The Media Lose Big in the Confrontation between Catholic Students and Professional Protesters

January 28th, 2019 10:45 AM

It’s almost cliché in pro-life circles that on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade for coming close to 50 years, hundreds of thousands of people march for life, and almost no one in the media can see them. Like Pro-Life Ninjas, they move in and out of the nation’s capitol undetected....until a teenager with a “Make America Great Again” hat was faced with a reality of political life today, the professional protestor causing agitation while fellow activists filmed attempts to cause a media moment. 

And it worked, at least at first, as many rushed to judgment.

But what is also amazing to me is how aggressively the media ignores hundreds and thousands people -- nuns and pastors, families made by adoption and birth, young and old, rich and poor, volunteers in pregnancy care centers and students from across the country -- all marching for Life. They see nothing, wading through a crowd, to find something they can criticize. Attacking students based on a few minutes of video is offensive for many reasons, but ignoring all that could be easily seen is just as problematic. The story of the March for Life deserves to be told by those members of the Fourth Estate who ignore it because of their bias and prejudice against people of faith and in favor of abortion. 

Consider that according to the Media Research Center, the major news networks devoted just 58 seconds to the March for Life while the so-called Women’s March (an unwelcoming event for pro-life women) got 15 times more coverage. 

But, major news organizations, including Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, USA Today, and New York Times, all suddenly discovered that the March for Life was happening in time to raise public sentiment against Catholic teens wearing Trump hats who were allegedly mocking a a Native American veteran of the Vietnam war (a claim that was stolen valor and has since been debunked.) 

But it wasn’t just this student who faced attack for his alleged views. It’s common for abortion activists to falsely attack marchers, saying that we only love babies in the womb, want to force women to give birth or that we are not here for mothers after the birth of a child. How wrong they are. 

How is it that they miss the tens of thousands of diapers collected every year by Students for Life groups? Or the tens of thousands of dollars raised by Students for Life groups to help pregnant and parenting students?  Or how do they miss the numerous good works of other pro-life groups that run pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, or free medical clinics? 

The day after this alleged incident, Students for Life of America hosted more than 2,500 young, pro-life leaders to talk about how the Pro-Life Generation will abolish abortion. 

We featured former NFL MVP Willie Green, and leaders of pro-life groups such as Stephanie Gray, who gave a famous talk at Google, and Robia Scott, an actress who is starring in a movie about my friend Abby Johnson who left Planned Parenthood after a traumatizing experience witnessing an abortion. 

But those young leaders, including students from our first group at a historically black college, were not a good story for the mainstream media.  

Fortunately, additional stories have sussed out more of what really happened Friday afternoon at the March for Life. Across the country, students in the more than 1,220 Students for Life groups in all 50 states are keeping the Covington students in our prayers as they deal with the fallout of this media set-up, particularly the vicious threats they continue to receive. Our team has reached out to them and stands ready to help them continue their pro-life activism at their school and in their community, as we do students across the country. 

Quite frankly, this story gets to the root of why so many conservatives and pro-lifers don't trust the mainstream media any longer. We know firsthand that ignoring an event doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or that reporting on a bit of video recording doesn’t make something true.

It’s easy to demonize people when you don’t take the time to get the facts. The Covington Catholic students presented the perfect opportunity for a politically correct attack, yet they are standing strong. But perhaps one of the most significant outcomes of this will be students who are savvier about the world we live in and the pro-life cause we fight for, having developed a healthy skepticism of whatever they see in the media.