Media critic Mollie Hemingway, a contributor to GetReligion.org, has an excellent post up today at CNN's Belief Blog about how the liberal media did a horrible job when it came to objectively reporting the implications of the recent Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood row. In fact, the media have shown themselves "effective partisans" by telling only "half the story," the half spoon-fed by socially liberal lobby groups like Planned Parenthood.
Be sure to check out the whole thing here, but below the page break I've appended some key excerpts (emphasis mine):
The media bought Planned Parenthood’s public relations campaign hook, line and sinker. Planned Parenthood argued that Komen’s decision to stop funding was “political.” This was the way most media outlets framed the entire story. But logic dictates that it’s not more political to stop funding Planned Parenthood than it is to keep funding it.
We’re talking about the country’s largest abortion provider, an organization that performs 330,000 abortions a year. According to Gallup polls from recent years, about half the American population identifies as pro-life while half identify as pro-choice. If you don’t have a sense for how controversial abortion is, you simply shouldn’t be in journalism.
Planned Parenthood receives nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds, including from Medicaid payments. Along with its political arm, it spent at least $1.7 million on lobbying at the federal level last year. Its political expenditures for the 2012 cycle have swung 100% for Democrats and against Republicans. Its political web site ranks a series of Republicans as “chumps.”
The notion that such a huge partisan player could be characterized as apolitical is laughable.
While Komen will now be raked over the coals, will the media similarly investigate Planned Parenthood? It’s doubtful.
The media coverage has been so fawning over the years that conservative activists have recently gone undercover to raise doubts about whether Planned Parenthood actually performs mammograms. These independent journalists have also produced evidence suggesting that some affiliates have failed to report instances of sexual abuse, sexual trafficking and rape.
“There’s no question that the media,” said Daily Beast media critic Howard Kurtz, “have been approaching the whole narrative from the left.”
When the media tell only half the story, they become effective partisans, and they do so at the expense of accuracy, accountability and fairness.