WashPost, NY Times Gleeful Over GOP Congressman’s ‘Akin Moment’

Liberals’ obsession with the worn-out GOP “war on women” meme entered a new phase on June 13 following comments made by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). During a committee hearing in which the congressman introduced legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Mr. Franks claimed that:

Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject – because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.

Even after Mr. Franks clarified his statement that “he meant it was rare for rape victims to seek abortions so late in their pregnancies” the Post and Times subsequently had a field day with the congressman’s comments. The Post used the entire second page of its June 13 paper to cover the comments, comparing them to comments made during the 2012 election by Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.

In an 18-paragraph piece, the Times’ Jeremy Peters described how:

That prompted an outcry from Democrats on the committee and liberal commentators online, who quickly seized on the remark as an example of Republican insensitivities to women’s issues.

He followed that up by commenting that:

House Democrats and abortions rights proponents seemed to relish the opportunity to once again portray conservatives as anti-woman, anti-science and bent on wasting time on another measure that stands no chance of becoming law.

As if that weren’t enough, two consecutive articles on the second page of The Washington Post made sure to remind readers that:

Democrats on the committee pointed to similar remarks by then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) during Akin’s 2012 run for the Senate. Akin suggested that the female body can prevent pregnancy after a “legitimate rape.” 

The Post’s Aaron Blake doubled down on the past, commenting that:

Both Akin and Mourdock lost their races, and their comments fed Democratic accusations that Republicans were engaged in a “war on women.”

In an accompanying piece, liberal Post columnist Dana Milbank mocked Republicans for revisiting the abortion debate:

Ladies and gentleman, Republicans are again voting on new abortion restrictions. Cue their new theme song: “Men men men men, mainly men men men!”

That wasn’t enough for Milbank, as he followed his colleague’s example by referencing the comparison being made to Todd Akin. It’s no surprise that three activist journalists at two of the largest national newspapers would gave a field day with comments made by an obscure congressman and magnify them as an entire Republican “war on women.”

While we aren’t defending the comments made by Rep. Franks, the decision by the Post and Times to exploit his comments by creating a larger narrative about overall GOP politics is disingenuous and shows they are less objective journalists are more shills for the Democratic Party.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.