MSNBC's Ronan Farrow marked the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on Thursday by browbeating the Catholic Church for supposedly thwarting the fight against AIDS in the developing world, and for the Church's apparent lack of action in stopping genocide. Farrow played up how "Church social policies often fly in the face of skyrocketing HIV rates," and bemoaned how "the Church does still ban contraception in those places. Is that costing lives?"
The neophyte TV host asked one of his priest guests, "You don't think that it's irresponsible, given the emphasis on mercy and the preservation of life, that there's not more leeway on that doctrine?" He also played up how "brutal conflicts in countries with significant Catholic populations demand attention that some say the Church is failing to provide," and faulted the Church for its apparent inaction during the genocide in Rwanda almost 20 years ago: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
NPR's Richard Knox played up a Pennsylvania judge's dismissal of a homicide case involving admitted euthanasia as "a sign that attitudes about end-of-life decisions are changing, whatever most statutes say," in a Wednesday item for the public radio network's health news blog. Knox euphemistically described the contoversial practice, as he asserted that "the [judge's] decision is the latest in a series of recent developments signaling a reluctance of courts and state legislatures to criminalize medical care that may hasten death."
The correspondent also slanted towards pro-euthanasia groups by including two quotes from a representative of an "advocacy group," while providing none from pro-life opponents.
CNN's Anderson Cooper did little to hide his outrage on his Tuesday program over a zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark killing a giraffe. Cooper confronted the zoo's scientific director and asked, "Doesn't the life of the animal itself have some value, rather than just it being part of your breeding program?" The host later expressed his dismay to Jack Hanna: "What he seems to be saying is that the animal itself doesn't really have any right to live."
Cooper later used language familiar to pro-life activists in defense of the giraffe: "At a certain point, the animals themselves should have some right to actually having a life." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump] The anchor's pro-animal rights segments came just twenty days after CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin ripped pro-lifers on his now-cancelled 10 pm Eastern program:
I paused a bit before putting this post up because the last thing an AP reporter needs is some guy on the right telling him he did a good job. I suspect that it's not a resume enhancer.
That said, there are two reasons not to to ignore Terence Chea's coverage of the Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The first is how it contrasts with Brett Zongker's dismissive and incomplete coverage of the far larger DC March for Life the previous Wednesday. For starters, Chea appropriately described the San Francisco march as "massive"; Zongker's story covering a much larger throng in the hundreds of thousands had no comparable adjective. Put the two stories side by side, and the average reader might believe that the West Coast march was larger. Equally as interesting, Chea's accurate description of relatively minor legislative changes in abortion-related laws since Roe v. Wade make a mockery of the left's "war on women" battle cry. I'll compare the two stories after the jump.
Wade Goodwyn, who hyped Wendy Davis's pro-abortion filibuster as a "ray of light" for Texas Democrats, slanted toward the left in a Tuesday item on NPR.org about the controversy surrounding Marlise Munoz and her unborn baby. Goodwyn asserted that the hospital, which sought to keep Munoz on life support until the baby could be born, was in the wrong: "The hospital's defense of its conduct was a tortured interpretation of the Texas Advance Directives Act."
The journalist, who once worked as a left-wing community organizer, also likened the baby, who was injured when Munoz suffered her life-ending malady, to a mere body part:
Kudos to New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan for asking why the Times couldn’t provide much coverage of Wednesday’s March for Life. Hundreds, if not thousands of New Yorkers were there, so “Was this local participation, or the event itself, worthy of a news story in the paper of record? Apparently not.”
“The Times, in print, published only a stand-alone photograph of the event on Page A17 with a two-line caption on Thursday.” Sullivan reproduced complaints from pro-life readers:
Carol Costello predictably carried water for the cultural left on Friday's CNN Newsroom during a segment about the firestorm over former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's "Uncle Sugar" attack on Democrats. Costello trumpeted how "Democrats are quite gleeful" over Huckabee's remarks, and bemoaned conservatives' opposition to ObamaCare's contraception mandate: "I just can't believe we're still talking about birth control in 2014. It's just weird to me."
