As Michael M. Bates earlier detailed, CNN’s Jessica Yellin filed a report from Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday’s American Morning which cites a "non-partisan" organization whose official policy stance includes a pro-abortion position, and whose president used to work for NARAL. She also included a sound bite from a Palin critic who donated hundreds of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Yellin’s report examined how the Alaska governor balances her government work with her family life. She included sound bites from Meg Stapleton, a former aide to Palin who was labeled on-screen as a "Palin campaign advisor" and Kristan Cole, a childhood friend of the governor. After a positive and short depiction of Palin’s life, Yellin cited how "Palin supporters insist her experience as a working mother means she'll represent American women."
The CNN correspondent then went to the critics of the governor’s record: "But some women's groups are critical. The non-partisan National Partnership for Women and Families gives Alaska a D-minus when it comes to its parental leave policy. For example, there's no guarantee of paid leave for new parents." Yellin followed this with a sound bite from Dr. Vicki Lovell of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who thought there's a contradiction there between Governor Palin's professed values about supporting families and then what we actually see in the state of Alaska, where there aren't adequate supports for families who are welcoming new infants."
The National Partnership for Women and Families may be "non-partisan" on paper, but it does have a liberal agenda. One of its professed goals is increasing "women’s access to quality, confidential reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights and reverse hard-won gains.... to give every woman access to the full range of reproductive health information and services, including... abortion services." The biography of their president, Debra Ness, proudly states that she "moved to head up field operations for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), where she worked to revitalize the organization’s grassroots political capability and affiliate network. She became NARAL’s deputy director in 1989 and helped propel the organization’s transformation into a major force in American electoral politics."
Dr. Lovell’s organization, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, also takes the pro-abortion position. In addition to this, Lovell donated a total of $900 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign within the course of a week in February and March of 2008 during the Democratic primaries.
The full transcript of Yellin’s report, which began 33 minutes into the 6 am hour of Wednesday’s American Morning:
JOHN ROBERTS: Sarah Palin returns to Alaska today, but her home coming bittersweet as her eldest son, Track, deploys for Iraq. And since Palin was nominated for vice president, her career and her personal life have been under the microscope. CNN's Jessica Yellin joins us this morning from Anchorage, Alaska. She is live with more on all of this. Good morning, Jessica.
JESSICA YELLIN: Good morning, John. Here's something you might not know about Sarah Palin. She held her baby shower for her fourth child at a shooting range. Even some of her friends laugh about that. They say that she's been able to juggle motherhood and politics because she needs very little sleep.
YELLIN (voice-over): Governor Palin starts sending e-mails at 4:30 in the morning.
MEG STAPLETON, PALIN CAMPAIGN ADVISER: We used to joke around that, it's as though she has an I.V. of caffeine running through her, because we could never keep up with her and it would be constant.
YELLIN: According to a childhood friend, juggling five kids doesn't phase her.
KRISTAN COLE, PALIN'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: When she was mayor, or just when she was a citizen, you usually saw one child on her hip.
YELLIN: She regularly takes daughter Piper to work.
COLE: Gosh, I would say the first six months [after] she was born, she was underneath Sarah's desk at the mayor's office.
YELLIN: While the older kids help clean and run errands, her husband does his share.
COLE: When Sarah is really busy, Todd will be the one to make their breakfast, put the ponytails in.
YELLIN: But sometimes no one really does the cooking.
STAPLETON: When she's joked around about that -- oh, they can throw a sandwich together.
YELLIN: These days, the crib in the office is infant son Trig's. Friend say Palin has come to terms with the new challenge telling them --
COLE: You know, I looked at my other four children, I said, they are not perfect, and she said it allowed me to see that I'm going to love Trig just as much as I loved the other four, because they are not perfect and he's not perfect either. But I love them, and I'm going to love him, too.
YELLIN: Palin supporters insist her experience as a working mother means she'll represent American women. But some women's groups are critical. The non-partisan National Partnership for Women and Families gives Alaska a D-minus when it comes to its parental leave policy. For example, there's no guarantee of paid leave for new parents.
DR. VICKI LOVELL, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH: I think there's a contradiction there between Governor Palin's professed values about supporting families and then what we actually see in the state of Alaska, where there aren't adequate supports for families who are welcoming new infants.
YELLIN (on-camera): John, one of the reasons that Alaska gets that D-minus is because it's possible that state -- it's possible that employees of private companies could be putting their jobs in jeopardy if they take more than 12 weeks of maternity leave. Now, defenders of Palin said she's had other priorities since she's become [sic] governor, including championing that natural gas pipeline and giving citizens money back for the windfall profits tax on oil companies. John?
ROBERTS: Jessica, of course, Governor Palin, herself, not known for taking family leave. I think she took a day after the birth of one of her children and three days after the birth of her latest one, Trig. But does she get other help, as well as the help from her husband?
YELLIN: Significant help from her husband. They also say in-laws, family friends, parents. She has a total support network. One person even said, it takes a village, a phrase more commonly associated with Hillary Clinton.
ROBERTS: I think I've heard that before. Jessica Yellin in Anchorage for us this morning. Jessica, thanks so much.