Ever creative in finding things for which to blame the "right wing," Salon magazine is criticizing conservatives in a headline ("Planned Parenthood Firebombed, Right Wing Silent") about an apparent incident in McKinney, Texas last Tuesday in which an unknown person allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at a Planned Parenthood establishment.
No one with even superficial understanding of conservatives and a sound mind could conclude the conservative movement supports throwing Molotov cocktails at business establishments, even left-wing ones. That we did not comment on an incident that received almost no press attention and at which no one was injured is more logically attributed to the fact that we, like almost everyone else on the planet, had no idea it took place.
On Monday's Early Show, CBS slanted towards supporters of a new Obama administration mandate which requires private insurance companies to cover contraception as part of women's "preventative services." Anchor Chris Wragge labeled the development "good news," while correspondent Michelle Miller failed to include sound bites from opponents during her report on the new regulation.
After using his "good news" phrase, Wragge trumpeted the "historic new women's health guidelines" during his introduction for Miller's report, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. The correspondent herself picked up where the anchor left off when she stated that new mandate was "welcome news to the women we spoke to." She then played two sound bites from women on the street who gave supposed horror stories about the cost of birth control.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: Sometimes, $20 a month can definitely be hard to scrape together.
New York Times food writer (and food scold) Mark Bittman made the front of the Sunday Review with his latest modest proposal, the 2,100-word “Bad Food? Tax It.”
(In a March 29 column, Bittman self-righteously announced a fast on behalf of the poor against proposed G.O.P. budget cuts: “These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they’d barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now.”)
Bittman’s latest melodramatic bid as head of the food police involves raising taxes to change poor people’s eating habits to save “tens of millions of lives” and “tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.”
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:
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Julie Rovner spun the debate over a proposed mandate for private insurance companies to cover birth control without a copay as being between "women's health groups," which were not given an ideological label, and organizations such as the Family Research Council, which she clearly identified as "conservative." A representative from her example of a "women's health group," Planned Parenthood, labeled "unintended" pregnancies an "epidemic."
Anchor Steve Inskeep began the report with an admission about ObamaCare: "President Obama's health care overhaul law touches almost every aspect of health care, including birth control." Rovner first highlighted a woman from Tucson, Arizona who, despite having a "full-time job with health insurance [and] a husband," along with two kids, apparently couldn't afford the $25 a month copay for her birth control prescription. This led to her having a third child, and the woman declared that "while we're happy that she's here, it was not planned, and had we had some better finances, we probably could have made some better decisions."
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 Thursday evening, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC’s World News featured a report on GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s recent revelation that her pro-life views were influenced by a miscarriage she once endured. ABC correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi also informed viewers of the Minnesota Congresswoman’s history of giving care to foster children with her husband.
Substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos set up the report:
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."
On Fox News this weekend, Jon Stewart famously denied that the New York Times pushes a liberal agenda. Perhaps the man from Comedy Central sees the paper as "moderate." After all, the Times itself apparently doesn't believe there are any liberals on the Supreme Court. In an editorial today, the paper described Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and every other member of her wing of the Court, as "moderate."
The Times' mind-boggling notion of what constitutes a "moderate" came in its editorial blasting the Supreme Court's decision of yesterday throwing out a huge class-action sex-discrimination case against Wal-Mart.
Here's the relevant excerpt from the editorial [emphasis added]:
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.
At the New York Times yesterday (appearing on the front page in today's print edition), Keith Schneider's Jack Kevorkian obituary described the late assisted suicide practitioner as "fiercely principled."
An advanced search on that term (in quotes) indicates that the Old Gray Lady has only used it to describe a real human being one other time since 1981, in reference to composer Peter Maxwell Davies in January 2009. The same Times search done on 1851-1980 comes up empty. Think of all the eminently nobler and saintly people who have passed through this life during the past 160 years. Not one of them was ever described by the Times as "fiercely principled" during their lives or after their deaths. Amazing.
Additionally, the Times has had some difficulty adequately describing the nature of Kevorkian's "accomplishments." In the obit's window title and currently at the paper's home page, Kevorkian is headlined only as someone who "backed assisted suicide." The story's actual headline at the web obit and in today's print edition is still somewhat non-descriptive: "Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives."
