Recently declared Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had a really, really bad opening round of campaign appearances. Naturally, the national press, which swooned over the Fort Worth Democrat's ultimately failed filibuster against a common-sense pro-life law in the Lone Star State's legislature, pretended not to notice.
They had local help. On Wednesday, At The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, in an item mirrored at the Brownsville Herald, "reporter" Ty Johnson opened with six paragraphs of fanboy fawning about Davis's Tuesday campaign appearance in Brownville, and then buried Davis's galling attempt to portray herself as "pro-life" in Paragraph 23. Also, stay tuned until the final segment of this post for how a Davis press aide tried to bully a local paper into retracting a headline.
The first election cycle in the Lone Star State with a photo ID mandate went off without a hitch on Tuesday. In fact, voter turnout was up 66 percent over the last comparable election cycle in 2011, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.
But that has done nothing to stop MSNBC's fear-mongering as the network's Zachary Roth hacked out a piece ominously warning in the headline, "Texas voting suggests trouble on the horizon." Roth opened his piece with a woman who insists her being required to sign an affidavit when voting on Tuesday was part of some grand conspiracy to suppress the women's vote for Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) next year:
If Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster to protect late-term abortion in the Lone Star State wasn’t proof enough of the Texas pro-abortion movement’s desperation, a new video game does the trick.
In “Choice: Texas,” designed by Carly Kocurek and Allyson Whipple and currently in development, players hunt for abortion access in Texas via the “choose-your-own-adventure” technique – and confront obstacles such as geography and healthcare.
Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
In the first week of February 2012, the Big Three networks lunged to the defense of Planned Parenthood when the Susan G. Komen Foundation (very temporarily) withdrew its donation to abortion giant (about $680,000 the previous year). Network reporters whacked Komen, promoting “outrage and disappointment engulfing the Internet.”
But Mollie Hemingway of Get Religion pointed out that Planned Parenthood in Texas was recently forced to pay the state of Texas $4.3 million for Medicaid fraud. Where was the “outrage and disappointment” engulfing the media? The networks didn’t notice. Even the local newspaper coverage was terrible.
"New state restrictions on clinics that provide abortions could leave millions of women -- many of them poor and uninsured -- without easy access to cancer screenings and other basic health care services," worried Jake Grovum of the Pew Charitable Trust's Stateline news agency in his heavily-slanted July 24 piece at USAToday.com headlined "Anti-abortion measures may hit women's health care." Grovum quoted two foes of abortion regulation laws -- making sure to give one of them the last word in his 16 paragraph story. By contrast, he cited just one pro-life proponent of clinic regulation, Alabama State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin.
But aside from the article's imbalance and the all-too-common meme that women only have abortion clinics to turn to for free or low-cost health care -- patently untrue as we've noted time and again -- Grovum's article was off-base for suggesting that abortion clinics will become an endangered species in states which regulate them. By contrast, as Lisa Maria Garza of Reuters explained in her July 18 story, "Why many abortion clinics in Texas may stay open despite new law,"abortion-rights advocates who study changes in abortion laws for a living admit that clinic closures might not be a widespread as feared by the Wendy Davis-types in the pro-choice lobby (emphasis mine):
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the Obama/Holder Justice Department would request a federal court to put a hold on plans by the State of Texas to put into effect new voter ID laws. The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett has a short article on the development, "Holder Targets Texas in New Voting-Rights Push," published shortly after the announcement at 10:05 a.m. Eastern time.
Barrett failed to directly quote any opponents of Holder's move, but did not that "The move is likely to anger conservatives who have long argued that the law has outlived its usefulness and punishes certain states—particularly in the South—based not on their current conduct, but on their past." But when it came to promoting the article on social media, a Journal social media staffer gave Twitter followers a decidedly pro-Holder spin, pitching the story thusly:
In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."
Remember the media blackout of the Gosnell trial? Earlier this year, Philadelphia late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder – two of them delivering babies and then killing them in his filthy “house of horrors” clinic. He was also found guilty of more than 230 other felony and misdemeanor charges.
Pundits and journalists excused the media neglect, saying late term abortion was just too uncomfortable, the descriptions of the clinic too lurid, or dismissing it as a “local” issue. That’s not how the broadcast networks have treated the pro-abortion crusade of Texas Democrat Wendy Davis.
Mainstream media outlets have offered effusive praise for Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) since her 11-hour filibuster against a bill that would limit abortion access in the Lone Star State. Despite the bill’s recent and overwhelming passage through both chambers of the Texas state legislature, the national media continue to cheer on their latest liberal darling – and hype her upcoming fundraising trip to our nation’s capital.
ABC News’s The Note – the network’s online political blog – fawned over Davis’s forthcoming visit to Washington, D.C. in a Wednesday post, with “Wendy Davis Goes to Washington” displayed prominently on the front page.
