readers think the same (if contribute to the comments, regularly, you can see this stated more and more often).

Some of the pieces are such “fluff,” now, often unsubstantiated, or speculation, just plain empty articles, and I’m not sure what they are doing.

So far the readers/subscribers are completely aware of the dangers of Obama, his administration, the Dem Party, and the MSM. (Again, read the comments in the digital version daily.)

They are acutely aware of the no-compromise faux “compromise.”

so-notbuyingit on February 12, 2012 at 9:51 AM

“Why is this administration being interpreted on the same terms as its predecessors, when its actions and perspectives, in both domestic and foreign policy, are so very different?”

Because if they admitted to themselves what is actually happening, they would have to call for a civil war to fix it.

SDN on February 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I have no idea why. WSJ’s “news” coverage has been rated by Tim Groseclose’s UCLA media bias study as the single most liberal mess in media. Their opinion pages are often cited as conservative, but this is news we’re talking about, and they are awful.

Jaibones on February 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM

The WSJ journalists are left wing tools. I have been a subscriber of the WSJ for more than 25 years and have watched the content shift dramatically to the left. The editorial page goes all wobbly as well. The editors endorsed Bush’s amnesty plan. My wife walks into the kitchen every morning while I. am reading the paper and asks me “what did they screw up today?”. I am toying around with the idea of dropping the paper since it pisses me off more than it educates me.

On a similar subject, Fox News (the parent company of the WSJ) is also lurching to the left on it’s coverage. I honestly believe they are doing this to appease BO and Holder given their legal problems in the UK.

David in ATL on February 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM

David in ATL on February 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Sullivan’s Law: Whatever is not EXPLICITLY Right Wing, will eventually go Left Wing.

(John Sullivan, former editor of National Review)

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM

The bottom line of this fine commentary is the MSM can no longer be trusted.

bflat879 on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Thank you.

J.E. Dyer on February 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Mr. Dwyer,

Obama is the POTUS that every college campus Leftist from both the hippie era of the 60s and the punk rock era of the late 70s/80s has been waiting their whole lives for. Many of those Leftists are now running the MSM. It is in their best interests to create the illusion that there’s absolutely nothing alarming or unprecedented that Obama is doing. They are trying to lull the nation into a sleepy apathetic state and convince them that all the back and forth partisan bickering over the past 3 years is just a continuation of the political background noise that’s been going on in America for ages.

Just remmeber the MSM formula:

Portray Liberal ideology as mainstream.
Portray mainstram ideology as Conservative.
Portray Conservative ideology as Right Wing extremist lunacy.

Rinse and repeat a million times until you’re able to convince the masses that an America hating Marxist who is doing everything that an America hating Marxist would try to do, isn’t really doing much of anything that we should be worrying our pretty little heads over.

ardenenoch on February 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

GOOD NEWS! NO S & P DOWNGRADE BEFORE THE ELECTION!

Whatever does the election have to do with it except that S & P was investigated after the last downgrade?

“The S&P in a morning webcast noted that there is a 1 in 3 chance of a U.S. downgrade and they continue their negative outlook for the next 6 to 24 months. They also noted that a downgrade was unlikely before November’s election.” From Minyanville Daily Recap 2/10/2012 online

IlikedAUH2O on February 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

If you asked a random sample of journalists at WSJ what the practical effect of Obama’s “retreat” on the contraception mandate would be, I’m betting more than 50% of them would get it right.

I think you’re being kind.

I personally prefer IBD.

Tim_CA on February 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM

The bottom line of this fine commentary is the MSM can no longer be trusted.

bflat879 on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 AM

The fine print is that they were never worthy of our trust; but, without the internet, we had no way of knowing that in real-time.

AesopFan on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Are they idiots?

Economics is not a requirement to obtain a journalism major. Thereby all journalists are economic retards, easily rolled by any sleeze coming out of the Chitcago machine.

MNHawk on February 13, 2012 at 7:18 AM