By KATIE HOVAN
On Thursday, Pope Francis said in a press conference that Donald Trump “is not a Christian” if he advocates building a wall at the Mexican and U.S. border.
CNN quickly reported on the event with the headline: “Pope suggests Trump ‘is not a Christian.’”
Trump quickly fired back, stating that the Pope does not reserve “the right to question another man’s religion.”
While Trump has every right to defend himself and his religious beliefs, CNN and many major news networks do not understand that sometimes something as little as a headline can add fuel to an already raging fire.
The news media have the ability to stimulate divisiveness whether it is intentional or not, and only later in the article does it explain that the Pope also said he wasn’t fully informed about the situation, but was willing to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt.”
Instead, the news media capitalized on the Pope’s most controversial statement in its headline and throughout the majority of the article.
Trump now has his eyes set on the Pope, adding, “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS … I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.”
While an initial retaliation is to be expected from Trump, any growing tension between the two of them will be a product of media influence.
Because of the disproportionate reporting and over-exaggeration by the media, people will often fail to realize that the Pope is a religious leader. He was elected under the condition that he would uphold the Catholic values and, whether one agrees with him or not, he was simply answering a question about Trump in accordance with those values.