"Only one good thing comes out of this. Thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature.” This statement wasn’t made about Planned Parenthood, the baby-murdering organization recently discovered to have been trafficking human body parts for money. Rather, made by famed primatologist Jane Goodall, the remark referenced the killing of Cecil the Zimbabwean lion by Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer. And whether or not the lion’s death will open eyes, it certainly is reaching more eyes than Planned Parenthood’s trespasses — thanks to our media.
In fact, writes Lifesite News, “broadcast news shows spent more time in one day on Cecil the Lion than they did on the Planned Parenthood videos in two weeks. Continued the site:
The three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and CBS censored the third video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts — censored it at Planned Parenthood’s urging. But the news shows did find more than 14 minutes for a more important story: the “outrage” over the shooting of Cecil, a famed African lion….
Tuesday, the networks spent 5 minutes, 44 seconds during their evening news shows on Cecil — and that’s not even counting the teasers. Wednesday morning, ABC, NBC and CBS lamented over the lion for 8 minutes, 17 seconds.
But they couldn’t do the same for a story of babies “picked” apart by tweezers.
Radio giant Rush Limbaugh also noted the disparity, saying on his show yesterday, “I love cats, too, and I think Cecil is a great name for a lion. In fact, if I ever get another cat I'm gonna name it Cecil in honor of this one.... But how in the world can you get teary-eyed and misty-eyed and sad over Cecil and, at the same time, participate in burying what's happening at Planned Parenthood?”
Perhaps the mainstream media can explain it. As Lifesite also reported, Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer closed her July 29 segment about the lion with “There are no words” (except, apparently, enough for oodles of coverage). Co-anchor Gayle King of CBS’ This Morning lamented, “The more you hear about it, the more upsetting it is.” Host of CBS’ Evening News Scott Pelley analogized, “It’s as if someone had killed Lassie.” Jimmy Kimmel actually got choked up and teary on his July 28 program, as he devoted 4 minutes, 42 seconds to Cecil. And British journalist Piers Morgan did one better, actually issuing a (tongue-in-cheek) death threat, saying that he and accomplices should track down Dr. Palmer, “skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and took [sic] a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh,” related Lifesite. Interestingly, this scenario roughly approximates what Planned Parenthood regularly does to babies.
Yet there isn’t nearly the same passion displayed for those trafficked babies, is there? Sure, it’s obligatory (in most people’s minds) to mouth the necessary platitudes about the selling of human body parts, to say “of course it’s unacceptable.” But tone speaks louder than words: If you want to know what someone wants you to believe he believes, listen to what he says; if you want to know what he really believes, listen to how he says it.
And what a tone it is. Palmer has quickly become the most hated man in America; his dental practice is shuttered, a sign on its door states “ROT IN HELL,” and he’s in hiding after receiving death threats. Planned Parenthood isn’t getting the same treatment, however, and could you imagine if it did? Death threats, shuttered offices, and doctors driven underground? The stories would be about “violent,” intolerant pro-lifers quashing women’s rights. But with Palmer it’s no-holds-barred.
There are many reasons for our skewed sense of proportion. Obviously, exposing Planned Parenthood undermines the media’s pro-abortion agenda; moreover, reporters are human (at least mostly), and many no doubt are uncomfortable facing the reality of what they support. In contrast, animal “rights” and environmentalism are part of their agenda, and generations of children have been imbued with that agenda. It’s also worth noting that we’ve grown up with cartoons that anthropomorphize animals, showing them laughing, crying, and talking. But because they don’t actually talk in real life, they don’t enrage us arguing about religion or politics. So the reality is that the creatures we love most — and hate most — are people.
But the root cause of our skewed sense of proportion is deeper. We value things based on our assessment of what they are. If we recognize man as a divine being infused with a soul, our reckoning of his worth will be far different than if we suppose he’s just some pounds of chemicals and water, an organic robot — and an often annoying one at that. Thus, it’s no coincidence that the people who care more about the lion than the babies are secularists.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t like the unnecessary killing of animals, either, and I certainly believe in preserving threatened species. We’re called to be good shepherds of the Earth. But that we can consider ourselves “called” to do anything bespeaks of man’s singular status among creatures; animals don’t have callings, only instincts. Man, however, possesses intellect and free will and has moral (and too often immoral) agency. Of course, this is where the neo-nature-worshipers will utter the requisite statements about how animals are “so much better than man,” displaying the very mentality that places terminated and trafficked babies second to Cecil. But we might note here experts’ lamentations about the consequences of Cecil’s passing: The next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho, will take over the pride and “most likely kill all of Cecil’s cubs.” Moreover, the lionesses “could die trying to defend those young,” we’re told. This was related without judgment, except perhaps the implied variety about the man who created the situation.
Yet if a man married a woman with children, proceeded to kill the kids and then their mother when she came to their defense, we’d want his neck. Why, he might even, for a moment, be half as hated as Palmer. And that’s the point: We expect such behavior from Jericho the big cat. He’s just being a lion. But we expect a man to do better. And we’re aghast when he doesn’t. This is why G.K. Chesterton once said, “Man is always something worse or something better than an animal; and a mere argument from animal perfection never touches him at all. Thus, in sex no animal is either chivalrous or obscene. And thus no animal ever invented anything so bad as drunkenness — or so good as drink.”
Something better or “something worse.” The killing of young is, as some Zimbabwean experts put it, “standard procedure for lions.” So it is for Planned Parenthood, too. And it’s tolerated, and often sanctioned, by its millions of apologists. In fact, something far worse than an animal, they’re willing to turn a blind eye to the rending of babies’ little bodies with tweezers and the selling of their body parts for profit.
There was another group that had little respect for human life but exalted animals. It outlawed vivisection, banned commercial animal trapping, restricted hunting, and regulated the boiling of lobsters and crabs. One of its leaders even sent a man to a concentration camp for slicing up a bait frog.
It was the Nazis.
They dealt in human body parts, too, by the way.
Cecil apparently was a special feline, and we can lament this Lion King’s passing. But when our lyin’ kings of the media cry more for him than innumerable murdered, mutilated, and marketed babies, we can only ask one question about their sense of proportion:
Media, to you, how many human lives is one lion worth?
Photo of Cecil the lion: AP Images