CBS Hypes 'Very Conservative' Paul Ryan's 'Anti-Abortion Rights' Position

Political reporter Stephanie Condon painted Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as an "anti-abortion" extremist in a Wednesday report for CBSNews.com. Condon forwarded the talking points of the pro-abortion left as she zeroed in on Ryan's support of personhood legislation: "Supporters of reproductive rights have loudly pointed out that this type of legislation would not only outlaw abortion but potentially some forms of contraception or even in vitro fertilization."

The online correspondent hyped that "personhood initiatives are so extreme that even card-carrying conservatives like former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have expressed concerns that they go too far." Condon repeatedly used variations of the "conservative" label in her article, but didn't once identify the left-wing politics of pro-abortion groups.

Paul Ryan, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate; Screen Cap From 13 August 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgAfter first noting that President Barack Obama "has regularly stressed his support for issues like reproductive rights," the journalist outlined that "Ryan... is primarily known for his very conservative budget plan, but his views on social issues like abortion are just as heartening for conservatives as his economic policies." Condon's labeling bias emerged three sentences later as she noted that "Ryan's strong views on this issue serve as a rallying point for conservatives and as a tool for the Obama campaign to mobilize abortion rights supporters."

The CBS correspondent's left-leaning slant became even clearer when she trumpeted "Ryan's anti-abortion rights credentials," and put the more common pro-life label in quotation marks: "The National Right to Life Committee, a nationwide federation opposed to abortion rights, has given Ryan a 100 percent 'pro-life' voting record -- in other words, for every vote he's taken on abortion-related issues since joining the House of Representatives in 1999, Ryan has voted on the anti-abortion side."

Later in the article, Condon failed to mention the liberal political ideology of the Kaiser Family Foundation as she touted a poll favorable to the Obama campaign's strategy of ballyhooing Ryan's pro-life record:


There's some evidence to suggest the president's plan could work. A poll from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation released in May found that 31 percent of women in the U.S. believe there is a broad effort to limit women's reproductive health choices and services. Last year, the pro-abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America commissioned a poll of women in swing states who supported Mr. Obama in 2008 but may not this year. The poll found that those women largely support abortion rights and that highlighting his stance on reproductive rights could help the president with those women.

"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a tough road ahead of them when it comes to trying to convince women voters that they can be trusted," NARAL political director Beth Shipp said to CBSNews.com.

The correspondent would use the "conservative" term four more times in the remainder of her report, and played up how "Ryan has already put his Roman Catholic faith on display, attending Mass his second day as Romney's running mate, and he will put more emphasis on his faith next month as a speaker at the Values Voter Summit." But as Dusting Siggins of LifeNews.com pointed out on Wednesday, Romney announced the Ryan pick on Saturday August 11, so it isn't that surprising that the Wisconsin Republican, a practicing Catholic, would go to Mass the following day on Sunday.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center