CHAPTER 126 — THE AMERICAN MEDIA: PRO-ABORTION, AND IT SHOWS
American Life League
[The Newspaper Guild] reaffirms a woman's fundamental constitutional right to make private and confidential decisions regarding reproduction ... We oppose any re-examination of the Court's decision at attempts to restrict these rights by the federal, state or local governments of the United States.
Pro-abortion resolution of the Newspaper Guild, adopted during its 1986 National Convention.
You know who else I can't stand, is them people that are anti-abortion. F_ck them, I hate them ... They're horrible, they're hideous people. They're ugly, old, geeky, hideous men ... They just don't want nobody to have an abortion 'cause they want you to keep spitting out kids so they can f_cking molest them.
Pro-choice groups are tired of listening to anti-choicers snivel about unfair media bias. This is a ridiculous notion and a typical anti-choice red herring. Since the media are admittedly very liberal, they must therefore be open-minded and very even-handed in their approach to all subjects, even volatile ones. All of the branches of our media treat the abortion issue in a fair and impartial manner.
The media has been our best friend in this fight. They claim objectivity, but I know they're all pro-choice.
Susanne Millsaps, executive director of the Utah Chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
The proven extreme bias of the media powers-that-be is reflected in the standard violence- and sex-saturated programming dished out all day on network television. Although some news stations strive to be fair, the vast majority will interview pro-abortion spokespersons and accept their allegations without question. Any pro-life person who attempts to speak his or her piece is grilled mercilessly off-camera and is either made to look a "fanatic," or is treated in a condescending manner, if he or she is lucky enough to get on camera.
The media concentrate the majority of their attention on a few clinic bombers, and deliberately paint the entire pro-life movement in terms of 'violent, judgmental fanatics.' Of course, they did not do this with the civil rights movement, even though it was fraught with incandescent rhetoric, bombings, and even deliberate murders. In the case of the civil rights movement, the press took great pains to carefully separate in their reporting the violent fringe from the main body of civil rights activists.
Even more aggravating to pro-lifers is their status as "media niggers;" their events simply are ignored by the press.
None of this is particularly surprising, in light of the fact that the media are almost uniformly pro-abortion. As described in Chapter 124, "Sources of Media Biases," the officially suppressed Lichter-Rothman studies revealed the following fascinating information about the 'movers and shakers' of the media;
• Motion picture leaders are 95% pro-abortion.
• Television leaders are 97% pro-abortion.
• News media leaders are 90% pro-abortion.
The Primary Weapon: Media Censorship.
The New Ms. Magazine will unfailingly treat a woman's right to an abortion as sacrosanct. There will be no dissent on that in our pages.
Ms. Magazine Editor Robin Morgan, quoted in the March 5, 1990 Washington Post.
The greatest weapon that a communicator can use against his enemy is simple but effective censorship. Chapter 124, "Sources of Media Biases," describes how media personnel overwhelmingly describe themselves as 'liberal,' and how they perceive that they have a social duty to change our society for the better in their view.
This can best be accomplished by giving lavish and sympathetic coverage to liberal causes and by simply ignoring or condemning conservative causes.
The following paragraphs describe just a few of the hundreds of examples of outright and indefensible censorship committed against the pro-life viewpoint by every branch of the communications media: The media news, television, theater, and particularly the 'arts.'
"Sorry, Too Graphic ..."
When the Southern-California based pro-life group Circle of Concern attempted to purchase a 30-minute time slot to show the motion picture "Eclipse of Reason" in April of 1990, they were turned down flat by KTLA, KCAL, and KTTV in Los Angeles. The fourth station, KCOP, offered them a good time slot but, after viewing the film, station manager Rick Feldman (who admits he is a pro-abortionist) reneged on his agreement and changed his offer to a 12:30 AM slot for $25,000. Feldman alleged that the movie was "too graphic."
Yet the four stations had, in the last year, featured specials on the effects of the Hiroshima atom bomb on human beings; the slaughter of Kurds and Jews with graphic close-ups of scorched, gassed, and piled-up bodies; the slaughter of various animals in vivid bloody detail; and thousands of murders.
Champions for Life.
In 1990, the American Life League produced a video entitled "Champions for Life," which featured professional athletes speaking out for the preborn. These stars included New York Giants tight end Mark Bavaro, who was instrumental in helping his football team win a tightly-contested game with the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV.
The reaction from the pro-abortion press was even more vehement than pro-lifers expected. Sports Illustrated went to the trouble of printing a special column to snivel about Bavaro's stand. Moreover, even though Bavaro had five pass receptions in the Super Bowl, including three in the drive for the winning touchdown, the magazine did not even mention his name in its 7-page article on the game!
Law professor Laurence Tribe wasn't satisfied with Bavaro being reduced to the status of an invisible person. Tribe threatened legal action, asserting that "It is ethically dubious to use a film of fans who came to see a game, to support one side of a political issue." Strangely, Tribe and his half-blind cohorts saw no problem with a dozen female movie stars cavorting in the pro-abort's 1989 March for Death in Washington, D.C.
Abortion is the absolute, unquestioned number one priority of the entertainment industry's two most powerful lobbying organizations, the Hollywood Women's Political Committee and the Hollywood Political Foundation. These sent to the March for Death a galaxy of 'Bimbos for Choice,' including Anne Archer, Polly Bergen, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Judy Collins, Mary Crosby, Jill Eikenberry, Shelly Fabares, Morgan Fairchild, "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, Bonnie Franklin, Terri Garr, Whoopi Goldberg, Lee Grant, Jennifer Grey, Veronica Hamel, Valerie Harper, Amy Madigan, Melissa Manchester, Penny Marshall, Kelly McGillis, Donna Mills, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Marlo Thomas, and Daphne Zuniga.