Guest-hosting for Ed Schultz Saturday, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid and liberal author James Moore fawned over pro-choice Texas legislator Wendy Davis (D) – while blasting Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and former President George W. Bush over their governorships. The Ed Show segment came in response to Perry’s announcement last week that he would not seek a fourth full term as governor of the Lone Star State.
Reid first brought up “big star” Davis late in the segment, asking Moore about the now-famous state senator’s chances at the Texas governorship in 2014. Moore seemed quite enthusiastic, insisting Davis “could raise $50 million in a month” if she decided to run.
During a news brief on Wednesday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales noted that following "tough new abortion laws" being approved by the Texas house of delegates, "Demonstrators on both sides of the issue descended on the state capitol building and erupted in screams and cheers immediately following last night's vote." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, the footage that rolled on screen as Morales talked was only that of abortion activists chanting "Shame on you!" throughout the Texas state house. Such footage belies the fact that sixty-two percent of Texans agree with the ban on abortions after twenty weeks, not to mention a plurality of Americans.
On Monday, Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) announced he would not seek a fourth term as chief executive of the Lone Star State, saying the time had come “to pass on the mantle of leadership.”
It took the liberal media roughly 30 minutes to begin what will no doubt be an onslaught against the former presidential candidate, with the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza offering all the reasons why Perry “shouldn’t run for president again.”
Appearing as a guest on Monday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Guardian columnist Ana Marie Cox -- formerly of Time.com -- asserted that "a lot of Republican women out there" are upset over the abortion issue because the GOP "is really taking a step backwards when it comes to women's rights."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, July 1, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:
Misanthropic feminists are at it again. HuffPo’s Vivian Norris just suggested a sex strike in Texas to pressure male voters into giving in to the feminist agenda (aka abortion on demand – er, “women’s healthcare.”)
Deeply disgruntled that Texas might pass a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, Norris urged Texas women to force men to vote for pro-choice agendas in the future by refusing to have intercourse with them this summer. “Don't give in if your man, boyfriend, husband, toyboy is not voting for your best interests, your reproductive health -- do not sleep with that man!” ranted Norris. “I don't care how cute or charming he is! I don't care if he is your husband of many years. Resist! Go swimming! Meditate!”
On Sunday's Disrupt show on MSNBC, host Karen Finney wondered by Texas Republicans are "trying to harm the health of women in the state" by passing laws against abortion instead of dealing with other issues, as she hosted Texas Democratic State Senator Leticia van de Putte to discuss fellow State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster in support of abortion.
Later in the show, as she hosted Dr. Rani Whitfield of the Association of Free and Charitable Clinics for a discussion of Republican governors resisting the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid in their states, the MSNBC host charged that the Republican party's "ideology is basically endangering the health of their citizens."
After what Hot Air's AllahPundit correctly predicted would be a Sunday talk show "master class on pro-abortion media bias" (a related NewsBusters post is here), it's good to recall a question for Texas's Wendy Davis Laura Ingraham tweeted a few days ago. I can guarantee you none of the hosts at the Big 3 networks asked the question on-air.
Also after the jump, the ultraliberal Austin American-Statesman, in what appears to have been a classic moment in ideology-driven unawareness, published a front-page photo today of Smith and fellow Democrats "celebrating" her legislative filibuster of a Texas law which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks and headlining how they are "energized."
In the wake of her filibuster in the Texas state senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all expressed their outrage at Texas Governor Rick Perry daring to criticize their anointed abortion "folk hero" Wendy Davis. On Friday, Today co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The battle over abortion gets very personal as Governor Rick Perry takes on a female senator whose filibuster helped block a controversial bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer attached the "folk hero" label to Davis as she fretted over "Perry creating a kind of high noon between the two of them." In the report that followed, correspondent David Kerley hyped Perry's mild critique of Davis as setting up "a true Texas showdown" and exclaimed: "Today, Perry made it personal."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Wednesday it would not provide additional funds to help the town of West, Texas rebuild after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 and injured 160. MSNBC’s Alex Wagner seemed positively gleeful over the news.
The daytime host treated the development as a political defeat for Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), implying on Thursday’s Now that the tragedy – and FEMA’s denial of funding – were “the seeds” the governor sowed for his opposition to excessive federal spending and regulation. Wagner introduced Perry’s plea for federal funds by pairing it with a sound bite of the conservative governor’s opposition to excessive spending:
Joe Scarborough seems to have an obsession with conservative and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz. Scarborough and his Thursday Morning Joe panel bashed the freshman Texas senator for at least the fourth time in a few months, berating the Lone Star Republican for his distrust of Congressional leadership. The MSNBC host suggested Cruz has “no interest in working with any of his colleagues,” and accused the senator of using the Senate “as a branding vehicle.”
