Published On: Thu, Jan 28th, 2016

Newsbusters study shows media blackout on March for Life, covering baby pandas ’26 times more’

Tens of thousands of Americans filled Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life commemorating the nearly 60 million babies murdered since 1973’s Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, but sadly the national news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC totally ignored the event.

In fact, Newsbusters pointed out that these three networks dedicated more than nine-and-a-half minutes – 26 times more than the march – on the debut of the National Zoo’s baby panda cub last weekend. (Emphasis added, The Dispatch)

On the journalists caring about newborns, Newsbusters says “There’s no denying that panda cubs are cute and attention-worthy. But there’s something terribly wrong when the the networks devote minutes to animals, while only sparing seconds to human beings.”

This year’s March For Life was particularly relevant in light of the Center for Medical Progress videos released last summer exposing Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby parts. These videos resulted in nationwide protests, congressional hearings, state investigations as well as a heated GOP presidential debate.

Only ABC had anything to say about the march. Good Morning America reported Sunday on a “group of high schoolers trying to get back to Kentucky after visiting D.C. for the March for Life.”

photo courtesy March For Life Chicago

photo courtesy March For Life Chicago

That one mention amounted to 22 seconds.

Newsbusters details that “During the same time period, last week (Friday evening to Monday morning), ABC, CBS and NBC combined spent nine minutes and 36 seconds on the public debut of the National Zoo’s new panda cub, Bei Bei….ABC World News Saturday on Jan. 16 hyped “panda-monium” while CBS’ Sunday Morning on Jan. 17 highlighted the “dozens” that came to see Bei Bei.”

ABC and NBC also mentioned a Mass celebrated by groups stranded on the Pennsylvania turnpike, by the way. But they couldn’t bring themselves to say why those Catholics were on the road: for the March for Life. NBC’s Today called them a “church group.”

The broadcast networks and news outlets have long misrepresented the March for Life.

The Washington Post called the 2016 March for Life “small” while The New York Times estimated “hundreds.” There were fewer participants than years past, but tens of thousands still attended the march, according to March for Life organizers.

“We were extremely pleased with what appeared to be tens of thousands of Americans who came together to celebrate life today despite the weather conditions,” said Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, in a statement to MRC Culture. “Today we proved our commitment to this cause, and protecting all life, especially for the unborn.”

Last year, 200,000 people marched in Washington, D.C., but only CBS mentioned the march, allotting just 15 seconds. To put that in perspective, 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.


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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.

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