Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, ABC's George Stephanopoulos responded to host Stephen Colbert's question of why he - as debate co-moderator last Saturday - asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney about whether states have the constitutional power to ban contraceptives, as he argued that the question revolved around the "right to privacy."
He then suggested that a bet with co-moderator Diane Sawyer motivated him to be so persistent in asking Romney followup questions on the subject. After Colbert asked what it felt like when Romney called it a "silly thing" for Stephanopoulos to ask such a hypothetical question, the ABC anchor responded:
On Friday's CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley tagged Rick Santorum as the "very conservative Pennsylvania Senator" as he introduced a full report on the GOP presidential candidate's views on gay rights, abortion, and contraception, with correspondent Dean Reynolds warning that the GOP candidate's views on social issues that helped him in Iowa "have energized his opponents here in New Hampshire."
After noting a recent poll shows Santorum "coming on strong" in the Granite State since his near win in the Iowa caucuses, Pelley, applied the "very conservative" label to the Pennsylvania Republican:
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, hosted by ABC, co-moderator George Stephanopoulos bizarrely pressed candidate Mitt Romney on whether the former Massachusetts governor believes the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn a 1965 ruling that a constitutional right to privacy bars states from banning contraception. (Video below)
"The GOP loves a good bogeyman," MSNBC's Martin Bashir complained as he opened a January 6 interview segment on his eponymous program with Cecile Richards, head of the GOP's "favorite target this election cycle," Planned Parenthood.
Bashir proceeded to paint the GOP presidential field, particularly "grenadier Newt Gingrich" as marshaling the forces of misogyny in a "War on Women," as the segment was titled onscreen. The interview amounted to a series of softball questions and leftist talking points to kick start Richards's own recital of left-wing talking points (MP3 audio here):
As GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie focused the interview on the former Pennsylvania Senator's views on abortion and contraception, and whether he would be acceptable to "middle of the road voters." (Video below)
Let it not be said that the Washington Post are toadies for the Obama administration. They sometimes chastise the White House for not being left-wing enough.
For example, on Saturday the Washington Post editorial board weighed in to the left of the Obama administration on the recent call by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's move to block the FDA's recommendation to allow birth control pill Plan B from being sold without prescription over-the-counter regardless of the patient being a minor.
The Obama administration blocked over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step, the “morning-after” pill, to girls under 17, and New York Times reporters Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Gardiner Harris sniffed out a political move to assuage “conservatives" in Friday’s “Obama Backs Aide’s Stance on Morning-After Pill.”
While the Times mentioned “conservatives” four times in discussing the surprise decision by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for Health and Human Services, there were zero “liberals” labeled in opposition, merely “women’s rights” groups -- as if all women would favor the sale. And while "anti-abortion groups" were identified, there were no "pro-abortion" or even "pro-choice" groups on the other side, merely harmless "reproductive rights groups."
The Washington Post headline on a Friday story on over-the-counter abortifacients ("morning after" pills) for middle-schoolers was "Administration's Plan B move draws strong and mixed reaction." That's a terrible headline, because reporters Anne Kornblut and N.B. Aizenman only sought out liberal reaction, and then provided a Team Obama defense. Conservative reaction was omitted. (Why would conservatives read The Washington Post? Certainly not to read about themselves.) Worse yet, the Post routinely labeled feminist defenders of "morning after" pills for sexually active sixth graders as "women's rights advocates" -- when they're fighting for the sexual opportunities of sixth-graders.
There was real comedy in the story, from ultraliberal Senator Patty Murray, suddenly in the tank for Big Pharmaceuticals: "Pharmaceutical companies here in this country make some very expensive decisions, and they need to know the FDA is going to make a decision based on science."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: "The Obama administration blocks a plan to make the 'morning-after' pill more easily available to young girls. Is this about medicine, politics or something else?" Moments later, he proclaimed: "We begin tonight with this surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics."
The CBS Evening News also lead with the decision as anchor Scott Pelley hyped: "No White House has ever overruled a safety recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration, but it happened today." In the report that followed, correspondent Wyatt Andrews announced that by overruling the FDA, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "stunned many public health proponents."
You've heard of "birthers." But at the Daily Kos, anyone who opposes abortion is a "forced birther." Tub-thumping abortion advocate Kaili Joy Gray is not someone you would call gracious in victory when the Personhood Amendment was defeated in Mississippi.
Her first reaction for all her Kosmonaut friends: "Suck it, forced birthers."
The day before Mississippi voters went to the polls to decide whether to amend the state constitution to define "person" to include unborn children as early as the point of conception, Washington Post's Sally Quinn set out to denounce Initiative 26 on the "On Faith" blog that she edits.
Quinn, an atheist, groused that religious voters in the Magnolia State may make a significant change to the state constitution in order to protect unborn children's lives:
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 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."
