Fox Nation, Drudge Report, CNS distortion: White House requested "Jesus" be hidden during speech

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

The Fox Nation and the Drudge Report advanced a CNSNews.com article claiming the White House requested that Georgetown University "hide[] 'Jesus' " during a speech there by President Obama. However, as the CNS article noted, the White House requested "all signs and symbols" on the stage -- not solely the name of Jesus -- be covered.

Linking to an April 15 CNSNews.com article, The Fox Nation and the Drudge Report claimed that the White House requested that Georgetown University "hide[] 'Jesus' " during President Obama's April 14 speech at Georgetown's Gaston Hall. The headline of the CNSNews.com article similarly alleged: "Georgetown Says it Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request." However, as the CNSNews.com article made clear in the lead paragraph, the White House requested that Georgetown "cover up all signs and symbols" on the stage -- not solely the name of Jesus, as The Fox Nation, Drudge Report, and the CNSNews.com headline suggested. Indeed, CNSNews.com quoted a Georgetown spokeswoman saying that the university "honored the White House staff's request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage," and that this request was "consistent with what they've [the White House] done for other policy speeches."

While the Drudge Report at 10:35 am ET on April 16 featured the same headline as The Fox Nation, as of 11:17 am ET, the headline had changed to: "Jesus Missing from Obama's Georgetown Speech ...," linking to an April 16 NBC Washington story with the same headline, and below that, the headline "White House asked university to cover symbol ...," linking to the CNSNews.com story.

Later, The Fox Nation added a link to a report by the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody that said, "In a statement ... The White House says any suggestion that the administration purposely covered a cross and a Catholic religious monogram during President Obama's speech this week at Georgetown are 'simply false.' " The Fox Nation link stated, "White House Denies Jesus Report. Believable?"

Notably, several commenters on The Fox Nation -- as of this posting - have used this opportunity to question Obama's faith, calling the president "ANTI-CHRIST" and a "Muslim."

CNSNews.com, also known as the Cybercast News Service (CNS), is a division of the conservative Media Research Center, an organization that purports to have been founded to "prove -- through sound scientific research -- that liberal bias in the media does exist," and to "neutralize its impact on the American political scene." CNS describes itself as "an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission" and that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues."

From The Fox Nation:

[...]

[...]

From the Drudge Report, as captured by the Drudge Report Archives site at 10:35 a.m. ET on April 16:

From the Drudge Report, as captured by the Drudge Report Archives at 11:17 a.m. ET on April 16:

From CNSNews.com's April 15 article:

Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram "IHS" -- symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ -- because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the "IHS" monogram that had previously adorned the stage at Georgetown's Gaston Hall was still covered up -- when the pediment where it had appeared was photographed by CNSNews.com.

"In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday's event, Georgetown honored the White House staff's request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage," Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told CNSNews.com.

"The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches," she added. "Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn't high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context."

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