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:
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Morley Safer interviewed New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and pressed him on the his commitment to traditional Church teachings: "No question that you're conciliatory, that you like to have dialog, but underneath that you're an old-fashioned conservative. I mean, in the sense of right-wing conservative."
Dolan turned Safer's characterization around: "I would bristle at being termed 'right-wing.' But if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I'm a conservative, no doubt."
The Post dismissed as unprincipled and slippery the manner with which pro-life state legislators had pushed through a law that would require the Old Dominion's abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals:
Cizik, you may recall, is a bit of a media favorite because he hails from a generally theologically conservative tradition but has been moving leftward politically over the past few years.
Haffner is liberal theologically and politically, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and the former president of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a group that lobbies to end federal funding of abstinence-until-marriage sex ed programs.
As we've noted, the On Faith feature often skews liberal in theology and politics, and the Cizik/Haffner tag-team fits hand-in-glove with the leftward tack of the site.
Here's the duo's argument against defunding Planned Parenthood (emphases mine):
Wouldn't blame you for doubting this, so fantastical is the proposition. But Cenk Uygur has claimed that given the chance, unborn babies would oppose restrictions on their mothers' right to abort them.
Cenk made his grotesque suggestion in the course of discussing an Ohio bill that would forbid abortions as soon as a baby's heartbeat can be detected. Proponents plan to let a nine-week old unborn baby symbolically testify.
On Tuesday's World News, ABC's David Wright highlighted actress Jane Russell's "botched back-alley abortion in high school," which led her to push "hard to expand adoption," but he failed to mention that she described herself as "vigorously pro-life," and that she was a conservative activist.
Wright's report aired at the end of the evening news program. The correspondent spent most of the segment on Russell's movie career, specifically her roles in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "The Outlaw." Near the end, however, Wright noted that the actress was "also politically active," and continued with the abortion issue: "She wrote in her memoirs that a botched back-alley abortion in high school left her unable to have children. Throughout her life, she fought hard to expand adoption."
Michael Thurston of Agencee France-Presse took a similar path in his Tuesday report on the movie star, but more explicitly noted that Russell was not only pro-life, but also a conservative:
A Texas group put up a pro-life billboard with a provocative message showing a black girl under the words “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” The billboard was taken down a week later after pressure was applied by influential city officials.
Haberman hit out at the city’s phony facade of tolerance.
New York, never at a loss for self-congratulatory words, regards itself as the most tolerant of cities, a place where one may express any thought freely. It is true. In New York, one may articulate any idea whatsoever -- as long as that idea parallels popular opinion.
Stray too far from generally accepted wisdom, though, and you are asking for trouble.
Providing Washington Post Metro section readers a review of the just-closed legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly, staff writers Rosalind Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle today deployed some colorfully loaded language that portrayed conservative Republicans in an unfavorable light.
For example [emphasis mine], the "divided legislature reached a compromise on budget amendments that mollified Republicans bent on paring government to its core services and Democrats eager to restore spending on schools, health care and other priorities as the economy improves."
But what really struck me was the part a few paragraphs later where Helderman and Kunkle described the successful effort Republicans waged to pass a bill opposed by pro-choice activists and politicians [emphasis mine]:
While NBC was quick to cover a prank phone call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by a left-wing website on Wednesday, it did not give one word of reporting to a video sting earlier this month that showed Planned Parenthood employees agreeing to abortions for hypothetical underage girls involved in sex trafficking.
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured a report by correspondent Michael Isikoff, who argued that the prank call on Walker "provided his critics with evidence that his real motivation is what they've been saying all along, to crush public unions." On Thursday's Today, news reader Natalie Morales similarly declared: "Wisconsin Democrats say a recording of a prank call to Governor Scott Walker is proof that he plans to crush public worker unions."
You can lead a network to a story, but you can't make it report. Certainly not if the story reveals the disturbing truth about one of liberalism's sacrosanct institutions - the largest abortion-provider in the United States. The broadcast networks' coverage of the scandal and potential defunding of Planned Parenthood by the House of Representatives has been disgraceful.
On Feb. 1, pro-life activist group Live Action released a video covertly filmed at a New Jersey Planned Parenthood office. The footage documented a Planned Parenthood employee giving advice to a man posing as a pimp about obtaining abortions and birth control for the underage foreign prostitutes he traffics.
ABC's The View on Thursday neglected one side of the abortion debate by bringing on two staunch supporters of Planned Parenthood in Congress without any other guests arguing the pro-life side. As the two championed giving tax money to the abortion provider, Barbara Walters herself defended the organization, while Whoopi Goldberg assisted in spreading a falsehood about "federal dollars" for abortion (audio clips available here).
The show's co-hosts brought on Representatives Gwen Moore and Jackie Speier, two of the current "pro-choice" heroes in Congress supporting Planned Parenthood funding, near the end of their 11 am Eastern hour program to discuss the controversial issue. After playing clips from two of their recent floor speeches in the House of Representatives (they omitted Moore's infamous "ramen noodles" remark), co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck echoed her colleague Joy Behar's compliment from earlier in the week: "We're glad you're both here. Courageous, indeed, what you did to bring your own personal stories....I think it touched many women, including us."
