On Tuesday night, the decision by the major broadcast network to erase the Planned Parenthood scandal from their newscasts continued with the release of a sickening third video by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that again discussed the selling of body parts from aborted babies.
As the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were ignoring this third video, the trio spent six minutes and 26 seconds teasing and reporting on the "outrage" surrounding the shooting death of a high-profile African lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist.
While reporting on the lion’s death may be all fine and good, it certainly says something about the networks when they neglect to even mention a horrifying video about aborted babies.
With the English networks, Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univison, and PBS appearing to have deleted this scandal from their airwaves, the Fox News Channel (FNC) newscast Special Report led with the story and spent six minutes and 40 second on both the third video and the move by Planned Parenthood to remove the list of corporate donors from their website.
Off the top of the show, host Bret Baier explained that the “very bad summer for Planned Parenthood is a lot worse tonight” with “pro-life groups gathering across the nation demand an end to federal funding of the organization” in addition the “third and most graphic undercover video” that’s “shocking even hard-core abortion foes.”
Covering the video’s release, chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream reported that the third video from “the Center for Medical Progress shows a tissue procurement buyer inside a clinic talking to a doctor about pricing for parts and organs from a fetus that was just over 11 weeks into a pregnancy.”
On the heels of the CMP video, Bream mentioned that there were pro-life rallies “[i]n more than 60 U.S. cities” that “call[ed] for investigations into recent allegations regarding Planned Parenthood's harvesting and transfer of aborted fetal remains along with pressure on lawmakers to follow through on pledges to defund the organization.”
Bream also highlighted at the end of her report another key piece of this video:
This new video today also contains the testimonial of a woman who says she was hired by Stem Express to work inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. She claims she thought she would be drawing blood. She said she wasn't told before she arrived on-site that she would be harvesting fetal organs and body parts and fainted on her very first day.
Along with Special Report, the top cable networks offered on Tuesday varying degrees of coverage. On CNN, the lone program to mention the third CMP video was The Lead as it was alluded to both in a full report by CNN investigative correspondent Chris Frates and when host Jake Tapper interviewed GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.
In somewhat similar fashion, the video fetched just one mention on MSNBC when a segment on Now with Alex Wagner attacking CMP and the pro-life movement. Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel (FNC) covered it on eight different programs throughout the day (as of 9:45 p.m. Eastern).
As the Media Research Center has chronicled over the past two weeks, the network coverage of this scandal has decreased from negligible coverage to a complete blackout. Concerning the first video that came out on July 14, that CMP expose saw nine minutes and 11 seconds on the networks (compared to 31 minutes and 11 seconds on the 2012 Susan G. Komen controversy when it tried to halt its funding of Planned Parenthood).
When the second video rolled around on July 21, it barely saw the light of the day on the networks as July 21's CBS Evening News provided the sole two-minute-and-two-second segment on the scandal.
The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on July 28 can be found below.
FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
July 28, 2015
6:00 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Planned Parenthood Scandal; From Bad to Worse]
BRET BAIER: What has been a very bad summer for Planned Parenthood is a lot worse tonight. As pro-life groups gathering across the nation demand an end to federal funding of the organization, a third and the most graphic undercover video is shocking even hard-core abortion foes.
SHANNON BREAM: Hi, Bret. Well, we have to warn our viewers first up front this newest video contains graphic images of aborted fetal body parts. Some of you will find that disturbing. In more than 60 U.S. cities, pro-life advocates rallied to call for investigations into recent allegations regarding Planned Parenthood's harvesting and transfer of aborted fetal remains along with pressure on lawmakers to follow through on pledges to defund the organization.
BREAM: A new undercover clip provided today by the Center for Medical Progress shows a tissue procurement buyer inside a clinic talking to a doctor about pricing for parts and organs from a fetus that was just over 11 weeks into a pregnancy.
BREAM: Planned Parenthood has always maintained it accepts funds as reimbursement as costs of transferring the fetal remains, but says it has never profited from the transfers and has done nothing illegal. Questions about profits do arise with a look at companies that provide fetal remains for purchase. The online ordering system for Stem Express, one of the companies that reportedly does business with planned parenthood affiliates, shows pricing for fetal livers ranging from $488 to more than $24,000. In contrast to quotes by Planned Parenthood affiliated doctors of $30 to $100 per specimen. Stem Express says it quote, “prides itself on complying with all laws.” Despite the controversy sparked by the videos, today, a pollster hired by Planned Parenthood's political arm said average Americans don't care.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD POLLSTER GEOFF GARIN OF HART RESEARCH: This is not a topic that people are following with rapt attention, and to the extent people are, they tend to be Republicans who are sort of inside the Fox News bubble.
BREAM: This new video today also contains the testimonial of a woman who says she was hired by Stem Express to work inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. She claims she thought she would be drawing blood. She said she wasn't told before she arrived on-site that she would be harvesting fetal organs and body parts and fainted on her very first day.