Bloomberg Drops Neutral Pretense with Ad Slamming Ted Cruz

Sneers that ‘religious liberty’ is ‘politics.”

A media outlet that’s abandoned its “neutral” pretense? That’s refreshing, if somewhat arrogant. Bloomberg Businessweek must be comfortable that its business and economic coverage is so good it can afford to alienate the conservative half of the population. 

Bloomberg Businessweek ran an ad by Bloomberg Politics against Senator Ted Cruz, R—TX, in its Jan. 26 – Feb. 1 2015 issue. Picturing a swearing-in on a Bible (in black-and-white), the ad read, “Ted Cruz calls it religious freedom. We call it politics.”


The ad recommended an old Oct. 20, 2014 article entitled, “Culture wars break out between pastors and The City of Houston over new LGBT laws.” Online, Bloomberg Politics retitled the article by Dave Weigel as, “FAQ: Why Ted Cruz Wants You to Send Bibles to Houston's Gay Mayor.” 

The city of Houston subpoenaed five pastors’ sermons last year. The pastors represented part of a coalition of city churches that opposed the “bathroom bill” or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). Supported by openly lesbian Houston mayor Annise Parker, HERO promised transgenders the option to use whichever gender public bathroom they felt like.

Despite his headline, Weigel said nothing of Sen. Cruz and Bibles in his piece – instead, his qualm was with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Bibles: 

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee asked “every pastor in America” to send sermons to the mayor, and every viewer of his show to send her a Bible. 

Weigel’s piece deemed Houston “the center of a showdown with religious leaders and Republican politicians on one side and the city's progressive establishment on the other” with Senator Ted Cruz as “the key figure.” 

When he did focus on Sen. Cruz, Weigel accused him of “hyperbole” at an Oct. 16 press conference where Sen. Cruz criticized mayor Parker for wanting to "use the power of government to determine whether the sermons you preach on Sunday are acceptable in City Hall," and foretold a future where pastors would be “hauled off” if they refused to celebrate gay marriages. 

The broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and CBS, censored the news last year, despite an outcry from conservatives. 

While the reaction had something to do with the “stupid nature of the subpoenas,” Weigel blamed, “conservatives have been girding for a good religious liberty battle.” 

Ted Cruz is a lightning rod among liberals and their elite media allies, and only unsophisticated fly-over types worry about little things like religious freedom. Unless Bloomberg Businessweek follows up with an ad featuring one of Nancy Pelosi’s more laughable comments about Catholicism and abortion, we can assume the publication has completely abandoned its already flimsy “impartial” disguise.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.