It may come as no surprise, but many media outlets ignored the annual March for Life in Washington, DC on January 22, despite many thousands of protesters. ABC, CBS, NBC, and the NewsHour on PBS all failed to offer a story on it. The print editions of Time and Newsweek both ignored it. Clay Waters of TimesWatch found that even The New York Times ("all the news that’s fit to print"?) skipped it -- for the second year in a row. The Washington Post offered a decent story on page A2, by contrast. USA Today and the Los Angeles Times also offered stories inside their A sections.Several networks mentioned protests without much definition. On CBS’s Saturday Early Show on January 24, reporter Kimberly Dozier: reported "Despite loud demonstrations this week, Mr. Obama also quietly stepped into the abortion debate" with his executive order allowing international abortion advocates to get federal funds. In the same show, anchor Priya David offered the same vague narrative: "By week’s end President Obama even stepped into the abortion debate despite protests against abortion during this week's anniversary of Roe vs. Wade." In a World News Sunday story on ABC, Dan Harris showed a tiny clip of "anti-abortion groups" and their "brutal" commentary on Obama: "Pro-life remains a lie. You don’t care if women die!" This might sound harsh to the uninitiated viewer, but at previous pro-abortion rallies in Washington, abortion advocates have shouted "Pro-life! Your name’s a lie! You don’t care if women die." On the January 23 NewsHour on PBS, anchor Ray Suarez also mentioned demonstrations (without identifying them as pro-life) once Obama repealed the funding restrictions on international abortion advocates:
Shortly after the Gibbs briefing, President Obama, away from cameras, signed the order that once again reversed the ban. The order came one day after the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, this year, as in other years, marked by large demonstrations and marches through the heart of the national capital.
The news magazines are an interesting case study. Time’s offered barely a paragraph on abortion since Obama’s election, despite the appointment of pro-abortion Cabinet members from Hillary Clinton to Eric Holder to Tom Daschle. (It wasn’t this way with John Ashcroft.) Since the election, Newsweek has offered a Lisa Miller column on pro-life atheists (she’s fascinated with atheists), and a raging feminist column from Dahlia Lithwick.