It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east, but today the Washington Post defended as constitutional ObamaCare's individual mandate. The mandate is defended by the administration as being legitimate under the Constitution's commerce clause, a defense the Post editorial board agreed with while conceding that the arguments against the mandate are "serious."
To justify the individual mandate via the commerce clause would fundamentally obliterate any limit on the federal power to regulate, but that doesn't seem to bother the Post in light of the government's "compelling goals of universal coverage and lower costs." But believe it or not, in the past the Post has hailed Court cases that drew limits on the commerce clause, even and especially when the political goals of the legislation invalidated was laudable. Indeed, after the 1995 case U.S. v. Lopez, which struck down a federal penalty on carrying guns near public schools, the Post cautioned Congress that "in the future, [it] will have to demonstrate some modesty in assessing the elasticity of federal power."
ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement with glee during 2011, devoting 33 stories on the air during the first eleven days of October alone to publicizing the protests. However, the Big Three networks have yet to mention the planned demonstrations in 140 cities across the U.S. today at noon local time against the Obama administration's sterilization, abortifacient, and contraception mandate.
The Coalition to Stop the HHS Mandate, which is being coordinated by the Illinois-based Pro-Life Action League; and includes multiple pro-life, social conservative, and religious groups, including Human Life International, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Alliance Defense Fund, and Priests for Life; have organized the "Stand Up For Religious Freedom" rallies "in defense of religious freedom and STAND UP against the Obama administration's HHS mandate at federal building in cities across the country."
Charlie Rose surprised Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday's CBS This Morning by promoting the latest smear from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Rose displayed their fake horror-movie poster with Ryan's face beside House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner. It included the caption, "Just when you thought Medicare was safe, THEY'RE BACK. This time, they want to finish it for good."
Rose told the Wisconsin Republican, "Democrats have tried...to portray you as someone who wants to destroy Medicare, and they have a poster in which you are, in a sense, the poster boy of that. And their argument is that you will, in fact, by a voluntary system, lead to the destruction of something that seniors have come to depend on" [audio available here; video below the jump].
On ABC's World News on Saturday, host David Muir played a clip of an ad from the far left group MoveOn.org attacking Republicans on the issues of abortion and contraception, and asked correspondent David Kerley for his take on the ad.
Without noting that President Obama raised the issue of contraception by requiring some religious institutions to pay for contraceptives for their employees, or that ABC's very own George Stephanopoulos had bizarrely raised the issue even earlier in a Republican presidential debate, persisting to get an answer from Mitt Romney, Kerley blamed Republicans for "talking about contraception" as he asserted that the GOP had handed Democrats a "gift."
Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood.
“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”
Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.
Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.
If the definition of the word "gaffe" is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky may have committed a gaffe on Thursday's The Ed Show.
After MSNBC host Ed Schultz gave her the chance to respond to complaints from conservatives that liberals have shown a double standard in tolerating vile comments about conservative women from liberals like Bill Maher while attacking Rush Limbaugh's recent controversial "slut" comment, Schakowsky admitted that disagreement with Limbaugh's political agenda was a major motivation for her rather than his simply using the word "slut."
Her admission came a day after she was caught on video trying to avoid addressing HBO comedian Maher's history of attacking conservative women.
When FNC's Bill O'Reilly brought up "ABC News's coverage of this Rush Limbaugh/Fluke situation" on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor, guest George Stephanopoulos not only misled FNC viewers about ABC coverage by focusing only on how much time his weekday edition of Good Morning America devoted to the story while ignoring other ABC shows like World News and the weekend edition of GMA, but he even substantially understated the amount of time his own weekday GMA show spent on the controversy.
He also failed to mention that he repeatedly brought up the story as he hosted Sunday's This Week on ABC.
During live coverage of Super Tuesday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews harkened back to a famous historical phone call from then-Senator John F. Kennedy to Coretta King, after her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested, as he suggested that President Barack Obama's recent phone call to Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke would be similarly remembered as important to this year's presidential campaign.
Have we reached a point where a positive story about a political candidate whose views are considered unacceptable by the media elites won't get widely covered even when it's virtually dropped in their laps?
One can't help but suspect that's the case with Rick Santorum. February 13, the Detroit Free Press carried a moving story by Kathleen Gray about how the parents of a Michigan girl with Trisomy 18, the same disease from which his Santorum's daughter Bella suffers, credit the former senator's detailed and determined suggestions in the midst of their daughter's fight with saving her life. Read the whole thing; what follows are selected excerpts, starting with a downplaying headline:
On Monday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, host Ed Schultz and guests Terry O'Neil of the National Organization for Women and former Democratic congressional candidate Kristal Ball were unaccepting of Rush Limbaugh's apology for disparaging Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke, with Schultz suggesting that now is the best time to push Limbaugh off the air.
O'Neill claimed that there were "overtones of violence" to the conservative talk radio host's comments about Fluke. O'Neill:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
Appearing as a subsitute panel member on the Friday, March 2, Inside Washington on PBS, Politico columnist Roger Simon recited the liberal line of attack on Republicans as he theorized that female voters were being turned off from the GOP.
After quoting the Democratic charge of there being a GOP "war on women," moments later he wondered why Republicans were trying to get government 'into our wombs."
On Thursday's All Things Considered, Julie Rovner, NPR's resident ObamaCare flack, claimed that the U.S. Senate rejecting an amendment protecting religious liberty was "closer than the 63 percent majority that supports the contraceptive coverage requirement" from the federal government, according to the poll from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. The organization is an oft-used source for Rovner.