When contemporary Christian singer Kenny Marks released a video entitled "The Party's Over," which dealt with the more sobering aspects of teen pregnancy, the major music television networks, including MTV and Nickelodeon, refused to play it because, as their spokesmen alleged, "We're not in the business of promoting social issues." This was despite the fact that Marks' publicist demonstrated that the stations commonly show videos that deal with every other imaginable social issue, including drug use, apartheid, hunger, nuclear war, and crime.
WBBM-AM Chicago, a CBS-owned station, pulled a series of eight 'inspirational' Lenten talks by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1989, allegedly due to its policy of not broadcasting 'proselytizing' messages. According to the CBS Standards and Practices department, Bernardin's message was "unacceptable." Naturally, when asked exactly what this meant, the CBS media moguls refused to answer.
However, all mentions of prayer are apparently not entirely "unacceptable" or "offensive" to CBS: One of its press releases, touting a drama featuring a farm wife with an impotent husband, Jonathan, included the statement "The devoutly religious Jonathan, after fervent prayer, decides on a solution: Mary should become pregnant by his younger brother, Aaron!"
As always, religion is OK on the networks just so long as it is cast in an unfavorable light.
It is interesting indeed that WBBM-AM gladly sold air time to Planned Parenthood so that it could advertise during the show "Muppet Babies." The message of the PP ads was essentially: "Don't trust your parents. If you have a problem of any kind, come to Planned Parenthood first!"
By the way, Planned Parenthood tried to force Laurel Cablevision of Torrington, Connecticut, to give up plans to show of Dr. Bernard Nathanson's film "The Silent Scream" by complaining that it would "spur violence against women's health clinics."
Other Examples of Network Censorship.
There are literally hundreds of other obvious examples of network television bias against the pro-life position. The shows "20/20," "West 57th Street," "Donahue" (Phil is another "good Catholic" just ask him), and others have ridiculed every aspect of pro-life activism, from crisis pregnancy center work to rescue missions.
Interviewers are utterly merciless towards pro-life activists and fawn constantly over the pro-abortion guests. This seems to be a standard talk show format, with the exception of "The Morton Downey Show," which itself probably did more harm than good to the pro-life movement in light of the moderator's abrasive personality and methods.
Even Art Has Its Limits ...
During the intense debate surrounding Congressional funding of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in 1990, a parade of artists testified that there must never be any limits placed upon their freedom of expression. In other words, "art" that is shackled or limited in any way is really not art at all.
However, this is not true. Art, like every other form of expression, does have its limits and these limits are imposed with an iron fist, not by the legendary "Baptist Bluenose Brigade," but by the Neoliberal artists themselves!
Take for example the use of fetal remains in artwork. Several artists during the time period 1985 to 1990 "created" earrings and other forms of adornment that featured small preborn babies encased in plastic or plexiglass. These "works" were widely praised by art critics.
In 1989, the "Degenerate Art Show" received a symbolic $500 NEA subgrant from "Artist Space." This show featured Shawn Eichman's "Alchemy Cabinet," which displayed her own dismembered second-trimester aborted baby next to the obligatory twisted wire coat hanger. Eichman proudly described her 'work' as "Degenerate with a capital 'D,'" and it was displayed at New York City's Black and White in Color gallery at a show entitled "The Helms Degenerate Art Show/Protest."
These displays were defended by the Art Establishment because all of the artists were pro-abortion and were transmitting a Neoliberal message.
But when a pro-life artist attempted to incorporate a preborn baby in her works, the door of plurality was immediately slammed in her face.
Mary Cate Carroll's "American Liberty Upside Down" featured a large canvas of a family scene showing a man and woman sitting on a sofa and holding the dotted outline of a missing child. In the center of the child was a little door, which, when opened, revealed a second-trimester aborted preborn baby that Carroll had obtained from her college's biology department.
In 1987, the Maryland Institute of Art's Alumni Art Show asked Carroll to display five of her works. When presented with her proposals, the art department objected to "American Liberty Upside Down" and pulled it the day before the show opened. Professors from the art department also accused her of violating Federal law by transporting "human remains" across state lines to the Virginia show.
Carroll exposed the raw hypocrisy of the art department when she said that; "It's semantics by not defining it [the baby], it makes it legal to murder it, but then, after it's murdered, you redefine it, make it a human, and then it's illegal to take it across state lines. Is this or is it not human?"
The chairman of the art department hypocritically whined that "Had we allowed the flagrant and crass exploitation of this pathetic form, we would have flouted a moral as well as a legal obligation to treat it with dignity ..."
This was a familiar line to pro-life activists. In other words, the art department had no objection to the act of abortion, just the display of the results.
Curious how Eichman and her buddies were never suspected of violating Federal law by transporting "human remains," isn't it? Perhaps the pro-aborts can simply define the dead preborn baby out of existence just as they can do with live preborns.
So, why are fetal remains allowed in some artwork but not in others? Why is it a crime to place a fetus in a jar in the middle of a canvas, while at the same time it is not a crime to display them in earrings?
The answer is always the same: It depends entirely upon your political views. "Alchemy Cabinet" transmitted a "pro-choice" message (remember the wire coathanger)? As such, it was Politically Correct. "American Liberty Upside Down" attempted to convey a pro-life message. This was not Politically Correct, and so it was suppressed.
National Council on the Arts member Jacob Neusner had previously proposed that the NEA adopt language prohibiting the funding of works of art that "utilize and part of an actual human embryo or fetus," he was basically laughed at, and his proposal was defeated by the lopsided score of 10 to 2. Three council members privately said to him that "You can make beautiful earrings out of pieces of fetuses."
You can also make beautiful lampshades out of human skin.
The legend of unlimited free expression in art is just that a legend.
