On Wednesday and Thursday, two of the Big Three networks ballyhooed how the Arkansas state legislature overrode Governor Mike Beebe's veto of a pro-life bill that outlaws abortion once the unborn baby's heartbeat is detected. Scott Pelley hyped "the most restrictive abortion law in the country" on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, echoing the New York Times' label of the new law – "the country's most restrictive ban on abortion".
Natalie Morales used nearly identical language to Pelley on Thursday's Today on NBC. ABC punted on covering the move by Arkansas state legislators on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts. By contrast, Norah O'Donnell didn't use such language during her news brief on the story on Thursday's CBS This Morning:
Former Time.com writer Keith Wagstaff has just joined a different magazine, The Week, but he’s still sounding like the old employer. He has a new piece posted on Yahoo! News titled “Was Mother Teresa actually sort of a jerk?”
Catholic-bashing is a much more acceptable journalistic pastime than snarky revisionist histories of hallowed liberals like Thurgood Marshall (honored as a saint by the Episcopalians.) Wagstaff began, "A new study claims the beloved nun might not have been as helpful to the poor as she could have been."
On Monday, CBS This Morning launched a week-long set of interviews for Women's History Month, but the majority of the women they picked for their list of "Eye Opening Women" are dedicated liberals, particularly on social issues. The morning newscast first conducted a fawning interview of former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was part of the Supreme Court plurality that upheld the Roe v. Wade decision in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Five out of the eight remaining women featured for the series of interviews are all notables on the left side of the political spectrum. On Tuesday, anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell will interview The Daily Beast's Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington, founder of far-left website The Huffington Post. Brown has a history of attacking conservatives. During a 2011 appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, she likened tax hike opponents to terrorists:
After CNN's initial report on Pope Benedict's final papal audience, the first guest to appear on CNN Newsroom on Wednesday was a radical leftist nun who believes the upcoming papal election is "invalid" because no women are involved.
Sister Donna Quinn lashed out: "We women are calling this papal election invalid. It has to be declared fraudulent because it has no women included in the process. By that I mean there are no women on the ballot in the conclave, there are no women voters, there are no women in the whole process, so we're very distressed." No church representative appeared to challenge Quinn's views; only CNN's Vatican analyst John Allen was on the air with Quinn. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It seems as though MSNBC’s liberal agenda doesn't concern itself simply with secular politics. They want the Catholic Church to "lean forward" into fundamentally changing themselves to reflect liberal values. In service of this pulpit-pounding, MSNBC's Jansing & Co. program brought on two liberal Catholic women over two days. At no point did she turn to a traditionalist, orthodox Catholic to defend the church's traditional teachings.
On February 14, fill-in host Richard Lui interviewed Sister Louise Akers, of the Sisters of Charity to rail against the Church, in what she views as, “the last bastion of sexism.” Lui began the segment with the liberal nun by noting:
New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, announced today that he will retire in two years at the end of his term. President Obama predictably praised him as a "steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey."
Well, not all of the people of New Jersey. In March 2011, Lautenberg spoke at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood. In a statement the establishment press steadfastly ignored, Lautenberg, responding to vocal pro-life protesters, said the following (video still present at LifeNews.com; bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Monday night, CNN's Erin Burnett badgered the Catholic church to change its doctrine and accept birth control, gay marriage, and women priests. All day long on Monday, CNN asked if the church was going to change with the times but Burnett was blatant in her push for liberalization of doctrine.
"Isn't it time for the church, which is supposed to be an inclusive, generous, giving organization, to move ahead on gay rights?" she asked her guest a loaded question. When he answered no, she hit back, "Even if they [gay people] love each other, isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be about love?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As if more proof were needed that the broadcast networks don’t get religion, and really don’t get Catholicism, analysis of the evening news programs from Feb. 11 showed a how inadequate the assumptions of liberal secular journalists were in explaining the Church, its mission and its role in the lives of the faithful.
On the day of the surprise resignation of 85-yr-old Pope Benedict XVI, ABC, CBS and NBC all danced the “The Papal Reporting Two-Step”: dwell on the negatives of the recent past before wondering hopefully if the Church will now finally step out of the dark ages of orthodoxy. Of the three, however, ABC was far and away the worst. Video after the Break.
