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Fox News rewrites history

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 05, 2013

On the Fox News site today—July 5—one finds an AP news story about a meeting between Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The focus of the story—in fact, the entirety of the story—is devoted to a discussion of same-sex marriage.

"Francis, who vigorously opposed gay marriage in his native Argentina, and Archbishop Justin Welby met Friday for the first time since both were installed in March."

It’s true that the Pope and the Anglican leader “met Friday.” But not this Friday; the meeting took place on Friday, June 14: three weeks before the day when this news story appeared on the Fox site.

So why dredge up stale news? Obviously to fire a few more shots in the same-sex-marriage battle. In his address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis spoke of the history of Catholic-Anglican ecumenical affairs, their theological dialogue, the Anglican ordinariates, the war in Syria, and service to the poor. Yes, he did devote one phrase to the need to protect marriage.

It’s simply impossible for any objective observer to claim that this meeting was centered on same-sex marriage. But then, it’s equally impossible to claim that the meeting took place on July 5.

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  • Posted by: Petronius - Jul. 06, 2013 11:38 PM ET USA

    I think it's Mr. Lawlers's headline, Fox News Rewrites History, that seems so unjust to some of us. I.watch Fox News, CNN and MSNBC regularly and consider Fox far from being the most unfriendly to the Church.

  • Posted by: Duns Scotus - Jul. 05, 2013 8:23 PM ET USA

    Phil, a simple Google Search reveals that SEVERAL news sites, not just FOX News, posted the AP story today. What's more, as I suspected, the AP MISTAKELY (not maliciously) resent the three week old story, which it has now withdrawn. (http://www.startribune.com/nation/214350181.html) Phil, I respect you and your work and almost always agree with you. This time, however, you've got egg on your face. I humbly suggest you apologize to FOX News.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jul. 05, 2013 7:02 PM ET USA

    Of all the egregious anti-Catholic bias that appears in the media these days, this is a mere peccadillo. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. And you still haven't said which direction the shot is fired. The Pope is certainly not being defamed. What's the problem here, Phil?

  • Posted by: phil L - Jul. 05, 2013 5:17 PM ET USA

    Really? You're OK with passing off a 3-week old AP story as news? And giving primary-- no, sole-- attention to a topic the Pope barely mentioned?

  • Posted by: Petronius - Jul. 05, 2013 3:54 PM ET USA

    I couldn't agree with Cornelius more. What's the problem? I have no idea what AguesDay is talking about.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jul. 05, 2013 1:23 PM ET USA

    Fire shots? Maybe, but having read the article (which is an AP story, by the way) I can't tell which way the shots are aimed. And you don't say in your comment, Phil. You're getting exercised over nothing, my good man.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 05, 2013 11:27 AM ET USA

    This is the same network that permitted news copy to read that we pray "to the memory of [Pope John Paul II]. I nearly swallowed my uppers when I heard that. Twice.

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