The anchor also glossed over the religious liberty component to the debate, and suggested that the GOP/conservatives should just drop the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Roe v. Wade was horribly decided, as even some prominent supporters of abortion rights will agree. But for now, it remains the law of the land. And it establishes a constitutional right to abortion. Amazingly, Thomas Roberts appears unaware of that.
On today's Morning Joe, commenting on Mike Huckabee's speech of yesterday on how Dems wrongly accuse Republicans of a "war on women," Roberts twice said "if old white men could get pregnant, abortion would be a constitutional right." View the video after the jump.
The annual March for Life took place yesterday in our nation’s capital, and MSNBC marked the occasion by inviting a slew of pro-choice guests onto its daytime programming to slime the pro-life movement without giving any pro-lifers a chance to respond. Between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, MSNBC featured six pro-choice guests and zero pro-life guests.
During the 11 a.m. hour of MSNBC Live, host Brian Shactman brought on Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, to offer her predictable insight on the march and abortion rights in general. Shactman began by attempting to marginalize the march -- attended by tens of thousands of mostly young people -- asking, “I mean, what's the impact of the March for Life? Does it have one?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
It’s been almost a year since Pope Francis began his pontificate, and the liberal media has hung on his every word, searching for evidence the head of the Church is an ideological, if not theological ally.
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to hit back at the press on Sunday for supposedly misunderstanding his Friday morning statement to Susan Arbetter on the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in New York." As I noted on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Governor made it clear that "extreme conservatives" include those who are right to life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, and believe in traditional marriage.
But to go after the press, Cuomo's people had to find a news outlet besides a public radio station which actually reported on what he said. Even though his Friday remarks were self-evidently newsworthy, that appears to have been pretty difficult. The Associated Press's national site still doesn't have a story; nor does the New York Times or the Politico. Cuomo's peeps chose to go after the New York Post, whose Aaron Short went to the next step in Cuomo's stated logic in running a story headlined "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!." Team Cuomo's response in full follows the jump (bolds are mine; words Cuomo's people left out are in caps; other words Cuomo didn't say are crossed out):
Imagine if Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry told a public radio show's host that "people who support abortion, gun control, and same-sex marriage have no place in Texas." There would be breaking news alerts on every cable news station. It would be a press obsession for weeks. More immediately, there would be intense pushback from the show's host.
On the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter on Friday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is surely assessing the 2016 presidential landscape, asserted that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Arbetter just let Cuomo's remarks slide on by without meaningful follow-up, and arguably appeared to agree with their thrust. Audio and relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump.
Tuesday's New Day on CNN followed the lead of Reuters in giving ideologically-tinged reporting about Pope Francis's latest condemnation of abortion. Kate Bolduan hyped the "blunt words from Pope Francis on abortion", and played up how "conservative Catholics have complained the new pontiff...hasn't been tough enough on the issue until now."
Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen added that "this is one of the strongest statements that this pope has made on abortion, and it comes after he was criticized by some conservatives in the Catholic Church for not taking a forceful enough position." In reality, the Argentinian-born Bishop of Rome made an equally-sharp denunciation of abortion in November in his first apostolic exhortation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A few hours ago, the folks at Twitchy.com caught the following headline at Reuters at a story about Pope Francis: "Pope, in nod to conservatives, calls abortion 'horrific.'" At roughly 11:45 Eastern Time, the headline at Philip Pullella's story carried at Yahoo News ventured even further into the unreal: "Pope, after conservatives' criticism, calls abortion "horrific.'"
Phil, the Pope is Catholic. Abortion is and always will be a grave, i.e., mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Alleged "conservative" influence is utterly irrelevant. As would be expected, Pullella's content isn't any less ignorant (bolds are mine throughout this post):
MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon continued her obsession with abortion on Thursday, penning an article for MSNBC.com titled “Why the GOP Is Still Talking About Abortion.” Carmon mocked Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and RNC chairman Reince Priebus for holding up the protection of innocent life as a core principle of the Republican Party.
