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Pro-Life Leaders Slam Nets on March for Life Coverage


Katie Yoder

One week later, and the networks have long forgotten about their scant coverage of the March for Life – after all, they have a whole year before they have to ignore it again. The pro-life movement, however, has forgotten neither the March nor the unserious and insulting way the broadcast networks reported on it – or didn’t. 

As CMI reported last week, ABC and NBC gave just 46 seconds of air time to the many thousands who braved freezing temperatures to join the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C. CBS didn’t even mention it. By contrast, the networks couldn’t get enough of the debut of Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s newest panda cub, cooing about panda “magic.” The animal received six times more coverage than the March. Pro-life leaders noticed. It was, in the words of International Communion of Evangelical Churches’ Bishop Harry Jackson, “media malpractice.” 

According to Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins, the media coverage of the March for Life was significantly better than in previous years,” but that’s an abysmally low bar. March for Life President Jeanne Monahan called the panda report “evidence that we still have a long way to go.” Live Action President Lila Rose noted the irony. “The pro-abortion mainstream media, looking for a ‘human interest’ story, breathlessly focuses its cameras on a panda,” she said, “while ignoring hundreds of thousands of actual humans marching for millions more precious humans in the womb.” She added, “What’s more humanly interesting than what is happening to our littlest and weakest humans?” 

Reflecting on her experience with the March, Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, asked, “In what alternative liberal universe is this not news?” 

But the March for Life “never receives the amount of media attention it deserves,” according to Mallory Quigley, communications director of the Susan B. Anthony List. “The media’s overall ignorance to our pro-life presence” is by now a “clichéd joke.” And it is almost sadly comic. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote, “Most networks have had a lot of practice perfecting their greatest magic trick: making hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers disappear!” 

“When my grandmother didn't like what she heard, she would pretend she didn't hear it,” said Anglicans for Life President and Silent No More Awareness Campaign Co-Founder Georgette Forney. “The media seems to mimic grandma!” 

But the panda comparison is telling. The Radiance Foundation Co-Founder Ryan Bomberger said the “vacuous mainstream media values animals over human beings.” Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone observed that, unlike abortion, “It is easy to cover pandas; there is no personal challenge for us.” And no challenge for a fundamentally unserious news media. “The emphasis on Bao Bao the panda,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, “shows that we are interested in the entertainment value of our news more than we are in the depth or veracity of our news coverage.” 

Read the rest of this article and watch the related video at: 

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