Journalist Karen Hunter belittled Pastor Stephen Broden over his provocative pro-life billboard on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." Thursday, calling the ad "racial," "sexist," and "completely offensive." Host Chris Jansing didn't do much moderating over the segment, essentially giving Hunter a pass for her statements and further pressing Broden on the billboard.
Pastor Broden is a board member of pro-life group Life Always that sponsored a billboard in New York City claiming that "The Most Dangerous Place for an African-American Is In the Womb." From the start of the interview, Jansing pressed Broden to admit that the ad may be offensive to minority communities.
"Can you understand why some people say this ad offends communities of color?" Jansing asked. She later turned to Hunter, who is a journalist and has co-authored multiple best-selling books with African-American celebrities. Jansing threw her a softball, simply asking her if she thought it racist, sexist, and/or offensive.
Catching up on an item from last weekend, Friday’s World News on ABC, Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, Saturday’s CBS Evening News, and Saturday’s NBC Nightly News all highlighted California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s defense of partial birth abortion as a procedure she had herself gone through as she berated New Jersey Republican Congressman Chris Smith for describing the horrific nature of the procedure during a debate over federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The sympathetic treatment of Speier's outrage over having to hear the technique's description contrasts with media eagerness to describe rough interrogation techniques used on detainees in the War on Terrorism during the Bush administration.
These same shows devoted little to no time to showing Smith’s description of the controversial abortion technique or his reading from the book, Unplanned, by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who famously turned against abortion after observing the ultrasound of an abortion as it was carried out. Rep. Smith had given a speech on the House floor that was over eight minutes long.
The National Organization for Women issued a statement from president Terry O'Neill Wednesday with a clearly anti-religion message. The headline: "U.S. Catholic Bishops Major Force Behind War on Women." It began:
The collusion of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has led to an open declaration of war on the women of this country. The bishops have long sought to enshrine into law those policies of the Catholic Church that subordinate women. And they don't care how badly women get hurt in the process.
Joy Behar ripped the House of Representatives on her program on Monday for their recent defunding of Planned Parenthood. Behar, focusing on the organization's birth control services, criticized the move as "illogical...because if you are not going to help people with birth control, you're going to have more abortions. So, besides being evil and immoral and unethical, they're also stupid" (audio clips available here).
The liberal host led her 10 pm program by playing clips from Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore's Thursday speech on the floor of the House, where she argued that funding Planned Parenthood was better than having "to give your kids ramen noodles at the end of the month to fill up their little bellies so they won't cry. You have to give them mayonnaise sandwiches." Many in the conservative blogosphere argued that she's hinting that it's better to abort a child than have them live life in such a way. Behar then introduced Rep. Moore and Planned Parenthood Federation of American president Cecile Richards and asked the congresswoman, "What drove you to finally stand up on Thursday and deliver that great speech on the floor?"
CNN's Candy Crowley adopted the pro-abortion lobby's talking points on Friday's Situation Room, as she asked Rep. Steve King about the House's vote to defund Planned Parenthood: "There's that term, 'penny wise and pound foolish.' Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people...would have sicker babies, or certain people...wouldn't have HIV testing...and that would just cost us more?"
The journalist, who was substituting for regular anchor Wolf Blitzer, brought on the Iowa Republican and his Democratic colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to comment on the current budget debates at the state and federal levels. Towards the end of her interview, at the 42 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour mark, Crowley raised the 240-185 vote earlier that afternoon to eliminate federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and used an argument similar to that of liberal Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene, who emphasized on the February 3, 2011 edition of The O'Reilly Factor how the organization's employees "provide mammograms [and] provide birth control advice." The anchor also hinted that cutting off Planned Parenthood would end up costing more tax dollars in the long run:
Earlier this afternoon, the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to a spending bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
Much of the debate on the measure happened last night, including a speech in opposition of the move by a Democratic congresswoman, Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who recalled her own abortion procedure.
After the vote came down today, ABCNews.com's Matthew Jaffe and John Parkinson posted an article that was skewed in favor of supporters of Planned Parenthood, featuring a video of Speier's nearly 3-minute-long speech and quoting heavily from that speech.
"Amendment Passes Despite Stunning Personal Testimony From Rep. Jackie Speier," lamented the subheadline to the story. [see screen capture after page break]
Given the reactions of the left to both the Acorn and Planned Parenthood stings you might be surprised to learn that Eyeblast.tv has uncovered a nearly identical sting, at least in terms of tactics, against crisis pregnancy centers that ABC News did back in 1991. Apparently back then the Left had zero problems with undercover video investigations aimed at proving a political point. They were also perfectly fine with showing just how much contempt they had for the “bad guys” they recorded. [Video follows page break]
In fact, Chris Wallace’s entire ABC report is drenched in condemnation and outrage. What exactly did these crisis pregnancy centers do that was so worthy of ABC’s attacks? Well, as far as I can tell, the overarching criticism is that they don’t want women to have abortions for various different reasons that ABC doesn’t agree with.
