WashPost Skips Reporting On Pro-life Baltimore Raven Who Boycotted Obama White House Event; Touts Pro-Gay Raven Again

Baltimore Ravens starting center Matt Birk skipped the White House reception for the Super Bowl champs on Wednesday due to his pro-life beliefs, taking special exception to President Obama's recent prayer "God bless Planned Parenthood."

But The Washington Post didn't find that worth reporting. Instead, in Friday's paper, the Post's "Reliable Source" gossip column celebrated former Ravens player Brendan Ayanbadejo, a heterosexual liberal who held a press conference announcing he would be guest editor of an August edition of the gay newspaper The Washington Blade.

This bias is nothing new: Ayanbadejo's pro-gay activism has appeared very prominently in the Post in the last year, including in the front-page story on NBA player Jason Collins coming out of the closet, and a March 20 Style section front-pager on his "anti-bullying" work. Here's a snippet of their profile of the "celebvocate" and his appearance:

How he looked: Casual Friday, NFL-style — lightweight blazer over black V-neck, patterned slip-on shoes, bright blue pants (“my LGBT pants”).

What he’s got planned: Too soon to say — their work on the special Aug. 30 issue is just getting started. While Naff said he’d love to have some athlete coming-out announcements, a la Jason Collins, Ayanbadejo said he won’t be lobbying any friends to take the leap. “It’s up to them to come out on their own terms.”

Soundbite: Ayanbadejo decried the notion of “the government telling us who we could love,” explained that supports gay marriage out of solidarity — as the product of an interracial marriage that would have been banned in many states just a decade before his birth. “My dad’s the blackest black you’ll ever see, my mom’s the whitest white you’ll ever see, and I came out this beautiful caramel complexion.”

All in all, Ayanbadejo the activist has been mentioned in nine Post stories, but Birk was mentioned in only one, an October 5, 2012 story on page B6, starting with paragraph 25:

But same-sex marriage opponents enlisted their own brawny advocate in Ravens center Matt Birk, who is cutting a video explaining his support for heterosexual marriage.

Birk, a Roman Catholic father of six, has also been active on the issue in Minnesota, where he grew up. Minnesota voters will be asked next month whether to write a same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution.

Birk is also one of those rare NFLers who attended Harvard (like Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick). Birk graduated in 1998 with a degree in economics.

The Baltimore Sun and the NFL website reported on Birk's protest move. The Post apparently thinks conservative protest is a concept that does not compute. LifeSiteNews reported Birk's explanation to Minneapolis radio station KFAN:

About five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’” Birk told the radio station. “Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that." 

The football star said that while he has "great respect for the office of the president," he "couldn't endorse" the president's support for the country's top abortion organization "in any way."

"I'm very confused by [the president's] statement," said Birk. "For God to bless a place where they're ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend." 

Obama made the "God bless Planned Parenthood remark" at the conclusion of his speech to a Planned Parenthood conference in April. The speech put Obama in the books as the first sitting president to address the abortion organization.

 ...He [Birk] told Catholic Review that participating in the March for Life in Washington is "one of the coolest things I’ve done.”

“It seems like our society and media want to push pro-lifers to the side and hope that we would shut our mouths and go away quietly,” he added. “Let’s not do that.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis