In a softball exchange with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell recited one liberal talking point after another to denigrate pro-life legislation in states across the country: "On Friday, Texas became the 16th state to tighten regulations on abortion clinics in the past three years, effectively putting most of them out of business. This is part of a growing movement by states to restrict access to family planning and other women's health facilities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Richards, Mitchell implored: "What can you or Planned Parenthood and other groups do to try to keep some of these clinics open?" Richards used the opportunity to proclaim: "Look, this is a very extreme set of bills that are going to close down dozens of health centers in Texas.... I think it's a growing theme, unfortunately, in many states where politicians are putting their own political agenda ahead of women's health care."
Yesterday evening the Obama administration announced it would back down from plans to fight a federal judge's ruling that the Plan B emergency contraception pill must be made available over-the-counter and without age restriction in U.S. pharmacies. Previously the FDA permitted over-the-counter sales to girls and women aged 17 and older and the Obama administration wished to revise that age requirement down to 15.
But in reporting the story, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal omitted any objection from pro-life or parents rights groups, even as they reported the reactions of abortion rights advocates. "We are pleased that women should soon be able to buy Plan B One-Step without the arbitrary restrictions that kept it locked behind the pharmacy counter when they needed it most urgently," the Journal's Jennifer Corbett Dooren quoted Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights at the close of her 11-paragraph, page A3 story for Tuesday's print edition.
Virginia Democrats go to the polls Tuesday to select their nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general (gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is unopposed). Turnout will be very low – thanks in part to The Washington Post. Notice of the primary election can’t be found until page B-6.
What are they hiding? Liberal lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Northam’s running TV ads touting his D-rating from the NRA and the heartfelt support of Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards. She loved how State Sen. Northam staunchly opposed having a woman look at her baby in an ultrasound before the baby’s killed. In a perfect juxtaposition, the ad runs Cecile’s praise while the screen says “endorsed by The Washington Post”:
Only some social issues are divisive in the Plains states, or so implies the New York Times. A sour tone permeated Wednesday's front-page story by John Eligon and Erik Eckholm from Fargo on North Dakota's strict new abortion laws, which ban abortions based on sex or disability and forbid abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable: "New Laws Ban Most Abortions in North Dakota." Yet Colorado's passage of civil unions legislation for gay couples was celebrated with no dissenting voices.
And alhough the quotes from sources pro and con were balanced, with two people quoted in favor, two against, and one classified as neutral, the two pro-life sources were the last two quoted, in paragraphs 26 and 29-30 of the 31-paragraph story.
Leave it to liberal host Martin Bashir to bring on the president of Planned Parenthood to trash individuals with religious objections to the ObamaCare contraception mandate. Speaking with Cecile Richards on February 6, Bashir conducted a Planned Parenthood advocacy session rather than an actual interview.And, naturally, Bashir failed to bring on an opposing viewpoint either in the same segment or a subsequent one.
Indeed, during the chat with Richards -- who was a fixture at the Lean Forward network during last year's "war on women" meme -- Bashir acted as cheerleader for the nation's largest abortion provider. "In yet another sign of his willingness to respect religious convictions, the president has amended the Affordable Care Act in relation to the availability of birth control," Bashir insisted, puffing the president as a magnanimous compromiser when it has been the president's own administration that has put religious organizations into a needless dilemma regarding their First Amendment freedoms in the first place.
During early Thursday morning's coverage of the Democratic National Convention, CNN’s Piers Morgan interviewed Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), liberal activist Sandra Fluke, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. It turned out to be a massive pandering to Fluke and nice vehicle for Rep. Israel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), to disseminate falsehoods that Morgan allowed to skirt by.
On May 30 Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to tout her group's launch that day of an anti-Romney ad campaign. This was the day after Live Action released its first investigative video of a new series, which exposed Planned Parenthood as a facilitator of sex-selection abortion.
The Live Action videos were not mentioned during the Morning Joe segment, so either they were ignored or Richards stipulated she would only come on if they weren't brought up. Nevertheless, (somewhat) conservative host Joe Scarborough got in several digs against the abortion giant.
"Birth control has become a surprise obsession among the GOP presidential candidates this year."
That's the misleading teaser headline on page A1 of the February 21 Washington Post. After all, it was a liberal Democratic Congress that passed and a liberal Democratic president who is enforcing provisions of ObamaCare that will force religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in insurance plans, even if doing so violates religious conscience. Yet to the liberal media, it's social conservatives who are waging "culture wars."
Jake Tapper of ABC News wrote a remarkable story last week revealing the players in the Obama administration’s internal debate on the contraception mandate.
According to Tapper, President Obama’s top advisers on the issue included Vice President Joe Biden, former White House Chief-of-Staff Bill Daley, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, White House Senior Advisers Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, two U.S. Senators – and Planned Parenthood Federation for America CEO Cecile Richards:
During a syrupy interview with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on Monday's The Last Word, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell was so impressed with her that he concluded the segment by declaring that she is worthy to be ambassador to the United Nations. O'Donnell:
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
"The GOP loves a good bogeyman," MSNBC's Martin Bashir complained as he opened a January 6 interview segment on his eponymous program with Cecile Richards, head of the GOP's "favorite target this election cycle," Planned Parenthood.