Early this morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d abdicate the papal throne at the end of the month, which is the first time a pontiff will have stepped down in seven centuries. Such breaking news was bound to set off rampant media speculation about next month's meeting of the College of Cardinals --which will decide Benedict's successor -- and talk in the media about the outgoing bishop of Rome's legacy.
All that is well and good, but on MSNBC, it was the perfect excuse for the liberal network to feature liberal Catholics Chris Matthews and E.J. Dionne scolding the Church as out of touch with modernity on issues of sexuality and women as priests. And that was on top of laughingly treating the election of a new pope as though it were some presidential primary where candidates work feverishly to line up enough delegates to win nomination. Read the relevant transcript below the page break:
It will be interesting to see if the media soften their almost uniform hostility to Pope Benedict XVI in the few remaining weeks of his papacy. It’s doubtful, since resigning his office won’t make Joseph Ratzinger any less Catholic. And his real sin, in liberal eyes, is just being too Catholic.
When the long, vigorously orthodox pontificate of John Paul II came to an end in 2005, liberals in and out of the Church hoped the next Pope would roll over on their most cherished issues: women priests, married priests, homosexuality and abortion. To say that Ratzinger’s selection was a disappointment is an understatement.
Today's "On Faith" page in the Washington Post featured a puzzling contrast that shows the left-wing media's schizophrenia when it comes to traditional religious faith. The paper's religion section editors ran these two items side-by-side: a Religion News Service (RNS) article that was thoroughly positive about Muslim women who want to design and/or model fashionable yet modest clothing, and Post religion writer Lisa Miller's attack on Catholic bishops for their stances on Christian sexual ethics in general and opposition to the ObamaCare contraception mandate in particular.
In "A Muslim fashion statement: Agency connects modesty-minded models with designers," Omar Sacirbey of RNS opened his 23-paragraph feature with the story of Savannah Uqdah, a devout Muslim woman who at one time aspired to be a fashion model but "didn't want to violate Islam's tenets on modesty." As such, Uqdah "shelved her modeling dreams and instead expressed herself through the fashions she wore." But now that modeling agencies eye a lucrative market in fashionable yet modest attire, Sacirbey notes, women like Uqdah are excited at the potential to live out their dreams.
In an interview with Pattie Mallette, mother of pop star Justin Bieber, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie worried about Mallette's producing role in an upcoming film: "...you wanted to talk about your involvement in a movie called Crescendo....[which] tells the story of Beethoven's mother, who, while she was pregnant, attempted to have an abortion and even attempted suicide....it's a movie with a decidedly pro-life/anti-abortion purpose." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie invited Mallette to distance herself from that purpose: "But you feel like people, as I understand it, are getting the wrong message about what you are trying to say by your participation?" Mallette replied: "Yeah, I don't feel that it is a pro-life message. I mean, people are going to get from it what they want to. It's just – it's a true story, it's a historical piece." Guthrie pressed further: "Do you feel misled at all by the producers of the film? I mean, if the film has this message and its goal is to – is an anti-abortion message, I mean, are you okay with that? I guess I'm confused about what your position is."
Forget your biological clock, ladies. Here’s another internal timer set to ring: the abortion alarm. Just for you, Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan confirms that 25-years-old is the perfect age for an abortion.
“There's a point where [a woman is] financially and emotionally mature enough to support a child and her body is still capable of making babies — but what about the alternative?” Ryan asked in breezy piece for Jezebel, the site of “gossip, culture, fashion, and sex for the contemporary woman.”
Leave it to liberal host Martin Bashir to bring on the president of Planned Parenthood to trash individuals with religious objections to the ObamaCare contraception mandate. Speaking with Cecile Richards on February 6, Bashir conducted a Planned Parenthood advocacy session rather than an actual interview.And, naturally, Bashir failed to bring on an opposing viewpoint either in the same segment or a subsequent one.
Indeed, during the chat with Richards -- who was a fixture at the Lean Forward network during last year's "war on women" meme -- Bashir acted as cheerleader for the nation's largest abortion provider. "In yet another sign of his willingness to respect religious convictions, the president has amended the Affordable Care Act in relation to the availability of birth control," Bashir insisted, puffing the president as a magnanimous compromiser when it has been the president's own administration that has put religious organizations into a needless dilemma regarding their First Amendment freedoms in the first place.
