Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories.A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
Good Morning America reporter Claire Shipman on Friday offered a one-sided, misleading segment on Susan G. Komen's "political" decision to defund Planned Parenthood. [Update: The Komen Foundation has backed down and restored funding, according to media reports.] Shipman inaccurately described a women who got a breast screening "through a Planned Parenthood screening." The organization doesn't do such procedures.
Yet, an ABC graphic misrepresented that Monique Benoit "received a mammogram through Planned Parenthood." Benoit is featured on Planned Parenthood's YouTube account. There, a more accurate explanation was given: The group "gave me a referral slip to somewhere for a mammogram." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.
Normally, when a leading charity cuts ties to a large non-profit organization, the news will not spark a media controversy. But when the Susan G. Komen Foundation severed financial ties to Planned Parenthood due to Congressional investigations into the organization, CNN hyped Planned Parenthood's cries of foul play and "bullying from the right."
Correspondent Mary Snow aired a pretty one-sided piece on Wednesday including statements from Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards, evidence supporting her claims of right-wing "bullying," and even vitriolic Facebook posts decrying the de-funding. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
The absurd media double standard in labeling Republicans - even moderate Republicans - as conservative while omitting the liberal label for Democrats was on display again Wednesday as CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a report for the CBS Evening News recounting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's decision to cease funding for Planned Parenthood.
One way the left-leaning media like to downplay the annual March for Life is to play up how both sides of the abortion debate showed up in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, when the reality of the matter is that hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers outnumber their opponents by a very large margin every year.
On Monday, CBS's local site for the DC area took that form of bias to another level. Their photo essay, titled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life On Roe v. Wade Anniversary," completely left out the March for Life participants. Instead, the outlet put up seven photos of the handful of "pro-choice" demonstrators that showed up in front of the Supreme Court.
Conservatives' calls for taking away taxpayer funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood and ensuring that religious organizations are not forced to pay for abortions and birth control through their health insurance plans proves we are not a "sane society," complains Jezebel founding editor and Washington Post columnist Anna Holmes in a Style section column today, blandly titled "The politics of birth control."*
The feminist writer opened her column by grousing that "almost 39 years to the day that the right to abortion was decided" by the Supreme Court, "we're still having a conversation about the access to and legality of female reproductive health services." In other words, "dammit, pro-lifers, you just won't quit!"
What does Planned Parenthood have to do for a mention on the network news? The group provides services abhorred by much of the American population and it has been riddled with scandal recently. But according to the abortion group's latest figures, its intake of federal tax dollars up by more than a third, and that 90 percent of its government funding comes from federal money.
Sounds like a controversial story. Too bad ABC, CBS and NBC haven't been paying attention.
On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS's Cynthia Bowers let abortion advocates decry new pro-life legislation at the state level, barely letting supporters speak in her report. Bowers slanted by a three to one margin in the number of sound bites that she played from "abortion rights" supporters versus those from pro-lifers. She labeled Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback a "staunch abortion opponent," while giving no equivalent label to a pro-choicer.
The correspondent led the segment with a clip from an unidentified woman who aborted her unborn child who had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a disorder where most of the baby's brain fails to develop. She continued that the woman's obstetrician "suggested...one of only three clinics in the entire state [of Kansas] that still performs abortions- access that could soon be cut even further."
On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.
Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):
Time's Tim Padgett regurgitated just about every liberal talking point on abortion in an online column on Thursday which tried to claim that the Catholic Church's pro-life efforts in the U.S. were pointless and out of step with the laity: "Aren't they just wasting our time as well as their own?" Padgett cherry-picked from Church documents and quoted from the infamous pro-abortion front group Catholics for Choice.
The Miami and Latin America bureau chief for the struggling magazine began his article, "Why Radical Pro-Lifers Are Wasting Their Time: Most American Catholics support abortion rights," by all but gloating over the rejection in Mississippi of a proposed personhood amendment: "Now that voters in Mississippi have rejected the so-called personhood agenda — the radical anti-abortion effort to make the moment of conception the legal beginning of human life — the movement says it plans to take its referendum to a number of other states in 2012."
With the news that the liberal Joy Behar's HLN show will end next month, the Media Research Center compiled a "best of Behar" list from its own archives. The liberal prime-time host was one who could never be accused of holding back her smears against conservatives, and repeatedly teed-up her liberal guests to bash Republicans.