CBS referenced Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffe about "fully understanding" China's one-child policy on Friday's Early Show as "off-the-cuff remarks" and "interesting comments," but failed to get to it during the segment. Anchor Chris Wragge merely explained that viewers would find "more on that on our website." Oddly, Wragge and his colleagues did broach the subject in an online video segment.
The anchor, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, brought on political correspondent Jan Crawford to discuss "the busy week in politics" 46 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Besides mentioning the Vice President's "off-the-cuff remarks," Wragge also previewed another subject of the segment, which was Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday save of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who stumbled while walking with the Florida politician. But even before getting to that, the three first discussed Texas Governor Rick Perry becoming the presumptive front-runner in the race for Republican presidential nomination. After briefly noting Perry's lead in the polls, Crawford decided to zero in on the possible drawbacks to his candidacy and highlighted one of the caricatures of the governor:
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.
On Thursday's Early Show, CBS brought on Dr. Logan Levkoff, a radical sexologist, who not only advocated distributing birth control to 11-year-olds during an October 2007 appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, but also wouldn't rule out giving contraceptives out to elementary school students. When anchor Chris Wragge asked if "eleven is too young" for sex education, Levkoff replied, "There's no such thing as being too young."
Wragge and fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis turned to the sex educator for her take on a recently-passed New York City law which mandates sex education in schools. Instead of having guests on from both sides of the issue, Levkoff appeared by herself during the segment. Jarvis first asked, "Parents will tell you- or some critics will tell you, parents should be teaching this, right? But why do you think it should be taught in the schools?" The sexologist made her extreme view on teaching sex ed pretty clear in her initial answer: "There's no question that parents should be talking to their kids about sex and sexuality, from the time they're born on....We're talking about anatomy. We're talking about sexual development, healthy choices, responsibility, consent, respect. And these are all, you know, topics that it's never too young to learn about."
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.
"The Beckhams are breeding! The Beckhams are breeding!" That's the latest battle cry that can be heard over in the UK with the news that David and Victoria Beckham have just welcomed a fourth child into the world. While that is happy news to most people, leave it to environmentalists, lefty politicians and media outlets to question the Beckhams' bundle of joy. It is, according to these critics, irresponsible to continue having children.
According to the Guardian (UK), environmentalists and politicians are using the newest addition to the Beckham family as a wake up call to "open a public debate about how many children people should have." The UN Population Division maintains that the world's population is expected to reach seven billion in late 2011.
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:
There were two candidates on the GOP ticket in 2008, John McCain and Sarah Palin. Both had young daughters involved in the campaign. Both have written books about the experience. Guess which book was celebrated and which was savaged?
The media's character assassination of Sarah Palin knows no bounds, as she's been smeared as everything from "evil" to "unintelligent." But "Palin Derangement Syndrome" is a hereditary disease, and the media have continued their multigenerational malice toward Bristol Palin in reviews of her new memoir, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far."
In attempting to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is the only choice in women's healthcare for Medicaid patients in Indiana, the Associated Press's Rick Callahan seems to have missed perhaps the most important point in his article on the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Indiana: Planned Parenthood lost its funding because they are the largest abortion provider in the country, and Indiana taxpayers refused to continue supporting it.
The article opens with a pity-inducing lede that acts as though patients have no healthcare options except Planned Parenthood. But all of the women's health services that Callahan rattles off in his lede - notably, abortion is not among them - are available in hundreds of other Medicaid-friendly clinics in Indiana. So no, Planned Parenthood patients were not "left fending for themselves," as he claims.
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."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Jennifer Ludden all but acted as an proponent of egg donation and freezing to preserve women's fertility, but failed to acknowledge the dangers associated with the donation process, ranging from negative psychological effects to kidney failure and death. Ludden barely touched on other risks to the procedures, such as using them to permit women over 50 become pregnant.
The correspondent began her report by hyping the emotion behind the problem the donation and freezing procedures aim to fix: the declining fertility of women 40 years of age and older:
Mother's Day is around the corner. While the rest of us are agonizing over what to give mom on her special day, the Washington Post religion website "On Faith" sees it as another excuse to bash conservatives for trying to defund Planned Parenthood.
"This Mother's Day, support family planning," urges the teaser headline for Debra Haffner's May 6 post (see below page break for screen capture).
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):
Doing it's level best to push the meme that Planned Parenthood is a crucial provider of basic medical services for poor women -- and hence deserving of federal taxpayer support -- today's Washington Post devoted one-eighth of page A5 in today's print edition to a photo entitled "Relying on Planned Parenthood."
Depicted is a 24-year-old woman, one Minah Khan, having blood drawn "during a checkup at Planned Parenthood in Washington."
On Friday afternoon, Time magazine religion reporter Amy Sullivan briefly blogged her complaint about what she sees as hypocrisy from conservatives who oppose federal monies for Planned Parenthood but support federal support for faith-based initiatives.
"Money is Fungible," blared her April 8 Swampland headline. Well, "[o]bviously," she agreed, then carped that:
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):