October 8, 2020
Only nine percent of the country has a good deal of trust in the media, Gallup just announced. And after the last two presidential debates, most of us are wondering how it’s that high! In an environment where the press is “functionally running the Biden campaign,” Mollie Hemingway points out, it’s difficult to see how anyone can take the commentators, moderators, and fact-checkers (or maybe they’re frack-checkers after last night) seriously.
First there were the debate questions themselves, which, as Michael Goodwin argued, “sounded like they were ripped from the headlines of the Trump-hating Washington Post and New York Times.” Then, there was the disparate treatment of the candidates, with moderator Susan Page (like Chris Wallace before her) asking pointed things of the vice president while letting Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) off the hook. It is, unfortunately, the favoritism we’ve come to expect from these media-driven forums, as they try to prop up their liberal candidates.
Now, apparently, it isn’t enough for the media to be the debate-framers — they want to be the lie detectors too. And here’s the funny part. The American people don’t think the media is telling the truth to begin with, so why would they trust them to start now? Just because you put “fact” in their title doesn’t mean they’ll distort the truth any less. Most of these people are just regular reporters anyway. Putting them on this assignment doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly be less biased.
Case in point: NBC. For weeks, the outlet has hammered President Trump and Mike Pence on the issue of abortion. Jane Timm, who’s made it her mission to cover up the radicalism of the Democratic candidates, was at it again last night — trying to soften the inhumanity of Harris’s agenda. Asked if she would agree to any limits on abortion, the senator refused to answer, saying only, “I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body.” Those “decisions,” as we know from her Senate record, include Harris’s support for birth day abortion, late-term abortion, and newborn “abortion” (or, as most people know it as: infanticide).
Mike Pence, after explaining that he was unapologetically prolife, took the chance to educate viewers on his opponent’s extremism. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion up to the moment of birth,” he said. A fact we know is true based on their support for Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and their unified opposition to the Hyde amendment, which bars taxpayer-funded abortion.
Timm, rather than concede the candidates’ radicalism — which is also a matter of their Senate records — instead called Pence’s statement “misleading.” “Biden supports abortion rights,” she wrote, “and elective abortions do not occur ‘up until the moment of birth'” — a lie so outrageous that you have to wonder how the media manages any credibility in this country. A whopping 22 states — almost half — allow abortion up to the very second of birth. And in seven of those, women don’t need a reason. A pregnant mom at 39 weeks can literally walk into a willing clinic and ask for an abortion, no questions asked. We also know from hundreds of former abortion workers that these horrors exist. Listen to Abby Johnson talk about what goes on behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthood at this year’s Values Voter Summit. It will astound you what’s going on every single day in every single community.
But unfortunately, NBC didn’t stop there. Timm also tried to cushion the blow of this barbaric practice by saying that “just” 1.2 abortions “occur after 21 weeks of gestation, according to the latest data.” First of all, those aren’t complete numbers, as we know from the lax and uneven state reporting requirements. Secondly, personal testimony has suggested for years that the “1.2 percent” number is a farce. Late-term abortions happen all the time, Abby explained matter-of-factly. Third, and perhaps most important, 1.2 percent is actually 5,597 children a year — more than double the casualties on 9/11. Imagine if someone remarked, just as casually, “America just lost 2,996 lives on September 11th.” One life is one life too many.
The media needs to stop with its “fact checks” and try a reality check instead. There’s no glossing over the truth about these two parties or their agendas. The reason networks can’t stand Pence challenging Harris’s abortion agenda is because it shows viewers exactly where she’ll take America if she has the chance. And it’s the one place most voters would never choose to be.
Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.