Yes, the party which got its start advocating the sanctity of human lives degraded and exploited on the plantation is being scolded for advocating the sanctity of human life in the womb. Wrote Carmon:
CBS stood out as the only Big Three network to devote full coverage to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Tuesday night stay of the federal government's birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare. As of Thursday morning, CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News devoted three full reports and a news brief to the ruling against the controversial regulation.
By contrast, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have only aired one news brief on Sotomayor's decision, and mentioned it in passing in two other reports on the Affordable Care Act. ABC has yet to report on the development on either Good Morning America or World News.
MSN.com had this very neutral headline on the tragic story of the girl whose tonsillectomy went wrong: “Brain-dead teen facing move.” The family of Jahi McMath is trying to arrange a new facility for her because the Oakland hospital is clearly stating she’s “deceased” and wants to take her off life support. This is when the media decide to be neutral and boring.
“A judge this week ruled Children's Hospital Oakland could remove McMath from the ventilator keeping her body functioning,” reported NBCNews.com. She can have the ventilator removed Monday at 5 pm. The hospital is lecturing the family to accept she’s just a dead body breathing.
Tuesday's Good Morning America simply didn't have its facts straight in their rush to portray Pope Francis as a crypto-liberal. Amy Robach hyped that the pontiff "removed an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage from a powerful post within the Church. Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke...was head of the Vatican's highest court." Robach then asserted that "this move is seen as reinforcing the Pope's vision for a more inclusive church."
However, Cardinal Burke is still the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the equivalent of the Supreme Court for the Catholic Church. The Pope actually declined to renew the Wisconsin native's membership on a different consultative body at the Vatican – the Congregation for Bishops. [MP3 audio of Robach's news brief available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Following two split rulings on abortion this week, one at the ballot box and one by the Supreme Court, the folks at MSNBC have engaged in an all-out assault pushing their pro-abortion agenda across their network. On Wednesday November 20 things weren’t much different as NewsNation host Tamron Hall brought on MSNBC darling and “women’s health advocate” Sandra Fluke for a one-sided discussion on abortion in America.
The segment began with host Hall framing the issue as “the Supreme Court ruled it would not intervene to stop Texas’ restrictive abortion law while voters in Albuquerque rejected an abortion ban.”
Never one to let facts get in the way of the proabort narrative, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press characterized today's 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texas's abortion law to stand while on appeal as one rendered by "the court's conservative majority."
Really? Anthony Kennedy is one of the justices in the critical "Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which reaffirmed in principle (though without many details) the Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the right to abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." That's hardly "conservative," though Sherman at least applied the "liberal" label to the four dissenters. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The Lean Forward network took a half-hearted stab at being fair and balanced on Tuesday. During the 11 a.m. hour, Thomas Roberts invited on two women to discuss the vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representing the obvious pro-abortion side was frequent MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon.
Representing what Roberts called “the church side” was Sara Hutchinson of, wait for it... Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice lobby group. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Recently declared Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had a really, really bad opening round of campaign appearances. Naturally, the national press, which swooned over the Fort Worth Democrat's ultimately failed filibuster against a common-sense pro-life law in the Lone Star State's legislature, pretended not to notice.
They had local help. On Wednesday, At The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, in an item mirrored at the Brownsville Herald, "reporter" Ty Johnson opened with six paragraphs of fanboy fawning about Davis's Tuesday campaign appearance in Brownville, and then buried Davis's galling attempt to portray herself as "pro-life" in Paragraph 23. Also, stay tuned until the final segment of this post for how a Davis press aide tried to bully a local paper into retracting a headline.
On Friday, Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press shamelessly construed Pope Francis' denunciation of abortion and euthanasia as an "olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church". Winfield ballyhooed how the pontiff "issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn".
The Bishop of Rome advised a group of Italian gynecologists to "recognize, in the fragile human being, the face of the Lord...Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ....And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the 'culture of waste' proposes!"
It's Science 101 time for the editorialists at the Washington Post, whose opposition to Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is so fierce that they will literally twist the facts of life to fit their agenda.
As Steve Ertelt at Life News noted Tuesday afternoon, the editorial involved includes "a rather un-scientific claim," namely that "an unborn baby shortly after conception" doesn't achieve status as a "living being" until implantation in the mother's womb.