Media critic Mollie Hemingway, a contributor to GetReligion.org, has an excellent post up today at CNN's Belief Blog about how the liberal media did a horrible job when it came to objectively reporting the implications of the recent Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood row. In fact, the media have shown themselves "effective partisans" by telling only "half the story," the half spoon-fed by socially liberal lobby groups like Planned Parenthood.
Be sure to check out the whole thing here, but below the page break I've appended some key excerpts (emphasis mine):
Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
Even when told that paying for birth control would violate the consciences of certain religious organizations, CNN's Soledad O'Brien wondered why the groups still shouldn't have to cover contraceptives for interested employees.
O'Brien cited statistics from the abortion-supportive Guttmacher Institute showing that even the vast majority of Catholic women use birth control. She then asked why so many shouldn't have the option to pursue such practices, regardless of what the Catholic Church teaches. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
After finally deciding to actually cover the controversy swirling around the Obama administration's attempt to force Catholic institutions to pay for birth control in health insurance plans, NBC's Today on Tuesday brought on leftist MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to dismiss all legitimate opposition to the move as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While co-host Matt Lauer began by wondering if President Obama had "miscalculated on the issue," he quickly seized on Maddow's supposed "logic" on the topic: "...you hear people saying President Obama could suffer because of this in the election, and yet, you use your logic there, if the majority of women in this country say that they use birth control, could this backfire on the Republican candidates who are now making it the issue?"
CNN's blatant double-standard in covering religious and social issues was manifested in its lopsided coverage of two different stories over the past few weeks.
When prominent religious leaders condemned an Obama administration mandate as an attack on religious freedom, the network gave the controversy one brief mention in ten days. But when liberal outrage ensued over a cancer charity pulling its funding of leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood, CNN reported the story the next day and promptly followed it up with more coverage.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
Of course, true to MSNBC form, Bashir ignored the legitimate policy and religious liberty implications of Gingrich's complaint to dredge up Gingrich's past moral failings, namely his adulteries, as a way of fatally wounding the messenger and hence, Bashir hopes, negating the message [MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break]:
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories.A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, there she goes again.
On Sunday's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow falsely claimed, "Rick Santorum says that he would like states to be able to make contraception illegal' (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, told host David Gregory, "You just managed to precisely repeat the Obama administration's line."
The subject being discussed was the new edict from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring religious organizations to provide contraception to their employees (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of The American Conservative magazine cited an article by MRC analyst and NewsBuster Matthew Balan, who recounted the media obsession with the Komen foundation's decision to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, while the same media have completely ignored the brewing conflict between President Obama and the Catholic Church as the Obama administration tries to force Catholic employers to go against their religious beliefs and provide coverage for contraception in its health insurance plans. Pinkerton:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, as the panel discussed the new Obama administration rule that requires even Catholic employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraception to their employees, both liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer hit Obama for the decision, while NPR's Nina Totenberg claimed that there were valid arguments in both directions as she made a flawed analogy between contraception and immunization as a defense of the Obama position.
But the blunt criticism directed at Obama by the liberal Shields, who is also a longtime regular on the PBS NewsHour, was the most surprising part of the show. After host Gordon Peterson noted that some Catholic leaders had supported Obamacare, and asked if they are "being hung out to dry," Shields responded:
In his The Plum Line op-ed on page A19 today, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent saw the presence of "relatively conservative Democrats Mark Begich (Alaska) and Jon Tester (Mont.)" on a letter by Senate Democrats blasting the Komen Foundation for withdrawing grants to Planned Parenthood as "testament to how broad the opposition to this decision has become."
But a few keystrokes on a search engine reveal Sargent's journalistic and intellectual laziness. Both Begich and Tester drew 100% approval ratings for 2011 from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Both senators drew 100% approval ratings in the 2012 Planned Parenthood action guide. Tester has received endorsements from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood and, in a photo I've attached below the page break, is shown smiling widely in a photo taken at the 39th annual NARAL Dinner (via TheHill.com) held on January 26. Tester is pictured with NARAL president Nancy Keenan (center) and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney (right).
News of the Komen Foundation's backpedaling regarding its grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates prompted liberal journalist Andrea Mitchell to do a victory lap on her 1 p.m. Eastern Andrea Mitchell Reports program today.
