After a Gallup poll showed abortion as the top issue among likely women voters, CNN's Carol Costello suggested Republicans are responsible – and not in a good way.
"Why now? Maybe it's because there's been so much controversial language surrounding the issue lately, like Congressman Todd Akin's 'legitimate rape' comments," said Costello, bringing in the Democratic talking points. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday afternoon, Joe Biden lived up to his reputation for committing gaffes, not even a day after Paul Ryan zinged the Vice President over how "sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way" during Thursday's debate. At a rally in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Biden claimed Planned Parenthood "under law cannot perform any abortions." In reality, the organization is the largest abortion racket in the country.
Hours later, none of the Big Three's Friday evening newscasts had covered Biden's patently false claim. But just two days earlier, these programs devoted a combined five minutes and 1 second on Wednesday to Mitt Romney's statement to The Des Moines Register that "there's no legislation with regard to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." NBC's Brian Williams mouthed the Obama campaign's spin - that "what Mitt Romney said about abortion that sure sounds like a change."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams recited Obama campaign talking points as he proclaimed: "What Mitt Romney said about abortion that sure sounds like a change."
Moments later, Williams attempted to frame Romney's innocuous comments on the subject to the Des Moines Register as a misstep: "Mitt Romney is trying to take advantage of a bounce coming off the last debate, but it was something he said on the subject of abortion that is getting a lot of the attention today and tonight. It's where we begin tonight..."
Norah O'Donnell hounded Republican strategist Mike Murphy on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, repeatedly hinting that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue of abortion during his Tuesday interview with The Des Moines Register. O'Donnell conspicuously failed to mention that during the same interview, Romney promised to "reinstate the Mexico City policy....that foreign aid dollars...would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries." [Update, 3:55 pm Eastern: audio clips available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, the anchor's former employer, NBC, pointed out on Wednesday's Today show that "Romney did say he would instead use an executive order to reinstate a ban on using American foreign aid to fund abortions."
At the top of the 9 a.m. et hour on Friday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales eagerly touted a study released by Washington University in St. Louis on contraception: "A new study suggests that free birth control can dramatically lower rates of abortion and teen births."
Morales then quickly used the findings to promoted ObamaCare: "The report comes as millions of women are about to gain access to free contraception under most workplace insurance plans as part of President Obama's health care law."
During the Today's Professionals segment on Tuesday's NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman applauded New York City schools handing out morning-after contraception pills to teenage girls without parental consent: "Parents aren't going to like to hear this, but teenagers are having sex....People want to be anti-abortion. If you're anti-abortion you should be anti-pregnancy....the reality is it's smart public health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer teed up Snyderman: "Let's remember that schools have been offering condoms for years now. Is this the next logical step, Nancy?" Moments after Snyderman praised the "smart" policy, advertising executive Donny Deutsch chimed in: "To me, if this stops unwanted pregnancies, this is a no-brainer, it's a fantastic idea."
In February, I documented how liberal MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell thoroughly went to bat for Planned Parenthood in a biased interview with Komen for the Cure CEO Nancy Brinker. The larger controversy, you may recall, was over Komen's decision to not extend grants to Planned Parenthood chapters, redirecting those funds elsewhere. This was one of the controversies that MSNBC later used as evidence of a conservative "war on women." In the midst of that firestorm, Komen vice president and pro-life Republican Karen Handel was pressured by pro-choice activists to resign her post.
Fast forward to the present, Handel is out with a new book, "Planned Bullyhood," which tells her side of the story. The former Komen executive was interviewed via satellite today by Mitchell, who, of course, stuck to her guns pushing liberal talking points and seeking to discount Handel's version as self-serving spin. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
CNN's Anderson Cooper smacked the Romney campaign Monday night for alleged dishonesty. He claimed they were talking too much about social issues while saying the economy is their real focus.
"The question tonight, and not just from the opposition, have the Romney forces been moving away from dollars and cents and jobs, and shifting toward more red meat, hot-button culture war mode?" Cooper asked. "I mean what's up with the culture stuff suddenly?" he posed later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It’s become clear that media “fact checkers” have gone far beyond the facts and are often simply flagging ads for using dramatic words, like commercials often do. Writing for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker page, Josh Hicks tried to “correct” a pro-life ad:
“The antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List released a video with testimony from failed-abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, who criticized the president’s Illinois Senate votes and said: 'I was aborted and my body discarded like I didn’t exist. But a nurse heard me crying and cared enough to save my life.'” Hicks flunked the ad because he didn’t like the word “discarded”:
You'd think an image of a man violently covering a frightened woman's mouth, accompanied with the words, "He’s decided to become a father…right-wing Republicans want to make sure he does", would be considered mildly extreme, right?