Opening a segment today on the Obama administration's latest overture to assuage concerns of religious organizations about the ObamaCare contraception mandate, MSNBC host Alex Wagner came out swinging with a patently false assertion that survives as a liberal meme to this day. "The great 2012 debate over women's health concerns begot all-male hearings on contraception and a national smear campaign directed at a Georgetown Law student," Wagner noted as she introduced a clip of Rush Limbaugh's criticism of Fluke's "testimony" last February before the House Democrats' steering and policy committee.
Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival featured a documentary celebrating four “amazing” abortionists who evacuate wombs in the third trimester of pregnancy. The critics in attendance loved it. The Philadelphia Inquirer boasted it drew “two standing ovations -- one for the doctors.”
Sundance attendees in Utah were greeted by police and armed sheriffs in green jumpsuits that made a show of force outside the the theater. They had to have their bags searched and were inspected with hand-held metal detectors. After the movie was shown, two police officers stood at the front of the auditorium as the directors and the four abortionists featured in the film answered audience questions.
When it comes to discussing religious objections to President Obama’s contraception mandate, MSNBC decided this afternoon that prominent feminist and liberal darling Sandra Fluke is the best person to comment. Speaking with Tamron Hall on the February 1 NewsNation, Fluke appeared on MSNBC to hype, “the [Obama] administration's process of clarifying how women will have access to this important health care service."
Fluke, a Georgetown Law student who "testified" before a Democratic policy committee -- not a congressional panel contrary to popular belief -- became a recurring guest on MSNBC, and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year. According to Politico, under the new policy announced by the Obama Administration [See video after jump. MP3 audio here]:
It’s hardly a new revelation that the media turn a blind eye towards the annual Washington, DC March for Life, and, according to Live Action President Lila Rose, the bias by omission exists to “cover up” abortion.
Rose described the media bias to the Culture and Media Institute’s Katie Yoder in an interview Friday, saying, "So there should be more media reporting on [the march], absolutely. And sadly, there's a bias in a lot of media to cover this up. To cover up abortion to not talk about it."
Fact usually triumphs over fiction – except on TV news. The major networks have been obsessed with Manti Te’o’s fantasy football story of a fictional girlfriend. But when 500,000 people showed up in Washington to speak out for the unborn, it was barely a footnote. ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted close to two-and-a-half hours (147 minutes and 43 seconds) to the Te’o fiasco and just 17 seconds to the Washington, D.C., March for Life.
That’s 521 times more coverage for Te’o and a girlfriend who never even existed.
On the January 25 broadcast of MSNBC’s The Cycle, 9/11 Truther and liberal commentator Touré Neblett “thank[ed] God” that abortion was there to save him from unwanted fatherhood with a girlfriend who was "just not the one." "[I]n some ways that choice saved my life," the MSNBC host insisted in his closing commentary, seemingly remorseless for how that choice cost an innocent human being his or her life.
Noting that last Tuesday marked 40 years since the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, Touré argued that there’s “something undeniably misogynist about the impulse to deny a woman's dominion over her own body and limit her ability to shape her life – and impose another sense of morality on her.” So, when did respecting and protecting innocent life become “misogynist”?
Every January tens of thousands of people participate in the March for Life in Washington at the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. And for five years in a row the New York Times failed to run a single story on the march in its print edition (it marked the 2011 march with a couple of photos on page 12).
This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper's National section, on page 9.
It's not very often that a federal judge begins a ruling by saying that "Sometimes even a person with excellent vision does not see the forest for the trees." That happened yesterday in a case involving former First District Democratic Congressman and sore loser Steve Driehaus, whose district mostly comprised the western two-thirds of Cincinnati's Hamilton County. Yet it's not news at Gannett's Cincinnati Enquirer -- or anywhere else, for that matter.
After his 2010 defeat at the hands of Republican Steve Chabot, Driehaus sued the Susan B. Anthony List in federal court for defamation and -- get this -- "loss of livelihood." Why? Because, during that campaign, SBAL told Driehaus's constituents -- correctly, it has since been proven -- that his vote for ObamaCare was a betrayal of his pro-life principles. Yesterday, despite his obvious conflict of interest as former president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati, Judge Timothy Black, a Barack Obama appointee, found a way to do what he should have done in the first place, and rejected Driehaus's nonsense.
In a Wednesday Salon column which should be saved onto the hard drives of everyone in the pro-life movement as a reminder of the fundamental evil of their opposition, Mary Elizabeth Williams stated why, to her, it doesn't matter that abortion involves the taking of a human life: "I believe that life starts at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice."