Mitchell began by noting that under "mounting pressure," Komen founder Nancy Brinker released an apology, an excerpt of which Mitchell read before interviewing pro-choice Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by telephone about the development. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Komen hasn't bent to political pressure from Planned Parenthood and its left-wing political allies - they've snapped like a toothpick. And according to our statistical analysis, pro-abortion ABC, CBS and NBC News have undoubtedly played a strategic role in this pressure.
In her Metro section column today, Washington Post's Petula Dvorak complained that The Susan G. Komen Foundation was "the biggest bully on the playground this week" with the cancer charity's decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood.
But oddly enough, Dvorak's own paper, in a front-page story no less, reported numerous incidents which show that Komen itself is the victim of bullying as various groups are ending or threatening to end their relationship with Komen in retaliation:
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.
MSNBC has been mocked as MS-DNC and MS-LSD by conservative critics. But given the network's constant drum-beat against the Komen Foundation for its decision to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates, it might be sensible to rename the liberal cable outlet MS-D&C, after the abortion procedure.
Throughout live coverage this morning and early afternoon, MSNBC hosts turned to pro-choice politicians and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards to rebuke the breast cancer charity for its decision. Finally, in the 1 p.m. hour, veteran journalist and breast cancer patient Andrea Mitchell interviewed Komen's founder, Ambassador Nancy Brinker. Yet that discussion turned out to be a hardball interview that was followed immediately afterwards by a softball chat with hard-left U.S. senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
President Obama and his radical feminist enforcers have had it in for Catholic medical providers from the get-go. It's about time all people of faith fought back against this unprecedented encroachment on religious liberty. First, they came for the Catholics. Who's next?
This weekend, Catholic bishops informed parishioners of the recent White House edict forcing religious hospitals, schools, charities and other health and social service providers to provide "free" abortifacient pills, sterilizations and contraception on demand in their insurance plans — even if it violates their moral consciences and the teachings of their churches.
On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.
Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.
That's how Washington Post headline editors titled a brief AP story regarding the Susan G. Komen cancer charity opting to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood. The four-paragraph AP item appeared in the February 1 page A3 national news digest.
Discussing the recall of two Pfizer brands of birth control pills on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry pressed Dr. Keri Peterson on an "option" for women who "may be now vulnerable to being pregnant." Peterson offered this tip: "There are options....You're going to want to use condoms immediately...there are also over-the-counter termination kits available that you can take right away." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.
Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?" [video clip below the jump] The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.
On their weekend evening news shows, the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) all ignored a Friday mandate from the Obama administration forcing non-profit religious employers to provide for contraception in their health insurance for employees. Critics had condemned the rule as a violation of religious liberty.
However, NBC had made sure to report that Congress was mulling defunding of Planned Parenthood back on the April 14, 2011 edition of Nightly News.
John H. Cushman, Jr. of the New York Times almost completely slanted to the left in his Friday article about the Obama administration's decision to force religious organizations to include free contraception in their employee insurance plans. Cushman quoted from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, liberal Senator Barbara Boxer and the president of notorious pro-abortion "Catholics for Choice," but only included a six-word quote from the other side of the debate.
The writer led his post on the liberal paper's political blog, The Caucus, by noting that "the Obama administration said it would give religious organizations one additional year to comply with a new policy requiring employers to provide free contraception services in insurance plans. Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders had protested the new rules, which were announced in August."
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, perhaps most famous for her role as Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, shilled for Planned Parenthood in a piece for Glamour Magazine, becoming the latest in a line of celebrities to stump for the "women's health" (translation: child killing) group.
Conservatives' calls for taking away taxpayer funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood and ensuring that religious organizations are not forced to pay for abortions and birth control through their health insurance plans proves we are not a "sane society," complains Jezebel founding editor and Washington Post columnist Anna Holmes in a Style section column today, blandly titled "The politics of birth control."*
The feminist writer opened her column by grousing that "almost 39 years to the day that the right to abortion was decided" by the Supreme Court, "we're still having a conversation about the access to and legality of female reproductive health services." In other words, "dammit, pro-lifers, you just won't quit!"