John Kasich

Holy ghosts in Ohio: Cincinnati Enquirer reports on debate over aborting Down syndrome babies

Holy ghosts in Ohio: Cincinnati Enquirer reports on debate over aborting Down syndrome babies

So often at GetReligion — here, here, here, here and here, for example — we call attention to the mainstream news media's rampant bias in coverage of the abortion issue.

I'm referring, of course, to the longstanding and indisputable problem of news stories heavily favoring the pro-choice side.

But guess what!?

This isn't going to be one of those posts.

In fact, I'm generally impressed with the balanced, factual nature of the Cincinnati Enquirer's story on a Down syndrome abortion ban going to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the former moderate Republican presidential candidate.

I do think, however, that the piece is haunted by ghosts. As regular readers know, we refer to them as "holy ghosts." More on that God-sized hole in the Enquirer's otherwise fine report in a moment.

But first, the compelling lede:

COLUMBUS — When a mother receives the news that her child will be born with Down syndrome, should she have the choice to obtain an abortion?
Ohio's GOP-controlled Legislature says "no." Lawmakers, with a 20-12 vote in the Ohio Senate, sent a bill to Gov. John Kasich that would penalize doctors who perform abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Kasich said in 2015 that he would sign such a bill. 
The proposed law has sparked division within the Down syndrome community.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

New York Times correspondent pays faith-free visit to #NeverTrump #NeverHillary territory

New York Times correspondent pays faith-free visit to #NeverTrump #NeverHillary territory

As we stagger closer to election day, the political desk at The Washington Post has produced several stories focusing on the fact that many centrist voters (Catholics in particular) are sickened by the thought of going into a voting booth and supporting either Donald Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What’s the problem? It’s something called “values,” apparently.

However, it appears that journalists believe that this has nothing to do with the whole “values voter” phenomenon seen in recent elections. In other words, this panic out there in many corners of the heartland has nothing to do with faith, morality, culture, religion or what have you. Yes, I have written several posts about this Post trend. In particular, see the recent post with this headline: “Washington Post: USA more pessimistic, divided than ever (and don’t ask about religion).”

Now, the New York Times political desk has bravely sent a correspondent into the heartland and found pretty much the same thing. Lots of folks in red zip codes are upset about the Donald vs. Hillary situation and, what do you know, it appears that there is more to this anger than the state of the economy. The Times headline proclaims: “Reliably Red Ohio County Finds Both Trump and Clinton Hard to Stomach.”

As you can see in the overture, the Gray Lady team visited a rust-free part of Ohio in which the economy is doing just fine. 

DELAWARE, Ohio -- Donald J. Trump is not popular in this prospering county north of Columbus. The Republican nominee’s dystopian language does not resonate here. Signs that read “Now Hiring” outnumber “Trump” campaign placards.
But many residents of this reliably Republican county, which last voted for a Democratic president in 1916, simply cannot imagine voting for Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. And that goes a long way toward explaining why she has struggled to separate herself from Mr. Trump in this bellwether state.

This doesn’t fit the received wisdom among the chattering-class elites.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

Hey journalists: Name a mainstream pro-life leader who didn't pound Trump the other day

Hey journalists: Name a mainstream pro-life leader who didn't pound Trump the other day

OK, raise your hands if you are surprised that Citizen Donald Trump appears to have had zero serious contact with the Right to Life movement, in either its conservative or progressive forms.

Ironically, the main people who know how tone-deaf he is on life issues are people who are actually in the movement. People outside the movement may actually think that Trump's verbal misadventures on MSNBC the other day raised edgy and important issues.

So here is another way of looking at this: Raise your hands if you are surprised that the Associated Press team put someone on this story who appears to have had zero contact with the pro-life movement and, thus, had no idea what that movement actually believes on issues linked to women who have had abortions?

Check out the top of this stunningly unbalanced -- the word "blind" would be a kind way of stating things -- AP report on the Trump fiasco:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Frustrated Republicans grappled with new fears about Donald Trump's impact on their party Wednesday, as the billionaire businessman's campaign rivals targeted his punitive plan for fighting abortion and extraordinary defense of his campaign manager, who police say assaulted a female reporter.
Concern rippled through Republican circles nationwide, yet few dared criticize the GOP front-runner directly when pressed, leery of confronting the man who may well lead their election ticket in November.
Their silence underscored the deep worries plaguing the party's leaders -- particularly its most prominent women -- who are growing increasingly concerned that a Trump presidential nomination could not only cost the 2016 election but also tarnish the party brand for a generation of women and young people.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

The good, the bad and the funny in media coverage of Ted Cruz's 'Muslim neighborhoods' remarks

The good, the bad and the funny in media coverage of Ted Cruz's 'Muslim neighborhoods' remarks

Once again, Muslims in America are the focus of intense scrutiny — and they're not exactly happy about it.

Even in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's Brussels terror attacks, we knew this storyline was coming, of course.

In our post yesterday, we stressed:

Key, again, is factual reporting that highlights the various strains of Islam (as we have said a million times, there is "no one Islam") and avoids the simplistic "Islamophobia" propaganda that plagued so much of the coverage last time.

