The liberal media should be lapping this up. There was an accurate recounting of the global rejoicing, especially in Argentina. There were hopeful words about his pastoral modesty. But as the day came for the pope to be installed, the natural secular liberal nastiness toward the oldest Christian faith bubbled up in demands for "tolerance" and women's liberation.
On the March 18 "Today," co-host Matt Lauer noted the simplicity of Pope Francis -- and then tried to suggest it was extreme. "So a lot of people like this move to simplicity, a move to the poor. Is it possible to take it too far?" If Benedict enjoyed revisiting the more regal historic Vatican garb, that was extreme. More humility? Also quite possibly extreme.
This is the kind of general hostility to religion that makes people turn the channel. The networks try to restrain themselves when the ever-necessary eyeballs are flocking to the TV set to see the Vatican news. But seemingly they can't hold out forever. Ultimately, they revert to sounding like jerks.
All three of NBC's regular "Today's Professionals" panelists agreed. Advertising man Donny Deutsch insisted this was a victory of style over substance. "It's great to do all of this style stuff, man of the people. But, and we've talked about this ad nauseam, until the Catholic Church starts to address what we all know are the real issues the Church has, which is the real concern of the people, this stuff doesn't matter. It doesn't matter."
Liberals demand that the Catholic Church bow to their infallible instincts. You can't just dress humbly, preach the gospel and serve the poor. You have to grant indulgences to the feminists, the homosexuals and the contraceptive industry.
NBC medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman lectured the new pope that "poverty without birth control begets more poverty. ... This is a chance to take the humility and the poverty and say now we're really going to talk about this in a civilized way and move it forward." Deutsch added: "And we can talk about tolerance with gays and attitudes towards women." Snyderman threw in "And women in the Church."
If only the Vatican had thought of that.
Is there anything funnier than a couple of pompous NBC millionaires lecturing the pope about poverty and humility?