Establishment Press Virtually Ignores Lautenberg's 'These People Don't Deserve the Freedoms' Comment

On Friday, Steven Ertelt at Life News, with video backup provided by prolife protesters who were on hand, relayed something New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood, New Jersey in response to the protesters:

They want other people not to be able to have their own opinions. These people (referring to the pro-life advocates) don’t deserve the freedoms in the Constitution, but we’ll give it to them anyway.

So how did the establishment press cover Lautenberg's tyranny-supportive remarks?

I found three reporters for two news organizations who appear to have been on hand for Lautenberg's appearance. Two of those reporters did not report the above remarks. One relayed "these people don't deserve the freedoms in the Constitution," and framed it as applying to "Tea Party Republicans."

An unbylined report at New York City's CBS radio affiliate WINS ("Lautenberg Leads Rally Supporting Federal Funds For Planned Parenthood") carried the following:

Dueling protests brought out passionate pro-life advocates and Planned Parenthood supporters to Englewood, New Jersey Tuesday morning.

 

Decked out in pink, proponents of Planned Parenthood demanded that funding for the organization continue. They were led by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who in a news release said he was “committed to leading the charge in the Senate to protect women from the Republicans in Congress who are trying to take away their access to health care services.”

 

... Sen. Lautenberg, booed by protesters against funding for Planned Parenthood, egged on his opponents, who he characterized as “Tea Party Republicans” with an “extremist ideology.”

 

“Let’s hear their boos against cancer screening — hey where are they so quiet,” Lautenberg said. “Taken an Aspirin, think about this and maybe you’ll feel better in the morning.”

How dignified. (/sarc)

At New Jersey Media Group's NJ.com on Wednesday ("Battle over Planned Parenthood"), Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton's reported that the groundswell of support for the organization was less than overwhelming, and cast pro-lifers as the bad guys:

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and other Planned Parenthood supporters urged Congress to continue federal funding for the organization at a spirited rally in Englewood where abortion foes tried to shout down several speakers.

 

The rally drew nearly 100 supporters, who wore pink shirts and stood in front of a pink megabus, part of a national "Truth Tour" launched by the nation's largest provider of reproductive health care to battle the budget cuts.

 

About 40 antiabortion protesters shouted "baby killers" and "lies, lies" as people spoke.

 

"Planned Parenthood is under attack by Tea Party Republicans who have put their extremist ideology above women's health," Lautenberg said while several antiabortion protesters booed him and shouted "Shame on you, Lautenberg."

 

Planned Parenthood does not spend federal money on abortion services, said Michele Jaker, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey. Abortions are provided at three of the 29 Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey. The organization does not provide abortions in North Jersey. (Sidebar: "Clinics" are not part of the "organization"? If it's even so, why does it matter? -- Ed.)

 

Other North Jersey legislators who spoke in support of Planned Parenthood were state Sen. Robert Gordon, D-Fair Lawn, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, D-Englewood, and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, D-Paramus.

A separate NJ.com report by Mike Curley ("Senator leads rally for Planned Parenthood in Englewood") captured one of Lautenberg's most controversial statements, as well as a couple of others (bolds are mine):

Sen. Frank Lautenberg led a rally on Tuesday morning along with other officials, including Assembly Woman Valerie Huttle, to support Planned Parenthood and to urge Congress to continue providing federal funding for women's health services.

 

... More than 100 people gathered outside the Planned Parenthood office on North Van Brunt Street, many in support, while others came out to protest.

 

Those in support waved pink signs, focusing on the organization's services for women's health, including cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control. Those in opposition held signs decrying the center's abortion services. The critics shouted throughout the rally, accusing the speakers of lying and demanding they "stop killing babies."

 

Huttle responding to the protestors, said, "I can scream louder than you, gentlemen."

 

She thanked Lautenberg for bringing attention to the "assault on family planning."

 

... Lautenberg, who spoke after Huttle, said that the Tea Party movement has "declared war on women," adding they were lying when they said the issue was about the budget. He said the Tea Party Republicans "don't deserve the rights in the constitution."

 

Lautenberg said they were putting ideologies above women's health, and he was counting on the peoples' support to "defeat the toxic Tea Republicans in the War on Women."

It seems that Democrats believe it's preferable to tag opponents, in this case pro-life protesters, as "Tea Party Republicans" -- no matter what their cause or possible party affiliation.

Thus, two of the three reports cited above ignored Lautenberg's most toxic comment, while the third ignored Lautenberg's intensely arrogant "but we'll give it to them anyway." Last time I checked, freedom wasn't something Lautenberg, Democrats, or abortion supporters can give or take away.

What Curley did capture should have made the establishment press's newsworthiness cut; it hasn't. They don't even have the excuse that only non-media people captured what Lautenberg said. Searches on Lautenberg's last name at the Associated Press's home site, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times return no relevant results. A March 21-28 Google News search, sorted by date, on "Lautenberg Planned Parenthood" (not in quotes) returned seven results at about 1:00 p.m. ET (an eighth listing was written in advance of Lautenberg's appearance). Besides the four already cited above, there are posts at American Thinker and FavStocks which captured the senator's "don't deserve the freedoms" remark, and a link to a comment page at Mary Jo Layton's NJ.com article. Not captured in the search: Real Clear Politics is carrying the video.

Lautenberg's remarks, if instead said by a Republican or conservative about his or her opponents, would have become prominent national news in less than a millisecond.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.