This Thanksgiving, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and others in the pro-abortion cohort should put MSNBC atop their “What We're Thankful For” lists. The cable network has come out as a strident supporter of federally funded abortion.
Network personalities including Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and Dylan Ratigan have been reciting liberal talking points regarding the Stupak Amendment in the House's health care reform bill. The amendment would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for insurance coverage of elective abortions.
Schultz, for one, claimed the Stupak Amendment “throws us back to the dark ages” but the main thrust of the network's coverage of the amendment focused on two things: that Catholic bishops have no place in politics and that the amendment was a tool to restrict women's access to affordable insurance coverage. And Ratigan even went so far as to accuse a pro-life activist of lying about the amendment, despite fact checks by other news organizations that indicated her assessment was correct.
Snyderman, the chief NBC medical correspondent as well as host of MSNBC's noon show “Dr. Nancy,” was especially vocal about her feelings regarding the Stupak Amendment. She claimed on Nov. 9 that it “really tighten[ed] the chance for a woman's right to choose” and stated that it was “infuriating.” Later in the week she agreed with National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill that the IRS should investigate the U.S. Conference Catholic Bishops for its role in the passage of the amendment.
As Snyderman is a friend of Hillary Clinton's and a contributor to the Democratic party, her stance on abortion should not surprise anybody. But her outright advocacy in favor of federally funded abortion should call into question her objectivity as a journalist.
Anita Dunn, the soon-to-be former White House communications director told the New York Times that MNSBC was “progressive but not partisan.” Based on the outrage coming from the network's personalities about the Stupak amendment, a more accurate characterization would be “shills for the Democratic party.”
Liar, Liar Ratigan on Fire?
The lowest point in MSNBC's coverage of the Stupak Amendment came on Nov. 10, when “Morning Meeting” host Dylan Ratigan's accused the Family Research Council's Cathy Ruse of lying.
“Cathy, you can't, just coming on television and lying is not journalism nor is it actually beneficial to the country,” Ratigan responded.
But left-leaning NPR had agreed with
Yet Ratigan wasn't going to let the facts get in the way of advocacy. He lectured
Listen, Kathy, in the future if you could just come inside the domain of the facts, it makes for a more productive conversation. I recognize it's gratifying to cast the accusations because it gets people worked up. It's fun, and you're like gah, the government. I hate the government. Or the government is paying for abor – but it's not what's going on here. There is an exchange that's being established by the government, upon which private insurance could be bought and sold with private individuals, and the argument in Stupak is that exchange should not be a place where elective abortion can be conducted. It's more beneficial I think to the whole country, if the debate is had inside the domain of reality as opposed to this, sort of just nonsense.
But here's NPR's report about the exchange again:
Private insurance companies that offer a health plan through the exchange are allowed to cover abortion. But if they're going to, the companies must also offer another plan that is identical in every way, except that it does not cover abortion.
So, say you're buying insurance with your own money, and you get it through the exchange. You can choose a policy that covers abortion, or one that doesn't. But if you're getting help from the government to buy that insurance – in the form of a tax subsidy – you may not choose a plan that covers abortion. You are still allowed to buy a supplemental policy with your own money.
If you're a pro-life Catholic, MSNBC doesn't want to hear from you.
“Countdown” host Keith Olbermann questioned Catholic commitment to the pro-life stance during his Nov. 12 broadcast, using dubious statistics to claim that it's not pro-life to allow “44,000 Americans” to die “in the next year because of insufficient insurance.”
His guest Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, followed Olbermann's lead and claimed Catholics had “maximized the issue of abortion as the moral issue that trumps all other moral issues.” Gaddy also claimed the health care reform legislation was “by the broadest definition, pro-life legislation.”
Strange how Olbermann and Gaddy worry that abortion is the “moral issue that trumps all other moral issues” for pro-life activists, but are silent about abortion being the “moral issue that trumps all other moral issues” for liberals.
David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, indicated on Nov. 15 that Obama would not allow a health care reform bill to come to his desk without maintaining the “status quo” on abortion.
“[Obama] is going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at that end of the day, the status quo is not changed … I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly,” Axelrod told CNN's John King.
Olbermann et al at MSNBC fail to see that Obama's desire to not change the “status quo” also maximizes the issue of abortion to the most important issue. The time it will take to “adjust” the bill to Obama and his pro-abortion base's liking, delays health care reform for those that liberals claim desperately need it.
“The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill,” proclaimed “Hardball” host Chris Matthews during his Nov. 10 show when told by Politico reporter Jonathan Allen that Catholic bishops lobbied for the pro-life Stupak Amendment during the House debates. “I understand the argument,” he continued before adding, “Don't show up.”
