By Cathy Keim
Editor’s note: Last night, as I was finishing my article on yesterday’s rally in Easton, I received an e-mail from Cathy with this piece, which she called “How the Media Distorts a Pro-Life Rally.”
Read on and I will have more thoughts at the end.
Yesterday 128 protesters gathered at the Planned Parenthood facility in Easton, Maryland, from 9 to 11 a.m., while thousands of protesters gathered in front of about 300 PP facilities across the nation. According to the Planned Parenthood website, they have about 700 facilities total. So what, you say.
That information that I just wrote took a few seconds to obtain online, but the WBOC reporter that covered the protest in Easton managed to get the first sentence of her article incorrect.
Pro-life protests happened in front of all Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide Saturday afternoon calling for federal defunding of the nonprofit.
Notice that it states that protests happened in front of all PP clinics on Saturday afternoon. According to my math, 300 protests do not cover 700 facilities, nor is 9 to 11 a.m. an afternoon event.
After reading the first sentence, I knew that we were not going to get unbiased coverage for our event and I was correct.
Next comes a quote from “authority,” the interim president and CEO of Maryland’s Planned Parenthood, Dr. Amina Chaudhry:
Planned Parenthood’s medical providers and staff are the best in the country. We have the highest professional standards, and we take swift action if we are ever aware of an instance where those standards aren’t being met.
There is no evidence to back the claims; in fact, the whole protest was over the videos which showed evidence of quite the opposite nature. But her assertions are allowed to stand and are followed by a quote from a protester whose profession and qualifications are not noted.
But protestors including David Smith of Parsonsburg, are convinced Planned Parenthood is practicing body and organ harvesting, without actually having seen said videos.
“There are several videos out there and I have not seen them, but we really believe from what I understand that once anyone sees those videos, they’re just so horrific,” said Smith.
The reporter took her time and asked many protestors for statements until she found the perfect one from a protester who had not actually seen the videos. It was disingenuous of her to troll about for that quote when there were numerous protestors that could have addressed the videos.
In fact, although I introduced myself to her and was clearly in charge of the event, she did not ask me a single question.
Next the reporter returns to her “authority” for an attack on the “right wing extremists.”
Chaudhry further explained in a statement that the attacks on the nonprofit are steered by right-wing extremist agendas.
“Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims. They are engaged in a fraud, and other claims they’ve made have been discredited and disproven.
The group behind these videos has close ties with organizations and individuals who have been linked to the firebombing of abortion clinics and threats to the physical safety of doctors who provide abortion. The real agenda of these baseless attacks has become totally clear: to ban abortion and limit women’s access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood. The vast majority of the public rejects this extreme political agenda and rejects the fraudulent campaign behind it.”
In a few sentences, the group of peaceful citizens who came to stand up for the right of the unborn baby to live rather than be killed in the womb and sold for profit was turned into extremists that support firebombing abortion clinics and threatening doctors.
If you take the time to watch the videos, which I have, you will see doctors casually talking about altering the abortion procedure so that they can acquire better fetal tissues to sell for profit. Changing an operation in order to get fetal hearts, lungs, livers, etc. undamaged is illegal in itself.
Who is the extremist here? The peaceful protestor who wants the baby to be able to live or the doctor who is cheerfully describing how they destroy the baby in the most profitable way? Another doctor describes turning the baby into the breech presentation so that they can deliver the fetus without crushing its skull. It is better for selling to have the whole baby undamaged, except that the baby is dead, of course.
The reporter does admit that this protest is unprecedented in scope. Never have so many protestors joined in so many places simultaneously, but she quickly recovers with a closing statement that:
(A) number of state agency officials in Georgia, Massachusetts, Indiana, South Dakota and Florida have investigated Planned Parenthood clinics there and have not found any evidence of illegal activity.
There are about 700 PP facilities in the country. It is entirely plausible that not every facility is involved in the baby parts for profit scheme. The fact that some clinics have not been proven guilty, does not prove all of them innocent.
How biased these reporters are! All protestors are linked to firebombing clinics, but not all PP facilities are linked to selling baby parts.
It has been my experience, that whenever I have had the misfortune to be interviewed or take part in an activity where reporters cover the event, the coverage is almost always inaccurate, incorrect, and often completely biased.
That was certainly the case for today’s coverage of the #ProtestPP rally in Easton yesterday. It’s not just yesterday, though – CNS News has tracked the coverage devoted to the scandal so far, and, shall we say, it is lacking.
Here is a link to a Washington Post piece on the #ProtestPP events that shows a more evenhanded approach.
Compare the two and see for yourself the difference. Our local WBOC report should be filed under opinion pieces.
Editor’s note redux: The Post piece wasn’t perfect either but was better.
But when are we going to drop the pretext that mainstream reporters are unbiased, yet folks like us who write for the “pajamas media” are unworthy of trust because we have a slant? I will cheerfully admit I see things through the lens of a conservative.
I was asked by Cathy to come along to document the event and take photos (it doesn’t hurt that I am pro-life myself, though.) I think I could have done a better job in some respects, but I believe I did what journalists are supposed to do – create an account of what really happened there. It’s why I took the time to video and upload the statements of both Andy Harris and Mike Smigiel.
It reminded me of how the initial TEA Party rallies were covered. If those who create the “news” don’t agree with your narrative it’s dropped down the memory hole.
I think the better approach for WBOC would have been to place the opposing view at the end, sort of like the State of the Union does.
I also think we should all thank Cathy for her efforts. But like they said during the rally, this is not a one-day thing – so there’s time for the media to get it right.