CBS Again Aims 'National Spotlight' at Wendy Davis; Hypes Pro-Abortion 'Marathon'

CBS rekindled its love for pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis on Thursday's CBS Evening News, after the Democrat announced her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial race. Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "Davis was a little-known Democratic state senator in Texas. But her marathon defense of abortion rights drew national attention."

Manuel Bojorquez heralded how state legislator "stepped into the national spotlight with pink sneakers, during a 13-hour filibuster of new abortion restrictions here." However, Bojorquez was among the Big Three journalists who put that spotlight on Davis mere hours after she stalled the passage of pro-life legislation in the Lone Star State. At the time, he asserted that the filibuster turned the Democrat "a national political star". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

O'Donnell, substituting for regular anchor Scott Pelley, introduced the CBS correspondent's report with her "little-known Democratic state senator" label of Davis, and continued with her slanted "marathon defense of abortion rights" phrase. After playing a clip of the Texas politician announcing her candidacy, Bojorquez led by outlining that "the early odds are against Wendy Davis. It's been nearly 20 years since Texas voters put a Democrat in statewide office."

The journalist spent much of the rest of the segment emphasizing Davis' apparent chances of winning the gubernatorial race. He used his "stepped into the national spotlight with pink sneakers" line as he introduced a second soundbite from the state senator. Bojorquez also emphasized how the Democratic Party is targeting an eventual political takeover in Texas:

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: Democrats have become hopeful about Texas, because its demographics are shifting. By 2025, the percentage of white voters may drop below fifty percent, and the percentage of Hispanic voters may rise from 26 to as much as 44 percent. Democrat gains here could influence American politics. The state has 26 Republican members of Congress.

Despite identifying her as a Democrat, neither Bojorquez nor O'Donnell didn't once give her an ideological label, even with her staunch defense of legalized abortion.  This contrasts with CBS Evening News' coverage of Senator Ted Cruz's primary win in July 2012 during the lead-up to his election in the Lone Star State.

Scott Pelley hyped how "a conservative Republican was beaten by an even more conservative Tea Party candidate [Cruz]." Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson later added that Cruz's opponent, Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, is "considered a very conservative Republican, tough on taxes and social issues, and was endorsed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Cruz spent months tacking even further to the right, chatting up prayer groups, party meetings, tapping into frustrations about Washington spending."


[Update, Saturday, 1:19 pm Eastern: the full transcript of Manuel Bojorquez's report from Thursday's CBS Evening News can be read at MRC.org.]

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