Reporting on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Tuesday, CNN's Carol Costello pelted a pro-life guest with liberal talking points while chiding the president of pro-choice NARAL for not doing enough for the pro-choice movement.
For example, Costello began her interview with pro-life ethicist Pia de Solenni by citing poll numbers favorable to abortion rights activists. In contrast, she greeted NARAL president Nancy Keenan with this bland observation: "You know, it's interesting, you wanted us to refer to your organization as Pro-Choice America. And I have read numerous articles that your organization doesn't like the term 'pro-choice' any longer."
As MSNBC marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Andrea Mitchell continued the MSNBC tradition of praising the abortion rights movement and harassing the pro-life movement. On her January 22 program, Mitchell treated Sarah Weddington, the attorney in Roe v. Wade to a cream puff of an interview, while Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, was grilled.
Dannenfelser was the first pro-life guest on MSNBC's programming on Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of Roe. By contrast, by the 1 p.m. Eastern hour, pro-choice advocates had appeared on various MSNBC programs, all to sympathetic interviewers. Among these guests were Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, current NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan and former NARAL chief Kate Michelman. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Last week I noted how the NBCNews.com website considered speeches by Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), Obama co-chair-turned-Republican Artur Davis, and Staples founder Tom Stemberg to not be "notable" enough for inclusion in their "curated" follow-up posts the day after their respective speeches. Well, today, NBC Politics has a post with "highlights from Tuesday night's Democratic National Convention speeches."
Yet while the Democratic Convention has purposefully sought to play up their pro-abortion rights, pro-taxpayer-subsidized contraception stands, the remarks last night by NARAL Pro-Choice America president -- and Democratic Party Platform Committee member -- Nancy Keenan were omitted from the collection. One of the more striking lines invoked the Divine:
"Democrats aim to be inclusive," blurts the headline in Amy Gardner's 5-paragraph item on how the Democratic convention "will feature a long list of female speakers and a slew of activities designed to make it the most inclusive convention in history, organizers announced Wednesday."
Gardner went on to note that Sandra Fluke and "women from many other walks of life" will take to the podium, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan, Caroline Kennedy, and actress Eva Longoria. Gardner left out that Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood was also announced as a speaker, and that Keenan served on this year's platform drafting committee, which shot down an effort by Democrats for Life of America to add "big tent" language to the platform. Somehow a handful of pro-choice speakers addressing contraception and abortion is diversity to the Washington Post.
Every four years, without fail, the liberal media wring their hands over the influence of pro-lifers on the GOP platform, suggesting that the party is too "extreme" in its position on abortion and hence out of step with middle-of-the-road voters. Of course, the same concern is not expressed regarding the Democrats' position on the same issue being too out-of-step with most Americans.
This year, the row over Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on rape and abortion are being seized upon as a springboard to attack the party. Witness MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on today's MSNBC Live.
You will probably be able to count on one hand the number of times the liberal media will wring their hands this campaign season about the national Democratic Party being beholden to the abortion lobby. To her credit, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post will be one of those reporters.
In her page August 8 "She the People" feature on page A2, "Democrats' Big Tent is a cold place for antiabortion advocates," the Post columnist lamented that while a Gallup poll shows a significant plurality of Democrats -- 44 percent -- "said abortion should only be legal 'in a few circumstances,'" that chances are incredibly slim that the party will alter its platform plank on abortion to soften its absolutist stand.
I wrote last week about a theory put forth by Washington Post's Sarah Kliff that abortion proponents were shifting strategies to focus on contraceptives rather than abortion, the reason being their own polls show abortion is no longer a winning issue with young people and women, but contraception is.
This week Republican strategist Dick Morris pitched the same theory on Hannity, adding some corroboration:
Sheryl Gay Stolberg devoted most of her article in Sunday’s New York Times detailing the concerns of radical feminists over the future of legalized abortion, specifically its support among the younger generations. Stolberg tried to downplay the larger opposition to abortion in the 18-30 year old demographic, and only one of the pro-abortion activists that she quoted in her article belonged to this group.
The New York Times correspondent began her article, “In Support of Abortion, It’s Personal vs. Political,” with a sympathetic personal anecdote from one of the aging radicals, Representative Louise Slaughter of New York: “In the early 1950s, a coal miner’s daughter from rural Kentucky named Louise McIntosh encountered the shadowy world of illegal abortion. A friend was pregnant...and Ms. McIntosh was keeper of a secret that, if spilled, could have led to family disgrace. The turmoil ended quietly in a doctor’s office... Today, Louise McIntosh is Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York. At 80, she is co-chairwoman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus — a member of what Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, calls ‘the menopausal militia.’”
This so-called militia, and the wider “abortion rights movement,” according to Stolberg, has been “forced...to turn inward, raising questions about how to carry their agenda forward in a complex, 21st-century world.” The reason: “a generational divide — not because younger women are any less supportive of abortion rights than their elders, but because their frame of reference is different.” The correspondent continued that “[p]olls over the last two decades have shown that a clear majority of Americans support the right to abortion, and there’s little evidence of a difference between those over 30 and under 30, but the vocabulary of the debate has shifted with the political culture.”