Pope Coverage: The Secular Press Strikes Back

The secular press strikes back: that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

After three days of positive pope coverage the secular press has had enough. And today it launched a counterattack against the late pontiff. The usual suspects are involved, Richard Cohen of "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" op-ed page to name just two. The "Times" ran a couple of opinion columns saying that the pope was an autocratic guy who may have hurt his own church and that the Polish people loved the pope but didn't listen to him.

But far more egregious was a news article in "The Times" by Virginia Heffernan who uses "Boston Globe" columnist James Carroll as the primary voice in a hit piece on the pope's legacy. Now, Carroll is an extreme left-winger who opines that John Paul's reign has had dire consequences for Catholics in the USA. Carroll's thesis is not challenged in Heffernan's article. It's ridiculous.

Now, this Carroll character is the same guy who wrote shortly after the attack on 9/11 quote, "there is a way to make what happened that day even worse. If in our response to it we do not drastically change the way we live on this planet, beginning with how to respond to those who hate us." In Carroll's world, we are the problem, vis-a-vis 9/11, not the terrorists and the pope is the problem regarding the Catholic Church. And this guy is the centerpiece after news article by "The New York Times"? Come on.

So why is this happening? Well, it's not hard to figure it out. Non-stop TV coverage of the pope has put his spirituality and belief system into the spotlight, many people are actually thinking about the pope's philosophy. --Which is directly opposed to the secular progressive agenda. So the secular press is trying to diminish the pope in order to keep the momentum it has going. If John Paul's view of life were to gain traction, the seculars would be set back.

"Talking Points" knew "The New York Times," and others would counterattack, in fact, we had the story on the board two days ago -- the progressives are so predictable. There is no question the legacy of John Paul is open for debate. I think the new pope must be more realistic in the face of evil, I believe a crusader for justice is needed, a man who will confront terrorism, savagery and apathy towards those who are suffering.

At its base, Christianity should be a force for good in this world, a protector of life, of the poor, of the oppressed. But the secular movement wants to de-emphasize any kind of faith-based action because it stands in the face of egocentric policy, it espouses a higher purpose than just what Man wants to do. Thus the pope took a few lumps today. God rest his soul.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

I forgot in the tease, there is no "Ridiculous Item" tonight, because I'd just like to send a public message to Peter Jennings (search), who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Keep fighting the good fight, Sir. I am praying for you and so are millions of others.

Mr. Jennings helped me out a lot when I worked for him in the mid 80's over at ABC. I respect his skill, toughness and determination. If anyone can beat this disease, it is Peter Jennings.

I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com