Not extreme enough for Huffington Post contributor and pro-Obama blogger, Erin Kotecki Vest, who posted the image to her Facebook page.
We have yet another addition to the pro-gay, anti-Christian genre so popular on TV these days. Apparently NBC is looking to cash in on the falsehood that “abnormal is the new normal” with a series focused on a gay couple’s quest to have a child via a surrogate mother.
In “The New Normal,” Bryan and David, a gay couple in a committed partnership, turn to surrogacy because they “can’t have a child the traditional way.” (When did biology become tradition? Ironic, how liberals ostentatiously worship at the altar of science, until science gets in the way of their gratification. Then it’s just a “tradition.”)
NBC News demonstrated again Thursday night it has become little more than the more-watched broadcast arm of MSNBC, advancing the same left-wing attacks on conservatives as first trotted out on the cable side. While ABC and CBS managed to refrain from airing entire stories and interviews aimed to discredit Paul Ryan, NBC did not.
In packaging Obama campaign talking points, however, Chuck Todd had to concede the accuracy of what Ryan asserted in his Wednesday night convention address, humorously leading Todd to conclude that “what he said many times was technically factual” but, “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
Piers Morgan said on Thursday that the Todd Akin controversy supports "the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," playing into the Democratic playbook.
"I suppose the problem is what it does is it lends again succor to the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," he stated after bringing up Akin's remarks in an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife Cindy. [Video below the break.]
New York Times reporter Michael Cooper took elaborate pains to emphasize just how far to the right the GOP has come from those moderate days of -- Ronald Reagan's election? -- in Wednesday's, "Platform’s Sharp Turn to the Right Has Conservatives Cheering." The jump page included side-by-side text comparisons of "Republican Party Platforms, Then and Now." Yet Democratic Party platforms are hardly ever scrutinized by the Times for extremist stands on issues like abortion.
CNN's Piers Morgan cast Paul Ryan's pro-life record on the "extreme" end of the GOP and brought up Todd Akin to emphasize the party's gender gap, but his Republican guest would have none of it early Thursday morning at the Republican Convention.
"What about Paul Ryan's positions on social issues like abortion? He's pretty right-wing, to the more extreme end of the party. Are you concerned that that will be perceived as anti-women?" Morgan inquired. [Video below the break.]
CNN keeps playing up the controversy that supposedly is the Republican Party's platform on abortion – even though it resembles the language from the 2004 and 2008 platforms.
"The platform has this reallysledgehammer view that all abortions are going to be outlawed, even for rape or for incest, and even for health of the mother," said political analyst David Gergen during Tuesday night's coverage of the Republican Convention. [Video below the break.]
“A lot of women look at the Republican platform on abortion, contraception, a number of issues,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley told Ann Romney, “and ask the question whether Republicans have women’s best interests at heart?”
Pelley’s loaded question came just after he held up his smart phone so Mrs. Romney could see how the Obama campaign “is starting a tour called the ‘Romney-Ryan: Wrong for Women’ tour, and that’s the logo.”
Wolf Blitzer pressed Florida's GOP attorney general on Monday about the party platform's opposition to abortion in all cases, asking her if it was the "problem" Republicans had with women.
"Is that the problem that he has – that Romney, and Republicans for that matter, have with women?" Blitzer asked after reading the section of the GOP platform supporting a human life amendment to the Constitution. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Following the liberal media's precedent at GOP conventions, CNN hit the Republican Party for being too extreme and intolerant on Monday morning. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the media have repeatedly lectured Republicans at the conventions for being too conservative and exclusive of women and minorities.
"Some Republicans worry that the Republican Party will come off even more conservative during – over the course of the next three days," warned anchor Carol Costello, framing the party's hypothetical rightward shift as a bad thing. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield questioned the party's "big tent" label.
When it comes to dispensing the casual lie, few leftists in media rival Rachel Maddow.
Most recent example -- Maddow claiming on her MSNBC show Aug. 22 that Republicans wanted to shut down the federal government in April 2011 to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion chain. (video after page break) --
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed the substantial attention the media devoted to Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's claim that forcible rape victims rarely become pregnant as opposed to Vice President Joe Biden's "chains" gaffe, two recent studies by the Media Research Center -- parent organization to NewsBusters -- were cited. Host Jon Scott cited MRC analyst Scott Whitlock's study from Tuesday:
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opened his Sunday show: “Good morning and welcome to This Week. Storms brewing. The GOP convention threatened by Tropical Storm Isaac and that political hurricane from Todd Akin...”
