Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues to News Networks: 'Cover the March for Life!'
by MICHAEL W. CHAPMAN
January 26, 2017
The Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues called on the news networks to cover this Friday's annual March for Life, which brings in hundreds of thousands of marchers, and to "cover it fairly" given the extensive coverage the media gave to the pro-abortion "Women's March on Washington" on Jan. 21.
"This Friday is a true test for the media," said Alliance member Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center. "They provided massive, and fawning coverage of the pro-abortion ‘Women's March' just four days ago. The media's coverage of the ‘March for Life' in two days, both in time and tone, will tell you everything you need to know about their support for abortion."
"With media's trust in the basement, they will be exposed for the partisan hacks they are if they don't give pro-lifers the same amount of coverage," said Bozell. "I'm not holding my breath."
This is the second annual #CoverTheMarch campaign, said the Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues in a Jan. 25 statement. "The annual event held in Washington, D.C. draws hundreds of thousands of peaceful participants from all over the country. This year's March for Life, Friday, January 27, marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand."
The Alliance is "a coalition of 25 pro-life organizations and two members of Congress [that] was formed in 2016 in response to the consistently poor coverage media outlets have given to important, newsworthy life issues," said the group in its statement. "Last year's censorship of the March for Life (which received only 35 seconds of coverage total from the networks) confirmed the media's contempt for those who don't share their liberal social agenda."
"Since the media covered the pro-abortion 'Women's March on Washington' this year for 4,518 seconds, they should give comparable coverage to the hundreds of thousands of peaceful pro-life marchers," said the Alliance.
In addition to the Media Research Center, other Alliance members issued statements, which are presented below:
Greg Scott, Vice President of Communications, Alliance Defending Freedom: "The annual March for Life is among the most consequential events organized in response to one of our most significant and ongoing cultural conversations: Will we continue to allow the victimization of our most vulnerable citizens or create a more just society in which unborn children are protected from the abortion industry? When nearly the entire media establishment essentially ignores the largest and longest-running gathering on such a critical issue, it can only be seen as industry-wide journalistic malpractice. This discussion is far too important for even one news entity to ignore."
Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association: "Those who are defending the unborn deserve just as much media coverage as those who are disrespecting the political process and marched in anger in Washington. It's time that the mainstream media give Americans a true picture of our entire society, not only the liberal, progressive, politically correct messages it deems worthy for coverage."
Terry Schilling, Executive Director, American Principles Project: "If the media wants to continue to be seen as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, ignore the [March for Life] as usual. But if journalists are serious about improving their perceived objectivity and serving the American people at large, they should show up this Friday and give the tremendous pro-life crowds the news cycle they warrant."
Patrick J. Reilly, President, Cardinal Newman Society: "It should be front-page news! Just as the White House shifts from ardently pro-abortion to pro-life, thousands of pro-lifers descend on Washington with new-found hope. And there are so many special-interest stories! We're so proud of the students from the University of Mary, who will lead the March after traveling all the way from western North Dakota to proclaim their faith and to defend precious lives."
Vincent DiCaro, Chief Outreach Officer, Care Net: "According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly 7 in 10 Americans think abortion should be illegal in at least some circumstances. It is time that the mainstream media treats pro-life people and the movements they support as just that -- part of the American mainstream and deserving of robust coverage."
Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League: "The pro-life community, which helped elect Donald Trump president, will be watching to see if the media's enthusiasm for covering the Women's March on Washington will be on display on January 27 when legions of young people-from all walks of life-participate in the Right to Life March. They might try to show good faith by calling the march for what it is-a pro-life march-not an anti-abortion event. That alone would be progress."
Jay Hobbs, Director of Marketing & Communications, Heartbeat International: "There is no better time than now for the mainstream media to tune into the deeply held views of the well-over half of all Americans who support the dignity and value of every human life. Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and every mother needs the support she needs to choose life for her precious children. There is nothing controversial about the fact that every woman and girl deserves dignity and respect-whether she is inside or outside the womb."
