Media Stunned at Election of a Catholic as Pope


Media outlets around the globe panicked after learning that a Catholic had been elected as the new pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has been described by the world media as a "hardline conservative" who believes in all major aspects of Catholic faith and doctrine.

"I can't believe the Catholic Church would do this," said an insider at CNN.  "This guy doesn't believe in abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, or female priests.  I was really anticipating that the Catholic Church was ready to elect a pope that was not a true Catholic.  Someone far more flexible on these issues.  You know.  Like a Unitarian Church leader."

It seemed unusual that the media portrayed John Paul II as a compassionate and warm leader, while Benedict the XVI is described as a radical hardline conservative even though the two hold almost identical beliefs about the Church.  A New York Times executive explained.  "We all described John Paul II as a right-wing zealot when he was first elected in an attempt to promote hatred of Catholics and religion," said the executive.  "Once he actually started to perform compassionate deeds and change the world for the better, we had to back off.  Now we have an opportunity to slam this new pope as a hardline conservative.  Most of our readers are too dumb to know that hardline conservative is just code for a devout Catholic.  I'm still disappointed that our early smear tactics couldn't sway the Cardinals to select someone like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton, three non-Catholics who would change the Church doctrine for the better.  This is off the record, right?"



Jeremy Robb. "Media Stunned at Election of a Catholic as Pope." (April 27, 2005).

This article reprinted with permission from the author. is a media watchdog and conservative news site, with a focus on the San Francisco Chronicle. We provide commentary on recent Chronicle articles, journalists and publications, in addition to our own guest columns and editorial.


Jeremy Robb is a San Francisco resident and satirist who notes that he is on a "one man's jihad against liberalism." He is the editor of the "Jerhad!com Newsletter" and his website is at Jeremy receives e-mail at

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