Unlike Big Three Competitors, CNN Covers Planned Parenthood Sting Video

CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday's Newsroom highlighted Lila Rose and Live Action Film's most recent hidden camera video showing Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting the covering up of sex crimes, unlike the morning and evening news shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Baldwin interviewed Rose and a spokesman from the abortion-providing organization, asking both fair questions about the controversy [audio clips from interviews available here].

The anchor had the young pro-life activist on first just after the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, Baldwin pressed Rose about the motivation for her undercover videos:

[Video embedded below the page break]

BALDWIN: ...Lila, let me just get to this point, which I think is, ultimately, your, perhaps, motivation behind these videos on exposing Planned Parenthood in the way that you are. What is the end game for you?

ROSE: The end game is protecting young girls across the country from an abuse cover-up that goes on at these clinics. And to set the record straight, Planned Parenthood fired their employee yesterday, the same one that they claimed- although we haven't seen evidence of the claims- the same one that they claimed reported the incident. It's very clear. Watch the footage for yourself and see it for yourself. It's very clear that this manager is intent on giving the pimp and the abusers advice on how the girls can do sexual acts. She's working to fudge the paperwork. They are aiding and abetting this abuser, and Planned Parenthood- even though they're claiming they reported it- went ahead and fired their employee yesterday. So it's clear that there's a lot of abuse cover-up going on, and you can look at the videos over the past three years, that show this again and again.....

Near the end of this first interview, after she played a clip from Rose's video, the CNN personality read excerpts from the national Planned Parenthood organization's statement and showed a bit of bias in her question:

BALDWIN: Lila, here's- here is what Planned Parenthood says. They say a lot, but here's just one snippet from their statement, and they say- quote, 'The group that has undertaken the secret taping is on the record as saying its goal is to take down Planned Parenthood over the next 10 years.' They go on to say, 'By creating controversy in the organization and making Planned Parenthood not feel safe.' Do you, Lila, have this myopic agenda to take down this federally-funded group, and do you think you'll be successful?

ROSE: First of all, Brooke, you can read our mission. We state it clearly on our website. Our goal is to expose the abuse cover-up, the corruption, the illicit activity going on every day in abortion clinics- Planned Parenthood clinics- across the country that are being tax funded, and we believe strongly that the American people are sick of this. These clinics will be defunded and they need to be held accountable, to protect young girls and to protect women.

Baldwin then interviewed Stuart Schear, Planned Parenthood's vice president of communications, after taking a commercial break. She first played a second clip from Rose's secret video, and when Schear repeatedly mouthed his talking points, she interrupted and pressed the spokesman to answer her questions:

SCHEAR: ...One last point, which is that the organization that is coming in and secretly taping within Planned Parenthood health centers- they are not concerned about women and they're not concerned about abused young girls. They have a very extreme political agenda, which is to outlaw abortion for all women in the United States, and to take the constitutional right away, and they are working with other groups to make sure that federal funds, which Planned Parenthood receives for birth control, for family planning, for cancer screenings, and preventative care, are taken away, and the American people do not want health care taken away-

BALDWIN: Let me bring this back on point, sir, if I can, just speaking to the video and really the issue at hand that we see in these 11 minutes. Is this woman, who you said you fired yesterday- is she a rogue employee, or is this indicative of a more systemic problem?

SCHEAR: Well, she's not- no, it's not indicative of a systemic problem. She's not an employee of Planned Parenthood. She was fired-

BALDWIN: She was.

SCHEAR: She was fired yesterday. Yesterday, she was fired, and, most importantly, is two weeks before, when Lila Rose and her team started coming to our health centers, lying that they were a pimp and a prostitute and looking for advice, we started to hear from our staff that there were- was a patient coming in who was saying that he was part of a sex ring. They reported to their superiors what was going on. We called the local prosecutor in New Jersey to report it immediately. We wrote a letter to the attorney general, which we've made public and anyone can read-

BALDWIN: Right. I understand you've reached out-

SCHEAR: To report our concerns. But I really want to come back to the point. Lila Rose was saying that we do not report. The fact is we report it to the highest authorities in the land.

BALDWIN: And she also mentioned not just this particular- we'll call it a sting- but, you know, she admitted though to being behind several others- I think it's 12 in total- and so, I guess my question to you is, are other employees part of these other stings that I haven't seen any video of, but have they been fired?

SCHEAR: This is the only videotape that Live Action has released from their current taping. The main point is that Live Action is an extreme political group. Their goal is to take away health care from women, to end legal abortion in the United States. They're targeting Planned Parenthood. They are not concerned about our patients. What I would like to say is-

BALDWIN: But sir, let's bring it- let's bring this back to the point because the question and the reason why we wanted you on was to talk about Planned Parenthood, and a lot of people- a lot of women watching this video think- hang on a second. This- you know, this group and these clinics nationwide must have rules- must have policies in place to ensure this kind of behavior does not happen and- my question to you, Stuart, is, how are those policies enforced, and with 10,000 employees, is it even possible to check each and every person?


SCHEAR: Well, first of all, our employees got- get a very serious message. When someone does not comply with our high standards of care, there's zero tolerance and they're fired. That's as clear a message as you can deliver. Planned Parenthood's staff are highly trained. We have highly-trained physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, and when any one of our staff doesn't meet our high standards, they are terminated.

BALDWIN: And you-

SCHEAR: That's what you saw happened yesterday. That is what we did.

BALDWIN: Right- and that's what happened yesterday. Given though what happened yesterday and given what we see in these 11 minutes, would this change, at all, how you train your employees on the front end?

SCHEAR: First of all, we offer excellent training to our staff, and two, there's no training that could prevent this from happening. This was a complete breakdown in judgment. We don't understand what happened with this employee, but her behavior was completely not in keeping with how we handle health care, and she was terminated.

NewsBusters's Ken Shepherd noted earlier on Wednesday that ABC, CBS, and NBC omitted covering the undercover video on their February 1 evening news shows, and did the same on their morning shows the following day.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center