Networks Censor Release of Fifth Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video; Continue Lion Coverage

With the ABC and CBS preoccupied with continuing coverage of Cecil the Lion and NBC harping on Jeb Bush’s comments about women’s health, the major broadcast networks found zero time on Tuesday night to mention the fact that arguably the most disturbing video yet in the Planned Parenthood scandal was released hours earlier by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). 

Despite multiple mentions on cable networks CNN, the Fox News Channel (FNC), and MSNBC, the “big three” networks reverted back to their old ways of censoring the CMP videos as they did in the case of the third video (plus that of the second video for ABC and NBC). 

One of the many FNC programs to cover this fifth video was The Kelly File to the tune of a full report from chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream. Prior to Bream’s story, host Megyn Kelly set the scene: 

Developing tonight, fallout from a brand new under cover video targeting a Planned Parenthood location in Texas. Like others before it, it is extremely graphic, even detailing how doctors can get, quote, “get creative” with abortion procedures to get the bodies more intact. Critics argue this is just further proof that the organization is profiting off the sale of dead fetuses, but Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing.

Doing the work that the networks showed no interest in doing, Bream reported that this installment features a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast official named Melissa Farrell who’s identified as the director of research for the Houston-area abortion clinic. 

Speaking with the undercover actors, Bream explained that Farrell “talk[ed] with actors posing as fetal tissue who ask, if abortion procedures can be changed in an effort to get a more beneficial result for the buyers.”

Following a clip from the video where Farrell openly the possibility of changing the abortion procedure “to obtain intact fetal cadavers,” Bream brought up how federal law stands in contrast to what’s talked about in the video:

Federal law requires abortion providers to guarantee they will not alter the timing, methods or procedures used to terminate a pregnancy solely for the purposes of obtaining tissue. The videos, as you know, has sparked efforts on Capitol Hill to take taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood.

For more on the distressing contents of this latest video, the Media Research Center’s Katie Yoder offered a detailed summary of the video in a piece you can find here.

Instead of covering this upsetting video that raises further questions about the organization that carries out hundreds of thousands of abortions annually, ABC’s World News Tonight dedicated at 13-second news brief to the announcement by the major U.S. airlines that they will no longer allow large trophy prize animals to be carried on their flights. 

On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley reserved 18 seconds to inform viewers that over $800,000 has been raised for an organization seeking to protect lions in Zimbabwe and a new Beanie Baby has been created in honor of Cecil.

As the MRC has reported over the past three weeks, the networks have consistently shown where their priorities lie in terms of covering the Planned Parenthood scandal compared to Cecil the lion’s death in Africa.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The Kelly File on August 4 can be found below.

FNC’s The Kelly File
August 4, 2015
9:34 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Developing Tonight; New Undercover Planned Parenthood Video]

MEGYN KELLY: Developing tonight, fallout from a brand new under cover video targeting a Planned Parenthood location in Texas. Like others before it, it is extremely graphic, even detailing how doctors can get, quote, “get creative” with abortion procedures to get the bodies more intact. Critics argue this is just further proof that the organization is profiting off the sale of dead fetuses., but Planned Parenthood denies any wrong doing. Shannon Bream reports from Washington. Shannon?

SHANNON BREAM: Megyn, this is the fifth release from the Center for Medical Progress showing a woman CMP identifies as Melissa Farrell. They say she’s the director of research at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, talking with actors posing as fetal tissue who ask, if abortion procedures can be changed in an effort to get a more beneficial result for the buyers.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD GULF COAST’s MELISSA FARRELL: So, if we alter our process –

UNCOVER CMP ACTOR [IN VIDEO]: Mhmm.

FARRELL: – and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, then we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this and splitting specimens into different shipments is this. I mean, that’s – it’s all just a matter of line items.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Developing Tonight; New Undercover Planned Parenthood Video Claims Group Sells Intact Fetuses]

BREAM: Federal law requires abortion providers to guarantee they will not alter the timing, methods or procedures used to terminate a pregnancy solely for the purposes of obtaining tissue. The videos, as you know, has sparked efforts on Capitol Hill to take taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood. Well, that was shot down in the Senate last night.

(....)

BREAM: Planned Parenthood maintains it has done nothing illegal and does not profit off the transfer of these fetal organs and tissues. As the organization's president Cecile Richards said in an interview published in The New York Times today, she says the tactics used to record the undercover videos amount to, quote, “depravity.”

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