Big Three Acclaim 'Passionate' Pro-Abortion Texas Legislator's Filibuster; All But Ignore Pro-Life Voices

ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts on Wednesday spotlighted Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster against pro-life legislation, hyping how she stood for hours in "comfortable pink sneakers" to stop a vote on the bill. The networks trumpeted how "the unfolding drama topped the list of worldwide Twitter trends", but ABC and NBC failed to include any tweets or soundbites from supporters of the proposal. [audio available here; video below the jump]

CBS This Morning did include two clips from a pro-life Texas state legislator, but anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell gushed over Davis. Rose harped about her "very interesting life story", while O'Donnell asserted that "she's going to become big figure now, I think, in Texas politics."

NBC correspondent Kelly O'Donnell began her report on Today by noting how the Democratic state senator "took over the statehouse floor for a marathon that began Tuesday morning". O'Donnell's biased outline on the politician's filibuster noted that "Davis came ready with comfortable pink sneakers. At times, she was passionate....Other times, defiant....Her message struck a chord, with the topic 'Stand with Wendy' trending on Twitter throughout the night."

At the exact same moment, on Good Morning America, news anchor Josh Elliott emphasized that Davis "may have made all of the difference" with her move, and also highlighted her footwear: "Wearing her comfortable pink sneakers, because she wouldn't be allowed to sit down for 13 hours, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis took the podium and took a stand." Elliott didn't zero in on the "Stand with Wendy" hashtag trend as O'Donnell did on NBC, but went out of his way to point out that "even President Obama Tweeted his support to Davis."


CBS This Morning led their broadcast with the Davis filibuster. Correspondent Manuel Bojorquez wasted little time before spotlighting the "firestorm of protests" at the Texas state capitol against the pro-life legislation. Bojorquez didn't use the "comfortable" label for the state senator's pink sneakers, as had O'Donnell and Elliott, and stood out for playing two soundbites from Republican State Senator Bob Deuell, a supporter of the bill.

However, the CBS journalist still slanted toward the pro-abortion side by playing four clips from opponents of the legislation – two from Davis and two from the CEO of an abortion clinic in Texas. A on-screen graphic during the segment only featured Tweets from three prominent liberals: President Barack Obama, Senator Harry Reid, and entertainer Rick Gervais.

Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose made their laudatory remarks about Davis after Bojorquez's report:

NORAH O'DONNELL You know, it's quite a story in Texas. I mean, an eleven-hour filibuster, where she had to put on a back brace – or attempted to at one point – but could not lean, go to the bathroom. The opponents of this bill say it would close all but five of 42 abortion clinics in – in Texas-

CHARLIE ROSE: And her life story is a very interesting life story-

O'DONNELL: Her life story is really – she was a single teenage mother who made her way to Harvard Law School. And she's going to become big figure now, I think, in Texas politics.

ROSE: Indeed.

The full transcripts of the reports from Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC, CBS This Morning, and NBC's Today can be read at MRC.org.

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