A bit of a stunner from this morning's Washington Times: "Former President Jimmy Carter yesterday condemned all abortions and chastised his party for its intolerance of candidates and nominees who oppose abortion. 'I never have felt that any abortion should be committed -- I think each abortion is the result of a series of errors,' he told reporters over breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, while across town Senate Democrats deliberated whether to filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. because he may share President Bush and Mr. Carter's abhorrence of abortion. 'These things impact other issues on which [Mr. Bush] and I basically agree,' the Georgia Democrat said. 'I've never been convinced, if you let me inject my Christianity into it, that Jesus Christ would approve abortion.'"It will be curious to see if the CBS Evening News, which on September 21 relayed a post-Katrina criticism from Carter of Bush for stripping FEMA of its independence, finds the ex-president's provocative comments on the "hot-button" issues of abortion and religion equally newsworthy. (On Thursday night, the CBS Evening News had nothing on Carter's comments --though it did do a report on the gothic writer Anne Rice's conversion to Christianity.)After all, Evening News executive producer Jim Murphy denounced MRC for criticizing his network's reporting of Carter's anti-Bush comments, saying "we simply reported it because the former President SAID it." Will CBS also relay Carter comments that make conservative or pro-Bush points just because "the former President SAID it"?(In a sidelight, USA Today carries an amusingly benighted headline this morning: "Breaking tradition, Carter rips Bush's policies." Hasn't that been Carter's tradition for the last five years?)
Jimmy Carter Condemns Abortion -- Will CBS Also Care About His Comments This Time?
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.