As the world focused its thoughts and prayers on the Belgium victims, the U.S. presidential race took no break at all.

In case you missed it — and I promise this is not from the satirical newspaper The Onion — Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz engaged in a Twitter spat over each other's wives.

But that wasn't the only news the candidates made Tuesday: How to prevent terrorism on U.S. soil again dominated the GOP rhetoric, and Muslims again figured heavily in the discussion.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

Politico paints a nuanced portrait of John Kasich's Christian faith, but not a definitive one

Politico paints a nuanced portrait of John Kasich's Christian faith, but not a definitive one

On a road trip across the Midwest, I'm staying at a hotel overlooking Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.

Sadly, we're still a few weeks away from baseball's Opening Day, so that King James guy is the only game in town tonight.

Well, him and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who enjoyed his best night of the 2016 presidential race Tuesday, winning his home state.

As I checked in, this was the banner headline on the newspaper lying on the front counter:

Kasich makes good in Buckeye State

On the religion news front — that is what we do at GetReligion, right? — a Politico magazine piece on Kasich's Christian faith has been generating a lot of social media buzz the last 24 hours or so. 

Much of that buzz has been extremely positive.

Given the positive reviews, I was excited to read the Politico piece, particularly after previously critiquing ghost-filled major media reports on Kasich's faith.


Please respect our Commenting Policy

Altar boy John Kasich's journey from future 'Pope' to presidential candidate to ... what exactly, religiously?

Altar boy John Kasich's journey from future 'Pope' to presidential candidate to ... what exactly, religiously?

In case you missed it in the fog of nonstop media coverage of Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the Republican presidential race. 

For how much longer? Michigan voters will help answer that question today.

But for now, Kasich lingers in the GOP's "Final Four" — as he calls it.

The Washington Post has a in-depth story out this week on "The place where John Kasich went from being 'Pope' to consensus politician." Really, it's a fascinating piece and worth a read.

Yes, there are a few holy ghosts, and I'll get to those in a moment.

But let's start at the top of the story, which sets the scene nicely:

McKEES ROCKS, Pa. — As Johnny Kasich turned 17 years old, many of the strands of his sturdy, sheltered life seemed to be unraveling.
He felt bewildered as race riots tore apart Sto-Rox High School, with police and their dogs called in to keep the peace. He learned that a priest at his Catholic church, to whom he had given confession, was leaving to marry a parishioner. He faced the possibility of being drafted to serve in Vietnam. And wherever he looked, politicians seemed to be corrupt.
It all came to a head one night in January 1970, during Kasich’s senior year at Sto-Rox, as 400 students and parents met to hear complaints from blacks that they were being subjected to de facto segregation. Shortly after midnight, when a black leader demanded at least one African American teacher be hired, ugly epithets were hurled, tables overturned, and fistfights broke out.
Kasich, a scrawny kid who at that time was known for his lifelong desire to be a priest, decided he had had enough. Using speaking skills he had developed at church, he walked to the front of the school cafeteria, where the school board was trying to oust a black protester, and seized the microphone.
“This has got to stop,” Kasich said, according to the account of his friend David Cercone, now a federal judge. “We can’t be doing this, being at each other’s throats.”
This was the unlikely moment that Kasich’s childhood friends say they realized their pal Johnny was shedding his dreams of the priesthood and donning the cloak of politician. When they hear him today pleading for civility among his fellow Republican presidential candidates, friends say they recognize the words that he uttered as he came of age in this hardened city on the banks of the Ohio River.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

For Boston Globe, a crazy question concerning New Hampshire and John Kasich's faith

For Boston Globe, a crazy question concerning New Hampshire and John Kasich's faith

The headline from the Boston Globe grabbed my attention:

In N.H., talk of faith from Kasich

So I clicked the link and read the lede:

HENNIKER, N.H. — It was one of the last questions at a town hall meeting, and it happened to come from a recent retiree from Ohio: How had Governor John Kasich’s time as that state’s chief executive prepared him to be president?

“Early in your administration, my colleagues in the public and private sector, kind of viewed you as rather intense and kind of dictatorial,” Jeff Weber said inside of New England College’s Simon Center. “They said you’ve mellowed some.”

“How has the job changed me?” asked the governor who is beginning to break through in a Republican primary field packed with 17 candidates, the most noted of whom is businessman and reality TV showman Donald Trump. “Number one, my faith has gotten deeper. Why does that matter? Because it’s given me perspective.”

There were religious overtones to many of Kasich’s remarks on everything from climate change to the national debt Wednesday morning as he wrapped up a five-event, two-day swing through a state that usually doesn’t embrace overtly religious candidates. Yet the Ohio Republican is appealing to voters in New Hampshire with its first-in-the-nation primary.

So far, so good.

The Globe spotted a key religion angle on the campaign trail and went for it. 

I kept reading, excited about getting to the meat of the story. I just knew — or at least I hoped — the Globe would provide important context on the role of religion in Kasich's personal life and presidential aspirations. Alas, such details never came.

Please respect our Commenting Policy