Gayle King Mourns Firing of ‘Passionate’ Planned Parenthood President

After Tuesday’s CBS Evening News ignored the embarrassing leadership shake-up at Planned Parenthood, on Wednesday, CBS This Morning managed a minute of air time to discuss the abortion group’s president, Dr. Leana Wen, being fired by the organization’s board after just eight months at the helm. Liberal co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King was “disappointed” by the news.

“Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen has been forced out of the organization after only eight months,” correspondent Vladimir Duthiers reported during the morning show’s What to Watch segment late in the 7:00 a.m. ET hour. He explained that Wen took to social media and “indicated the board wanted more emphasis on political advocacy” rather than her focus on “Planned Parenthood’s role as a provider of health care services.”

 

 

Duthiers touted Wen’s recent appearance on the broadcast: “In May, she joined CTM and called the abortion fight a ‘public health crisis.’” A clip ran of Wen telling the hosts: “We at Planned Parenthood are proud to provide the full spectrum of reproductive health care, cancer screenings, affordable birth control, STI/HIV test, and yes, safe, legal abortion care. Because that’s what it is. It’s health care.”

During that softball interview in May, Wen was given a friendly platform to promote the nation’s largest abortion provider and co-host Tony Dokoupil even cheered that “donations are going up” to the group.

On Wednesday, Duthiers fretted that “Wen’s departure from Planned Parenthood comes at a time when some states are passing severe restrictions on abortion.” Then King chimed in: “I was certainly sorry to hear that....I know she was so committed and so passionate about this job. I was very disappointed to hear this.”

King seemed eager to praise liberal activists as “passionate” and “committed,” she used the same words to describe left-wing members of Congress earlier in the morning, following a largely softball exclusive interview with them.

Wrapping up the apparently sad story about Wen’s departure from Planned Parenthood, Duthiers fondly pointed out: “And it was interesting, because she was the first physician to head the organization in almost 50 years. And she wanted to put the emphasis on women.”

While CBS’s coverage was sorrowful, at least the network noticed the turmoil at Planned Parenthood. ABC has yet to even mention the story.

On Tuesday, NBC was the first of the Big Three to report on the topic, with a full report on Nightly News. On Wednesday, Today show co-host Craig Melvin offered this news brief at the top of the 8:00 a.m. ET hour:

The president of Planned Parenthood was abruptly removed Tuesday after just eight months in that job. Dr. Leana Wen said she and the Planned Parenthood board had philosophical differences over the direction the organization should take. Dr. Wen disagreed with what she describes as the board’s increased focus on abortion rights advocacy. She maintains that the best way to build support for abortion care is to be clear that it’s a health care issue, not a political one.

Here is a full transcript of the July 17 report on CBS This Morning:

7:49 AM ET

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen has been forced out of the organization after only eight months. Wen said on Twitter she learned that Planned Parenthood’s board ended her employment in a secret meeting. She indicated the board wanted more emphasis on political advocacy. Wen prioritized Planned Parenthood’s role as a provider of health care services. In May, she joined CTM and called the abortion fight a “public health crisis.”

DR. LEANA WEN: We at Planned Parenthood are proud to provide the full spectrum of reproductive health care, cancer screenings, affordable birth control, STI/HIV test, and yes, safe, legal abortion care. Because that’s what it is. It’s health care.

DUTHIERS: Wen’s departure from Planned Parenthood comes at a time when some states are passing severe restrictions on abortion.

GAYLE KING: I was certainly sorry to hear that.

ANTHONY MASON: Yeah, she said in that tweet that they’ve been negotiating her departure and then suddenly they had this secret meeting and she was gone.

DUTHIERS: Right.

KING: Never good when they’re having a secret meeting to talk about you.

TONY DOKOUPIL: No.

KING: But I know she was so committed and so passionate about this job. I was very disappointed to hear this.

DUTHIERS: And it was interesting, because she was the first physician to head the organization in almost 50 years.

KING: That’s right.

DUTHIERS: And she wanted to put the emphasis on women. According to our sources, they wanted more of a public and political advocacy.

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