Late Night Wars

Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, David Letterman and You

01/18/2010 Comments (4)

Leno reads the headlines. (Flickr/sgtgary)

Television’s “late night wars” are a big, too big, topic of conversation nowadays, and there are two questions I’d like to ask.

1. Why should anybody care? and

2. Come on. Admit it. Did anyone expect Conan O’Brien to be a good fit for the Tonight Show?

Do the two questions seem contradictory? They’re not.

First, the background: “The Tonight Show” went to Conan O’Brien, by contractural arrangement, seven months ago. NBC moved Leno to an earlier time slot with a random variety show that apparently didn’t do so well. O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” didn’t do so well either. Now NBC wants Leno back in the time slot he started at, and after trying to find a weasel way to do...READ MORE

Filed under conan o'brien, jay leno, late night tv

Illusion of Online Privacy

Sure, God sees it ... but what if your neighbor saw what you do online?

01/14/2010 Comments (1)

Big GoogleBrother? photo by Alain Bachellier; Flickr Creative Commons.

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt on CNBC

He’s right, right? Or should Catholics join everyone else who says “Gasp! The horror!”

Don’t get me wrong: I do not feel that anyone has a right to store, review or publish anyone else’s Internet history, nor should they. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is: Isn’t it true that we shouldn’t be looking at stuff online that we don’t want anyone to know about?

During the 1987 debate over the nomination of Robert Bork, writer Michael Dolan got a copy of Judge Bork’s video rentals and published it in the...READ MORE

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What Does God Have Against Haiti?

01/13/2010 Comments (41)

Port-au-Prince today. (CNS/Eduardo Munoz, Reuters)

Haiti’s shocking poverty was already enough to make people wonder at what seemed a radical unfairness at the center of the universe.

Now, after the devastating earthquake Hatians are pulling bodies from their destroyed shacks and lining the streets with them so passersby can lift the sheets to see if they knew them.

Does God hate Haiti?

The answer is “Of course not,” but man oh man it can sure look that way. Here are three brief answers to the problem of suffering. As the Register has pointed out during disasters past, none is adequate, but together they point to hope.

First: This world is not all there is.

The massive destruction of a hurricane or earthquake can look random...READ MORE

Filed under haiti, suffering

FOCA's Triumph

Senate Health Bill Is a Regulatory 'Freedom of Choice Act'

01/11/2010 Comments (5)

It looks like FOCA really was an Obama priority after all.

You remember FOCA. “Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” — FOCA — said Barack Obama on July 17, to a roar of Planned Parenthood rally applause.

Catholics and others, in a tsunami of postcards to Washington, begged he not push FOCA. Obama clarified, saying FOCA “is not my highest legislative priority.” Health care was.

But, ahem, look at the health care bill in the Senate and see if you see what I see: On abortion, it accomplishes nearly all of what FOCA wanted.

Here are the U.S. bishops’ warnings about FOCA vs. the Senate health bill specifics.


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My Goodbye Column

08/02/2009 Comment

The Register and Me

BY Tom Hoopes
August 9-22, 2009 Issue

I have been writing for the Register for 20 years — and hope to make it 30 or 40 before I’m done. I will continue to write for the Register. Not, however, as its executive editor.

I have been offered, and have accepted, a position at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. I will be the director of strategic communications in their advancement department, as well as writer in residence, teaching a couple of classes and getting ready to do more. As Register readers know, Benedictine takes its academics and campus life seriously. It is clearly becoming one of America’s great Catholic colleges.

One of my duties will...READ MORE

Filed under weekend commentary

Heading West

07/27/2009 Comment

I have happy news — that’s also sad news.

I have been offered, and have accepted, a position at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. My last day at the Register (as an editor) will be Aug. 7.

This is difficult because leaving the National Catholic Register and Faith & Family magazine feels like leaving family. I have written for the Register for 20 years. My first paycheck as a published writer came from the Register. I’ve been its executive editor for 10 years. Six years ago, April and I became editorial directors of Faith & Family magazine. These have been the most professionally satisfying of my career. I love the work these publications do and hope to be more visible in them...READ MORE

Filed under weekend commentary

Popes Wilt Doubts

07/26/2009 Comment

A WSJ article about one failure of the Church in Ireland ended up becoming an article about the power of the Church — and of Peter.

This time, it’s Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt. After becoming disenchanted with (and antagonistic to) Catholicism, “Mr. McCourt felt it was impossible to fully divorce himself from the Church.”

In July 24’s “The Faith of Frank McCourt” Peter Duffy explains:

“So when he stood before Pope John Paul II in 2002, accompanying a delegation of 40 mayors from around the world, the little Irish-Catholic boy in him took over. He knelt, took the pontiff’s hand and kissed his ring.

“’I got up and he’s looking at me with his dazzling blue...READ MORE

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Obama: Divide and Conquer?

07/19/2009 Comment

Does Obama have a conscious “divide and conquer” strategy with Catholics?

University of Alabama political scientist professor Michael New thinks so (in our news story on Dr. Benjamin).

Appointing pro-abortion Catholics “has the political advantages of showing that 1) there is disagreement among Catholics about sanctity-of-life issues and that 2) Catholics who support legal abortion can be successful politically.”

Remember what President Clinton did: He pitted others against each other, then “triangulated” above them, getting what he wanted by staying out of the fray.

Obama has positioned himself as the classy guy who’s above the fray: the Notre Dame speech giver, the president who met...READ MORE

Filed under president obama, weekend commentary

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About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.