But There's Still Hope ...
It may come as a shock to many pro-life activists that not all Hollywood celebrities are foaming-at-the-mouth pro-abortion fanatics. Although most of them tend to keep their pro-life stand concealed because they fear a vicious backlash from their "open-minded" colleagues, the following "big-name" stars have publicly stated their respect for life: Mia Farrow, Woody Allen, Charlton Heston (who narrated Dr. Bernard Nathanson's film "Eclipse of Reason"), Pat Boone, Mel Gibson, Dick Gregory, Kirk Cameron, Brooke Shields, Robert Blake, Patricia Neal, Jordan Knight (New Kids on the Block), Kate Mulgrew, Kevin Costner, Merle Olson, Tom Selleck, Jack Nicholson and (gasp!) Madonna.
Of course, there are probably many more pro-life Hollywood stars, but they value their careers and therefore do not speak out for life.
Other Devices of Bias.
I was asked to come to Chicago because Chicago is one of our 52 states, and the mandate we've now been given on the pro-choice abortion issue is that we have to pick up the pieces ... in 52 states across the nation, we have to bail water now out of the boat.
Raquel Welch, on CNN's "Larry King Live" talk Show.
The greatest weapon used by the media bosses against pro-lifers is simple but effective censorship. However, the biases of media writers can show up in an almost subliminal manner when they crank out articles dealing with abortion, as shown in the following examples. There is great disparity in reporting similar activities or events by pro-aborts and pro-lifers, depending upon which side will benefit from the coverage.
Perhaps the writers of such articles are not even aware of the organic and ingrained bias of their work, as some media spokesmen claim.
The following paragraphs describe eight of the devices used by pro-abortion media reporters for the purpose of subtly undermining the pro-life position in the public eye.
These devices are listed below.
DEVICES USED BY THE MEDIA TO UNDERMINE THE PRO-LIFE MESSAGE
(1) Selective coverage
(2) Ignoring inconvenient facts
(3) Beatification of pro-abortionists
(4) Bestowing of progressive 'awards'
(5) Doomsday predictions
(6) Slanted labeling of events
(7) Unstated implications of violence
(8) Unilateral emphasis on personal views
Device #1: Selective Coverage.
Selective coverage is, of course, the pro-abortion media's most potent weapon. When Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland roundly criticized the tactics of the pro-life movement, the virulently pro-abortion Milwaukee Journal published the entire 21-page, 8,000 word text of his message. When the American Archbishops all met to declare that there was "... no such thing as an authentic pro-choice Catholic" in November of 1989, the Journal lavished exactly two sentences of coverage on the event.
A lawsuit filed by a corporation or public entity against a special-interest group for the purpose of chilling freedom of expression is called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP. Such lawsuits have been filed against environmental groups that have been engaged in purely Constitutional speech, and against individuals for acts as trivial as authoring a letter to a local newspaper that opposed a specific land development.
The major networks devoted at least three half-hour television news programs to SLAPPs in 1990. The commentators strenuously denounced the use of litigation against protected speech. Although the shows dealt with a variety of examples, not a single word was mentioned about the use of the RICO statutes against pro-lifers, a classic SLAPP if there ever was one.
When federal racketeering (RICO) statutes were being used against Wall Street white-collar criminals, New York Times and Los Angeles Times editorials strongly opposed the statutes themselves as "unconstitutional." But these major newspapers were utterly silent on the use of RICO and police brutality against numerous nonviolent pro-life rescuers.
This is not surprising in light of the fact that the press admits that it is heavily pro-abortion. In other words, the networks oppose lawsuits brought for the purpose of suppressing free speech but only if it is free speech that they agree with.
Device #2: Ignore Inconvenient Facts.
The media are pro-abortion enough to be totally dishonest, even when reporting the results of abortion-related scientific studies. For example, numerous papers published lavish reports on a book written by American psychologist Henry P. David and several Czechoslovakian scientists.
This book, entitled Born Unwanted, supposedly demonstrated that women in Czechoslovakia who were denied abortions by review committees had children who had more educational, vocational, and personal problems than children who were brought up in homes with parents who "wanted them."
But a similar study that produced precisely the opposite conclusion was completely ignored, though the study was performed much closer to home: In Canada. The 1984 study was published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, and found very few ill effects among children of several thousand women who were denied abortions in Europe.
Device #3: Beatification of Pro-Aborts.
The manner in which the media grovels at the feet of pro-abortionists is sometimes sickening enough to empty the strongest stomach.
One excellent example of this craven toadying was the December 1989 Time Magazine profile of former Planned Parenthood president Faye Wattleton. The article was evenhandedly entitled "Nothing Less Than Perfect." The writers described Wattleton as "imperturbable, smoothly articulate," "imperially slim and sleekly dressed," and "a stunning refutation of the cliche of the dowdy feminist."
By vivid contrast, the same article described one of her primary opponents, rescuer Randall Terry, simply as "a former used car salesman."
The New York Times, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Newsweek Magazine have all characterized Terry in this manner, attempting to discredit him by capitalizing on the public's image of used-car salesmen as sleazy, shifty-eyed cheats. It is quite obvious that these publications would never have dared mention Wattleton's background if she was, say, a former drug addict or prostitute.
Device #4: Progressive 'Awards.'
"Newsy" periodicals represent liberal causes as mainline and moderate by bestowing various awards and honors upon their activists. The tactic of "exclusionary labeling" is used concurrently to convince readers that Neoliberals or "progressives" are really "just plain folks" like you and me. By implication, the total lack of conservative representation in these awards tells readers that such people are "outside the mainstream" or "out of touch."
