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):
The popular video sharing web site YouTube is threatening to censor a new video that exposes how a Planned Parenthood center in New jersey aided and assisted actors in an undercover investigation with sexual trafficking of minors.
The video has received national attention and more than 230,000 plays at YouTube but the video site claims a “privacy violation” occurred and is demanding that Live Action, the pro-life group that conducted the sting operation, take it down. The group also released a second videoshowing more sex trafficking coverup at a Virginia Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
All of the videos put out by Live Action on their Planned Parenthood stings are up on Eyeblast.tv right now including the video YouTube is threatening to pull off their site. You can see them all, including the one YouTube is threatening to remove, over at Eyeblast.tv's blog, The Blast.
We've also embedded the edited video of the January 13 sting at the Perth Amboy, N.J. Planned Parenthood below:
Poor Associated Press National Writer David Crary. He doesn't seem to like what LiveAction.org did at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in mid-January, and wants to make sure his readers leave his writeup with some level of doubt about the legitimacy of the group's undercover video showing a clinic manager willing to provide assistance to a pimp for his underage hookers.
His report yesterday, with an accompanying headline seemingly designed to avoid identifying the video's content opened thusly (bold is mine):
On Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham devoted two segments to Lila Rose's latest undercover video showing how Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting the covering up of sex crimes. During the first segment, Ingraham interviewed the pro-life activist. The conservative talker then debated Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene, who defended Planned Parenthood.
On the other hand, the Big Three networks' prominent morning and evening news programs have yet to cover the secret videos.
The guest host's two segments on the controversy came just before and after the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. After playing a 30-second video clip from the undercover video, Ingraham turned to Rose and noted Planned Parenthood's claim that the video only showed an "employee gone bad."
The activist replied that Planned Parenthood's complicity was much broader (see the entire interview of Lila Rose here):
CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday's Newsroom highlighted Lila Rose and Live Action Film's most recent hidden camera video showing Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting the covering up of sex crimes, unlike the morning and evening news shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Baldwin interviewed Rose and a spokesman from the abortion-providing organization, asking both fair questions about the controversy [audio clips from interviews available here].
The anchor had the young pro-life activist on first just after the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, Baldwin pressed Rose about the motivation for her undercover videos:
Yesterday the pro-life activists at Live Action released a video of a sting operation they conducted at a Planned Parenthood office in New Jersey. The video clearly shows the office manager giving counsel to a couple posing as pimp and prostitute who claimed to have minors employed as prostitutes, some from out of the country.
Yet despite the shocking content of the video, neither ABC, NBC, nor CBS covered the story in their February 1 evening news programs. Likewise the February 2 "Good Morning America," "Today," and "CBS Early Show" also failed to cover the story.
The pro-life group Live Action has posted an expose that should be deeply embarrassing to Planned Parenthood. In a visit taped on January 11, an office manager at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey greets a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute by carefully explaining they want "as little information as possible" as they offer their contraceptive and abortion services, even as this pimp described bringing in underage girls as illegal aliens to be his sex workers. At NPR's blog The Two-Way, reporter Eyder Peralta picked this up and promptly mangled the facts.
The headline was "Group Behind ACORN Undercover Videos Sets Up Planned Parenthood 'Sting.'" Yes, "sting" may be what you call it when liberal journalists take a hidden camera to expose malfeasance, but if the videographers are pro-life, the word goes into quotes. Peralta began: "The same group that went undercover at ACORN offices back in 2009 is now going after Planned Parenthood." Wrong.
NPR was forced to correct: "An earlier version of this post stated Live Action was associated with James O'Keefe. They are not, and O'Keefe was not a part of this undercover video."
Catching up on an item from last Thursday’s CBS Evening News, after recounting for the second time the case of Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s horrific practice, anchor Katie Couric introduced a piece devoted to upcoming political fights over abortion. During the report, opponents of abortion were twice labeled as "conservatives," while the word "liberals" was never used to refer to advocates of abortion rights. The report also finally mentioned - briefly - the March for Life pro-life rally from earlier in the week in the nation’s capital.
As the report reiterated the case of Dr. Gosnell, the argument on both sides of the debate was presented as to which side is bolstered by his callous activities. Couric: "Criminal abuse like this is extremely rare, but it's not stopping both sides in the abortion debate from using the case to re-energize supporters."
After correspondent Elaine Quijano made the case on both sides, ideological labels soon came. Correspondent Nancy Cordes: "Republicans are now back in power in the House at least, after a walk in the desert, and they have certain constituencies that they need to satisfy. One of those constituencies is the conservative right wing of the party for whom abortion is a very important issue all the time."
Several media outlets are trumpeting a recent study out of Denmark that asserts that having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems for women. Yet there are serious problems with the study that major media are not reporting:
1. The Danish study flies in the face of over 30 professional studies just in the past five years that conclude that there is a serious negative mental health impact on women who have abortions. The list of those studies is at the site of the Elliot Institute, TheUnChoice.com. Not one major media outlet reported this.
Once again the “news” media yawned as tens of thousands of Americans clogged the streets of Washington on January 24 for the annual “March for Life.” This year’s protests should have gained more attention since it came in the wake of absolutely vomit-inducing news from Philadelphia that an abortionist named Kermit Gosnell was charged by the District Attorney with a series of murders.
In a horrific 261-page report, Gosnell is accused of delivering seven babies alive and then killing them with scissors. He also allowed a woman who had survived 20 years in a refugee camp in Nepal to be incompetently overmedicated on Demerol and die at his clinic.
So much for abortion being “safe, legal, and rare.”