Luke Russert, a journalist with NBC News, tweeted the following yesterday:
A conservative journo asked Pelosi abt what constitutes a baby being alive: Pelosi, “I’m a mother of 5, I think I know more abt this than u”
Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) October 1, 2015
I’m not sure why there was the need to qualify journalist (or “journo”) with conservative, here, but it does highlight the fact that liberal journalists such as Russert seem incapable of asking pro-choice politicians even slightly challenging questions about ending human lives after those human lives have begun.
Asking Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a hardline defender of the practice of killing unborn children even in the latest stages of development in the womb (she calls late-term abortion “sacred ground“), what constitutes a baby being alive is a question any journalist should ask, and not just conservative ones.
Journalists love asking tough questions about abortion … so long as the recipient of those questions is pro-life. When the politician is pro-choice, they just can’t imagine even the first question you might ask. That’s because, it seems more than safe to say given the last two months of deferential coverage of Planned Parenthood, they are pretty big fans of abortion themselves.
For just one recent example of this, see how the media completely censored an independent report showing that the videos about Planned Parenthood’s human organ trafficking were not deceptively edited. This just weeks after running hundreds of stories on a Planned Parenthood-commissioned report from a Democratic opposition research firm saying otherwise.
In any case, deflecting the question about what constitutes a baby being alive with a statement about how many children she has should not be treated as totes awesome, y’all, as Russert and other journalists did. It should result in follow-up questions from other reporters who should treat abortion as a serious policy issue requiring tough questioning.
Or note this triumphant tweet from The Hill:
WATCH: Pelosi shuts down reporter on abortion: "I know more about this subject than you" http://t.co/gI8iX8j68z pic.twitter.com/NttjIlBMhRThe Hill (@thehill) October 2, 2015
By “shuts down” they mean, of course, “could not answer.”
From this exchange, the Washington Post wrung a piece headlined:
I screencapped it so that if they develop any shame and change it, like they did this piece of pro-Planned Parenthood puffery by Amber Phillips, we’ll have a record. Oh look at that! The URL tells the story of the original headline, but they did, in fact, change the headline, however many hours later. Now it says “Nancy Pelosi shut down a reporter’s abortion question in a press conference.”
This piece, by Kelsey Snell, seems to view asking reasonable questions of pro-choice politicians as something that journalists should not do.
Snell doesn’t know enough to tell us the name of the journalist asking the question, but she does, somehow, know that he or she is an “abortion protester.” Except, as the correction to her piece now admits, she didn’t know the reporter was an abortion protester. He wasn’t. She just assumed, I guess, since all the journalists in the mainstream outlets are so supportive of abortion and wouldn’t dare ask a question that casts even a moment of skepticism on the practice, that he must be a “protester.” The original story began:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was not interested in entertaining questions Thursday from an anti-abortion protester who shouted a question to the California Democrat during her weekly press conference.
The brief exchange came as Pelosi answered questions about a long-term budget and spending bill. The protester sat in the first row of the presser and spoke up over several other reporters vying to ask a question of the Democratic leader. It was unclear who the questioner was and for which news organization they worked.
Simmer down, Snell. Asking tough questions and being tenacious is called journalism. And the reporter, Sam Dorman of CNS, was credentialed and was asking completely on-point and important questions about the most important human rights issue in the country. See, reporters haven’t been covering the story, but Planned Parenthood has been shown — repeatedly — to believe that the human lives they end have monetary value in the form of the body parts that can be gleaned from abortions. And Planned Parenthood, which is not only a massive supporter of the Democratic Party, is a recipient of $500 million in taxpayer funds annually. Just because many in the media love Planned Parenthood and love abortion with a passion that is truly intense doesn’t mean that they should completely lose all journalistic credibility in devotion of same.
The reporter asked:
“In reference to funding for Planned Parenthood: Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?”
See, throughout those videos that the media refuse to cover, Planned Parenthood officials talk about the human hearts and the human livers that are so valuable to the purchasers of said organs. So an unborn baby (say “fetus,” a Latin word we use, if that helps you work through this question) has a human heart and a human liver, is it a human being?
How can the humanity of the organs be so obvious and repeatedly affirmed by Planned Parenthood officials but the humanity of the life that was ended to get them be in question?
That’s kind of the entire point of these Planned Parenthood videos. It’s actually a really good question, albeit one well beyond a press corps obsessed with not covering the videos.
Pelosi said, “Why don’t you take your ideological questions–I don’t, I don’t have—.” And then she offered the testimony about being a mother (Hey! So am I! And it’s awesome! It also has absolutely nothing to do with the reporter’s question!).
She finally said, “And I do not intend to respond to your questions, which have no basis in what public policy is that we do here.”
Yes, everyone knows that the question of whether we should help subsidize Planned Parenthood while it ends 330,000 human lives after they’ve begun, followed by chopping up those bodies for parts for sale, has “no basis” in the “public policy” we do here. Nosiree. Oh wait. The opposite.
The question is, though, why do reporters think they need to be so supportive of Pelosi avoiding answering these questions?
I linked above to a report of Pelosi saying that late-term abortion is “sacred ground.” Nevermind that Pelosi’s support of abortion all the way to the birth canal is a very radical position outside of the Democratic Party and American newsrooms. Late-term abortion is deeply unpopular in this country and mostly unheard of in the rest of the civilized world.
She gave that answer when a reporter asked her to explain the moral difference between what Kermit Gosnell did to babies born alive vs. aborting those same infants moments before birth.
But the most fascinating part of the exchange with the reporter and Pelosi is how reporters erupted in laughter at her first deflection. Here’s video confirmation of what I’m talking about:
Around 40 seconds into the video, you hear reporters erupt with laughter in support of Pelosi. I’m sure it will shock you to learn that Jeremy Peters of the New York Times, who covers politics in the Washington bureau of the news paper, is one of the ones guffawing. It will shock you even more to learn that Russert was another one of the liberal bro journalists to bust a gut.
Why in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks should a “reporter” be laughing at Pelosi’s attempt to skirt a tough question about abortion?
That’s simply not journalism. Neither is Russert’s supportive tweet mentioning Pelosi’s standard statement when asked tough questions about abortion (“I’m the best Catholic in the world and I had babies. No follow-ups.”). Neither is Snell’s denigration of the reporter as an “abortion protester.”
If you can’t think of about 25 follow-up questions to one of the most powerful pro-choice politicians in the country when she repeats her line about her religion and uterus for the hundredth time, you are a bad journalist.
Stop your laughing. Stop your stupid praise-tweets. Stop your erroneous stories that allow politicians on only one side of the aisle to get away with avoiding tough questions.
Start doing some journalism.