For example, the Esquire Magazine "Register" consists of a listing of the people whom the publication's editors believe best reflect the values of this country. In its December 1989 issue, the magazine listed as current and previous honorees "political activist" Faye Wattleton, Janet Benshoof of the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, and Sarah Weddington, the lead pro-abortion attorney on the Roe v. Wade case.
Not a single pro-lifer appeared on the Esquire "register." Furthermore, of the hundreds of names listed, only about two percent could remotely be identified as "conservative" in any way and then only when they were connected with social issues that most 'progressives' could agree with, such as environmentalism or work for the homeless.
This incredible degree of bias is not hard to believe if one attempts to imagine the probability of Joe Scheidler, Phyllis Schlafly, or Joan Andrews being favorably written up in Esquire Magazine.
Device #5: Doomsday Predictions.
Whenever pro-lifers achieve a victory, however small, many newspapers and television stations immediately try to throw a huge scare into the public by making dire predictions of impending doom and destruction. These predictions never have even the most tenuous connection with reality.
Immediately after the Supreme Court's Webster decision, many newspapers went ballistic. For example, the Boston Globe wrote that "a majority of states" would be expected to "ban abortion in all but extreme circumstances." "No more than five states would retain the liberal guidelines" that existed before the decision was handed down, according to the paper. The U.S. News and World Report published a map showing that it expected only five states to retain "liberal" abortion laws.
The reality was far different, of course. Two years after the Webster decision, pro-lifers still had made very little progress in the state legislatures.
Many newspapers make such hysterical predictions that even those members of the public who are nominally 'pro-choice' shake their heads in despair. On April 9, 1989, Los Angeles Times reporter Marjorie Miller did a story on a Mexican woman who had been arrested and beaten by police for allegedly obtaining an illegal abortion. Miller then stated as fact that this is what American women could look forward to if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
Device #6: Slanted Labeling.
The Associated Press, Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Times, and Time and Newsweek Magazines refer to those who oppose abortion "even in the cases of rape and incest." However, we never see an article referring to those who support abortion "even in the last trimester and for sex selection."
The written media commonly describes abortion-related events in a very biased manner. You will read of a "major setback for abortion rights," never "a major victory for abortion opponents;" you will see "a stunning defeat for women's rights," not "a great victory for unborn children;" the articles will read "rights of the woman," never "rights of the unborn;" and "harsh (or restrictive) laws," not "laws protective of the unborn."
The media often uses the word "baby" when writing a story about preborn children that has nothing to do with abortion say a new intrauterine surgical procedure but it invariably uses the words "fetus" or "embryo" when dealing with an abortion-related story.
This propensity towards labeling is pervasive even when applied to entire movements. A 1989 study by Washington's Center for Media and Public Affairs showed that networks used the terms "pro-choice" or "abortion rights supporters" in every one of their thousands of references to pro-abortionists, but employed the label "pro-life" in only six percent of their references to abortion opponents. This study examined 118 social-issue programs aired from January 1 through August 31, 1989 by ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Pro-life individuals or groups are routinely labeled as "militant," "strident," "radical," or "extremist." Pro-abortionists are generally referred to as "mainline," "centrist," "moderate," or "representative of the majority."
Device #7: Implications of Violence.
When covering a peaceful and legal pro-life picket, the media almost always tacks on the comment "No arrests were made," as if such arrests were commonplace. In a similar vein, it reports that "There was no violence" when covering peaceful rescue missions. The implication, of course, is that there often is violence at such activities.
This is the same as a ship's First Officer writing in the log of his teetotaler Captain, "The Captain was not drunk today," or a politician claiming of his peaceful opponent, "He did not beat his wife today." Of course, the media never treat pro-abort pickets or civil disobedience in this manner. In fact, when there is widespread violence committed by pro-aborts, such as the burning of a Right to Life office, the event is utterly ignored by the media.
The news media also uses selective coverage to discredit pro-lifers at street events. When television news cameras cover rescue missions, they zoom in on police beating up or dragging away rescuers, thereby making the action-packed scenes look violent, even if rescuers offer no resistance. The cameras studiously ignore screaming, cursing, spitting pro-aborts assaulting pro-lifers.
Device #8: Weighted Importance of Views.
When pro-abortion politicians win a tight race, their stand on the issue is portrayed as contributing substantially to their victory. However, when an outspoken pro-life politician wins, the event is either downplayed, or abortion is painted as "irrelevant" to the contest.
Direct Media Participation in Pro-Abortion Events.
As far as I'm concerned, it's just a bunch of Catholics making a__holes of themselves again.
Reporter commenting on abortion clinic picket.
One of the most glaring examples of Neoliberal doublethink is displayed by pro-abortion newspaper executives. For these people, it is a very serious matter indeed for a media employee to participate in pro-life activities even on his or her own free time! Such participation is deemed to fatally compromise the employee's objectivity.
On the other hand, media employees at the same newspapers or television stations are allowed and even encouraged to participate in pro-abortion events, with no repercussions whatsoever.
The Newspaper Union is Pro-Abortion.
Bias pervades every level of the newspaper media. The Newspaper Guild, the nation's newspaper employee's union (consisting of 200 newspapers and 34,000 employees), adopted a resolution at their 1986 convention favoring unlimited abortion. It reads;
[The Newspaper Guild] reaffirms a woman's fundamental constitutional right to make private and confidential decisions regarding reproduction. That right, supported in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision 13 years ago, holds that freedom of choice in abortion decisions is a matter of constitutional right, protected, secured, and guaranteed by the 4th and 14th Amendments. We oppose any re-examination of the court's decision at attempts to restrict these rights by the federal, state or local governments of the United States.
Anna Padia, the Guild's alleged "human rights coordinator," defended this resolution by saying that "Reporters are professional enough to cover events without injecting personal opinion into their stories."
And, if you believe this, we have a lovely little bridge in downtown Manhattan for sale.
