National Catholic Register


Media Watch

BY Jim Cosgrove

August 05-11, 2001 Issue | Posted 8/5/01 at 1:00 PM


Celine Dion's Baby Baptized

CANADIAN PRESS, July 25 — Celine Dion's infant son made quite a fuss during his baptism Wednesday in front of about 250 family members and guests in Montreal, the news service reported.

“I think that little Rene-Charles wasn't cut out for a big ceremony like that because he cried quite a bit,” said Michel Jasmin, a Quebec television host and family friend.

The 40-minute ceremony took place at a chapel adjoining Notre-Dame Basilica, six months to the day after the baby's birth.

Rene-Charles was baptized as a Greek Melkite Catholic, the same as his father, Rene Angelil.

Ignoring the Marriage Amendment

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE, July 19 — When the drive for a federal marriage amendment to designate marriage as a union of one man with one woman was announced, several big media outlets passed up the story, the online magazine reported.

The Alliance for Marriage press conference was covered by the two major wire services, two of the three major networks, CNN and FOX News, every national radio network, and many local newspapers and television stations. But the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC World News, and the Boston Globe declined to report on it.

A reporter and an editor at the Los Angeles Times, which ran a lengthy story on the push for a marriage amendment, said that newspapers shouldn't wait until a movement is successful before they cover it — a reason cited by media outlets that declined to report on the Alliance for Marriage press conference. The Los Angeles Times staffers added that the marriage amendment was newsworthy because of its religiously and racially diverse coalition of supporters, and because of its relevance to the controversial issue of homosexual unions.

Pittsburgh Expecting 2,000 for Catholic Rally

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, July 24 — At least 2,000 participants are expected for a Pittsburgh FIRE rally Sep. 15, the Pittsburgh daily reported.

FIRE — Faith, Intercession, Repentance and Evangelism — features speakers and Masses to reawaken or strengthen Catholics’ faith. The first rally in 1983 drew over 13,000 people, and the rallies have reached 400,000 participants.

The Pittsburgh rally will host speakers Ralph Martin, Sister Ann Shields, Father Michael Scanlan and Father Dave Pivonka. Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh will celebrate the closing Mass. When they first began, FIRE rallies were perceived as strictly Catholic charismatic events, but in recent years the focus has broadened.

Fox News Has Psychic Seek Missing Intern

OPINIONJOURNAL.COM, July 23 — The Fox News Channel offered viewers the insights of “criminal profilers, attorneys and a psychic” regarding the disappearance of congressional intern Chandra Levy, the online magazine reported.

The “psychic,” James Van Praagh, appeared on the Fox show “Judith Regan Tonight.” said, “By providing a forum for such occult claptrap, Fox manages to insult anyone who believes in God, science or both. And this is hardly an isolated incident. Fox has put at least three other ‘psychics’ on the air in the past two weeks alone.”

Catholic League Organizes Showtime Boycott

CATALYST, July 2000 — The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has organized a boycott of the Showtime subscription cable TV channel because of the company's production of the movie, “Sister Mary Explains It All,” the Catholic League's monthly magazine reported.

The boycott was organized after the Catholic League ran an ad in Variety magazine asking Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone to join in condemning Showtime for producing “Sister Mary Explains It All,” which the Catholic League said was anti-Catholic. Showtime is owned by Viacom. Redstone did not comply with the request.

Among the groups supporting the Catholic League's call for a boycott of Showtime are the American Catholic Lawyers Association, the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, the Institute for Religion and Public Policy, Jews for Morality, the Parents Television Council and the Polish American Congress.