Stephen Phelan, Director of Mission Communications, Human Life International: "If we have learned one thing this week, it's that the networks still have the capacity to cover large events in the nation's capital. At least they do when they have an event that helps them tell the story they want to tell. If they want to make inroads back into the tens of millions of homes that have tuned them out, they may want to give another enormous pro-woman event some coverage and show that they are not picking winners and losers, but just covering newsworthy events."
Steven Ertelt, Editor, LifeNews.com: "The media bias against the March for Life is unfortunately not new. For many years the media has either refused to cover it or has issued biased reports that give as much space or more to abortion advocates than the 500,000 pro-life people flooding the streets of the nation's capital opposing abortion. With the glowing news reporting supporting the recent pro-abortion march, media outlets ought to give the March for Life the same positive treatment."
Lila Rose, President, Live Action: "The pro-abortion bias of many major media groups is both shameful and indefensible. But they still have time to redeem themselves. After the wall-to-wall coverage that the 'Women's March' on Washington received just a week earlier, will the mainstream media suddenly lose interest in marches this Friday when hundreds of thousands descend on Washington, D.C., to stand up for life?"
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) is the Chairman of the Media Fairness Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives: "Every year, Americans can count on two things to happen: 1) one of the largest public demonstrations that occurs in our country, the annual March for Life, will take place in D.C. and 2) the liberal national media will dismiss it. The media should report on the march, which routinely consists of hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates. If they don't, particularly given their recent coverage of other marches in D.C., Americans will know the media has no interest in providing fair and objective coverage of the news."
Congressman Alex Mooney, WV 2: "It is shameful that the liberal media consistently fails to fairly cover the pro-life march in Washington D.C. It is not surprising that the media covers and exalts the pro-abortion movement, yet it fails to acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates who march in defense of the unborn every year."
Devin Scribner, Executive Director, Ohio Right to Life: "When we have this level of sustained grassroots activism occurring every year for 43 years in the nation's capital, it is incumbent on the media to report it. Our fellow Americans deserve to know the level of dissent on this important issue, and pro-lifers deserve the opportunity to make our case for the unborn.
Monica Cole, Director, One Million Moms: "Millions of women-mothers, daughters, wives and sisters-around the country fight every day for unborn babies who never had the chance to reach their God-given potential. Yet their dedication and commitment goes unnoticed to the point of where the rest of the world is kept blind to ‘the other side.' Media is supposed to present a fair and unbiased view of the news, but is failing the American people."
Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer, Radiance Foundation: "Mainstream media has chosen to abandon journalism and replace it with brazen political activism. If they want to restore any credibility to this institution they'll stop distorting the injustice of abortion and start reporting what's really going on. Actually covering the March for Life (and all that happens during those few days) is a good place to begin."
Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life: "In years and decades passed the March for Life has never received the media attention it deserves as the nation's largest annual social mobilization. However, with the coverage from this weekend's Women's March, we are expecting the media to be there in full force, providing fair and equal coverage."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List: "For years, major media outlets have shown little interest in covering the March for Life, willfully ignoring the size, strength, and perseverance of the pro-life movement. We challenge the media that covered last week's Women's March with great enthusiasm to come to the March for Life and show the world what hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists look like. We will be there, as we are every year, filled with joy and hope, marching on behalf of unborn babies and their mothers. This year pro-life Americans from across the nation will also be joined by Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President, who considers herself among the ‘pro-life rank and file.' Our movement is poised to make historic gains for unborn children and women with this new pro-life President and Congress."
Emily Jashinsky, Spokeswoman, Young America's Foundation: "Young America's Foundation enthusiastically supports this alliance in its important mission of holding the media accountable for failing to provide fair coverage of the millions of Americans who actively support every American's right to life."
Disclosure: The MRC is the parent organization of CNSNews.com.
Courtesy of CNSNews.com
Michael writes for CNSNews.com. He has worked as a writer for The McLaughlin Group; associate editor of Consumers' Research magazine; associate editor of Human Events; editorial page editor of The Lima News; journalism fellow for The Phillips Foundation; editorial writer and national issues reporter for Investor's Business Daily; and editorial director of the Cato Institute. Michael graduated with Special Honors in English (B.A.) from the University of Chicago. He lives with his wife, Claire, and their five children in Virginia.