James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal cracked on New York Times columnist Frank Bruni for his Sunday Review column urging the new pope to "dwell less in the bedroom, more in the soup kitchen." (Last week Bruni guest-hosted the Charlie Rose show and pushed similar talking points.)
Taranto had fun with Bruni in his "Best of the Web" column Monday:
Francis is one lucky pope, for he has the benefit of free advice from New York Times columnist Frank Bruni....We suggested on Twitter: "Someone should figure out the ratio of @frankbruni columns about sex to those about poverty/income distribution." Nobody took us up on it, so we decided to give it a try. It turns out the ratio is impossible to express, because the denominator, at least for the past year, is zero (not counting yesterday's column).
That's right, we couldn't find a single Bruni column in an entire year's worth that was about poverty or income distribution. By contrast, we came up with more than two dozen columns that were in some way or another about sex. (We excluded ones about the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal, on the theory that's a crime story, but included profiles of people Bruni found interesting because of their sexual orientation.)
So Bruni's attitude seems to be that the pope should shut up about sex because that's Bruni's turf. Or maybe because the Catholic Church's orthodoxy on such matters calls into question the infallibility of Bruni's orthodoxy.
Bruni guest-hosted Charlie Rose on March 13 and pushed similar points talking with John Degioia, president of Georgetown University.
President Degioia, I don't want to get you in trouble with Catholics, but should all those issues be off the table? When we're talking about the celibacy requirement for priests, when we're talking about the church's teaching on homosexuality, contraception, birth control. Should that all be off the table, or would you have preferred to see a pope, if there was anyone in that conclave that could possibly take that position, try to nudge the church in a different direction on that?