Meanwhile, much smaller protests — by pro-Hamas demonstrators and by homosexual militants over the Proposition 8 "gay marriage" ban, to cite two examples — received lavish, sympathetic, repeat coverage day after day ... after day.
Right-to-life adherents are used to getting short shrift and biased reportage from the liberal-left dominated major media. The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., which regularly draws over 200,000, gets scant coverage, and then is usually sandwiched between statements by pro-abortion advocates.
We also see this sandwich strategy at work in the scant reportage of the Walk for Life in the San Francisco media. CBS5, the local CBS affiliate, for instance, devoted a whole 54 seconds to the event. But wait; apparently in the interest of "balance," the station gave a good part of that less-than-a-minute total coverage to the tiny opposition rally held a block from the pro-life kick-off rally. And, of course, the opposition got the last word.
CBS5's video, embedded in the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle, is entitled "Dueling Abortion Rallies." The title would give the impression of rough equivalency between the two events. But there's more than the huge numerical disparity between the two events — tens of thousands of pro-life attendees versus 150-200 pro-abortion activists — to belie that false portrayal of equivalence. The brief broadcast gives the final statement to Nancy Koto of Bay Area Coalition for Reproductive Rights, a small group of extreme pro-abortion militants, but doesn't even show or mention the line-up of distinguished pro-life leaders, including bishops representing some of the state's largest Catholic diocese: William Justice of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone of San Diego, Jaime Soto of Sacramento, and Rutilio Del Riego of San Bernardino. Nor, of course, did it show or mention African American pro-life leaders Rev. Clenard Childress or Karen Shablin. But that's what passes for "balanced" and "objective" in dominant liberal-left media circles.
Over at ABC7 (KGO-TV), San Francisco's ABC affiliate, it was more of the same, except that one can't even find a less-than-a-minute video clip of the Walk for Life in their news archives. But, as we'll see, there are dozens of archived ABC7 video stories promoting demonstrators who support Hamas terrorists and homosexual activists who harass and intimidate other citizens for merely exercising their rights to vote and to support ballot measures they believe in.
ABC7's online report for this year's Walk for Life is limited to a mere 210 words of text, and a grainy image of pro-life marchers taken from video. But the actual video, apparently, has been chucked down the Orwellian memory hole.
The title of the ABC7 piece is typical of liberal-left media spin: "Abortion rights opponents march in SF." Most major-media organizations can be counted on to side with the pro-abortion militants and to use terms that cast abortion as a sacred "right." Those who oppose the killing of unborn children are referred to not by their preferred positive label of "pro-life" or "right-to-life," but as "anti-abortion" or "anti-abortion rights."
As with the CBS5 story, ABC7's piece manages to turn their already lopsided, censored story into a promotion for abortion. Not only does the tiny group of pro-abort radicals get the last word, they get the most words. Out of the meager 210-word story, ABC7 allows only 30 words to quote from the eminently quotable Rev. Childress, but gives 39 words to a statement from pro-abort activist Sharon Kufeldt of the "Raging Grannies."
"We should let [Obama] know we are not going to accept a radical pro-abort agenda. We should let him know that we support him in just laws, not unjust laws" said Rev. Clenard Childress Jr. with the Life Education and Resource Network.
"Every woman should have a free choice about what happens to her body and that should be supported by our medical system. The church and the government need to stay out of womens' bodies and out of womens' lives," said Sharon Kufeldt with a group called the Raging Grannies.
While the editorial decision makers at ABC7 do not deem the Walk for Life worthy of even one minute of video coverage in their online archives, they have 84 video segments online covering homosexual activists' protests against Proposition 8, the initiative approved last November by California voters to ban homosexual marriage. Although this writer has not viewed all 84 videos (or read the 1,000 ABC7 text stories on the same topic), I did view enough of them to confidently state that they are overwhelmingly tilted in the anti-Prop 8, pro-homosexual marriage direction.
Here are a couple typical examples. An ABC7 story entitled "Couple marching against Prop 8 reaches SF" sympathetically showcases the publicity trek of lesbians Valerie Paget and Tracey Jones. The subtitle reads: "The married lesbian couple has marched 450 miles against the gay marriage ban."
Two lesbian hikers: full coverage. Thirty thousand to 40 thousand pro-life hikers: zero coverage. Perfectly balanced.
Another ABC7 story on Prop 8 seems to be starting in a balanced way (finally!) with reporting on the harassment and terrorism visited upon Prop 8 supporters by homosexual militants. But, predictably, the piece veers off in a way that ultimately favors gay marriage. The video briefly notes that Prop 8 opponents sent envelopes of white powder to two southern California temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in retribution for the church's support of Prop 8. The powder mailings, which turned out to be harmless, were a transparent attempt to terrorize church leaders and members with a fake anthrax attack. The story, entitled "California remains conflicted about Prop 8," also reported that homosexual activists were searching through the election records to see which business owners contributed to the Prop 8 campaign, in order to harass them and organize boycotts against their businesses. The piece concludes with an interview of a homosexual attorney who has filed suit to have the California Supreme Court overturn Prop 8. The attorney, striking a pose of solemn rectitude, explains the high purpose of his suit, noting, "That's the reason we have an independent judiciary; to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority."
In most of the TV and press coverage of the Prop 8 vote, the gay marriage forces got not only the last word, but also the first word — and most of the words in between. Even when the homosexual activists were breaking the law with confrontational street demonstrations, invading and desecrating church services, or vandalizing and destroying church property, the press often found ways of portraying the criminal behavior in a sympathetic manner, as the understandable lashing out of desperately aggrieved victims.
Then there are the pro-Hamas demonstrations. As noted above, the recent conflict in Gaza between Hamas and Israel sparked a series of demonstrations in San Francisco and throughout the Bay area. These ranged in size from a few dozen participants to a couple of hundred. ABC7's online archives has videos of pro-Hamas protests that occurred on December 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, and January 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, and 15. In many of these cases, the protesters did not have a permit to march and illegally blocked traffic. Based on experience, it is probably safe to say that many of the protesters are not even U.S. citizens, and some are probably in this country illegally. Yet the same media organizations that pretend that tens of thousands of American citizens who march peacefully don't even exist, finds excuses to justify giving the Hamas demonstrators and the homosexual protesters lavish coverage day after day.
What media bias?
Nothing sets the prima donnas of the elite media off on a sputtering jag of angry denial like the charge of liberal media bias. They insist such views are the fantasies of delusional right-wing extremists. "No such thing as liberal bias in this newsroom," they insist. "We strive hard to be balanced and objective."
Sometimes, however, the media spinmeisters can't help letting their ideological colors fly openly. That, apparently, was the case with the San Francisco Chronicle's columnist C. W. Nevius on January 24. In a column entitled "Anti-abortion pony show today — hold the jeers," he instructed one and all to completely ignore the pesky pro-lifers. According to Nevius, "The anti-abortion group stages a march in liberal San Francisco and then expresses shock and disappointment when they are jeered and booed."
The Chronicle commentator then charged:
It's a scam and a setup. Nothing gets media attention like two groups facing off against each other. And, frankly, on the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the anti-abortion groups are becoming a tired story. They claim huge numbers for this walk - their estimate last year was 25,000 walkers, although The Chronicle story had the total at 10,000....
I say let's call their bluff. Let them walk. Let them gather in the Marina. Ignore them.
Yes, ignore their "tired story" for something "newsworthy" — like the umpteen thousandth "gay rights" story, or the 20th story in as many days on the same pro-Hamas demonstrators saying the same things.
Photo: William F. Jasper