The group obtained the 63 percent figure by asking a question that omits the religious liberty component to the firestorm: "In general, do you support or oppose the new federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control?" A Pew Research Poll from mid-February included that issue, and found that 48 percent supported an exemption for religious groups, versus 44 percent in support of the mandate.
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"
Appearing as a guest on Saturday's Fox and Friends, actor and conservative talk radio host Stephen Baldwin criticized President Obama for daring to second guess Catholic Church doctrine in trying to force Catholic employers to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees. As he was preparing to speak at the CPAC convention in Washington, D.C., he also talked up GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum who has enjoyed a recent string of electoral victories. (Video below)
After being asked about the contraception mandate, Baldwin went after Obama:
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, during a discussion of the media double standard between hitting Komen for planning to defund Planned Parenthood, while delaying attention to Catholic leaders criticizing the Obama contraception mandate, liberal FNC analyst Kirsten Powers debated fellow panel member and FNC analyst Judy Miller from the right as Powers noted the media's bias toward Planned Parenthood, while Miller defended President Obama. (Video below)
In a statement that would have been worthy of a right-leaning analyst, Powers exposed the media:
Saturday's CBS Evening News ran a piece highlighting the complaints of a Catholic Democrat - Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter, recounting his opposition to President Obama's attempt to force Catholic employers to provide contraception coverage to their employees. Winters asserted that he is "very angry about this," and substitute anchor Elaine Quijano noted that, although he voted for President Obama in 2008, he plans not to vote this year. (Video below)
Quijano used a soundbite of Winters giving a warning to Obama during the show's opening teaser:
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, FNC contributor and conservative talk radio host Monica Crowley cited a letter released last Monday by NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell which called on the media to give more attention to President Obama's attempt to force religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, even if these institutions object on religious grounds. (Video below)
Crowley cited numbers on how little attention had been given by the broadcast networks and CNN as of Monday, and credited the MRC with affecting a greater focus on the issue from the media:
The press was eager to jump on initial remarks by U.S. bishops that President Obama's announcement yesterday of what the Wall Street Journal aptly described in an editorial this morning as the "Immaculate Contraception" -- namely, the idea that insurance companies would somehow pay out of their own pockets for costs relating to "contraceptive services" to which the bishops objected to having Catholic institutions pay for directly was "a good first step." I heard this description several times in brief radio news summaries yesterday. Later yesterday afternoon, the bishops' position was reported as "reserving judgment."
In an official statement carried at Vatican Radio's web site ("The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world") this morning, the bishops have rejected Obama's self-described "sensible approach." Especially pertinent, in light of my post earlier this morning, is the fact that the mandate and its revision appear to apply to employers who self-insure -- an option religious institutions have been forced to use to avoid attempts by several U.S. states to mandate what ObamaCare wants to impose on the entire nation (in full; bolds are mine):
Yesterday's announcement by President Obama (headlined at the White House's website as "Remarks by the President on Preventive Care") of planned revisions to an ObamaCare-driven rule which, in the President's words, "if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles."
Showing just how out of touch the establishment press is with reality, an editorial this morning in the Wall Street Journal cutely titled "Immaculate Contraception" points out something most, including the Associated Press, have missed -- that in a large number of cases involving many thousands of employees, there is no "insurance company" there to directly pay for these services:
Suffer me to begin with a suggestion: if you ever have the chance to hear the Rev. William Dailey of Notre Dame law school speak, jump on it. Dailey is a stunningly brilliant advocate, among the best I have ever encountered on any issue.
Dailey appeared on today's Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC, where he masterfully made the case against the Obama administration's order forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that violate their moral principles. Predictably, the panel resorted to an ad hominem argument against him. Panelist Michaela Angela David implicitly, and Hayes himself explicitly, argued that celibate Catholic priests lack the moral authority to make arguments on the issues at hand. Dailey deftly turned the tables. Video after the jump.
Julie Rovner, NPR's on-staff shill for ObamaCare, filed an unashamedly one-sided report on Friday's Morning Edition about the controversial Obama administration mandate that forces religious institutions to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and birth control.
Rovner turned to only two individuals for her pro-mandate report: Peggy Mastroianni, general counsel at the federal government's own EEOC, an organization which recently got slapped down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of houses of worship in hiring and personnel matters; and Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a lawyer for the notoriously far-left American Civil Liberties Union, who until May 2011, worked for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.
A "breaking" email I received from USA Today this morning is a definite sign of establishment press scrambling to give deceptive cover to an Obama administration mandate whose unpopularity continues to grow as more people become aware of it. It also shows the lengths to which the press will go to keep the relatively disengaged, which would include those who only primarily informed via email and other brief alerts without digging further, from encountering basic facts.
The email pretends that the president is about to announce a "decision" (as opposed to changing one), and refers to a "rule" without saying where the rule came from, or why:
On Thursday's The Last Word, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell disproved claims by liberals that eight states already have regulations that require Catholic employers to provide health insurance coverage of contraceptives for their employees, as the liberal host informed viewers that his staff had looked into the laws of these states and found the assertions to be untrue. (Video below)
After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.
It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."
Filed from CPAC 2012 in Washington, D.C. -- Shortly before noon Eastern today, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) walked through the bloggers lounge here at CPAC, answering a few questions from reporters and bloggers.
I asked Gov. Perry if, in light of the Obama administration's move to force Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, he felt vindicated about his claims of an Obama administration war on religion. His response:
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."
Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."