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.
Awwww. Don Berwick is unhappy. In a speech at the annual conference of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement excerpted at the Boston Globe's White Coat Notes blog, the man whom Congress would not confirm as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator seventeen months after President Obama gave him a recess appointment lashed out at his critics, especially their use of the terms "rationing" and "death panels," describing the employment of the latter term as "beyond cruelty."
Neither Chelsea Conaboy's introduction at the Globe excerpt nor Sam Baker's coverage at the Hill's Healthwatch blog brought up why the two terms Berwick despises so accurately describe his health care views, which include his belief that the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last year -- the one where, as Nancy Pelosi warned, we're still figuring out what's really in it -- is, as he told Boston station WBUR, "majestic." What follows is most of Conaboy's intro, which almost completely ignored the overheated rhetoric in the speech excerpts which followed:
Bradley Fikes at the North County Times, whose coverage area is mostly the northern portion of San Diego County in California, appears to have broken a quite significant story last Thursday when he reported that cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut of Dolly the sheep fame (4,250 stories from 1996-2003 were found in the Google New archive) urged stem cell scientists, as Fikes headlined, to "shift away from embryonic stem cells." Wilmut, speaking at a stem cell research conference in nearby La Jolla, advocated instead for stronger pursuit of direct reprogramming of stem cells.
Five days later, searches at Google News on "Dolly sheep" (not in quotes) and Wilmut's name surfaced about a half-dozen other results, virtually all from religious and pro-life publications, and none from the establishment press. The same two searches at the Associated Press's main site (Dolly sheep; Ian Wilmut also come up empty. Here are key paragraphs from the report by Fikes (bold is mine):
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:
Give Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland at Reuters credit for a fair presentation this morning of the relative progress made in adult stem cell research compared to that achieved thus far in the embryonic arena. Maybe it was because they were reporting from London, where the constraints of insufferable political advocacy in journalism seem (sad to say) less present than they are in the U.S. Meanwhile, Health Writer Matthew Perrone at the Associated Press couldn't even bring himself to recognize the existence of adult stem cells in his Monday afternoon report, and in the process wrote a flat-out fib about the number of FDA-approved stem cell clinical trials taking place.
The occasion for coverage was Geron Corp.'s decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. What follows after the jump are the first six paragraphs from the Reuters analysis:
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows found time to tout the defeat of an Ohio law curbing union power in Tuesday's election, while ignoring passage of another ballot initiative that made the ObamaCare heath insurance mandate illegal in the state.
On NBC's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales declared: "In Ohio, voters rejected a new law that would limit the collective bargaining rights of some 350,000 unionized public workers. Labor unions there are calling the news their biggest victory in decades." On ABC's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott similarly announced the "big victory for labor unions." On CBS's The Early Show, Jeff Glor described how "voters handed union workers a victory."
"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.
On Saturday, Barbara Hollingsworth at the Washington Examiner (HT Peter Roff at US News) reported on the latest development in lawsuit filed by former congressman Steve "Sore Loser" Driehaus against Susan B. Anthony's List (SBA).
Democrat Driehaus, who served one term in Congress before losing to Republican Steve Chabot, is suing SBA under a Ohio’s False Statement Law for "loss of livelihood." Seriously. Driehaus says that his vote for ObamaCare, which has no prolife protections hard-wired into the law, was not a betrayal of his prolife beliefs. SBA says it was a betrayal, and is correct. Driehaus's excuse was that President Obama wrote up an Executive Order with supposed prolife protections, which of course can be revoked at any whimsical presidential moment -- like, say, January 21, 2013 if he's reelected (or January 19, 2013 if he's not).
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]:
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."
David Lewis is running for Congress as a Republican in Ohio's Eighth Congressional District for the seat House Speaker John Boehner currently holds. To be kind, Lewis doesn't stand a chance. To be not as kind, the establishment press is using Lewis's candidacy as an excuse to attempt to cast doubt on the ability of Tea Party activists and the GOP establishment to get along. To be clear, there's plenty of reason for the existence of such doubts, but David Lewis's candidacy is certainly not one of them.
To the chagrin of the GOP establishment, I'm a fan of serious primary efforts, especially against incumbents who may have lost their way. But Lewis's effort is not serious. It is fundamentally flawed in its premise and completely miscasts Boehner's current prolife record. It also has given the press an opportunity to distort the priorities of the Tea Party movement.
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.
Earlier this evening, Vice President Joe Biden, through a spokesperson, backed away from his Sunday comment at a Chinese university about that nation's "one-child" policy, wherein the state allows couples, with relatively rare exceptions, to have only one child. This of course has led to a horrible abortion death toll. A Laura Ingraham email I received this evening, corroborated by a China's population minister cited by CNN in 2008, carries an estimate of 400 million deaths (CNN said it "prevented 400 million children from being born"). It has also led to what is probably an historically unprecedented male-female gender imbalance in the neighborhood of 43-60 million.
Sunday, Alexa Olesen at the Associated Press wrote an item headlined "One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls." My immediate comeback: "43-60 million Chinese girls aborted because they were of the 'wrong' gender or would have violated the one-child policy were not available for comment."
While nowhere near as odious as Nick Kristof's "Mao Tse-tung wasn't all that bad; look what he did for Chinese women" conclusion at the end of a book review on Mao's murderous legacy almost six years ago, Olesen gets into the neighborhood.
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."