O’Reilly Cites MRC Numbers in Blasting Networks for Meager Planned Parenthood Scandal Coverage

On Thursday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, host Bill O’Reilly cited statistics complied by the Media Research Center to lambast the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC for their minuscule coverage of the Planned Parenthood video scandal which O’Reilly and guest Bernie Goldberg found to be yet another sign that “[l]iberal philosophy dominates” the news media.

In his opening talking points memo about “abortion and the network news,” O’Reilly set the scene by explaining that “the network news organizations were put in a quandary” when the first video was released last week of a Planned Parenthood official openly discussing the selling of body parts from aborted babies since so many people in TV are “liberal thinkers and many support abortion.”

Arguing that “this is a big story,” O’Reilly pointed out how FNC and fellow cable networks CNN and MSNBC all gave airtime to the scandal, but not the major broadcast networks (in data compiled by the MRC’s Katie Yoder and Curtis Houck):

So, this is a big story, right? And the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, gave it a lot of time. But not is so much on the network news. According to data from the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, CBS spent a total of 7 minutes, 21 seconds on the story that includes Evening News and CBS This Morning. NBC: 3 minutes, 4 seconds, including Nightly News and the Today show. ABC News : Just 46 seconds on World News Tonight and Good Morning America combined. That is truly amazing. 

O’Reilly then went on to highlight a media double standard that Yoder detailed in a July 21 piece concerning the release of the first video by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) on July 14:

Now, when the Susan Komen breast cancer charity cut ties with Planned Parenthood because the charity said it had a policy barring it from funding groups under congressional investigation which Planned Parenthood was at the time, the three broadcast networks covered the story extensively, spending a combined 31 minutes 48 seconds and taking a generally he sympathetic stance towards Planned Parenthood. So, you can see that Planned Parenthood, as a victim, was far more attractive to the network news than Planned Parenthood as a possible law breaker. That is called media bias.

Pointing out that his program “has long known that the American media is generally unfair,” O’Reilly concluded that: “[T]he data on how the networks covered the organ selling story basically proves that. Liberal philosophy dominates in TV news and that is what is being put forth to Americans on a daily basis.”

Speaking later with The O’Reilly Factor host, FNC contributor Bernard Goldberg slammed the lack of serious coverage as being “outrageous” with the reality of the situation being that “there is a culture at the networks” of “group think.” With that the case, Goldberg added: “It is too many people who think the same way, on important social issues and on this important social issue, we all know that most of them think the same way.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor on July 23 can be found below.

FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor
July 23, 2015
8:01 p.m. Eastern

BILL O’REILLY: Abortion and the network news. That is the subject of tonight's talking points memo. It is no secret that most folks who work in the TV industry are liberal thinkers and many support abortion. So when the Planned Parenthood controversy erupted last week, the network news organizations were put in a quandary. The undercover tape, taken by a pro-life group, was damning as two Planned Parenthood doctors spoke cavalierly about harvesting and organs from dead babies. That's against the law and eight states are investigating Planned Parenthood. So, this is a big story, right? And the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, gave it a lot of time. But not is so much on the network news. According to data from the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, CBS spent a total of 7 minutes, 21 seconds on the story that includes Evening News and CBS This Morning. NBC: 3 minutes, 4 seconds, including Nightly News and the Today show. ABC News : Just 46 seconds on World News Tonight and Good Morning America combined. That is truly amazing. Now, when the Susan Komen breast cancer charity cut ties with Planned Parenthood because the charity said it had a policy barring it from funding groups under congressional investigation which Planned Parenthood was at the time, the three broadcast networks covered the story extensively, spending a combined 31 minutes 48 seconds and taking a generally he sympathetic stance towards Planned Parenthood. So, you can see that Planned Parenthood, as a victim, was far more attractive to the network news than Planned Parenthood as a possible law breaker. That is called media bias. In the latest Gallup poll on abortion, 55 percent of Americans say they want abortion legal in only a few circumstances or outlawed all together. Only 29 percent want abortion legal in all circumstances, which is pretty much the position of Planned Parenthood, which receives taxpayer funding. Talking points has long known that the American media is generally unfair and the data on how the networks covered the organ selling story basically proves that. Liberal philosophy dominates in TV news and that is what is being put forth to Americans on a daily basis. And that's the memo.

(....)

O’REILLY: Ok, but there is even more legitimacy networks covering the story because the Planned Parenthood and New York Times defense is oh this is perfectly legal. We're just supplying tissue, fetal tissue so that medical researchers can cure disease. That's their point of view. So, then you have two starkly different portrayals. Now, you would think at ABC News, which has one of the best investigative reporters in the business, alright, would say okay, let's see which side is telling the truth. It is compelling. There is video. It has every element a television story needs. Controversy, two sides, video content, undercover. 46 seconds on ABC News? 

BERNIE GOLDBERG: No. It's outrageous, as you say. It's outrageous. You have to say why is this? And that's because there is a culture at the networks. I argued of in my book, Biased, that this stuff isn't intentional. They do go in an a room and sit around. 

O’REILLY: It is. 

GOLDBERG: No, no it isn’t intention in that they don't conspire to do it. It's worse than that. It is a frame of mind. It is group think. It is too many people who think the same way, on important social issues and on this important social issue, we all know that most of them think the same way. They don't want to touch this. 

O’REILLY: They don't want to touch it because as you rightly, said it makes their side look bad. 

GOLDBERG: It's embarrassing, right. 

O’REILLY: Let's give some credit to The New York Times, which is the most uber liberal pro-abortion crew in the country. They at least took the story and wrote a half page editorial on it, totally fallacious, alright? Saying oh, no, Planned Parenthood is just doing this for the good of mankind, and they should be applauded. At least they recognized the story. The media blackout stuff is what really disturbs me and that's what the network news – when the exception of CBS, they did the story a little.

Culture/Society Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Double Standards Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sexuality Abortion ABC CBS NBC Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor Video Planned Parenthood Bernie Goldberg Bill O'Reilly Bernard Goldberg

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