MSM bias toward anti-choicers needs to stop.

30 Nov 2015 07:36 pm
Posted by: Donna

I blame both for contributing to the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting but SportsGirl101 does make an excellent point about the mainstream media’s complicity in anti-choice violence due to their giving them a mostly uncritical platform to peddle lies about reproductive health and insidiously attack women’s autonomy. Because it’s often done under the banner of “balance”, news people who do this don’t see themselves as playing an aiding and abetting role. But they are. Witness how it’s done in this Reuter’s piece:

Planned Parenthood said on Sunday that news reports that the gunman who attacked its Colorado health clinic had uttered “no more baby parts” during his arrest showed that the suspect was motivated by an anti-abortion agenda.

The remark attributed to suspect Robert Lewis Dear was an apparent reference to Planned Parenthood’s abortion activities and its role in delivering fetal tissue to medical researchers, a hot button issue in the 2016 race for the presidency.

“We now know the man responsible for the tragic shooting at PP’s health center in Colorado was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion,” the organization said on Twitter.

Conservatives have accused Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides a range of health services, including abortion, of illegally selling baby parts, an accusation it has strenuously denied.

This is a typical cowardly “he said, she said” elision of the facts that gives more oxygen to the lie that “Planned Parenthood sells body parts”, when numerous state investigations (by hostile Republican administrations, no less) have cleared the organization of such activity. Planned Parenthood is simply not selling baby parts for profit so there’s no reason to weasel out of stating that with “an accusation it has strenuously denied”, which sows suspicion and allows conservatives like Carly Fiorina to continue to make the baseless charges with impunity. Reuters can’t even bring themselves to acknowledge that the guy who said he shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic because of “baby parts” was probably motivated by the bogus video coverage. No, they put that on Planned Parenthood, making it appear to be solely their opinion, while managing the neat trick of getting out the “its role in delivering fetal tissue to medical researchers, a hot button issue in the 2016 race for the presidency” talking point like that’s an immutable fact of nature and not a matter of opinion.

From the very beginning the MSM have given the Center for Medical Progress charlatans a shocking amount of deference and credulity, such as they’d never extend to any other group making outrageous claims backed by edited videos and with a known advocate for violence in a leadership position in the organization. When the video “scandal” broke and GOP Arizona politicians predictably jumped on it to denounce Planned Parenthood and Democrats, Phoenix newscaster Brahm Resnik thought the most important question to ask on his Sunday Square Off political show was if Planned Parenthood was “toxic” to the Democrats. After which, he gave “pro-choice” AZ Republic columnist Laurie Roberts airtime to rend garments over “crushed baby parts” and the former AZ Right to Life director the opportunity to impugn Planned Parenthood and its President Bryan Howard.

As of this writing since the attack in Colorado, neither Resnik nor Roberts have made any statements about it on social media. It was the holiday weekend so perhaps one or both get around to a mea culpa for helping to stoke the bogus Planned Parenthood smear and in advancing the anti-choice cause. It’s not likely they will, though, because unlike Republican presidential candidates who (due to their unequivocal hostility to reproductive rights and embrace of the false accusations against Planned Parenthood) have at least been put on the spot to issue responses (self-serving and unhelpful ones that they are but, still), it doesn’t even seem to occur to MSM people that treating the Center for Medical Progress and their bogus videos as a legitimate story served to favor the anti-choice side.

Some MSM people are adding injury to their lack of self-reflection by really doubling down on the “both sides” equivalence. MSNBC afternoon anchor Thomas Roberts pressed NOW President Terry O’Neill about how the “rhetoric on both sides” has contributed to clinic violence and what the pro-choice movement needs to do to reach to the millions of Americans who oppose abortion (the opposite is rarely, if ever, asked of anti-abortion leaders). O’Neill politely but firmly rebuffed Thomas’ line of questions, but it was absurd that she had to spend time doing that.

Mark Sappenfield of the Christian Science Monitor took it one further by basically holding the pro-choice side equally culpable for Friday’s clinic shooting due to our unwillingness to find “middle ground” with anti-abortion forces. Neither Sappenfield nor the writers he interviewed gave any definition of what such middle ground would look like in practice. If the people who want women to be able to access legal medical procedures in peace did try to find middle ground with people who want to criminalize that and are sometimes known to resort to violence it might resemble a “middle ground” on domestic violence involving wives agreeing to work on getting dinner ready in time and not talking back so much.

Enough is enough, MSM. Either report on and discuss this subject honestly or stop. There is no “extreme” pro-choice position. We’re the moderates here and there have been 70,000 reported incidents of anti-abortion violence toward providers since the 1970s versus maybe a handful by pro-choice activists. There’s simply no equivalence and you are giving dangerous people cover by suggesting there is.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by Seth on December 1, 2015 12:11 pm

    Regarding the tone and not the substance:
    The “MSM” has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party for so long, and so few conservative voices are out there, that progressives have become complacent. If one of the DNC’s propaganda outlets ever fails to toe the line, there is such weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth…. Well, see this blog post for an example.

  2. Comment by Donna on December 2, 2015 12:46 am

    The “MSM” has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party for so long, and so few conservative voices are out there

    Yeah, okay.

    Someone’s a spoiled baby here, and it’s not me.

  3. Comment by Timmys Cat on December 2, 2015 3:39 pm

    Is so!
    How about how you lie-burals talk how the MSM gives a pass to the right, when you yourselves give a pass to a threat to women. I’m taking about radical Muslins of course. They commit acts of terror and violence in the name of their religion, yet the religious foundation of their radical agenda is rarely brought up. They use any means, legal or otherwise to suppress women and deny them their rights. They are secretly funded and covertly encouraged by powerful people who stay in the shadows to hide their complicity with these dangerous groups.
    These groups will use anything from threats and intimidation to violence and murder to further their cause.
    Yet the MSM rarely if ever brings up the twisted religious basis these groups use as their foundation.
    So, Ms. Smarty Pants, who’s getting a pass?!!!!
    If I hear the Wolf Blitzers of the the world tell me one more how these groups don’t really reflect the true face of Christi.an.i…ty.
    Uuuuummm.
    I has confusion. Do Christians call what they do a jihad as well?

    Pffft. Laurie (Peggy Noonan) Roberts and Brahm (Big Hair) Resnik and the rest of them don’t realize they are flashing a big tell. Like in poker.
    They show where their priorities are by showing who they are most concerned about. They are not much worried about complaints from the center/left, yet go out of their way to “balance” the right and their behavior. They are so afraid of appearing to favor the left, yet have no qualms about cutting slack to conservatives.
    They know their bread is buttered with corporate butter, so they try to be hard hitting without really throwing any hard balls. If they do it’s usually after the fact.
    Ever see one of their type seriously call out a power player?

  4. Comment by Seth on December 2, 2015 7:32 pm

    Nice burn, Donna. Now, see if you can refute my point and work the phrase ad hominem into it just for fun! ;)

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