By Tom Quiner
Five men were arrested in London early this morning accused of plotting an attack on Pope Benedict XVI. This is a big, breaking story. Details will be unfolding today. What is interesting is how CNN and Fox News’ websites have treated the story.
CNN’s headline is: “Arrests amid pope’s visit to London.”
We don’t know what the arrests are about. Are they simply rowdy protesters? The word ‘pope’ is printed in lowercase, a way of downplaying the significance of the title. Lowercase is used throughout the news report.
Fox News’ headline is: “Five Men Arrested in UK Over Potential Threat to Pope.”
Their headline suggest violence was intended.
CNN’s report leads with a paragraph about the sex abuse scandal. The second paragraph acknowledges that five men were arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Immediately, the reader wants to know who the terrorists are? The report doesn’t say. It immediately veers back to coverage of the sex abuse scandal.
Fox News leads with details about the arrests. It gives the ages of the five men arrested. It reports that the men were apparently of Arabic origin, a huge piece of news, omitted by CNN’s early coverage of this story.
The entire story in the Fox News report involved the terror threat, not the sex abuse scandal.
CNN seemed strangely disinterested in the threat on the Pope, but acutely interested in rehashing the abuse scandal.
Over at the DEBKAfile, an award-winning website recognized by Forbes Magazine as “best of the web,” their headline was stunning: “Al Qaeda threat to murder Pope foiled in London.” This Jerusalem-based, English language website, gives even more information, that the men arrested were not British nationals, but in fact Algerians. As a side note, ‘Pope” was capitalized in their headline.
Al-Quaea plotted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1999. As reported in the Times of London on November 11, 2002:
THE POPE has been told that the al-Qaeda terrorists who masterminded the September 11 attacks in the United States planned to assassinate him during his tour of the Philippines.
The attack never took place because the Pope [note the capitalization] called off the visit in 1999 through ill-health.
Islamic terrorists have an ongoing goal to kill the leader of the Christian world. Why does CNN downplay such a big story? In fairness, this is breaking news. Perhaps they’re understaffed. Perhaps their coverage will pick up as the day progresses.
Watch how the various media outlets cover (or don’t cover) this story.
In the meantime, pray for the safety of Pope Benedict as he travels into hostile territory.