The establishment press has consistently refused to apply the "pro-life" label to a movement which has always been not only about ending abortion, but about respecting and protecting human life from conception to natural death. I believe that refusal has occurred because many reporters share Ms. Williams's brutal, strongly held but rarely expressed beliefs articulated after the jump. The Salon staff writer proves that her side richly deserves to be called "anti-life" -- because that's what they are (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The annual pro-life march, this year marking the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision, drew tens of thousands to Washington, DC on Friday, but didn’t garner a syllable of coverage on Friday’s World News on ABC nor the CBS Evening News. Yet on Saturday night, both newscasts highlighted a pro-gun control protest in DC which CBS anchor Jim Axelrod pegged at drawing “close to a thousand people.”
The NBC Nightly News noted both protests and on Friday night also reported how a federal appeals court unanimously decided that President Obama violated the Constitution when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, a rebuke neither ABC nor CBS found newsworthy.
The NBC series “Parenthood”’ has drawn raves from TV critics this season for a storyline about a fortysomething mother fighting cancer. Then on January 1, NBC asked viewers to tune in the following Tuesday for an “unforgettable” new episode. A teenager would get an abortion at Planned Parenthood. Such is NBC’s definition of “parenthood.”
Drew, one of show’s leading teenager characters, has an ex-girlfriend named Amy who comes back to tell him “I’m pregnant.” The high school seniors go to the Planned Parenthood clinic, and the scene plays like a political commercial.
The annual March for Life has gone on every year in late January since January 22, 1974, the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The March, which turns out thousands every year, marked its 40th anniversary on Friday with yet another march. By no means is it an ad hoc protest that happens to come together.
Yet in noting the event in a "weekend in politics" roundup on Yahoo! News's "The Ticket" blog this morning, writer Phil Pruitt failed to mention the march's name, and suggested that it merely "coincides with the 40th anniversary" of the infamous court case. By contrast, in a subsequent paragraph Pruitt described a pro-gun control march scheduled for Saturday by name, noting that residents of Newtown, Connecticut would be in attendance to push for new gun control measures (h/t email tipster Matt Shedor):
Leave it to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to attempt to smear the pro-life movement on the day of the March for Life with a misleading story about a law introduced in New Mexico regarding abortion. Roberts erroneously reported on a New Mexico state legislator named Cathrynn Brown, who, “introduced a bill that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial… Under the bill, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence.”
Roberts brought on Pat Davis, the Executive Director of Progress Now in New Mexico to bash the bill, which, by the way, Roberts completely mischaracterized. What the bill actually would do is make it a crime for a rapist to pressure his victim into undergoing an abortion. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Today is the 40th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., a day that is likely to pass with limited, if any, notice from a national news media which is hostile to the pro-life cause. While the abortion issue has divided Americans for the past four decades, journalists have consistently come down on the pro-abortion side of this debate.
It’s a bias some reporters freely admit. “I think that when abortion opponents complain about a bias in newsrooms against their cause, they’re absolutely right,” Boston Globe legal reporter Ethan Bronner told the Los Angeles Times back in 1990. “Opposing abortion, in the eyes of most journalists...is not a legitimate, civilized position in our society.”
Thinking of learning a new language? Try English – broadcast media style. Specifically, try abortion-reporting speak – a tongue as notable for the words it doesn’t use as those it does.
This year’s annual March for Life, this Friday, Jan. 25th, marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. And, though you might think it would be difficult to talk about something called the March for Life without using the word “life,” the broadcast networks have shown the utility of abortion-reporting speak. In the past 10 years, 91 percent of ABC, NBC, and CBS anchor reports on the March for Life and Roe v. Wade failed to mention the word, “life.”
In the 40 years since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, more than 56 million children have been legally killed in the womb. By it’s own accounting, the nation’s largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood, performed a record high 333,964 abortions in 2011 alone, even as it was cutting back on the other women’s health services it likes to tout. (It provided more than 100,000 breast-health services that year.) And the current administration is the most unapologetically pro-abortion in history.
But to hear Andrea Mitchell tell it, abortion rights are in danger of being snuffed out in the U.S. On the Jan. 22 anniversary of the court’s decision, Mitchell’s painted a dire picture for abortion supporters on NBC “Nightly News.” (That NBC included the report at all is to its credit. ABC and CBS failed even to note the anniversary.) Video after the break