Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.
Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.
The New York Times defended the Texas branches of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, on the front page Thursday: "Women in Texas Losing Options For Health Care" was reported by Pam Belluck and Emily Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, which produces a twice-weekly local section for the Texas edition of the Times.
Ramshaw was last covered in Times Watch in January, lamenting the "bureaucratic nightmare" instigated by a pro-life law. (When was the last time the Times complained about overregulation?)
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
Jon Meacham has come down with a particularly virulent strain of Limbaugh Derangement Syndrome that is bringing him to the brink of insanity. How else could one explain the Time magazine writer hailing an anti-Limbaugh speech as "timeless" just like Jesus's Sermon on the Mount or Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?
Yes, I kid you not, he really went there, and in a Time.com "Ideas" blog post nonetheless (emphasis mine):
On Thursday's All Things Considered, Julie Rovner, NPR's resident ObamaCare flack, claimed that the U.S. Senate rejecting an amendment protecting religious liberty was "closer than the 63 percent majority that supports the contraceptive coverage requirement" from the federal government, according to the poll from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. The organization is an oft-used source for Rovner.
The group obtained the 63 percent figure by asking a question that omits the religious liberty component to the firestorm: "In general, do you support or oppose the new federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control?" A Pew Research Poll from mid-February included that issue, and found that 48 percent supported an exemption for religious groups, versus 44 percent in support of the mandate.
One thing you can say about an odious paper published at the misnamed Journal of Medical Ethics on February 23 (abstract; full text) is that at least its authors, Australians Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, didn't fall back on abortion-supporting American politicians' obfuscating "choice" language in discussing what they advocate.
Here's what the pair support: "... we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human." Their answer is "Yes, they should," which means, based on state of current immoral law, that they advocate infanticide on demand. As offensive as their arguments supporting such a practice are, I also wish to note the arrogant "how dare you?" element of the reaction at the JME to the firestorm of outraged comments it has itself received and the criticisms posted elsewhere. But first, I have excerpted as much from the paper as I can stand without throwing up in disgust (Warning: Concepts presented will offend; bolds are mine; italics are in original):
Much of the media's liberal bias is furthered by presenting political controversies such that they pit a non-ideological group versus an ideological one, most often of course the ideological group being conservative in nature.
Take the Washington Post's Virginia legislature correspondent Anita Kumar, who informed readers in an 11-paragraph item on page B2 of today's paper that a "Women's PAC [will] take on antiabortion lawmakers" (emphasis mine):
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Rose wondered if the recent trend towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." The Wisconsin Republican replied, "It's not troubling for me, and...I think that's more about the media, and maybe the Democrats, who are trying to move it in that direction."
The anchor also touted the auto bailout as an Obama administration success: "The bailout- should that be an issue, and should the voters look at Governor Romney and Governor Santorum [sic] and say, we had an economic bail-out of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up, and they're both doing well." Rose later asked Ryan if he thought that the apparently better economic numbers was "good news for President Obama" [audio available here; video below the jump].
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, during a discussion of the media double standard between hitting Komen for planning to defund Planned Parenthood, while delaying attention to Catholic leaders criticizing the Obama contraception mandate, liberal FNC analyst Kirsten Powers debated fellow panel member and FNC analyst Judy Miller from the right as Powers noted the media's bias toward Planned Parenthood, while Miller defended President Obama. (Video below)
In a statement that would have been worthy of a right-leaning analyst, Powers exposed the media:
The press was eager to jump on initial remarks by U.S. bishops that President Obama's announcement yesterday of what the Wall Street Journal aptly described in an editorial this morning as the "Immaculate Contraception" -- namely, the idea that insurance companies would somehow pay out of their own pockets for costs relating to "contraceptive services" to which the bishops objected to having Catholic institutions pay for directly was "a good first step." I heard this description several times in brief radio news summaries yesterday. Later yesterday afternoon, the bishops' position was reported as "reserving judgment."
In an official statement carried at Vatican Radio's web site ("The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world") this morning, the bishops have rejected Obama's self-described "sensible approach." Especially pertinent, in light of my post earlier this morning, is the fact that the mandate and its revision appear to apply to employers who self-insure -- an option religious institutions have been forced to use to avoid attempts by several U.S. states to mandate what ObamaCare wants to impose on the entire nation (in full; bolds are mine):