It's funny how the newspapers consider themselves competent enough to participate in partisan events, while never allowing the same latitude for pro-life judges and legislators. When a judge or lawmaker participates in a pro-life event during their spare time, the newspapers rush to be the first to condemn them for "injecting personal opinion" into their jobs! Naturally, there is no problem if a judge or legislator speaks at a pro-abortion rally.
Of course, this tender solicitude only extends to pro-abortion newspaper personnel. If any reporter or journalist dares to participate in any pro-life activity on their own time, they are liable to be fired from their jobs.
The Diane Dew Story.
This happened to Diane Dew, a newsroom secretary, who was fired from her job at the Milwaukee Journal on July 21, 1989 for the high crime of participating in legal pro-life protests. Sig Gissler is the editor of the virulently pro-abortion Milwaukee Journal. He and his wife are both major contributors to Planned Parenthood, and have been designated "Patron Donors" (the highest possible classification) by the organization.
The editorial board gave Dew an ultimatum: Agree in writing to give up her Constitutionally-protected rights of free speech by promising to cease all of her pro-life activities (including writing any pro-life stories, picketing and counseling women), or give up her job. She refused to give up her rights, and Gissler fired her on July 21, 1989 because, as the paper alleged, her off-duty pro-life activities "compromised the paper's objectivity."
Dick Williams, the paper's vice-president in charge of employee relations, stated that Dew violated company policy because " ... metro secretaries are part of the news-gathering process."
The 1989 'March for Death.'
The April 9, 1989 "March for Reproductive Choice" was trumpeted by the press for weeks before the actual event itself.
Nightline devoted an hour to extolling its virtues and showing how people could get involved. US,A Toady, The New York Times, and The Washington Post gave the event lavish pre-march coverage, including front-page stories.
The Post published five major stories on the event in the five days before it took place. On the day of the march, the paper's magazine featured a 6,550 word story on it and included a map which showed the march route, all road closings, lost and found information, and how to sign up and get there by subway or bus.
The paper featured no less than five stories on the march the next day, including a front-page color picture and 7,000 words of total text, equivalent to three full pages of newspaper space.
As if this were not enough, in an acknowledged violation of self-imposed journalistic ethics, reporters for the New York Times and the Washington Post actually participated in the march in support of abortion 'rights.'
It is interesting to see how the Post handled a similar pro-life event by comparison. The paper ran a single short story on the next year's April 1990 pro-life march, which had three times as many participants as the "March for Death." The story, which had no accompanying pictures, maps, or promotion, was buried in the middle of the paper's "Metro" (local) news section.
When criticized for this glaring disparity in reporting, Post reporters whined that they were "just tired of covering demonstrations." Talk about threadbare excuses! Would they simply ignore all types of news events that they were 'tired' of? Would they cease covering the 1990-1991 Gulf War after a couple of months because they were 'tired' of war coverage?
Some astute pro-lifers pointed out that the paper had lavishly covered the "Earth Day 1990" week-long demonstration just one week earlier, printing five stories and 11 photos over three days. The "Earth Day 1990" event was one-third the size of the pro-life march.
This case was not only a reflection of media bias, but a direct participation by the media in a pro-abortion event. In fact, the Hollywood Women's Political Caucus showed up in farce for the "March for Death." The pro-abort "stars" included Morgan Fairchild, "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, Cybil Shepherd, Marlo Thomas, Donna Mills, Whoopie Goldberg, Veronica Hamel, Susan Sarandon, and dozens of other "Bimbos for Choice."
Examples of Bias in the News Media.
NBC News does not use the term "prolife," which it regards as loaded, but if someone wanted to use 'pro-choice,' I'd say that was fine.
NBC News Editor Gilbert Millstein.
The news media correctly sees itself as a powerful agent of social change, and therefore many of its members slant their news coverage of social issues in such a manner that it is almost unrecognizable to conservative activists. The great danger lies in the fact that many (or most) American viewers accept this coverage as unfiltered truth.
The major national news media have always pushed abortion, even before it was legal. Following are just a few examples of their pro-abortion activities.
Newspaper bias before Roe v. Wade was even more pronounced than it is now, if such can be imagined. Newspaper editors encouraged readers to sign up on pro-abortion petitions and showed how they could obtain them for general circulation. Some newspapers presented artsy full-page 'how-to' abortion guides, including how to obtain legal abortions in neighboring states. Others gave Planned Parenthood abundant free advertising and repeatedly listed phone numbers for abortion referral services, even in states where prenatal killing was still illegal.
But when pro-lifers attempted to gain a forum, they were ruthlessly shut out many veteran pro-lifers report that newspapers, almost universally, would not even accept their paid advertisements!
There's Offensiveness, and Then There's Offensiveness ...
The major television networks routinely display graphic scenes of human brutality in order to advance their agenda, such as;
• American 'atrocities' in Vietnam, including naked and roasted napalm
• Soviet butchery in Afghanistan and gassed Kurds;
• Vivid footage of Nazi concentration camp victims;
• Hundreds of bodies bloating in the sun after the Jim Jones slaughter;
• Headless Chinese students stacked like cordwood after the Tianenmen
• Savagely battered wives and hideously abused children;
• Blood-splattered Panamanian opposition political candidates;
• Rotting elephant corpses and dead, oil-soaked seals,
but they will not even show pictures of live and healthy unborn babies! For example, both NBC and CBS refused to air an American Cancer Society public-service ad that depicted an unborn baby smoking, while the voice-over warned of the dangers of smoking while pregnant. Both networks labeled the spot "too graphic" and "potentially offensive."
Selling the Abortion Pill.
Perhaps the best example of a recent widespread media pro-abortion campaign involves the abortion pill RU-486.
