CENSORED: ABC, CBS Ignore Horrific Planned Parenthood Video

A taxpayer-funded organization reportedly selling baby hearts and livers should be a huge story. Not so, say the broadcast networks, which have devoted just 39 seconds to the story, out of the 9 hours and 30 minutes of news shows they’ve aired since it broke.

The broadcast networks censored an undercover video of Planned Parenthood senior director of medical services Dr. Deborah Nucatola explaining how her organization procures and sells the body parts of aborted babies. Of the three broadcast networks, only NBC has mentioned the footage released July 14 by the “anti-abortion” Center for Medical Progress (CMP) – in a mere 39 seconds.

The disturbing video brought to mind another abortion scandal the media chose to ignore: that of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell was convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder of three babies. The trial, where witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming" in toilets “to get out,” attracted a mere 12 – 15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell.

Will it take as long to say the same about this horrendous story?

ABC and CBS turned a blind eye to the Planned Parenthood exposé -- in favor of other, more pressing stories.

CBS This Morning found time for “Cancer Survivor Battling Ex-Husband Over Embryos” and Miami luxury condos while ABC’s Good Morning America looked at “Hitch-Hiking Bridesmaids” and Shanghai’s Disneyland.

For NBC, Today news anchor Natalie Morales addressed the story July 15. Rather than play (or even quote!) the video’s audio where the Nucatola casually discusses extracting baby limbs over lunch, Morales inserted her own commentary.

“Anti-abortion activists have released what they say is an undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood official discussing the disposition of parts from aborted fetuses,” she said, before repeating Planned Parenthood’s official line that the video showed “the legal not-for-profit donation of fetal tissue to research firms and it charges only for the cost of shipping the tissue.”

Morales did not note CMP’s David Daleiden’s response to Planned Parenthood. In it, he shared an ad from StemExpress, “one of the major purchasers of Planned Parenthood’s aborted fetal tissue."

"This flyer advertises 4 different times the financial benefit that Planned Parenthood clinics can receive from supplying fetal tissue, with the words: 'Financially Profitable,' 'Financial Profits,' 'financial benefit to your clinic,' 'fiscal growth of your own clinic,'" he wrote.

To see where NBC’s priorities lie, compare those 39 seconds to the 14 minutes and 3 seconds NBC’s Today spent interview actors to promote Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” or the more than 3 minutes spent on “Caitlyn [Jenner] and Controversy at Awards Show.”

The night before, ABC, NBC and CBS censored the video completely from their news shows. Cable outlets CNN and MSNBC as well as Spanish-language networks MundoFox, Telemundo, and Univision also offered zero coverage to the story. (The Spanish-language morning newscasts on July 15, Despierta America and Nuevo Dia, skipped the footage as well.)

Again, the news shows spared  time for other stories.

NBC’s Nightly News spent 26 seconds on a Boston snow story while ABC’s World News Tonight dedicated a segment to the “Prime Day” for Amazon Prime subscribers (a story NBC also noted).

Editor’s Note: MRC’s Curtis Houck and MRC Latino’s Yuri Perez and Javier Zurita contributed information to this report.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center