(Newsbusters) — When California filed charges against pro-lifers investigating Planned Parenthood, the liberal media readily covered the news. But when a judge later dropped nearly all of the charges, the three broadcast networks didn’t say a word.
It’s called a blatant media double-standard.
Last week, the San Francisco Superior Court dismissed 14 of the 15 criminal charges filed against Center for Medical Progress (CMP) executives by the state of California. The charges came after CMP, a self-described “group of citizen journalists,” began releasing undercover videos in 2015 to expose Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby parts.
Back in March, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra first announced the 15 charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt based on invasion of privacy and covert recording. The networks reported on that – though not without a twist.
At the time, ABC and CBS anchors publicized that the CMP videos “claim to show [Daleiden and Merritt’s] attempt to buy fetal tissue” and that they “videotaped themselves trying to buy human material.” But that’s a reversal of CMP’s stance. From the beginning, CMP has claimed it documented Planned Parenthood’s “sale of baby body parts.”
The videos were never about CMP representatives trying to purchase aborted baby parts.
Besides spinning the story, the networks left out information. None of the networks mentioned Becerra boasts a 100% score from Planned Parenthood or that he received thousands in campaign donations from the abortion giant as a member of the House. They also left out that he has defended Planned Parenthood against defunding – to the media.
It’s not like the networks aren’t aware of Planned Parenthood stories. They’ve been all too happy to worry about the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood in the upcoming GOP healthcare bill.
But hey, if Becerra reinstates the charges (as he says he will), then perhaps they’ll begin covering the case once more.
Network History on CMP Video Coverage
Hundreds of media outlets, including the networks, boast a long, friendly history with Planned Parenthood.
Two months after the first video’s release, MRC Culture found that ABC, NBC and CBS had aired a mere 0.13% of the CMP footage during their news shows – or 1 minute, 13 seconds of more than 16 hours. And in early October 2015, MRC Culture discovered that the networks spent more time combined airing Cecile Richards’ defense of Planned Parenthood during a congressional hearing than showing the actual videos themselves.
From the beginning, liberal media news outlets raced to defend Planned Parenthood. In the first 9 hours and 30 minutes of news shows broadcast after the story broke, ABC, NBC and CBS, spent only 39 seconds on the first video. It took more than 24 hours before all three covered the story. In the week after the first video, the networks gave a mere 9 minutes and 11 seconds to the story (in contrast, the nets devoted more than three times that to the Susan G. Komen controversy, when the charity temporarily decided to defund the abortion giant).
ABC, NBC and CBS prioritized animals over aborted babies, by covering the shooting of Cecil the lion more in one day than they did these videos in two weeks and in their reporting on birth of the National Zoo’s panda cubs.
Not only that, but also they refused to cover the tens of thousands of Americans speaking out against Planned Parenthood during nationwide rallies held in late August – except as a side note when CBS tried to connect the event to arson.
While the networks covered rallies against Planned Parenthood in Jan. 2017, they omitted from their reports that abortion activists tried to disrupt pro-lifers and clashed with police.
Citing information from MRC studies, both Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and members of Congress led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) have slammed the media for their lack of coverage on the videos.
Methodology: MRC Culture searched network transcripts for the terms “Daleiden,” “Center for Medical Progress” and “Planned Parenthood” in the morning and evening news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC from June 21 to June 28.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on MRC Newsbusters on June 29, 2017, and is reprinted here with permission.