Marie Bass, former political director of the National Abortion Rights Action League, and Joanne Howes, former Planned Parenthood chief Washington lobbyist, assembled a five-fold media strategy to get the media to accept RU-486. They formed an explicitly pro-abortion lobbying and propaganda organization entitled the Reproductive Health Technology Project, whose purpose was to collect and distribute only favorable information on the abortion pill. They developed and disseminated a high-powered press kit that included sample charts and graphs and photos.
Reporter Charles Durran described the press packet: "Those press kits were impressive. In fact, they were a lazy reporter's gold mine. Everything you needed for a really fantastic story or a series of stories was right there at your fingertips. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it."
The five-part Bass & Howes strategy is outlined below.
FIVE-PART BASS & HOWES STRATEGY TO ENCOURAGE MEDIA ACCEPTANCE OF RU-486
(1) "Emphasize the possibility that the drug could very well end the whole public abortion struggle by making clinic protests obsolete.
(2) Emphasize the dearth of other contraceptive options available particularly in comparison with what is available in other parts of the world.
(3) Emphasize the issues of privacy, ease, safety, choice, and freedom, rather than of abortion and politics.
(4) Emphasize the possibility of other medical benefits of the drug, such as treatment of breast cancer and Cushings Syndrome.
(5) Emphasize the threat to the freedom of ongoing medical research that a rejection of the drug might bring."
Reference. This strategy is described in George Grant. "Media Bias and Abortion." Legacy Magazine, October 1991, page 1. Newsletter of Legacy Communications, Post Office Box 680365, Franklin, Tennessee 37068.
This set of instructions to the media apparently worked very well. A survey of more than two hundred magazine and newspaper articles on RU-486 during the time period 1989-1990 showed that only 9 percent mentioned any of the pill's numerous and serious complications or side effects; just 8 percent quoted any pro-life experts or sources; and a full 96 percent cast the pill in a very favorable light. Bass said that "Press coverage really is good, if you think about it sometimes I worry that it's almost too good."
The Bass & Howes strategy is not the only example of trickery used by pro-abortionists in their attempts to garner public support for the killing pill. The pro-aborts, acknowledging the power of doctored public opinion polls, are taking advantage of biased questioning in their headlong pursuit of favorable results that can then be quoted in subsequent propaganda campaigns. The National Abortion Federation, in a guide entitled "Successful Strategies: Managing the Media," says that
When polls have been conducted on RU-486, the new French Pill, the results vary depending on how the question is asked. If RU-486 is referred to as an "abortion pill," it has significantly less support than if it is called a new form of birth control. In many polls, the description can change support by as much as 15-20 points and determine if a majority of those polled are in favor of the pill.
For further information on how pro-abortionists conduct biased polls and then lie about the results, see Chapter 76 of Volume II, "Public Opinion Polls."
Examples of Bias on Television.
There would be a revolution in this country if people ever saw who supported abortion rights.
Cameraman's excuse for not filming screaming, kicking, spitting pro-aborts in Buffalo during 1992 rescue missions.
The television news may be bad, but it is a pro-life paradise compared to some of the scheduled TV programming produced by the major network studios over the past fifteen years.
The following paragraphs review just a few of the more blatant instances of outright pro-abortion propaganda foisted off on the public by the networks.
"Cagney and Lacey."
The most outstanding recent example of this biased programming is a "Cagney and Lacey" episode entitled The Clinic. The network announced this as a "careful and unbiased" look at the pro/anti-life struggle.
The episode predictably opened with a person being killed in a clinic bombing (ignoring the fact that nobody has been killed or even injured in such an event). This act spurred long dissertations by Lacey as to why abortion must remain legal. Her partner Cagney remained 'neutral' on the issue all through the show. The only defense of the pro-life position came from an old stereotypical Catholic man who said, "I'm against it, because better men than me have thought it out."
What an eloquent defense of the pro-life position!
Several indications of how 'unbiased' the show was occurred in the weeks just before and after its airing. Producer Barney Rosenzweig enlisted the help of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) in his publicity campaign. Rosenzweig is so blindly pro-abortion that he worried about the 'negative, anti-choice statement' being made by the mere fact that Tyne Daley (Lacey) was pregnant in real life on a later "Cagney and Lacey" episode entitled "The Pregnant Detective." In other words, he didn't even want a pregnant woman on his show!
Talk about discrimination!
He got around his worries by having Lacey state that she was pro-choice and had previously endured a horrible illegal abortion.
After "The Clinic" aired, NARAL and other national pro-abortion groups applauded the show and showered 'prestigious' awards upon the actresses. According to the CBS Entertainment Division, 94 percent of the more than 3,600 calls they received on the show believed strongly that the show was blatantly biased in favor of the pro-abortion side.
The ACLU honored executive producer Barney Rosenzweig and writer Barbara Corday with their 1986 Bill of Rights award. Previous recipients of this award included Norman Lear and Ed Asner.
Another popular television show, "St. Elsewhere," is a series about a fictitious Catholic hospital in Boston. The January 8 and 15, 1986 episodes of "St. Elsewhere" were carefully timed to air just before the annual Roe v. Wade anniversary. The producers did everything they possibly could to make pro-lifers look violent and irrational.
In the first episode, a pro-life couple enters the Boston Women's Clinic (an abortion mill), called a doctor, and then soaked him with red paint and screamed "murderer!" at him. Another scene shows compassionate clinic personnel cleaning up the mess after vandalism (destroyed files and "murderer" painted on the walls in red paint), discussing all the while how they have been terrorized personally by pro-lifers and how terribly important it is that abortion must remain legal.
Later, a flood of injured people descend on the hospital after an enormous explosion at the abortion mill which kills numerous people. A doctor asks, "Who set off this bomb, pro-lifers?"
