So I was going to have a little fun at the expense of CNN this morning, contrasting the news site’s headline for the Democrats’ gun restriction bill—“House to vote on guns background check bill with bipartisan support”—which has garnered exactly four Republican co-sponsors, with its headline for the Sen. Ben Sasse’s anti-infanticide bill, which I was certain would be solely about the “GOP” despite having four Democrat senators voting to move the bill forward. Turns out, it was even better.
There was nothing to contrast because, as far as I can tell, CNN doesn’t feature a single story on their website regarding the Democratic Party blocking of Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would have saved newborn babies who survive abortion attempts from negligent homicide.
CNN didn’t even bother producing one of those predictably prejudiced pieces, like the ones we saw in Politico or the Washington Post yesterday, mischaracterizing Sasse’s bill as “anti-abortion.” They didn’t bother with the “conservatives pounce!” stories, like the Daily Beast or Vox did. They didn’t bother, like so many others, to distract from the number of viable babies being aborted by stressing only 1.5 percent of the procedures are post-20 weeks’ gestation, rather than pointing out there are somewhere around 15,000 to 18,000 aborted every year. They just ignored it.
CNN features a long string of stories about Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on the site—surely, legitimate news—but not one about a highly unpopular policy position that is supported by every Democratic Party presidential hopeful in the Senate. This issue that dominated the political discussions of around half the country yesterday was not worth a single piece from this unbiased, undeterred, truth seeking, information-gathering operation. I wonder why that is?
As far as we can tell as of this writing, in the 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. hours, CNN anchor Dave Briggs reported, not on the debate over the infanticide bill or the vote, but on a Trump tweet about the debate (the heroin of mainstream journalism):
President Trump is slashing Senate Democrats for blocking a Republican-sponsored abortion bill. The bill would punish any doctor who fails to provide medical care for a child born alive after an attempted abortion. Democrats filibuster denied the measure, the 60 votes needed for a final vote. The president tweeted, apparently from Air Force One that ‘The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies after birth. This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress.’”
Would the network have mentioned the vote at all had Trump not tweeted about it? It’s also worth noting that CNN.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Internet, has far more eyeballs than CNN. Most young people don’t watch cable news.
Anyway, I figured I would also check on MSNBC television. As far as I can tell, the network didn’t bother mentioning the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act a single time on TV yesterday. Its website doesn’t feature a single story about the bill or vote. That’s to be expected, I suppose.
Surely, I said, the august NBC News would have an article on such a divisive issue. “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act?” Nada. “Ben Sasse abortion?” Nada. Lots and lots of stories about Sasse’s criticism of the president, but no space on the internet for his legislation banning the termination of viable infants. There is a single line buried in Chuck Todd’s newsletter about “Born Alive abortion bill” that, tellingly enough, links to a Wall Street Journal piece.
How about ABC News? Nothing on “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors.” I did find a single buried wire story incorrectly headlined: “The Latest: Democrats block Senate GOP anti-abortion effort.” The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, a bill name that so many journalists assiduously avoid, would not stop a single abortion.
Now, I will confess that the search tools for some of these sites are difficult to navigate, so I may have missed something. Clearly, however, most of them did their best interference for Democrats, who took an unconscionable vote this week that couldn’t be spun by the typical bias. Or put it this way, if Republicans had taken a vote that was deeply unpopular with the majority of Americans, you’d be hearing about it. Over and over again.