March for Life
Time is everything, especially when it comes to understanding the media’s priorities. At the end of January, there were two marches the same weekend both claiming to stand for women. But the network coverage was anything but similar.
For a second year, the networks are favoring a march supporting abortion and other lefty causes over a march for life. During their Saturday news shows the first evening of the Women’s March, ABC, CBS and NBC spent a total of 6 minutes, 43 seconds highlighting the event. In comparison, following Friday’s March for Life, the three broadcast networks spent just 2 minutes, 6 seconds on the pro-life rally.
New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters covered the annual pro-life march in Washington, D.C. under this petulant headline in the print version: “President Reaches Out To Foes Of Abortion.” (Otherwise known as the annual March for Life.) The paper has traditionally ignored the annual march entirely, while devoting copious space to much smaller left-wing protests like those supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants.
2 minutes, 6 seconds. That’s how much time the networks spent on more than 100,000 marchers this Friday. That’s how much time the networks gave an event where President Trump spoke. That’s how much time the networks gave a rally remembering 60 million unborn who perished through abortion.
Forty-five years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion on demand the law of the land. Sixty million abortions later, we are still battling over the disastrous ruling, in court and in the culture wars.
For the first time in history, the president is addressing the March for Life live via satellite. But does that mean that the media, who report on his every tweet, will finally give the pro-life marchers – and the millions of unborn they stand for – the coverage they deserve?
Love is the answer to the question of abortion, according to one pro-life organization. On Tuesday, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund held a briefing on Capitol Hill to announce the theme of the 2018 March for Life: “Love Saves Lives.” In an interview with MRC Culture at the event, Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, stressed that “love is really the DNA of the pro-life movement, not judgement” and that abortion “creates another problem” instead of solving one.
On Saturday morning, MRC Associate Culture Editor Katie Yoder appeared on Fox & Friends: Weekend to discuss the networks’ “media double standard” while covering the case of Charlie Gard. Talking with Fox & Friends host Clayton Morris, Yoder noted that mainstream media has, for the most part, ignored the tragic story of the terminally-ill British infant.
Republican members of Congress met in Philadelphia last weekend for what was called a retreat. It might have been more accurately labeled an advance. Perhaps not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt's first term has so much been done by so few that will potentially impact so many (to paraphrase Winston Churchill in a completely different context).
While the networks barely batted an eye at the 2016 March for Life, 2017 was different: ABC, CBS and NBC spent more than 20 minutes on the march. The difference? President Trump, according to the networks themselves.
All that "non-partisan" posturing, and they couldn't even get CNN to buy it. On Friday, CNN presented a segment on the 44th annual March for Life before it began. The press usually ignores the march's existence until after it has taken place, typically barely recognizes it afterwards, and almost invariably insists on describing crowd sizes which have often been in the hundreds of thousands as mere "thousands." The network's Brianna Keilar's acknowledged that the previous week's Women's March was really "the liberal Women's March."
In 2016, the media provided an embarrassing amount of coverage for the March for Life. So this year, as in years past, MRC Culture captured the crowds on camera for the American public to see the pro-life movement for themselves.