At the end of the first episode, the bomber creeps into St. Elsewhere, spouts a few lines Scripture to nobody in particular (just to let viewers know that he is a religious nut), and plants another bomb, which explodes. He turns himself in to one of the doctors and says "I was doing God's work. Sometimes the born must die to save the unborn." This, of course, ignores the fact that nobody has ever been killed or injured in an abortion mill bombing.
Oh, well, sometimes the facts must be bent just a little so that social progress may be made.
The show moralized for its entire two hours on the necessity of abortion and the violent nature of anyone who is 'anti-choice.' Only one doctor in the entire hospital opposed abortion with weak and flawed arguments, but his real purpose was to be an inept foil (a la "Cagney and Lacey"), so that all of the other main characters could lecture him at great length on the merits and necessity of "safe and legal" abortion.
On another show, a "St. Elsewhere" doctor provides a quickie abortion for another doctor's daughter so she can concentrate on an important examination at school, ignoring the fact that abortions are banned at all Catholic hospitals in the United States. Naturally, the abortion comes as a great relief to her, and everything turns out just fine. Abortion is just what she needed, and anyone who showed the least uneasiness about her decision is derided mercilessly.
"Babies Having Babies."
This 1986 NBC production consists primarily of four pregnant girls discussing with each other their reasons to abort or not to abort. The girls are totally stereotyped virtual caricatures. The two who decide to abort are the kind of person that girls can identify with: (1) a bright, ambitious, college-bound "tennis anyone?" type and (2) a punk-rocker with a tough exterior but the inevitable heart of gold. The two girls who decide to keep their babies are (1) an ignorant, bumbling 14-year old Black girl who didn't kill her child because "I can always go on welfare," and (2) an appallingly ugly Irish Catholic girl who doesn't really like boys but who slept with one just to be noticed.
All through the show, the following ideas are verbalized and reinforced;
(1) sex is fun;
(2) abortion must always be an individual's free choice;
(3) abortion is moral and ethical;
(4) abortion is no big deal; and
(5) if you don't abort, "the kid" will ruin your life.
Naturally, the media moguls did not see the irony in the title of their show "Babies Having Babies," although the concept that they were pushing was essentially "babies killing babies."
Examples of Bias By Cartoonists.
Cartoonists in general, and especially political cartoonists, are unrestrained by even the minimal limits imposed upon others who influence the public through the media.
Take for example Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury," which relentlessly uses the tools of distortion and ridicule to deride conservative positions and public figures. One week-long series of comic strips, deleted by many newspapers across the country, makes fun of Dr. Nathanson's movie "The Silent Scream."
"Doonesbury," of course, is not the only offender. Bloom County's penguin "Opus" proclaims for all the world to see: "Reagan Sucks!" in a summer 1988 strip. Imagine any cartoonist daring to say "Jesse Jackson Sucks!" or, better yet, "Molly Yard Sucks!"
Even the generally innocuous (and crushingly trivial) "Cathy," produced by Cathy Guisewite, carried on during the entire week just before the 1988 Presidential elections about how the United States desperately needed Michael Dukakis, how the Republicans have destroyed the economy, and the fact that the next president will appoint "... at least three Supreme Court justices whose positions on women's issues (read: abortion) could shape the future of our children for another 30 years."
Examples of Bias By Syndicated Columnists.
Another source of great influence on the American public is syndicated columnists such as Ann Landers, "Dear Abby," Ellen Goodman, and Coretta Scott King. All of these columnists, and many others, relentlessly push the whole range of anti-life viewpoints: Abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, living wills, and so on. Anyone who dares to write a conservative letter to Ann Landers or Dear Abby, of course, is mercilessly pilloried as a "judgmental, close-minded lout." The twins routinely ignore the facts and ridicule the very existence of third-trimester abortions, post-abortion syndrome, and fetal experimentation. In fact, they ignore the existence of the opposing view entirely.
For example, on October 1, 1991, a letter signed "Confused in St. Paul" and asking for church positions on abortion appeared in Dear Abby's column in hundreds of newspapers nationwide. In response, Abby listed quotes supporting abortion from 11 churches and a wishy-washy quote from a single neutral church. No mention whatever was made of the position of any of the more than 120 pro-life churches, including the Roman Catholic Church.
The reply ended with the address and phone number of the 'Religious' Coalition for Abortion Rights, but no contact for any of the more than 30 pro-life religious organizations. It is obvious that "Confused in St. Paul" and anyone else who wanted to know the facts would not be confused after contacting RCAR they would think that every church denomination was pro-abortion!
References: The Media's Pro-Abortion Bias.
We report news, not truth. There is no such thing as objectivity. Any reporter who tells you he's objective is lying to you.
 Todd Ackerman. "Newspaper Union Support of Abortion Spells Trouble." National Catholic Register, September 10, 1989, page 1.
 Rosanne Barr, quoted in TV, Etc., October 6, 1992.
 Susanne Millsaps, executive director of Utah NARAL, quoted in the Washington Times, March 13, 1991. Also quoted in Voices for the Unborn (Feasterville, Pennsylvania), October 1991, page 4.
 Joseph Farah, Editor of the New York City Tribune. "Pro-Life Groups Hit Opposition in Efforts to Buy Television Time." American Family Association Journal, April 1990.
 The Mark Bavaro incident is described in an American Life League fundraising letter dated March 1991.
 "MTV Will Not Air Christian Singer's Video." American Family Association Journal, January 1989, page 7.
 "CBS Censors Cardinal Bernardin, Calls Religious Content Offensive." American Family Association Journal, May 1989, page 14.
 Catholic Twin Circle, March 26, 1989, page 14.
 As described in "RTL and Cable TV." National Right to Life News, September 5, 1985, page 6.
