Bush Makes the Pope Wait;
Protest Reports Vary Widely

This might not be newsworthy if Bush didn't make such a big deal about being on time.
ROME - President Bush arrived 15 minutes late for his meeting with Pope John Paul II - unusual for a president who makes no secret of his impatience when others keep him waiting.

It was a rare breach of protocol in Vatican City, too, and raised eyebrows in the papal delegation.

"The president is 15 minutes late," John Paul's secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, pointed out to Vatican reporters.

White House aides blamed Bush's tardiness Friday on a longer-than-expected preceding meeting with the Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
The real story here is not that President Bush disrepected the world leader of the Catholic Church, although he certainly did by choosing to spend 15 minutes more with the Italian President. The real story is that hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets to protest Bush's visit. But where is the coverage? Where are the photos of the crowd, estimated to be as many as one million strong? If you search the headlines for yourself, you will start to get a complete picture of what happened.

The Washington Times made a good stab at the crowd size -- "500,000 protest Bush's visit to Rome" -- while the New York Times dramatically understated it -- "Thousands Protest in Rome Against Bush Visit and Iraq War".

The San Francisco Chronicle, harkening back to the demonstrations that shut down the City last year, focused on the traffic effects of the protests -- "Much of Rome sealed off as protesters denounce Bush" -- while a Houston TV station cast the protestors as the bad guys -- "Rock-throwing and tear gas as thousands protest Bush visit". CNN ran an image of the police, appearing to be under siege, but none of the mostly peaceful protestors.

The Independent covered the Pope's criticism of Bush -- "Pope lectures Bush on America's duties" -- while Fox went out of its way to run a story on the positive reception received by Americans in France -- "France Welcomes Back U.S. Veterans". FOX did report on Bush in Rome, but didn't give away much in their headline -- "Bush Meets With Pope at Vatican" -- and tried to put a positive spin on what they did report.

So much for the liberal media and objective reporting standards.