While NBC was quick to cover a prank phone call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by a left-wing website on Wednesday, it did not give one word of reporting to a video sting earlier this month that showed Planned Parenthood employees agreeing to abortions for hypothetical underage girls involved in sex trafficking.
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured a report by correspondent Michael Isikoff, who argued that the prank call on Walker "provided his critics with evidence that his real motivation is what they've been saying all along, to crush public unions." On Thursday's Today, news reader Natalie Morales similarly declared: "Wisconsin Democrats say a recording of a prank call to Governor Scott Walker is proof that he plans to crush public worker unions."
However, the news network has been completely silent on a video sting of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics released on February 1 by the pro-life group Live Action. NBC's cable network, MSNBC, did give scant coverage to the sting, but only to attack it. On the February 15 6PM ET hour of MSNBC Live, anchor Cenk Uygur dismissed the video as "heavily doctored" and "a hoax."
When it came to the prank call on Walker, MSNBC showed no such skepticism and ran with the story. On Wednesday, 1PM ET hour host Andrea Mitchell grilled Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder about it only hours after it was first posted by the Buffalo Beast website: "Well, clearly the Governor thought he was talking to [billionaire donor] David Koch, but the point is, is this some sort of organized attempt by Republican governors around the country to bust the unions?"
Mitchell went on to ask the Republican State Representative if the fake phone call had pulled "back the curtain on the relationship, which has been a very controversial one, between these wealthy contributors and the Governor?" Even though David Koch had not actually spoke to Walker, she still wondered: "Is it appropriate for these big fund-raisers to be talking to him about this and, you know, what sounds like pulling the strings here?"
So while NBC quickly picked up on a prank call on a Republican politician that was pushed by MSNBC, it chose to ignore controversial recordings of members of a left-leaning organization possibly consenting to illegal activity.
— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.