 "Some Praise 'Fetus Earrings:' NEA Council Defeats Commonsense Reforms Inside Washington." Action News [Pro-Life Action League, Chicago], December 1990/January 1991, page 15.
 "American Liberty Upside Down Aborted Fetus As Art is Censored." ALL About Issues, February 1984, pages 28 and 29.
 Feminists for Life of America. Sisterlife, Summer 1990.
 Raquel Welch, on CNN's "Larry King Live" talk show. Quoted in the National Review, March 5, 1990, page 20.
 As described in Richard Doerflinger. "Media Seek Out Data Supporting Abortion." Catholic Sentinel [Portland, Oregon], November 3, 1989, page 5.
 As described in Glenn Ellen Duncan. "Objectivity? On This Issue, Forget It!" National Catholic Register, May 14, 1989, page 5.
 Comments made by a reporter outside the Henry Morgentaler abortion clinic in Toronto, Canada. Quoted in Michael W. Cuneo. Catholics Against the Church: Anti-Abortion Protest in Toronto, 1969-1985. University of Toronto Press, 1989, page 65.
 Todd Ackerman. "Prolife Secretary, Canned By Milwaukee Daily, to Sue." National Catholic Register, September 17, 1989, page 1. Also see Cynthia McKnight. "Milwaukee Journal Editor's Pro-Abortion Hypocrisy." National Right to Life News, November 2, 1989, page 5.
 "Pro-Abortion Journalists." News in Review, Catholic Twin Circle, April 30, 1989, page 19.
 Joseph Sobran. "The Post's Kind of People." The Wanderer, April 20, 1989, page 5.
 NBC News Editor Gilbert Millstein. Quoted in Burke Balch. "The Enormous Power of Language." National Right to Life News, December 22, 1980, page 5.
 Marvin Olasky. "How the Press Short-Circuited the Abortion Debate." American Family Association Journal, January 1989, page 13.
 "Networks Censor Out Pro-Life Ad." National Federation for Decency Journal, April 1985, page 11.
 National Abortion Federation. Abortion: Moral Choice and Medical Imperative. "Abortion Practice Advancement, Sixteenth Annual Meeting Workbook, April 13-14, 1992, San Diego, California." Page 133, "Successful Strategies: Managing the Media."
 Paul Likoudis. "Buffalo Rescue Overcomes Propaganda Campaign and Awakens Christians." The Wanderer, May 14, 1992, pages 1 and 9.
 "ACLU Honors Pro-Abortion Television Producer." National Federation for Decency Journal, February 1987, page 16.
 "NBC Series Downs Pro-Lifers, Pushes Abortion." National Federation for Decency Journal, February 1986, page 10.
 Linda Ellerbee and Geraldo Rivera, quoted in George Grant. "Media Bias and Abortion." Legacy Magazine, October 1991, page 1. Newsletter of Legacy Communications, Post Office Box 680365, Franklin, Tennessee 37068.
Further Reading: The Media's Pro-Abortion Bias.
Objectivity was invented by journalism schools. It has very little to do with real life.
Judie Brown. Pro-Life Media Handbook.
Order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554. How to use the media effectively to promote the pro-life message.
Journal of the American Family Association.
Formerly the Journal of the National Federation for Decency, this excellent monthly primarily addresses pornography in the media and the arts and the many instances of media pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and anti-Christian bias. To subscribe, write to the American Family Association, Post Office Drawer 2440, Tupelo, Mississippi 38803. Telephone: (601) 844-5036.
(1) "Changing Attitudes on Abortion: Pro-Life Education that Works.”
How to use the media, advertising, publicity, and displays to reach large numbers of people with the pro-life message.
(2) "Keep the Pro-Life Issue Alive: Use Media Events."
How to stage newsworthy events in order to keep the American Holocaust in the eye of the American public. These are two of a set of nine booklets that outline an effective, unified strategy for stopping abortion on a local level. Order separately or as a group from: National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, 419 7th Street, NW, Suite 402, Washington, D.C. 20044, or from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898.
Bernard M. Nathanson, M.D. The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality.
Idea Books, Post Office Box 4010, Madison, Wisconsin 53711. 1985, 192 pages. A former leading abortionist exposes the anti-Catholic bigotry of the pro-abortion movement, discusses the role of the blatantly biased media in obtaining abortion on demand, and explores what the science of fetology has revealed about the unborn child. This enjoyable book is written in George Will's wry and acerbic style. Read especially Chapter 1, "Abortion and the Media," pages 7 to 109.
Marvin and Susan Olasky. The Press and Abortion.
An historical overview of how the American media have treated abortion over the last century. Order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554.
Five-part Los Angeles Times series on the pro-abortion bias of the news media. July 1, 1990,
"Abortion Bias Seeps Into News." July 2, 1990,
"Abortion Foes Stereotyped, Some in the Media Believe." July 3, 1990.
"'Rally for Life' Coverage Evokes an Editor's Anger." July 4, 1990,
"Can Women Reporters Write Objectively on Abortion Issue?," and
"'Abortion Hype' Pervaded Media After Webster Case."
This outstanding series was originally available from the Los Angeles Times in booklet form and can now be ordered from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554.
Gailfred Boller Sweetland. "Police Brutality: No Press Coverage."
Supplement to the Newsletter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Reprints available for 25 cents from the Catholic League, 1100 West Wells Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233.
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. The Liberal Crack-Up.
New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1984. 256 pages. Reviewed by Victor Gold on page 35 of the March 1985 Conservative Digest. His thesis: "New Age Liberalism is no longer the sensible, tolerant, highly principled body of thought that liberalism was in decades past. Sometime in the 1960s or early 1970s, it cracked up into a riot of enthusiasms, usually contradictory, always extremist, often non compos mentis."
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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.