Sixty-one percent of American adults—including some who describe themselves as “pro-choice”—told Gallup in a survey conducted May 5-8 that abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances.
The Gallup survey, published today, asked 1,018 American adults whether they considered themselves “pro-choice” or “pro-life” on abortion. It also asked: “Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?”
During the 11AM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Thomas Roberts decried Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels voicing support for legislation to de-fund the state chapter of Planned Parenthood as "a move that has many questioning if politics is playing too much of a role in women's health."
Turning to Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum, Roberts declared: "...here's the national reality for everyone out there that may not understand what it is that Planned Parenthood does, and this was checked by Politifact, only 3% of services at national clinics are abortion-related." What he failed to mention was that Planned Parenthood is America's largest abortion provider, performing over 300,000 abortions per year. According to its annual report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana performed 5,580 abortions in 2010.
Conservative author S.E. Cupp must have felt like she was getting tag-teamed Wednesday when she opted to go on the "Joy Behar Show" along side Jerry Springer.
The trio debated a number of issues including the Bush tax cuts, but the debate really got heated when the host brought up the Republican desire to defund Planned Parenthood (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On last Friday and on this past Tuesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper ran fact-checks against the claims of two anti-abortion members of Congress against Planned Parenthood – but did not bother to conduct similar fact checks on the claims of Planned Parenthood and its Democratic supporters.
During his Tuesday segment of "Keeping Them Honest," Cooper countered the claims of conservative Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S. "They are a big abortion provider, although that's only a small fraction of what they do," he stated.
Robert Redford’s period piece on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln hits theaters Friday, but one author who was featured on MSNBC thinks America is embroiled in a modern day “civil war” over abortion.
On the April 12 edition of “Martin Bashir,” fill-in anchor Richard Lui failed to challenge Stephen Singular, author of “The Wichita Divide,” on the illogical connection he drew between the man who killed Dr. George Tiller, who was known for providing late-term abortions, and pro-life advocates who are pushing to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
In a live stand-up via satellite from the U.S. Capitol shortly after 11 a.m. EDT today, MSNBC's Luke Russert insisted that Senate Democrats were holding up approval of spending bills to fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year because they were pro-environment and for "women's health," the latter of course being code for the controversial issue of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
"Two very partisan political issues are essentially what is holding up whether or not there will be a government shutdown," Russert told anchor Thomas Roberts (emphasis mine):
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?
In the Sunday New York Times obituary for liberal Democrat 1984 vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, Douglas Martin presented her as "hounded" by sexist anti-abortion conservatives who would metaphorically persecute her to death:
The abortion issue, magnified because she was Roman Catholic and a woman, plagued her campaign. Though she opposed the procedure personally, she said, others had the right to choose for themselves. Abortion opponents hounded her at almost every stop with an intensity seldom experienced by male politicians.
Writing in The Washington Post in September 1984, the columnist Mary McGrory quoted an unnamed Roman Catholic priest as saying, “When the nuns in the fifth grade told Geraldine she would have to die for her faith, she didn’t know it would be this way.”
NPR's Liz Halloran touted the federal government's Title X subsidy of contraceptives as "largely noncontroversial" in a Monday article on NPR.org, despite the House of Representatives' 240-185 vote in February to defund the program. Halloran also quoted exclusively from liberal Title X supporters or from conservatives who had second thoughts about targeting the program.
It only took her two paragraphs for the correspondent to use this slanted label of the federal program in her article, "Abortion Foes Target Family Planning Program." She also highlighted the longstanding funding of "family planning programs that provide contraceptive and related health and family services to millions of low-income women and men" and noted how Title X passed with "bipartisan support in Congress."
Halloran continued that "Title X, which serves more than 5 million men and women annually, is on House Republicans' chopping block. Supporters of defunding have characterized it as an effort to strip funds from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that use other funds to provide legal abortions, without singling out any particular group. The House in February voted 240-185 to defund Title X in the current budget year." But instead of tracking down one of the representatives who voted for this, or from one of their allies in the conservative movement, the journalist turned to a Republican skeptic: