Just Before Canonization, NBC Hypes John Paul II Critic Saying Many Felt 'Stomped On' During His Papacy

The Friday before the Catholic church would celebrate the canonization of two popes, NBC's Today hyped the "controversy" of the jubilant fans of Blessed John Paul II "drowning out dissent" from those who felt "stomped on" during his papacy.

Raining on the canonization parade, NBC's Anne Thompson said the crowds who chanted "sainthood now" at John Paul II's funeral were "drowning out dissent" from folks like, as leftist religion reporter David Gibson told NBC, "Voices of women, voices of sex abuse victims, voices of the more progressive folks in the church who felt they had gotten stomped on during the 26, almost 27 years of John Paul II's papacy." [Audio here.]

NBC's airing of vicious criticism of John Paul II was the worst of the networks' coverage of the canonizations, although both CBS and ABC noted the "controversy" in the proceedings.

The headline on CBS This Morning blared that "controversy surrounds sainthood for two popes." The only "controversy" that CBS's Allen Pizzey noted, however, was John Paul II's speedy canonization process.

"Preparations are being made for as many as a million people to attend a ceremony that is controversial on several levels. Rules have been waived, or in the view of some, not given enough weight. John Paul II was put on the fast track of a process that usually takes decades if not centuries," Pizzey reported.

ABC's Terry Moran cited criticism of Blessed John Paul II's response to the sexual abuse scandals, but countered with his popularity and his helping end the Cold War:

"So fast, it stirred controversy, especially among many victims of sexual abuse by priests, a rancid church scandal that festered and deepened during John Paul's long papacy. But he towered over his times. His fierce resistance to tyranny seen as helping to end the Cold War. 'Santo subito,' the crowds chanted at his funeral in 2005, 'sainthood now,' and now it comes."

— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.