Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Political Pedophile Priest of Faux News

I only recently discovered Father Jonathan Morris, a web commentator for Fox News. I have no way of knowing if Father Jonathan genuinely believes the things he writes and says, or if he's simply hiring out his clerical collar in an effort to bestow moral legitimacy on the standard menu of right wing talking points.

That Fox bills him as their "Papal contributor" strongly suggests the latter. Iconoclastic columnist James Wolcott seems to view Father Jonathan in that light as well. In a Vanity Fair column from last fall, Wolcott wrote, "Leave it to Fox News to find the first neocon pinup priest to sign up as an on-air analyst."

I thought the "neocon pinup priest" epithet might be a bit harsh. Until, that is, I read Father Jonathan's recent article on the Haditha incident titled "War is Messy." It's a set piece of Rovewellian propaganda from start to finish.

Blame the Media, Support the Troops

Father Jonathan's article opens with a familiar bit of neoconservative revisionist history on the Vietnam Conflict:
Not long ago our country, led by bad news, betrayed our soldiers. We lost political will and we lost the war. How quickly we forget.

Now, as then, according to this hogwash, if we "lose" the war in Iraq it will be because bad news in the media caused Americans to "betray the troops."

The likes of Father Jonathan never want to admit that now, as then, defeat will come as a result of the acts of bad men who started a bad war for bad reasons and ran it badly. That would be too much like, uh, confessing the truth.

On the subject of the Haditha affair, Father Jonathan tells us that the Pentagon is preparing the public for bad news, but the bad news isn't the "revelation of criminal battle rage of a group of men in uniform." No, the kind of bad news the Pentagon is preparing us for is "bad news reporting, the kind that leads public opinion to betray the very men and women who risk their lives for ours."

And thus we're back to the main theme. The sin wasn't the crime; the sin was reporting the crime, which constitutes a betrayal.

Not content with repetition of his false main premise, Father Jonathan goes on to launch a "double straw man" attack on the media by putting words in the mouth of a general who puts words in the mouth of the collective press.

"Don’t take the bait, mass media," says Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli in the apocryphal speech Father Jonathan writes for him. "The deplorable actions of a few men are not representative of our military. Our soldiers, in contrast to the enemy, know the difference between right and wrong. In fact, it’s part of their training."

I haven't seen a single accusation in any reputable media outlet that suggests "the deplorable actions of a few" are representative of the overall moral behavior of the military. But you can bet a month's worth of collection plate contributions that Father Jonathan's Fox News audience will take his word for it that the entire "liberal" media is accusing every United States soldier, seaman, airman and Marine of eating babies for breakfast.

And just to make sure he's got every block in the anti-media playbook checked, Father Jonathan gets in the obligatory dig about how media reports of bad news "threaten morale," as if the real threat to morale weren't the incompetence and dishonesty of the troops' Commander in Chief, their Secretary of Defense, and the liege-men generals who have made successful military careers out of saying "yes."

As far as I'm concerned, Jonathan Morris has every right to hire himself out as a chorister in Karl Rove's noise philharmonic, but if he's going to do that, he really ought to quit hiding behind his pulpit and passing himself off as a representative of the Pope. As Wolcott put it, "It is not the job of a priest to be a pretty buttboy for the Pentagon and the warmaking powers of the United States."

I won't presume to guess what God makes of the guy, but in my judgment, political whore clerics like Jonathan Morris make pedophile priests look downright "pastoral."


  1. Anonymous5:44 PM

    "It's always messy, and in the throes of passion the best and the worst of humanity come to light."

    I presume the "throes of passion" is also the excuse for those bastards who use priestly robes as cover for stickin' it up the asses of little boys, no?

    The poor, defenseless Pentagon, being made to eat humble pie because of "bad news reporting."



  2. Have you seen the current Army Times? I picked one up at the commissary today and I thought the front page article was very interesting. If this were on the cover of the NY Times or Washington Post, the right wing would be demanding they be strung up and charged with treason or something.

  3. Meribeth9:12 AM

    Well, well. It seems like our government along with the blessings of The Church has a new use for Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

    It worked for The Church for many years with their perverts...why not extend the Pentagons policy to Truthiness? And better yet get a member of The Church to be the shrill?

  4. What really burns me is that the "bad news" ploy coming from a cleric has been used before.

    And I'm particularly steamed that this one used the Vietnam gambit, because from what I can tell, the so and so wasn't even alive when all that happened.

    And all the "betray" talk--it's another variation of "treason" and "unpatriotic."

  5. I also wanted to mention that the Military Times magazines have been some of the boldest critics and whistle blowers of the Bush era media.

    They're the ones who tracked down the bad body armor story.

  6. If you have the opportunity to pick up a copy, or if you can get to it online, it is a very good article. I especially thought the comparisons to My Lai were intriguing.

  7. Anonymous8:26 AM

    You left-leaning secularists are all the same---complaints and bomb-throwing without any actionable plans or facts to back up your rants. First of all, it is appalling to me that you would accuse anyone of being a pedophile based solely on his chosen "profession." Shame on you! The vast majority of clergy are honest and law-abiding members of our society.

    And, just what would you do in Iraq? Would your plan make us safer? The war in Iraq is tragic and who knows where it will end. However, we are there and we need to achieve the objective of increasing our and our allies safety from terrorism and lessening radical Islam's control of the resources of the area.

  8. Anonymous3:23 PM

    I guess if you are a Catholic priest, you have lost your right to free speech if it does not agree with liberal thinking. tsk tsk. The lefties have been offended. So sorry.