Pope Benedict XVI is coming...

Behind The News
April 14, 2008 12:49:59 PM PDT
I wasn't bitter. But I am now. Bitter that this once high-minded race for the Presidency has apparently descended so low that if any one candidate so much as pronounces a word incorrectly, the other feels obliged to pounce. And the the other one feels equally obliged to pounce back. I know I'm not alone. Go ahead, ask one of your co-workers how she or he feels about this. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Did you do it?

I've no answer; I'm just sayin'.

We'll have the latest on this nasty campaign, tonight at 11.

And -- just in case you haven't heard -- the Pope's coming to America tomorrow. He'll arrive first in Washington, and then come to New York Friday morning.

We are devoting an enormous amount of air time and resources to covering this visit -- and we will begin tomorrow at 4 p.m. Liz Cho and I will be anchoring a special edition of Eyewitness News, to coincide with the Pope's landing (his plane is called "Shepherd One") at Andrews Air Force base. He will be greeted by President and Mrs. Bush - it will be the first time Mr. Bush has greeted a world leader at Andrews.

It's a fascinating trip for Pope Benedict the 16th -- he is not at all like his predecessor in terms of style. Pope John Paul II was an actor and playwright, and he loved the theatre of it all. This Pope is an academician and theologian, and the pomp and circumstance matter less to him.

He will give 11 speeches during his 6 days in the U.S. -- but his private meetings will be small and limited. He has not scheduled many big private meetings; he will meet with victims of priest sex abuse, and with families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Much more to come in this column as this week progresses. Liz and I will anchor much of the coverage - including the Pope's speech to the U.N. on Friday morning, his Mass at St. Pat's on Saturday and his ride in the Popemobile up Fifth Ave. on Saturday afternoon, and the huge Mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

And tonight, a preview of some of the Pope coverage.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast and Marvell Scott (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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