Will Media Give Same Amount Of Positive Coverage To The Annual March For Life Tomorrow That They Did For Women’s March Last Weekend?
[guest post by Dana]
Not if history is any indicator…
The annual March for Life will take place in Washington D.C. tomorrow. Typically the event is downplayed, or altogether ignored by the MSM. This in spite of the numbers historically being similar to those of last weekend’s Women’s March in D.C. But if it is reported on, expect attendance numbers to be given the short-shrift, the negative “anti-abortion” descriptor to be used repeatedly instead of the positive “pro-life” term, and on top of that, it’s guaranteed that none of the reporting will come with a media-expressed optimism and hopefulness about the pro-life movement at large. Yet whether reporters cover the march or not, for the marchers themselves, this year brings reason to cheer: President Trump just reinstated the Mexico City policy, effectively defunding the International Planned Parenthood Federation and cutting off $100 million they receive annually from the U.S. taxpayers.
With that,President Trump was interviewed by David Muir of ABC News yesterday, and in a portion of the interview, Muir, obviously hoping to put the president on the defensive, asked him about the Women’s March last weekend. In response, President Trump brought up the the March for Life. Now, while while I firmly believe the president needs to develop some discernment and self-control with regard to spouting off about the size of, well, anything, kudos to him for bringing up the issue when confronting Muir about the lopsided media coverage between previous March for Life events and last weekend’s Women’s March:
DAVID MUIR: Let me just ask you while we’re standing outside, could you hear the voices from the Women’s March here in Washington? We know more than a million people turned out, and you are their president too.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I couldn’t hear them. The crowds were large, but you will have a large crowd on Friday, too, which is mostly pro-life people.
You’re going to have a lot of people coming on Friday. And I will say this, and I didn’t realize this. But I was told. You will have a very large crowd of people. I don’t know as large or larger. Some people said it will be larger. Pro-life people and they say the press doesn’t cover them.
DAVID MUIR: I don’t want to compare crowd sizes again. I – I—I…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no, you should.
Was President Trump correctly informed about the lack of coverage for the previous March for Life events? Absolutely:
During their morning and evening news shows, the three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) covered the women’s march 129 times more than they did the 2016 March for Life last year.
ABC, CBS and NBC spent at least one hour, 15 minutes and 18 seconds on the women’s march. But for the 2016 March for Life, they devoted an embarrassing 35 seconds (22 seconds following the march, 13 before).
And note the excitement from the Big Three networks when reporting about the Women’s March:
By Jan. 19, all three networks had covered the women’s march, with NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk predicting a “sea of pink” (a reference to women marchers planning to wear pink “pussy hats” to protest President Donald Trump) at the march during Nightly News.
Even up until Tuesday morning, CBS covered the march by playing clips of late-night hosts talking about the protest during This Morning’s “eye openers.”
On Jan. 23, following the march, CBS This Morning still touted the event, with co-anchor Norah O’Donnell commenting that “Organizers of the women’s marches are taking steps to transform the energy from the weekend protest into action.” Her colleague, Charlie Rose added, “Could it take – begin there and become something larger in terms of the empowerment of women in terms of the whole range of issues that are crucial for women and their place and their opportunity to participate in the world that we live in?”
That same day, during Evening News, CBS anchor Scott Pelley called the marches “extraordinary” and wanted to know, “So, what happens next?”
Echoing CBS, ABC anchor David Muir asked about the march during World News Tonight “Can they sustain the momentum turning those marches into a movement?”
Here is a breakdown of the coverage for previous March for Life rallies:
In 2015, only CBS mentioned the march, allotting just 15 seconds. That was only one second for every 13,000 people who put work, school and other obligations aside to travel from as far away as the West Coast. That was only one second for every 3.8 million babies aborted in the last four decades.
In 2014, the networks devoted 46 seconds to the hundreds of thousands marching in Washington, D.C. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS spent six times that on the National Zoo’s new panda cub and four-and-a-half times that on the Climate March.
Since 2013, the networks have devoted just 100 seconds to the March for Life in following news shows – slightly more than they might have spent broadcasting a couple of burger ads.
Brutally killing a defenseless baby in the womb? Who cares. MY BODY, MYSELF!!
But, THE EARTH IS BURNING!? Now that’s a Big. Fucking. Deal.
As one young woman who is planning to march tomorrow, eloquently said:
I don’t think it’s fair that there is an option to kill somebody before they even have a chance to live.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back)