March for Life
One week later, and the networks have long forgotten about their scant coverage of the March for Life – after all, they have a whole year before they have to ignore it again. The pro-life movement, however, has forgotten neither the March nor the unserious and insulting way the broadcast networks reported on it – or didn’t.
As CMI reported last week, ABC and NBC gave just 46 seconds of air time to the many thousands who braved freezing temperatures to join the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C. CBS didn’t even mention it. By contrast, the networks couldn’t get enough of the debut of Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s newest panda cub, cooing about panda “magic.” The animal received six times more coverage than the March. Pro-life leaders noticed. It was, in the words of International Communion of Evangelical Churches’ Bishop Harry Jackson, “media malpractice.” Continued after the video.
Is it too much to ask for Americans to get their news from serious adults? Yes, there’s always been bias in media reporting, but it’s hard to imagine journalists who once crossed Europe with Patton cooing “Pandas are magic” into the camera while a real story of genocide is being told in the streets.
But that’s where we are. On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands braved freezing temperatures to join the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. to protest and commemorate the 55 million human babies who have been legally killed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. The event featured speeches from activists and politicians, and even garnered the tweeted prayers of Pope Francis. For all that, the broadcast networks combined devoted a total of just 46 seconds to the March. ABC offered 24 seconds and NBC gave it 22 seconds, correctly noting the “huge turnout” despite brutal weather conditions. CBS didn’t bother to cover it at all.
Today marks the 41st annual “March for Life” in which thousands of pro-lifers ascend on Washington D.C. to mark the Roe v. Wade decision and show their solidarity in opposition to abortion, many of them faithful Catholics. Not surprisingly, Pope Francis sent out an official tweet showing his support for the “March for Life” in which he said, “I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers, may God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable.”
Unfortunately for one MSNBC host, the fact the Pope would show support for one of the Catholic Church’s most sacred values, the protection of all innocent human life, seemed to be too much to handle. During her daily “Tweet of the Day” segment on Jansing & Co., Chris Jansing sniffed that Pope Francis’s pro-life values were “reflective of ways in which the church certainly has not changed.”
Each year, the March for Life is by far the largest annual rally in Washington, D.C., and each year, it’s met with a near-black-out from major media. But for 2014, there’s a way for the pro-life movement to change that. In a new initiative to combat media censorship on abortion, the Media Research Center (MRC) is inviting marchers to donate video for a documentary on the movement the media hide.
In 2013, the networks spent a mere 17 seconds on the half million participants at the 40th March for Life (in comparison, they spent 521 times more on the Manti Te’o football scandal). The life censorship only continued with the trial of Kermit Gosnell and beyond. Simply put, the old media fear giving pro-lifers the coverage a movement of this size and vitality deserves.