On Monday evening, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier ran a full report by Howard Kurtz in which the Fox News media analyst recounted for viewers the blatant imbalance in time devoted to controversial comments made about abortion by Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, in contrast with revelations that he appeared in blackface more than 30 years ago.
At 6:05 p.m. Eastern, Baier set up the report:
The racist photo obviously capped a rough week for Governor Northam following his comments about a late-term abortion bill that many critics said could lead to infanticide. But while a single yearbook photo caused an uproar across obviously many media platforms, his controversial comments about potentially killing a baby that was just delivered were not covered with such furor.
Kurtz began by recounting that Northam was already "embroiled in a controversy" before the yearbook photo leaked, and then added that "most of the networks ignored the furor over a bill the governor was defending to lift some restrictions on late-term abortion, fueled by some of his remarks in a radio interview."
Then played a clip of Northam's full comments in which he suggested that some newborn babies might be allowed by doctors to die if the mother chose to do so.
After noting that there was a great deal of coverage of the comments on both Fox News and other right-leaning news sources, the FNC analyst added: "But there was no coverage on ABC, NBC and MSNBC. CNN gave the story three minutes, and the CBS Evening News led its piece with Northam's second day defense of his remarks and how Republicans pounced."
After showing a clip from the CBS Evening News, Kurtz made the point that "only an innocuous line from his radio interview was aired," followed by a brief clip of Northam from the CBS Evening News in whch he stated, "And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
NewBusters had also made this point about CBS's poor clip choice that failed to convey the critical parts of the governor's comments.
Additionally, NewsBusters also pointed out that CNN only gave the story just over four minutes aired in four briefs that ran between 4:22 and 8:39 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, and MSBC only gave it a brief of just over a minute which was buried at 5:19 a.m. the same day.
After noting that the New York Times and the Washington Post had played up political partisanship by Republicans in their coverage of both the Virginia bill and a recently passed extreme pro-abortion law in New York, Kurtz informed viewers of the strong link between the two stories in that alumni from his medical school had leaked the blackface yearbook photo after being horrified at Northam's extreme views on abortion.
Since the blackface scandal, the abortion issue has been brought up several additional times on CNN, but has usually been deflected by hosts or liberal contributors.