Networks Air Planned Parenthood Hearing More Than Actual Videos

Talk about priorities. The broadcast networks have spent more time combined showcasing Cecile Richards’ defense of Planned Parenthood than showing the actual videos themselves.

During their news shows, ABC, NBC and CBS aired 3 minutes of footage from a Tuesday congressional hearing where Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testified in regards to the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos exposing her organization’s harvesting of aborted baby parts.* Ironically, those same networks combined spent less than half that time airing the CMP videos.

Since the first video’s release on July 14, ABC, NBC and CBS have aired 1 minute and 20 seconds of CMP footage with audio.

For perspective, CMP has released more than 17 hours of footage.

In the month of September, CBS aired a mere 7 seconds of CMP footage with audio. But that was better than ABC and NBC, who didn’t play a second of footage with accompanying audio.

The 7 seconds from CBS included:

●     PP executive Deborah Nucatola saying “a lot of people want liver.”

●     PP executive Mary Gatter saying “75 dollars per specimen.”

●     A CMP investigator and a tissue worker discussing whether they’re looking at “lungs” or “kidneys” from                aborted babies.

But even then, CBS didn’t show the “lungs” or “kidneys.” As all three networks have done before, CBS censored the most graphic parts of the videos – and didn’t even air blurred or pixelated images.

The networks can’t argue that they have a hard and fast rule against graphic imagery, either. Earlier this month, ABC, NBC and CBS mourned over pictures and video of a 3-year-old who drowned while fleeing Syria.

The Breakdown of Coverage by Network

Network Time Spent Airing Footage from CMP:

ABC: 0 seconds

NBC: 13 seconds

CBS: 67 seconds

TOTAL: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Network Time Spent Airing Footage from congressional hearing:

ABC: 61 seconds

NBC: 60 seconds

CBS: 59 seconds

TOTAL: 3 minutes

CBS is the only network to have spent more time – 8 seconds more – airing CMP footage than the congressional hearing featuring Cecile Richards.

Methodology: MRC Culture read network transcripts and watched morning and evening shows from ABC, NBC and CBS.

*MRC Culture only counted footage played with accompanying audio for both the congressional hearing and for CMP footage. 

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Associate Culture Editor, the Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow at Media Research Center