Brian Fitzpatrick

In an obvious attempt to create a Jeremiah Wright-style scandal for the Republican presidential ticket – and to marginalize conservative Christian values – Huffington Post National Editor Nico Pitney is questioning the religious beliefs of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her former pastor.

A Sept. 2 Huffington Post (HP) article by Pitney and Political Reporter Sam Stein begins with an ominous headline: “Palin's Church May Have Shaped Controversial Worldview.” They write, “And if the political storm over Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright is any indication, Palin may face some political fallout over the more controversial teachings of Wasilla Assembly of God.”

Pitney and Stein label Palin’s worldview “controversial,” and quote snippets from Wasilla Senior Pastor Ed Kalnins’s sermons that paint him as extreme.  Wasilla Assembly of God church member Karissa Nelson told CMI what she thought of the HP story: “It’s sad how people twist your words.”

In his effort to marginalize Palin’s religious values, Pitney appears to be advancing a political agenda.  Just two weeks ago, the self-described “advocacy” journalist was scheduled to participate in a panel on opinion writing at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention in Washington, D.C.  Pitney told CMI he is neither a homosexual nor a member of NLGJA, but he is clearly an ideological fellow traveler.

According to the NLGJA convention program, Pitney “oversees politics coverage and Huffpost’s original reporting unit.” Before joining the leftwing Huffington Post Web site, Pitney was deputy research director at a progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP).

In a revealing interview with the homosexual Web site Queerty, Pitney described his work at CAP as “opposition research on conservatives and conservative ideas, policies and figures.”  He said he moved to the HP Web site because, “…with Huffington Post, I have the ability to do some more advocacy oriented stuff if I want to and also I dig up new information through the journalism we do there…” 

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick, a writer, editor, and commentator on political and cultural issues, is the Senior Editor at Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute.

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