ABC and NBC Omit CMP Videos in Coverage of House Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

September 19th, 2015 2:01 AM

While the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all miraculously acknowledged on Friday evening the House’s passage of a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, ABC and NBC provided no context in mentioning the horrifying videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that exposed gruesome practices by the abortion provider. 

All told, the networks combined for two-minutes-and-57 seconds of coverage on the House bill, but it should be noted that two minutes and 18 seconds of that total came from the CBS Evening News (which was the lone network to air a full story on the matter).

ABC’s World News Tonight made its first reference to Planned Parenthood since August 27 with a measly 15-second news brief from anchor David Muir that was devoid of any mention of why conservatives have been fighting to defund Planned Parenthood to begin with: 

We turn to Washington, another step in the process to defund Planned Parenthood. House Republicans today pushing through a bill to block federal money for the organization. Some conservative threatening to shut down the government over the funding. The bill is not expected, at this point, to pass in the Senate.

Over on NBC Nightly News, the issue fetched 24 seconds as anchor Lester Holt made a vague reference to the vote being held due to “the controversy over” Planned Parenthood’s “use of fetal tissue.” Holt added that the vote “was symbolic since Democrats are expected to block it in the Senate.” 

Continuing to sound the liberal alarm over a government shutdown, Holt explained: “Still, a core group of conservative Republicans are expecting to shut down the government at the end of month by refusing to pass a critical spending bill if it includes any money for Planned Parenthood.”

As it often did when each of the CMP videos were released, the lion’s share of the minuscule network coverage came thanks to the CBS Evening News. Anchor Scott Pelley started the segment by telling viewers that “[t]he clock is running on another federal government shutdown” as “Congress has 13 days to pass a spending bill.” 

Pelley then pointed out how, instead of soldiering on and passing a bill to continue government funding, “the House is deadlocked in a battle to end funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides women's health services, including abortion.” Before tossing to congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, Pelley touted the fact that the House GOP “prevailed in a vote to cut off money for the group.”

Leading into a soundbite from Republican Congressman Mike Kelly (Pa.) passionately denouncing the controversial group, Cordes did the job her competitors at ABC and NBC failed to do in both showing footage from some of the videos and explaining why the matter’s being discussed: “Today's vote was a reaction to these undercover videos released by conservative activists this summer. They show Planned Parenthood doctors discussing the harvesting of fetal tissue from abortions for research.”

Cordes gave equal time to pro-choicers with a soundbite from Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) but first explained that the vote to strip funding from the group for one year “was largely a symbolic gesture, because Republicans don't have the votes in the Senate.”

Despite that, Cordes reported that conservatives in Congress have yet to be concede in the debate over government funding: “[A] group of conservative lawmakers is threatening mutiny against House Speaker John Boehner if he doesn't take the fight further and use the threat of a government shutdown to force Democrats to cut off funding.” 

In the final moments of her report, Cordes brought up the support Republican presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina have lended with the latter candidate having provided a memorable soundbite in Wednesday’s debate demanding Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama “to watch these tapes.”

However, Cordes closed by going the way that much of the liberal media have in attempting to scuttle Fiorina’s claim about one of the videos containing “a fully formed fetus on the table” with “its heart beating” and “its legs kicking”:

The videos actually don't show that, and some Republicans are openly warning that the last time the party tried this strategy to cut off ObamaCare funding, it was unsuccessful and led to a 17-day shutdown, Scott, for which they got most of the blame.

As the Media Research Center’s Katie Yoder highlighted (via Mollie Hemmingway of The Federalist), Fiorina’s claim is not false at all as the seventh video does indeed contain a fetus in addition to former Stem Express employee Holly O’Donnell graphically describing the harvesting of a brain from an aborted baby.