Scarborough went as far as to wishfully pronounce Cruz’s political career dead, suggesting that his criticism of Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress on the Senate floor Wednesday would "blow up in his face” and “hurt the great people in Texas":
The Sunday Outlook section of The Washington Post offered a list of “Spring Cleaning” items, “things to toss out.” Some were light topics: Jonathan Capehart picked summer “Flip-flops.” But former Post defense reporter Thomas Ricks suggested we toss Texas out of the USA. “I’m just sick of ‘em and all their BS,” he proclaimed.
“For decades, Texans have been clamoring about leaving the Union. Letting the Lone Star State secede would set a bad precedent. (See the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.) But what about expelling it instead? There is promise in that.” It’s because they’re conservative:
Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, foisted his peculiar news judgment on Fox News, weighing President Obama's petulant remarks after the defeat of his gun control plans as more newsworthy than a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant that has killed at least 12 people and injured up to 200.
Kossacks often put a lefty spin on non-political stories, and it happened again this week with Lance Armstrong's admission of doping. One resident of Kosland declared that Armstrong wasn't merely an athlete who cheated, but someone who, in terms of mendacity, thievery, and hypocrisy, behaved like a typical Republican.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
The New York Times's Manny Fernandez greeted the opening of the biannual Texas legislative session in Austin in Wednesday's paper: "Texas Budget Surplus Proves as Contentious As a Previous Shortfall." After explaining how Texas has become flush with cash over the last two years, going from a budget deficit to surplus, Fernandez couldn't help working in a cut against the "far-right" Tea Party.
If Hollywood doesn’t like something, then clearly state legislators should react. At least that’s what Dave Fehling, NPR’s StateImpact Texas reporter suggested. StateImpact is a “reporting project of local public media and NPR,” and has many financial backers including George Soros (through his Open Society Foundations).
“Chances may be better this time around that the Texas legislature might actually strengthen regulation of oil and gas drilling by the Texas Railroad Commission,” he wrote on the StateImpact website that accompanied his radio story aired on Dec. 18, 2012.
There are reckless protesters in Texas chaining themselves to trees, houses, and halting precious jobs, but you won’t hear about that on ABC, CBS, or NBC broadcast news programs.
Extending the Keystone pipeline, which Obama blocked earlier this year, has actually been embraced by people on both sides of the aisle. According to a news story titled “Democrats Joining the G.O.P. on Pipeline” in The New York Times published on April 20, 2012, Democrats in the House joined with Republicans to back this project because of the strong union support and the many jobs that it would generate.
...Her book, 'As Texas Goes... ,' pays particular attention to the state’s staggering inequality, casual embrace of crony capitalism and creaky educational pipeline. These are problems for Texas, of course, but Ms. Collins’s concern is that Texas itself is everyone’s problem. “Personally, I prefer to think that all Americans are in the same boat,” she says. “And Texas has a lot to do with where we’re heading.”
Greider politely corrected some of Collins's factual errors: "....the problem with this book is one that has dogged other outsiders’ accounts: stereotypes about Texas are so strong that they may trump the record."
In today's 16-paragraph page A6 story, "Legal challenges tie up new voting restrictions,"* the Washington Post's Krissah Thompson reported that many "[s]tricter ID laws and other controversial voting restrictions" could be held up in the courts until after November election.
At no point in her story, however, did Thompson note recent polling shows 70 percent of Americans back photo ID for voting. What's more, while Thompson noted Obama/Holder Justice Department staffers are working to thwart "an effort by Florida's Republican secretary of state to remove noncitizens from voter registration lists, saying it is illegal to conduct such a purge this close to an election," she failed to note that in this instance, it may well be the Obama administration that is violating federal law by refusing to assist Florida officials.
"There's a lot of anxiety for thousands of women in Texas today about their health care," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell alarmed viewers of her 1 p.m. Eastern program today. "They're going to lose health care coverage this week, on Wednesday, when the Texas state legislature enforces a law cutting funds to any health care center affiliated with an abortion provider, and that means Planned Parenthood," Mitchell noted as she introduced the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg to elaborate. [emphases mine]
What commenced was a segment -- entitled onscreen, "Women's Health Under Attack" -- devoted to painting the decision by the Texas legislature as an assault on women's health care, even though the health care provided by Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas is far from comprehensive, as a cursory review of the organization's website clearly spells out.
What does the New York Times have against Texas A&M, a rare public university whose student body leans right? Manny Fernandez reported Saturday from the campus in College Station, on an illegal immigrant who lost his bid for student body president: "Vying for Campus President, Illegal Immigrant Gets a Gamut of Responses." Who was to blame? A conservative student body who made him feel unwelcome.
Jose Luis Zelaya stood with a crowd of other students waiting to hear the news. It was election day at Texas A&M University here, and he was running for student body president. A victory for Mr. Zelaya, a 24-year-old graduate student from Honduras, would make history at Texas A&M: He would become its first Hispanic student body president -- and the first illegal immigrant to hold the position.