“CNN’s coverage of Pope Francis I laden with egregious errors,” Christopher Harper writes at the Washington Times:

If CNN’s coverage of the election of Pope Francis I on Wednesday afternoon is any indication, Jeff Zucker and his minions are not ready for prime time — or any time for that matter.

I stopped counting the number of errors from CNN’s anchor team after three pages of notes. The following are only the most egregious:

• The network reported Francis is the first non-European pontiff in the history of the church. Well, how about modern-day history? St. Peter, the first pope, came from near the Sea of Galilee. A number of early pontiffs came from Africa and Asia.

• Anchor Chris Cuomo recounted how two cardinals’ mothers did not want their sons to become pope. “Everyone’s mother — Catholic or not — wants their son to be pope,” Mr. Cuomo intoned. Well, one thing a pope has to be is Catholic.

• Mr. Cuomo, a recent Zucker hire lured away from ABC, also observed that the crowd had spilled out from St. Peter’s Square to the “Road of Consolation.” It’s called Via della Conciliazione, which means the Road of Conciliation.

CNN couldn’t get it right from the start. Despite the fact that the announcement of the new pope was made in Latin, the network apparently had no one available who could translate Latin. The network had to quote Italian television because no one at CNN knew immediately who had been elected.

Furthermore, what appeared to be a noticeable rustling of paper to locate the biography of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the new pope, left the airwaves virtually silent for about 15 seconds — a long time in television terms. That’s because no one had seen this selection coming!

I guess Talking Points Memo wasn’t covering this topic on their blog at the time. But all of this seems so odd, particularly when CNN’s coverage of religious leaders can sometimes deliver “a home run:”

[flashvideo file=http://pjmedia.com/media/video/CNN-Wright-to-Wright-Free-Zone6-7-09-rev-1.flv width=315 height=251 image=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2009/06/cnn-wright-to-wright-free-zone6-7-09-title-cardiii.jpg /]

Related: “Quote People Always. If Necessary, Be Accurate.”