Bashir proceeded to paint the GOP presidential field, particularly "grenadier Newt Gingrich" as marshaling the forces of misogyny in a "War on Women," as the segment was titled onscreen. The interview amounted to a series of softball questions and leftist talking points to kick start Richards's own recital of left-wing talking points (MP3 audio here):
What does Planned Parenthood have to do for a mention on the network news? The group provides services abhorred by much of the American population and it has been riddled with scandal recently. But according to the abortion group's latest figures, its intake of federal tax dollars up by more than a third, and that 90 percent of its government funding comes from federal money.
Sounds like a controversial story. Too bad ABC, CBS and NBC haven't been paying attention.
The abortion industry’s public relations machinery has always intrigued me. At any given time I can tell which agenda items anti-life groups have directed their PR firms to push by news articles, op eds, and tweets I read. If you pay attention you see there are always particular topics the other side is swarming around.
Right now, for instance, their focus is on making the morning after pill available over-the-counter for kids, and on forcing employers, with an emphasis on Catholic institutions (which actually may be a ploy to divert our attention from the bigger prize), to offer free contraceptives in their insurance programs.
It was an obvious contrast in demeanor last week, Eliot Spitzer's lapdog interview of the president of Planned Parenthood and his aggressive sparring with social conservative Tony Perkins. Spitzer simply let Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards air her spin on the organization, but went after the Family Research Council's (FRC) Perkins from the get-go on CNN Thursday night.
Consider the statements Richards made last Wednesday night that Spitzer was content not to scrutinize: Planned Parenthood has received "enormous support" from both Democrats and Republicans, the organization is "very transparent" about its services, Planned Parenthood reduces need for abortions through family planning, and the recent efforts by Congress and state legislatures to cut its funding "were to eliminate access for women to get access to life-saving breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and birth control."
Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider, the controversial recipient of government funds, and is criticized by some for its lack of transparency – and yet CNN's Eliot Spitzer gave president Cecile Richards a free pass in a Wednesday night interview.
Could Spitzer's leniency be due to the fact that he enjoyed the endorsement of Planned Parenthood when he ran for governor of New York? Before he was ousted in a prostitution scandal, Spitzer was stridently pro-abortion as the state's governor. Pro-abortion group NARAL's New York PAC bragged that the organization was "central" to his 1998 victory when he ran for Attorney General of New York.
Martin Bashir tossed softballs at Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards on his eponymous MSNBC program on Monday, letting his guest spout her talking points in defense of her abortion-providing organization. Bashir even went so far to use a phrase in vogue with the pro-abortion left in one of his questions: "Do you think this is, in effect, a war on women?"
During an interview of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick not only failed to ask Richards any tough questions about federal funding of the organization, but entirely misquoted the claim of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.
Feyerick began the segment attributing to Kyl a bizarre claim that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding goes to abortions. Obviously, that was red meat for Richards who dismantled the faux statement claiming that no federal funding goes to abortions.
The following is what Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor: "Everybody goes to clinics, to hospitals, to doctors and so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol and your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."Sen. Kyl did not say that 90 percent of funding goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood, but that 90 percent of its services are abortions, another argument entirely.
Editor's Note: The following is a statement issued earlier today by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell concerning an exposé of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ statements on CNN Headline News.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared on CNN's Headline News channel claiming that de-funding Planned Parenthood would prevent if from providing women with mammogram services. This has been proven absolutely false. A group called Live Action has released an audio investigation with proof from numerous Planned Parenthood clinics whose staff clearly state they do not provide mammograms, yet the President of the organization went on national television and stated the exact opposite.
The evidence has been presented, and CNN’s Headline News (HLN) has the opportunity here to display true journalistic integrity. How will Headline News respond to the evidence of Cecile Richards’ lie on its network? We call on CNN’s HLN to correct the record, and it should be done by Joy Behar to her viewers. There should be consequences to lying on national television, and if CNN wants to maintain the respect and trust of their viewers, they should ban Cecile Richards and her lies from appearing again.
Joy Behar ripped the House of Representatives on her program on Monday for their recent defunding of Planned Parenthood. Behar, focusing on the organization's birth control services, criticized the move as "illogical...because if you are not going to help people with birth control, you're going to have more abortions. So, besides being evil and immoral and unethical, they're also stupid" (audio clips available here).
The liberal host led her 10 pm program by playing clips from Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore's Thursday speech on the floor of the House, where she argued that funding Planned Parenthood was better than having "to give your kids ramen noodles at the end of the month to fill up their little bellies so they won't cry. You have to give them mayonnaise sandwiches." Many in the conservative blogosphere argued that she's hinting that it's better to abort a child than have them live life in such a way. Behar then introduced Rep. Moore and Planned Parenthood Federation of American president Cecile Richards and asked the congresswoman, "What drove you to finally stand up on Thursday and deliver that great speech on the floor?"
CNN, in a report on the Centers for Disease Control’s finding that the teen birth rate increased in 2006, focused attention on what liberals surmise is a partial cause of the increase - President Bush’s advocacy of abstinence-only sex education. CNN correspondent Mary Snow, in her introduction to her report, noted that, "no one is saying for certain whether the rise in teen pregnancy is in fact a trend, but it is bringing attention to abstinence-only programs, and the roughly $176 million the federal government spends on them each year."
The report, which aired during the 4 pm Eastern hour of Thursday’s "The Situation Room," featured three sound bites from both sides of the debate. Two came from Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, whose political leanings are never mentioned. The third came from Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation, which is described as a "conservative think tank."
[Update, 12:20 pm Eastern: Kristen Fyfe of MRC's Culture and Media Institute pointed out the biased reporting of the New York Times and the Washington Post on the CDC report.]