The corporate media are watching President Biden’s poll numbers fall every week, dragging with them the midterm electoral prospects of Democrats across the country. In response, reporters have been searching for any issue they believe will rescue the flailing president and his party, and they seem to have settled on abortion as the winner.
And they’re not afraid to shred the truth to promote it.
As most know, the U.S. Supreme Court last month overturned Roe v. Wade, returning decisions on abortion law to the states. The pro-life movement, which labored toward that moment for five decades, is jubilant. The abortion lobby, however, is apoplectic and demands action from its members of Congress and the president.
Sensing an opportunity to change the dynamic of a midterm election that appears to be going against Team Democrat, the media sprang into action.
CNN host Fredricka Whitfield interviewed Gloria Browne-Marshall, a John Jay College professor, at least twice over several days. In the second conversation, Ms. Whitfield prompted Ms. Browne-Marshall to return to her prior accusations of racism among pro-lifers, including “a fear of the Black and browning of America.”
This is a nonsensical argument because babies of color are aborted at disproportionately higher rates than white babies.
In 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest data, Black women had the most abortions with 23.8 per 1,000. Of every 1,000 Hispanic women, 11.7 had an abortion. White women were lowest at 6.6 per 1,000.
It’s obvious that restricting abortion would save the lives of untold numbers of Black and Hispanic babies, thereby increasing the minority population. That’s the opposite of what was alleged on CNN.
NBC ran a piece disparaging pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, allowing a critic to label them “a program to make Republicans feel good like they’re doing something to help women.”
CBS Mornings host Gayle King interviewed Hillary Clinton, who identified Justice Clarence Thomas as the key villain on the Court.
“I went to law school with him. He’s been a person of grievance for as long as I’ve known him — resentment, grievance, anger,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Women are going to die, Gayle. Women will die.”
Left unanswered is how Justice Thomas, a Black man, fits into the racist plot previously imagined by CNN.
The media’s desperation to turn abortion into a golden issue for Democrats led some to pounce on Mr. Thomas again for his dissent in the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case about religious objections to COVID-19 vaccines.
Justice Thomas noted that some people “object on religious ground to all available COVID-19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”
This was an accurate description of the petitioners’ position, and an accurate description of how the vaccines were developed.
Still, with abortion as the subject, it was too good not to exploit, even if it required significant dishonesty.
“Clarence Thomas suggests COVID vaccines are made with ‘aborted children,’” Axios tweeted. In its story, Axios offered a “Reality Check,” which stated, “No coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. contains the cells of aborted fetuses.”
This is what is known as a “straw man,” or the creation of an argument that no one is making so it can be knocked down to give the false appearance of proving a point. Nowhere did Justice Thomas state that vaccines actually contain cells of aborted fetuses, only that they were developed using them, which is true.
Politico and NBC posted similar stories, attacking Justice Thomas for the same claim he didn’t make.
The purpose of all this disinformation and misdirection was made plain by Time magazine in a story under the headline, “The Fall of Roe May Save Democrats in the Midterms, at Least in the Suburbs.”
But the elation that Democrats had been handed a potent issue has morphed into exasperation among elected Democrats and their activist base, who see the president and his White House as completely ineffective.
“After string of Supreme Court setbacks, Democrats wonder whether Biden White House is capable of urgency moment demands,” lamented a CNN headline.
Because, what good is a hot political issue if the boss is incompetent?
And recent polling suggests that the abortion issue doesn’t cut against Republicans as much as the media hope.
In a new Monmouth poll, inflation, gas prices and other economic problems dominated voters’ concerns, with abortion being the top issue for only 5% of respondents.
You’ve got to imagine that a good number of pro-lifers are in that 5% to go with the pro-abortion folks, so it’s hard to see how this could revive Democrat chances in November.
But this much seems certain: If abortion politics were truly going to help Democrats, there would be no need to lie about it.
• Tim Murtaugh is a Washington Times columnist and the founder and principal of Line Drive Public Affairs, a communication consulting firm.
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