First Topic – In the Footsteps of Benedict
Even before Pope Benedict XVI began his trip to the Middle East, saying that he would travel as a “pilgrim of peace,” the world's media outlets offered their perspectives on the likely political outcome of the papal voyage. The New York Times saw the trip as a fence-mending mission, while BBC more tendentiously suggested the need for the Church to atone of centuries of anti-Semitism. Al Jazeera offered a comparatively mild view of the Pope's arrival in Jordan, saying that he had shown respect for Islam. While some Muslim leaders had demanded a formal apology for the Regensburg speech, the papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said with some asperity that “we cannot continue until the end of the world to repeat the same clarifications.” That comment might apply as well to the Israeli religion minister who demanded another papal condemnation of Holocaust-denial. We talk to our own journalist, Patrick Novecosky, who traveled with the Holy Father in Amman, Jordan.
Second Topic – The “Republican War on Science”
Journalist Chris Mooney recently wrote a book entitled The Republican War on Science. The basic thesis is that science and scientists have less influence with Republicans than at any time since the Eisenhower administration. He argues that science is politicized by conservatives, spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re its too inconvenient, ignored entirely. Now, MSNBC host Chris Matthews is taking this argument to new heights in the last week in interviews with Rep. Mike Pence and former Congressman Tom Tancredo. We play portions of these interviews and analyze them with Dr. Michael Behe.