NBC used Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about AIDS and condoms in
Benedict recently stated “It's a tragedy, this question of AIDS that cannot be overcome by money alone and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problem.”
NBC correspondent Dawna Friesen summed up Benedict's statements as “Pope Benedict told reporters the problem of AIDS can only be solved by spiritual renewal.”
Friesen also cited unnamed critics who stated the Pope's comments “risk making his church increasingly irrelevant” and reported that health officials in
Today apparently couldn't find anyone to present and defend Catholic teaching with regard birth control and condom-use.
Friesen also ignored the single most dramatic success story of AIDS prevention in
Rev. Sam L. Ruteikara, co-chair of Uganda's National AIDS-Prevention Committee, noted in a June 30, 2008 Washington Post op-ed  explained, “We recognized that population-wide AIDS epidemics in Africa were driven by people having sex with more than one regular partner. Therefore, we urged people to be faithful.” As a result of urging faithfulness, Ruteikara noted, “The proportion of Ugandans infected with HIV plunged from 21 percent in 1991 to 6 percent in 2002.”
In other words,
On the other hand, according to Ruteikara advocating condom use has done nothing to save lives. “Condom promotions have failed in
Yet proponents of condoms as the sole answer to the AIDS crisis fail to see beyond their own limited ideology. Ruteikara detailed :
PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for HIV – AIDS Relief] calls for Western experts to work as equal partners with African leaders on AIDS prevention. But as co-chair of
As a result, according Rueikara, “
Friesen is not the only mainstream journalist to call out Pope Benedict for daring to suggest that a return to sexual faithfulness and restraint could save lives. As noted by Matthew Balan at Newsbusters, CNN's Jack Cafferty intoned , “it is past time for the Catholic Church to enter the 21st century, or at least try to drag itself out of the 13th century.”
Ken Shepherd, also over at Newsbusters, reported  how Bonnie Erbe, host of PBS' “To the Contrary” and a contributing editor at U.S News & World Report, ranted about Benedict being “horrifically ignorant” when it comes to HIV/AIDS.
Is unfettered condom use so important to the mainstream media that it's willing to ignore the fact that traditional morality does have its place in the modern world?
The full transcript of Friesen's report as it aired at 8:02 AM EDT is below:
NATALIE MORALES: Pope Benedict's visit to
DAWNA FRIESEN: It's his first trip to
POPE BENEDICT THROUGH TRANSLATOR: It's a tragedy, this question of AIDS that cannot be overcome by money alone and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.
FRIESEN: AIDS campaigners in
ROBERT NOWELL, RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS JOURNALIST: I think that he'll sort of smile sweetly and take this as part of the price he pays for doing the job he's doing.
FRIESEN: Spreading a message he believes in but critics say risking making his church increasingly irrelevant. Dawna Friesen, NBC News,