During Wednesday’s coverage of Pope Francis’ first day in Washington, FOX News Channel’s Shepard Smith and Bill Hemmer were co-anchoring levi coverage. Bill Hemmer blurted out an (inaccurate) assertion that the Pope did not publicly address politics in the Cuba leg of his visit, in a typically cheap attempt to insinuate that Francis and Fidel Castro must (nudge nudge wink wink) be fellow travelers.
Smith’s reply was priceless and completely refreshing:
I don’t know — I think we are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political. Five things, I’m going to tick them off. These are the five things that were on his and our president’s agenda.
- Caring for the marginalized and the poor -– that’s now political.
- Advancing economic opportunity for all – political?
- Serving as good stewards of the environment.
- Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally.
- Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. And that’s political?
I mean, I don’t know what we expect to hear from an organization’s leader like the Pope of the Catholic Church, other than protect those who need help, bring in refuges who have no place because of war and violence and terrorism. These seem like universal truths that we should be good to others who have less than we do, that we should give shelter to those who don’t have it. I think these were the teachings in the Bible of Jesus. They’re the words of the pope, they’re the feelings of the president. And people who find themselves on the other side of that message should consult a mirror, it seems like. Because I think that’s what we’re supposed to do as a people, whatever your religion. I mean, it seems to me and I think to probably, as Bill O’Reilly would put it, most clear-thinking Americans — that that’s how we’re supposed to roll.
Here’s hoping everyone on the blue side of the American political spectrum has a gander at the clip below (hat tip to our good friends at Crooks & Liars). Yes, those who are accusing the Pope of being “too political” need a long, hard look in the mirror, and the likelihood that they are completely oblivious to their hypocrisy. More importantly, the five values Smith ticks off engender fundamental decency, altruism, and liberty – American values that should remain above Washington politics.