Behar, who is also the co-host of ABC's The View, mostly interviewed entertainment and celebrity figures but was never at a loss for bringing liberal politics to the fore in those interviews. She embarked on many a crusade against social conservatives and any who opposed her passionate support for the GLBT cause.
Here are some of the best examples of Behar's bigotry:
"I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
That was Time contributor Nina Burleigh back in July 1998 during the Clinton impeachment saga. Not much has changed in 13 years when it comes to Burleigh's militant and outspoken defense of abortion.
Take her October 20 Time.com piece, "Mississippi's Choice: Personhood and the Rights of Zygotes," in which Burleigh attacked both pro-life activists who are pushing for a personhood amendment in Mississippi as well as "mainstream" pro-lifers who question the political and legal wisdom of the personhood amendment strategy (emphases mine):
Appearing on the 11 a.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC Live today, Nation magazine columnist and MSNBC contributor Melissa Harris-Perry cynically invoked the legacy of Jim Crow laws to blast a proposed constitutional amendment in Mississippi that would extend due process protections to unborn children.
CNN released a poll last month where 61 percent of Republican respondents believed abortion should be legal in "certain" cases and 11 percent believed it should be always legal, while only 27 percent opposed its legalization in all cases. Don Lemon cited this poll and touted that an overwhelming number of Republicans now support the legalization of abortion "under all or certain circumstances."
"So Will, 72 percent, 72 percent of voting Republicans think abortion should be legal under all or certain circumstances," Lemon emphasized to conservative guest Will Cain of TheBlaze.com. "So how does such a minority of Republicans come to play such an influential role in choosing the GOP nominee?" [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On his Thursday program, MSNBC's Martin Bashir collaborated with pro-abortion Rep. Diana DeGette to bash pro-life conservatives as "misogynists" during a seven-and-a-half minute long segment. Bashir claimed that it's "hardly surprising" that the proposed Protect Life Act, which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers, "has earned the moniker the 'let women die act.'"
During the segment, the host repeatedly railed against Republicans for putting the bill up for a vote while "fourteen million Americans out of work." Bashir also adopted the pro-abortion lobby's own talking points from the very start [video clips from the segment below the jump]:
Leftist media critics resent that newspapers have a "Business" section or that PBS used to show "Wall Street Week," as if reporting on business automatically means you're pro-business. The Washington Post on Sunday seemed to be working overtime to publish an Anti-Business section, with two columns endorsing the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, an enormous article by liberal Post wunderkind Ezra Klein on how the Obama "stimulus" was too tiny, and a whole page devoted to the Bloomberg expose of the Koch brothers' shenanigans in Iran.
Steven Pearlstein wrote a column on how "Obama can learn from Wall St. protest." Michelle Singletary's column was titled "Rage, rage against Wall St." and compared the protesters to Rosa Parks fighting racism on the bus.
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Wade Goodwyn carried water for pro-abortion activists who are targeting Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature for cutting the state funding of "women's health clinics." Goodwyn didn't give an ideological label for the activists, referring to them merely as "family planning advocates," and highlighted their objection that some of the cut funds were now going to crisis pregnancy centers.
Hosts Steve Inskeep and David Greene pushed a liberal talking point against the Republican presidential contender in his introduction for the correspondent's report: "Texas has been attracting people who move there for jobs. At the same time, though, more than a quarter of the state's population has no health insurance, which is more than any other state. Hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have been filling the gap." Greene continued that "this year, Perry and the state legislature drastically cut funding for the clinics."
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's touted the Obama administration's "more aggressive legal approach" towards pro-life demonstrators with the stepped-up prosecution of alleged violations of the controversial FACE Act. Correspondent Carrie Johnson highlighted the prosecution of an elderly pro-lifer, and let an abortion lobbyist denigrate pro-lifers as possible terrorists.
Host Steve Inskeep introduced Johnson's report with slanted language about how "the fight over abortion rights continues in courtrooms and state houses all over this country. But a smaller-scale version of that conflict is on display almost every day between protesters and escorts at abortion clinics. And some of those tensions are on the rise, as the Obama administration takes a more aggressive legal approach against people who block access to clinics."
It's no secret that the establishment press continues to serve as a virtual PR mouthpiece for Planned Parenthood. Among the canards employed in its defense is that the organization provides a wondrous array of reproductive health services. Abby Johnson, a former Texas facility director for the organization and others have shown that abortion constitutes 98% of such "services," and that taxpayer funds which aren't supposed to pay for abortions are routinely "combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services."
