Media

Why the media bias in coverage of Planned Parenthood hearings?

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(RedAlertPolitics) – If you turn to the mainstream networks for your news, you likely wouldn’t know that the House Judiciary Committee last week began their investigations of Planned Parenthood. Undercover video evidence alleges that the abortion provider is illegally profiting from the sale of fetal parts.

A new video was just released today, actually. Throughout the video, Planned Parenthood admits they are afraid of the media.

Newsbusters has been covering the numerous undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. They’ve also followed the media’s reaction, or lack thereof.

Following the first hearing, they reported that ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to provide coverage. Unfortunately, this is consistent with their lack of coverage on the videos which have caused such a controversy and inspired the investigations.

Katie Yoder has particularly been following the situation closely. She recently concluded that so far, the major networks have covered only 0.13 percent of the videos in the two months they’ve been released.

Instead, networks have spent an almost obscene amount of attention on Cecile the lion and baby pandas. It’s okay to like and care about animals. That babies are being aborted and then having their parts sold off ought to be more newsworthy though.

One reason for the blackout, other than bias, is that Planned Parenthood pretty much demanded that networks not cover the videos. And as the Federalist reports, “reporters happily agree.”

What’s worse is that if you turned to online media outlets, chances are you would get biased information.

Last week’s hearings included the testimony of two women who had survived late-term abortions. They have evidence to back up their circumstances. And yet the Los Angeles Times couldn’t be bothered to take them at their word. Which is why they felt the need to put ‘survivors’ in scare quotes.

Their headline: “Abortion ‘survivors’ criticize Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill.”

In the piece itself, survivors Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden are described as “women who were born during botched abortions in the 1970s.”

Yahoo! Health perhaps took an even worse view on Jessen and Ohden. Not only was ‘abortion survivors’ put in scare quotes, but the women were also referred to as “so called ‘abortion survivors.’” Further, the piece suggested that they should not be considered expert witnesses.

Media bias was alive and well throughout the piece, as the author’s opinion was clearly present. The term “political theater,” which is what Planned Parenthood considered the investigations to be, was also used. Despite such clear bias and opinion, Yahoo! still invited readers to “be the judge.”

The headline: “Investigation or Political Theater? 6 Facts About the Congressional Hearing on Planned Parenthood.”

If that’s the only piece people were to read on the matter, it’s not much of a question how they would decide.

The Huffington Post not only put it in scare quotes that these women ‘survived’ abortion attempts, but phrased it that they “claim[ed] they had ‘survived’ botched abortions that their mothers had attempted.”

The Washington Post took a similar view in that they described Jessen and Ohden as “two women who said they survived their mothers’ abortion attempts.” The New York Times likewise mentioned that Ohden ” says she survived a 1977 attempt to abort her.”

Clearly the purpose of the investigations should be to find out the truth, by being as objective as is possible. It may become impossible for everyday Americans to understand the matter in such a light though. How can they when the media refuse to cover the situation fairly or at all?

Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Red Alert Politics on September 15, 2015, and is reprinted here with permission.

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