Matthews later clarified that the Catholic bishops were not actually on the Hill during the health care debate, but that it was “staffers from the U.S. Conference of [Catholic] Bishops [who] were doing the lobbying, not the actual bishops.” He claimed the distinction was “important,” but the crux of his message, that religious views have no place in crafting legislation that affects abortion, remained the same.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman went so far as to essentially lobby the IRS during her Nov. 12 show to investigate the Catholic Bishops for a violation of separation of church and state.
“This is going to be a Pollyannaish statement. The Catholic bishops appearing and having a political voice seems to be a most fundamental violation of church and state,” she claimed.
Snyderman's guest, NOW president Terry O'Neill quickly chimed in, “You know, that's the first thing that I said. I don't know where the Internal Revenue Service is, but I hope they're paying attention.”
Rather than point out that NOW is also a non-profit group with a tax-exempt component that could be subjected to an IRS investigation, Snyderman simply claimed, “Me too.”
Later, on her Nov. 16 show, Snyderman demonstrated her fundamental ignorance about Catholic teaching and abortion by labeling the late Ted Kennedy “ a man of his Church.”
“I can't help but think about someone like Ted Kennedy who walked a very, very, very narrow line and still was so much a man of his Church and his faith,” Snyderman stated during a lament about the lack of a unifying figure in the fight for federally-funded abortion.
Snyderman apparently didn't realize that Kennedy didn't “walk a narrow line” regarding abortion. As a pro-choice absolutist, he had jumped squarely over the line to directly oppose Church teaching on the matter.
Stupak: Restricting Health Care Access for Women
Snyderman and Rachel Maddow adopted the meme that the Stupak Amendment was a direct attack on women's access to affordable health insurance.
Synderman, in particular, hit the victim bell hard during her broadcasts last week.
She labeled the Stupak Amendment “one more burden for women navigating the health care system” and complained that Stupak was “a white man deciding a woman's responsibility in her own procreation” during her Nov. 9 rant:
You know what I find so infuriating about this? I mean, absolutely infuriating. And this isn't about being pro-choice or pro-abortion, or any of the hot button lingo. We know women pay more for insurance than men. We know women are restricted in many states. And now it's basically, if you're a 50-year-old woman and you're in a monogamous relationship, you suddenly find yourself pregnant, you'd better know that you have an abortion rider in order to access health care that you thought you had, it is one more pressure on women. I'm surprised, frankly that there isn't more outrage over the fact that this isn't fair!
A white man deciding a woman's responsibility in her own procreation. I mean, I find it infuriating. I mean, I really think it doesn't matter what side of the abortion issue or pro-choice issue you're on, the fact that you're making health care harder and harder for women to navigate the system. I think it's outrageous, just outrageous. Kelly O'Donnell, thanks so much.
And folks, it's not about abortion. It really is about one more burden for women navigating the health care system.
Three days later, Snyderman concluded her discussion with NOW president Terry O'Neill by reminding her viewers “that Stupak and Henry Hyde, the two amendments that restrict a woman's right to choose, are both white men telling women about reproduction.”
No word on whether Snyderman finds black men or Hispanics more acceptable arbiters of women's reproductive issues.
During a Nov. 10 conversation with Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, and Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, Snyderman again adopted the argument that the Stupak Amendment would drive up insurance costs for women.
SNYDERMAN: The fact that there is a superstructure that has federal support, means that even if you're a private insurer, you want to be part of this pool. If you're a woman covered by that, you are then precluded from having this [abortion] coverage or you have to buy a rider and most women don't think about this ahead of time and frankly, isn't health care insurance expensive enough for women?
CHARMAINE YOEST: Well, the important point is that there is a provision for private insurers to offer abortion coverage to women who want to pay for it with their own money.
SNYDERMAN: At what kind of surcharge?
Maddow accused Stupak of “targeting” poor women with his amendment during the Nov. 12 broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
“Well, I'm sure [Stupak] is delighted to be able to try to restrict abortion rights purely by going after women who he thinks won't fight back, by targeting women who are not well off enough to be able to pay for abortion services without insurance coverage for them,” stated Maddow.
As if that weren't enough, Maddow continued by accusing Stupak and other pro-life men of being “cowardly” for “chipping away” at abortion rights by offering protection against federal funding for the procedure instead of “making the argument that [abortion] ought to just be gone.”
Latest in Line of Liberal Issues
Abortion is just the latest pet cause pushed by MSNBC. They've already attempted to make the case to rescind the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy, have thoroughly trashed outspoken conservative women and deride Christians at every chance they get.
To claim, as Anita Dunn did, that the network is not “partisan” is an insult to anybody who knows the definition of partisan.
MSNBC's blind devotion to liberal ideology even leads on-air personalities to not recognize truth when directly confronted by it.