As CNN looks for a new leader, former CNN host Brian Stelter proposed this as the most important question: “What should an anchor do when a guest says something untrue?”
The public could turn this question around: “What should a politician do when a CNN host says something untrue?” The Stelters of this world cannot imagine anyone at CNN would ever say anything false. They arrogantly presume they always defend the “truth.”
During the June 7 CNN town hall with new presidential candidate Mike Pence, interviewer Dana Bash falsely laid out Biden’s position: “He says that codifying Roe v. Wade is his position. That means a right to an abortion until the point of viability, not up until birth.”
Pence should have interrupted and called her out. Biden was endorsed in 2020 by Planned Parenthood and other abortion lobbies that understood they were getting a staunch abortion-on-demand president.
It’s on paper. This is the Biden-Harris Democrat platform language of 2020: “We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. … Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights.” That plainly lines up the Democrats as against “barriers” — “unequivocally.”
Once in office, the president endorsed the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have repealed all state restrictions on abortion. But when Republicans said it was an “abortion until birth” bill, those pro-Democrat “fact-checkers” screamed. PolitiFact claimed it was “Mostly False,” since “H.R. 8296 permits abortion up until delivery, but only if it is deemed necessary to protect the life of the patient.” It’s the old “life of the mother” exception an abortion supporter can easily embrace.
In a CNN town hall on June 4, CNN host Jake Tapper asked presidential candidate Nikki Haley if she would sign a federal ban on abortion at six weeks. Haley smartly shot back: “I will answer that when you answer — when you ask Kamala and Biden if they would agree to 37 weeks, 38 weeks, 39 weeks. Then I’ll answer your question. No one asked them that. No one asked them how late they’re willing to go.”
Tapper accurately replied, “I think Biden and Harris have been pretty clear that they don’t support any restrictions.” CNN must have received an angry message from Team Biden. An hour later, Tapper claimed his accurate statement was inaccurate.
“I’m a big believer in people in the media correcting themselves when they err, and I erred earlier,” Tapper claimed. He explained that Biden told an interviewer last fall that his “basic position” is “to codify Roe v. Wade, which would mean abortion legal until, what, first 20 — I think it’s 20 weeks of pregnancy. So I was wrong about that. And he was asked!”
So who asked Biden about his extreme stand? It was Owen Jensen of the Catholic network EWTN (certainly not CNN) as Biden prepared to board his Marine One helicopter. “Should there be any restrictions on abortion at all?” Biden said, “Yes.” Jensen said, “What should they be?” Biden snapped, “Roe v. Wade, read it, man! You’ll get educated.”
That’s not a precise answer that should cause a fulsome Tapper apology, but CNN quickly and obediently responds to Democrat complaints. Try to define any Democrat talking about the “restrictions” in their “codifying Roe” legislation. They talk about that precious right to abortion, and that’s it.
The Stelteresque sticklers think politicians must be fact-checked in real time. These “town halls” prove CNN hosts need to be fact-checked in real time.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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