ABC & CBS Skip Public Opposition to Biden's New Radical Pro-Abortion Stance

As Joe Biden gave in to left-wing demands that he abandon his support for the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortion, on Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning managed to report the news without mentioning that the majority of American oppose the radically pro-abortion stance.

“Meanwhile, in other political news, a pretty dramatic shift from former Vice President Joe Biden on the issue of federal funding for abortions,” GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos announced at the end of an unrelated report. White House correspondent Jonathan Karl framed the issue from the left:

 

 

Yeah, this is the so-called Hyde Amendment which bans any federal funds for abortion, something that’s been a part of congressional spending bills for years. Biden has said he supports the amendment, said that as recently as Wednesday, but now says he no longer supports them. He was facing increasing pressure from fellow Democrats criticizing his position.

The only mention of the pro-life perspective during the 33-second discussion came when Karl offered this justification of Biden’s blatant flip-flop: “He explains it as a result of all the efforts Republicans are now making to restrict abortion rights, George.”

Beginning a 59-second news brief on CBS This Morning, co-host Tony Dokoupil declared: “Presidential contender Joe Biden has changed his mind on a longstanding law blocking federal funding of abortion after severe criticism from other Democrats.” Like Karl on ABC, Dokoupil parroted talking points explaining away the major policy reversal:

Biden’s campaign said just this week that he still supported that law. But last night, he said circumstances had changed.... The former Vice President said his shift is not about politics. Several states have changed their laws this year to restrict abortion.

Criticism of Biden was mentioned, but again only from his far-left 2020 Democratic contenders: “But Biden’s critics, including some 2020 Democratic opponents, pounced on him this week, claiming the Hyde Amendment has always hurt access to reproductive care for low income women.”

Wrapping up the brief report, Dokoupil ran to Biden’s defense: “However, some of those opponents who say they would repeal the amendment have themselves voted for spending legislation that included similar restrictive abortion language.”

Missing from any of the limited ABC and CBS coverage was the fact that most Americans support the Hyde Amendment and do not want federal taxpayer money to be used to pay for abortions. A 2016 poll conducted by Politico found that 58% of likely voters were against allowing federal funding for abortion.

In contrast to the ABC and CBS morning shows, NBC’s Today devoted a full three-minute report to Biden’s newfound hard-left abortion stance and noted that it would be a challenge for him in a general election.

White House correspondent Kristen Welker emphasized Biden’s supposed piety as she began the segment: “Former Vice President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, has long grappled with his views on abortion rights. But now, amid an outcry from his fellow Democrats, overnight flipping on a major federal amendment.” She framed the issue as the “first major controversy” for Biden’s candidacy while describing him “making an abrupt change on a position on abortion he’s held for decades, seeming to bow to pressure from fellow 2020 Democratic candidates.”

 

 

Welker referred to “his support of the controversial Hyde Amendment” and highlighted how “Critics say the provision prevents low income women from having access to safe abortions.” The GOP was once again portrayed as the villain and reason for Biden’s sudden shift: “The former Vice President saying he now no longer supports it because of the Republicans’ stepped up efforts to restrict abortions.” Welker worried that Biden’s previous support for the Hyde Amendment had been “putting him out of step with most of his other Democratic contenders.”

Just in case viewers missed hearing at the beginning of the report how religiously “devout” Biden was, Welker repeated the claim at the end: “A devout Catholic, Biden has long wrestled with his views on abortion. But now stressing the need to protect abortion rights amid what he characterized as a Republican onslaught.”

It was only after that incredibly slanted reporting that co-host Craig Melvin raised the question of where the American people stood on the abortion issue: “So Kristen, Biden’s reversal now puts him in line with other Democrats in the primary field. But how could this play in a general election?” Welker acknowledged: “Well, it gets a whole lot more complicated in a general election, Craig. In fact, if you look at recent polls, they show that a majority of Americans are still opposed to using federal funds for abortions.”

She then lamented that Republicans were using the topic to criticize Biden:

Not surprisingly, Republicans already pouncing. The GOP rapid response team overnight saying that “Biden is embracing the radical left.” And this from the Trump campaign, “He’s just not very good at this. Joe Biden is an existential threat to Joe Biden.”

Despite the obvious bias in its coverage, at least NBC could admit that Biden’s now-radical pro-abortion position was in conflict with the views of most voters and would likely be a problem for him in 2020.  

     

Here is a full transcript of the June 7 segment on the Today show:

7:05 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Meanwhile, with the abortion battle raging across this country and facing a backlash from fellow Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden is now reversing course on his longstanding opposition to public funding for abortions. NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker joins us with that story. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Craig, good morning to you. Former Vice President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, has long grappled with his views on abortion rights. But now, amid an outcry from his fellow Democrats, overnight flipping on a major federal amendment. It is the latest flashpoint in the fight for the White House.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Biden Reverses Position on Abortion Funding; Now Rejects Hyde Amendment After Citing Attacks on Access]

This morning, facing his first major controversy as the Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden making an abrupt change on a position on abortion he’s held for decades, seeming to bow to pressure from fellow 2020 Democratic candidates.

JOE BIDEN: But circumstances have changed.

WELKER: Biden reversing his support of the controversial Hyde Amendment, which bans using federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or when a mother’s life is at risk. Critics say the provision prevents low income women from having access to safe abortions. The former Vice President saying he now no longer supports it because of the Republicans’ stepped up efforts to restrict abortions.  

BIDEN: I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe health care is a right as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.

WELKER: Biden also reiterating his longstanding support for the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

BIDEN: I support Roe. I support a woman’s right to choose under that constitutionally-guaranteed provision. And quite frankly, I always with will.

WELKER: Biden pivoting after NBC News reported just a day earlier that he still supported the measure, putting him out of step with most of his other Democratic contenders. Overnight, candidate Amy Klobuchar reacting on MSNBC.

CHRIS HAYES [ALL IN]: Are you glad the Vice President changed position on this?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHER [D-MN]: Yes, I am. I’m not surprised. I think it would have been a big problem for him.

WELKER: A devout Catholic, Biden has long wrestled with his views on abortion. But now stressing the need to protect abortion rights amid what he characterized as a Republican onslaught.

BIDEN: But folks, times have changed. I don’t think these guys are going to let up.

MELVIN: So Kristen, Biden’s reversal now puts him in line with other Democrats in the primary field. But how could this play in a general election?

WELKER: Well, it gets a whole lot more complicated in a general election, Craig. In fact, if you look at recent polls, they show that a majority of Americans are still opposed to using federal funds for abortions.

Not surprisingly, Republicans already pouncing. The GOP rapid response team overnight saying that “Biden is embracing the radical left.” And this from the Trump campaign, “He’s just not very good at this. Joe Biden is an existential threat to Joe Biden.” All with those first debates just around the corner, Craig and Savannah.  

MELVIN: Kristen Welker at the White House on this Friday morning. Kristen, thank you.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Liberals & Democrats Abortion ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Kristen Welker Jonathan Karl Tony Dokoupil Joe Biden

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