Media critic Mollie Hemingway, a contributor to GetReligion.org, has an excellent post up today at CNN's Belief Blog about how the liberal media did a horrible job when it came to objectively reporting the implications of the recent Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood row. In fact, the media have shown themselves "effective partisans" by telling only "half the story," the half spoon-fed by socially liberal lobby groups like Planned Parenthood.
Be sure to check out the whole thing here, but below the page break I've appended some key excerpts (emphasis mine):
Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories. A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
Good Morning America reporter Claire Shipman on Friday offered a one-sided, misleading segment on Susan G. Komen's "political" decision to defund Planned Parenthood. [Update: The Komen Foundation has backed down and restored funding, according to media reports.] Shipman inaccurately described a women who got a breast screening "through a Planned Parenthood screening." The organization doesn't do such procedures.
Yet, an ABC graphic misrepresented that Monique Benoit "received a mammogram through Planned Parenthood." Benoit is featured on Planned Parenthood's YouTube account. There, a more accurate explanation was given: The group "gave me a referral slip to somewhere for a mammogram." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.
Normally, when a leading charity cuts ties to a large non-profit organization, the news will not spark a media controversy. But when the Susan G. Komen Foundation severed financial ties to Planned Parenthood due to Congressional investigations into the organization, CNN hyped Planned Parenthood's cries of foul play and "bullying from the right."
Correspondent Mary Snow aired a pretty one-sided piece on Wednesday including statements from Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards, evidence supporting her claims of right-wing "bullying," and even vitriolic Facebook posts decrying the de-funding.
The absurd media double standard in labeling Republicans - even moderate Republicans - as conservative while omitting the liberal label for Democrats was on display again Wednesday as CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a report for the CBS Evening News recounting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's decision to cease funding for Planned Parenthood.
One way the left-leaning media like to downplay the annual March for Life is to play up how both sides of the abortion debate showed up in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, when the reality of the matter is that hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers outnumber their opponents by a very large margin every year.
On Monday, CBS's local site for the DC area took that form of bias to another level. Their photo essay, titled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life On Roe v. Wade Anniversary," completely left out the March for Life participants. Instead, the outlet put up seven photos of the handful of "pro-choice" demonstrators that showed up in front of the Supreme Court.
Conservatives' calls for taking away taxpayer funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood and ensuring that religious organizations are not forced to pay for abortions and birth control through their health insurance plans proves we are not a "sane society," complains Jezebel founding editor and Washington Post columnist Anna Holmes in a Style section column today, blandly titled "The politics of birth control."*
The feminist writer opened her column by grousing that "almost 39 years to the day that the right to abortion was decided" by the Supreme Court, "we're still having a conversation about the access to and legality of female reproductive health services." In other words, "dammit, pro-lifers, you just won't quit!"
What does Planned Parenthood have to do for a mention on the network news? The group provides services abhorred by much of the American population and it has been riddled with scandal recently. But according to the abortion group's latest figures, its intake of federal tax dollars up by more than a third, and that 90 percent of its government funding comes from federal money.
Sounds like a controversial story. Too bad ABC, CBS and NBC haven't been paying attention.