Over on CBS, guest Haley Barbour scolded Bob Schieffer who had wondered how Republicans get the focus “back” onto the economy? Barbour called Schieffer out for his obsession on Akin: “If your first four questions are about it [Akin], it’s kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin.” Oblivious to his role in deciding what is newsworthy, Schieffer lamely pleaded: “I want to talk about the news.”
Don't believe in global warming? Are you pro-life? Then you're an idiot, says Timothy Egan, a former liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing Times columnist. In his Friday online column "The Crackpot Caucus" he said of the Republican Party: "...if intelligence were contagious, [the GOP] would be giving out vaccines for it."
Egan strings together quotes of some congressional Republicans making missteps on matters of science and religion, before lumping creationist Republicans with pro-lifers and climate skeptics into one big bag of GOP anti-science stupidity.
With astonishing regularity, media voices that won’t spend more than a minute examining Barack Obama’s support for keeping sex-selection abortion legal, or his opposition to a law guaranteeing equal treatment for children born alive after failed abortions, chime in feverishly when a Republican lawmaker speaks inaccurately about abortion and rape. Representative Todd Akin’s remarks prompted a CNN headline that abortion is now at the "center" of the 2012 campaign. If CNN means a full debate on the issue, so be it, despite this unfortunate entry point. More likely, there will be little real debate.
Rape is a grievous crime, always and everywhere, and the burdens imposed on women so assaulted dissuade many even from reporting the crime. Pregnancy does result from rape. Some women (more than we recognize) are able, through acts of unfathomable grace, to bear children conceived in so terrible a way. These women are heroic. Their children — read anything on the subject by remarkable people such as Ethel Waters and Rebecca Kiessling — are heroic as well, speaking to a world where political advantage, not profound compassion, is cherished first.
Given the extreme media interest in the subject of abortion of late and the press's imaginary link between views of a Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin and Republican GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, it's worth considering the actual position of President Barack Obama on the issue.
Doing so shows who the real extremist on the subject of abortion is. The candidate whose positions are further removed from the majority of Americans is Barack Obama, something the media will almost certainly never tell voters.
On NBCNews.com's "First Read" Kelly O'Donnell attempted to further tie in the Romney-Ryan campaign to Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments with this gasp-inducing headline: Ryan backed more than one 'forcible rape' abortion bill.
In the article, O'Donnell made a substantial deal out of the term "forcible," seemingly implying that if there wasn't much violence during the rape, then it would be more "acceptable," and/or if the rape wasn't "forcible," then the woman is out of luck if she wanted an abortion:
"Democrats aim to be inclusive," blurts the headline in Amy Gardner's 5-paragraph item on how the Democratic convention "will feature a long list of female speakers and a slew of activities designed to make it the most inclusive convention in history, organizers announced Wednesday."
Gardner went on to note that Sandra Fluke and "women from many other walks of life" will take to the podium, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan, Caroline Kennedy, and actress Eva Longoria. Gardner left out that Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood was also announced as a speaker, and that Keenan served on this year's platform drafting committee, which shot down an effort by Democrats for Life of America to add "big tent" language to the platform. Somehow a handful of pro-choice speakers addressing contraception and abortion is diversity to the Washington Post.
Is the New York Times trying to change the subject from the bad economy to social issues, for Obama's sake? On Thursday Michael Shear (pictured) and Jonathan Weisman did their best to tie controversial comments by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin to Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan: "Romney Strategists Say They’ll Stay the Course Amid Focus on Abortion."
Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers have concluded that they do not need any major adjustments in strategy to respond to the new focus on abortion and reproductive rights caused by Representative Todd Akin, betting that their candidate’s economic message will still resonate with female voters after the controversy over Mr. Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape.”
Eager to keep the Todd Akin controversy alive on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared the Missouri Republican's comments were "inflicting unforeseen and great damage on the national party." Correspondent Andrea Mitchell began her report by proclaiming: "...only days before their convention, Republicans remain trapped in a national debate about abortion and rape." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell quickly attempted to link vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to Akin: "Ryan co-sponsored one bill with Akin that critics say could outlaw all abortions, even for rape victims." She then tried to connect Mitt Romney: "Romney once supported abortion rights, but reversed course before his first run for the White House. In 2007, he embraced anti-abortion activist Dr. John Wilkie, the man who came up with the discredited rape theory that Akin was citing."