The Media Research Center is an organization dedicated to policing the media. Its goal is to expose unfair treatment of conservative issues by the press. Recently, they examined three national newspapers and network TV programs, in the evening, morning, and on prime-time. Mr. Tim Graham and Steve Kaminski monitored these media giants to see whether or not there was favoritism for one side or the other on the abortion issue. They investigated four areas.
Using labels to influence opinion. They found that Republicans who favored legal abortions were described as moderate in 116 stories. However, pro-life Republicans were described as far-right, hard right, extreme right. Corresponding terms for abortion advocates such as hard-left or far left were never used.
The political impact of being pro-life. Almost universally, the media predicted that this would be a negative influence. Remember that not a single pro-life incumbent was beaten in the ’94 elections. Even so, back then 48 stories predicted that pro-life advocacy would harm the candidates. How many suggested it would be a plus? Only one.
Ignoring pro-life Democrat politicians. Not a single pro-life Democrat appeared as a talking head on TV in an abortion story.
The Media Research Center also examined network coverage of the National Republican Convention recently held in San Diego, CA. Here are a few of their observations:
“Just after rape victim Jan Licence’s speech on victim’s rights last night, NBC’s Maria Shriver seemed baffled: ‘But why [speak out] at a Republican convention? So many people have said that they don’t think this ticket, or perhaps this party, is supportive of women’s issues. Why make this stand here?’ Tom Brokaw interviewed Licence later and asked: ‘Do you think–this is a party that is dominated by men and this convention is dominated by men as well…Do you think before tonight they thought very much about what happens in America with rape?’ ”
“Here’s how Bryant Gumbel opened the Tuesday Today: ‘Good morning. Retired general Colin Powell, a new recruit to the GOP cause, addressed the delegates in San Diego last night, drawing cheers with accounts of why he became a Republican and why he’ll vote for Bob Dole. But although his speech was generally well-received, the reception was restrained, and there were boos whenever Powell steered away from the right. Though
they booed and also heckled dissent, Republicans claimed the mantle of inclusion throughout the first night of their convention. We can expect more of the same today, Tuesday, August 13, 1996.’ ”
“On Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Jose Diaz-Balart delivered a different take: ‘General Colin Powell was the four-star hero of the evening, moving the crowd to numerousstanding ovations and even cheers for his most controversial comments.’ ” The faint smattering of boos on one side of the hall occurred only once and was immediately replaced by a wild standing ovation when he reaffirmed that the party was big enough for all.
This probably isn’t startling news to most of you. It should, however, alert us, once again, as we continue to hear the drumbeat for pro-abortion Republican candidates. Just remember who’s generating this message. It’s an aggressively pro-abortion media that, for the balance of this election year, might as well be paid consultants to the liberal wing of the Democrat Party.