For several years, Life Dynamics Incorporated has documented an even more sinister aspect of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry which its press defenders steadfastly refuse to call out, namely that it takes the lives of a disproportionate number of pre-born African-American and Hispanic babies. A new study by LDI ("Racial Targeting and Population Control") shows that this result is no accident, as, in LDI's words, "family planning" clinics "are disproportionately placed into minority neighborhoods" (full PDF report; HT Life News; bolds are mine throughout; internal link added by me):
In his Friday column ("Failing Forward"), published in Saturday's print edition, the New York Times's Charles Blow really blew it in attempting to relay an abortion-related statistic from the abortion-supportive Alan Guttmacher Institute. Blow wrote (shown here) that "the unintended pregnancy rate has jumped 50 percent since 1994."
The Times has since corrected the column to reflect what the Guttmacher Institute reported, which is that (italics are mine) "the unintended pregnancy rate among poor women has jumped 50 percent since 1994." LiveAction.org's Lisa Graas and Jennie Stone both noted Blow's blunder earlier today. Each also strongly and eloquently criticized Blow for his profoundly antilife attitudes. Additionally, the Times columnist used a "from 2000 to 2009" statistic about child poverty to mask the fact that most of the rise in that statistic occurred during the final year of that time period, i.e., the first year of the presidency of you-know-who.
Today's Washington Post provided a sympathetic profile for Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who in December of last year expanded his practice to include abortions in a Maryland clinic about 30 miles from the District of Columbia.
"From abortion provider to activist," read the below-the-fold headline on page A1 of today's Post. " Physician is committed to doing late-in-pregnancy procedures despite threats."
Yet for someone who allegedly is the subject of numerous threats against his life, the Post only cited one credible threat from 20 years ago.
Under the sub-heading "From ashes, a mission," reporter Lena Sun noted that:
Stephen Prothero, a regular contributor to CNN.com's Belief Blog, bizarrely read the hearts of American Catholics, based on a recent poll which found that the majority of them believe abortion should stay legal. Prothero, writing in a Thursday item about 20th century leftist Catholic activist Dorothy Day and her self-admitted abortion, concluded that U.S. Catholics "will forgive Day's sin...because, in their heart of hearts, many of them don't consider it all that much of a sin in the first place."
The blogger, who, according to his bio line, is a "Boston University religion scholar and author of 'God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World,'" began his op-ed, "My Take: Catholics will accept a saint who had an abortion," with a question that he answered with his claim about American Catholics: "Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?" After noting Day's life as an "anarchist, a pacifist, and the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, a movement devoted to helping the poor and the homeless" and her open cause for canonization in the Catholic Church, Prothero described the activist's personal experience with abortion:
On Tuesday's In the Arena, fill-in host Christine Romans questioned Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on the relevance of the abortion issue in the upcoming presidential election. She argued that the central issues, according to polls, are the economy and jobs and that focusing on politicians' stances on abortion might not be a viable strategy.
Ironically, Anderson Cooper opened up CNN's 10 p.m. hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" segment scrutinizing a certain politician's flip-flops on same-sex marriage – President Obama.
It was an obvious contrast in demeanor last week, Eliot Spitzer's lapdog interview of the president of Planned Parenthood and his aggressive sparring with social conservative Tony Perkins. Spitzer simply let Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards air her spin on the organization, but went after the Family Research Council's (FRC) Perkins from the get-go on CNN Thursday night.
Consider the statements Richards made last Wednesday night that Spitzer was content not to scrutinize: Planned Parenthood has received "enormous support" from both Democrats and Republicans, the organization is "very transparent" about its services, Planned Parenthood reduces need for abortions through family planning, and the recent efforts by Congress and state legislatures to cut its funding "were to eliminate access for women to get access to life-saving breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and birth control."
Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider, the controversial recipient of government funds, and is criticized by some for its lack of transparency – and yet CNN's Eliot Spitzer gave president Cecile Richards a free pass in a Wednesday night interview.
Could Spitzer's leniency be due to the fact that he enjoyed the endorsement of Planned Parenthood when he ran for governor of New York? Before he was ousted in a prostitution scandal, Spitzer was stridently pro-abortion as the state's governor. Pro-abortion group NARAL's New York PAC bragged that the organization was "central" to his 1998 victory when he ran for Attorney General of New York.
CNN's Dana Bash is a new member of the board of trustees for an organization that, as part of its official mission, advocates for "reproductive rights" on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. The organization, Jewish Women International (JWI), clarifies that its purpose is "empowering women and girls -- through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of women's leadership."