Yesterday I rebuked Time's Jay Newton-Small for falsely characterizing a bill before South Dakota's state legislature that would make it legal to use lethal force against a person attempting to kill an unborn child in the commission of a crime.
"South Dakota is apparently considering legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions," Newton-Small complained.
Later yesterday afternoon, Time magazine staffer Amy Sullivan corrected her colleague about the purpose and scope of the legislation, but feared that extremist violence might be encouraged by the state's relatively restrictive abortion laws:
On Friday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly held ABC and NBC News to account for failing to cover the recent Planned Parenthood video stings conducted by the pro-life organization Live Action: "Fox News and CNN covered the...tapes extensively and CBS News did as well...However NBC and ABC News both ignored the situation....it was a pretty big omission." [Audio available here]
O'Reilly challenged two liberal political science professors on the lack of coverage and the reasoning behind it. Speaking to Dr. Caroline Heldman of Occidental College and Dr. Mark Sawyer of UCLA, O'Reilly cited the Media Research Center's reporting of ABC and NBC's silence on the issue: "Brent Bozell's organization basically says this is a pattern, because those news organizations are liberal and they like abortion – not like abortion – but they support abortion rights. They don't want to bring any attention to this kind of stuff." Both networks have continued to ignore the story.
On Monday's American Morning, CNN's Kiran Chetry indicated that individual liberty and the pro-life movement weren't compatible. During an interview of Congressman Ron Paul, Chetry stated, "Freedom to make your own decisions...giving people the ability to make their own decisions, and the right to life movement don't always go together."
The anchor interviewed the libertarian-leaning Republican at the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, Chetry claimed that Paul is "not a huge social conservative," and then asked about his recent speech at CPAC: "This is one of the largest social conservative gatherings and you're a libertarian. What do you think your appeal is among some of the young social conservatives?"
She was "small, bubbly and joyful. She had a radiant smile," with a "sweet" face. And yet, she wept.
She was a nun, in full habit, standing outside a Planned Parenthood clinic that Abby Johnson was running in Texas.
The first day Johnson and her staff saw her, they "gawked," and gathered at the clinic window. It was near 100 degrees, and there she was "in a heavy, dark brown habit that swept to the ground," Johnson, in her new book, "Unplanned," remembers: "Her head and hair were completely covered so that only her face showed, a face lifted toward heaven, eyes closed, clearly praying."
And then a "client" left the clinic, a woman who had just had an abortion.
Thanks to the persistent investigative work of young pro-life journalists, Planned Parenthood's ruthless, money-grubbing colors are on full, fresh YouTube display. But as shocking as the illicit new videos from Live Action Films are, the routine, parental authority-sabotaging advice the taxpayer-funded abortion racket gives teens every day deserves more front-page headline news, too.
Live Action is a California-based "new media, investigative and educational organization committed to the protection and respect of all human life" led by Internet undercover pioneer Lila Rose. The group's latest video footage at abortion clinics in Perth Amboy, N.J., the Bronx and four cities in Virginia shows Planned Parenthood officials aiding and abetting individuals posing as criminal sex traffickers seeking abortions for underage girls.
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford reported on the video sting operation conducted by the pro-life group Live Action: "The videos are troubling....showing Planned Parenthood staffers all too eager to help reported teenage sex workers get abortions and contraception." ABC and NBC have been silent on the controversy since the video was released on February 1.
Crawford explained: "Planned Parenthood has fired one worker in the videos and said it will retrain its staff. It reported the incidents to Attorney General Eric Holder and CBS News has learned the FBI is now investigating." A sound bite was featured from Planned Parenthood spokesman Stuart Schear, who ranted: "Live Action is a political operation. Its goal is to make abortion illegal in the United States. It's an extreme group."
CNN devoted three and a half minutes of coverage on Monday's Newsroom to a protest by "two dozen, maybe three dozen" people who were against two proposed laws targeting illegal immigration in Arizona. The network showed live and taped footage of this liberal protest. By contrast, CNN spent a mere 11 seconds to the March for Life in January and showed no footage from the pro-life demonstration.
Anchor Brooke Baldwin led the 3 pm Eastern hour with the pro-illegal immigration rally:
BALDWIN: There is a new front opening up in the immigration battle. Where else would this be happening? Arizona. At this hour, children and their parents- I'm talking also itty-bitty babies there being carried- they're marching on the Capitol complex building in Phoenix, just as the state Senate considers another proposed crackdown. So, here's what you need to know: there's this new bill that would essentially deny American citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil if their parents came here illegally.
Lila Rose's LiveAction.org went into overdrive yesterday.
LiveAction videos released earlier this week (with both edited and unedited versions) exposed personnel at Planned Parenthood clinics in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia as all too willing to help provide abortions, birth control, and other "reproductive health services" to underage hookers in a pimp's employ while getting around laws requiring notification of law enforcement and/or parents. On Friday, the self-described "youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time" released three more videos showing visits to Old Dominion State clinics in Falls Church, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.
Left-wing "bloggers" have swung into frantic action. Not to see how widespread the abuse of underage girls might be at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. No-no-no. As Dana Loesch reported yesterday at BigGovernment.com, they are plotting how they can most effectively defend the rogue organization (links are in original):