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Fox News Shills For Bart Stupak And His Anti-Choice Pals?

Reported by Priscilla - March 16, 2010 -

As Fox News is the mouthpiece for Republicans and social conservatives, it’s not surprising that their “opinion” shows favor those who are opposed to abortion. (What other network had one of their top talking heads referring to an abortion doctor as a “killer?!”) Lately, while the anti-choice propaganda has been more subtle, it’s still obvious which side of the argument Fox is taking with regard to the abortion issue as it relates to health care reform. Congressman Bart Stupak has been getting quite a bit of face time to promote his anti choice amendment to the House health care bill. And it’s not just the “opinion” side of Fox News. Bill Hemmer, part of the so called Fox “news” block, gave Stupak a very sympathetic platform which included no rebuttal to Stupak’s claim that the Senate health care bill includes federal funding for abortion. Hemmer reinforced Stupak’s claim by referencing what “pro-life” groups are saying. A chyron actually made the claim about an unnamed report said that federal funds would be going to abortion. What wasn’t said was that this report could be from the National Right to Life – no bias there, nosiree. But this is just one of a number of reports which either mischaracterize the abortion language or allow Stupak to freely propagandize his biased and erroneous interpretation of the legislation based on his anti-choice views – views held by the anti-choice lobby and, of course, their mouthpiece, Fox News.

Back in December, Fox & Friends’ Peter Johnson, a Fox legal analyst, made the bizarre claim that Senator Ben Nelson’s obstruction on the Senate health care bill, over the abortion provision, was laudable as it demonstrated that Nelson knew that the true meaning of Christmas “is that you don’t destroy babies.” The shout out to the anti choice lobby couldn’t be any clearer as they, unlike the scientific, medical, and some religious communities, believe that a fetus is a “baby” from the moment of conception. On March 2nd, Johnson claimed that the Senate bill contained federal funding for abortion. On March 5th he misrepresented the Senate language on abortion with the assertion, also made by Stupak, that there is a “dollar per month, per enrollee” fee – a claim that, with fact check, is contradicted by the language of the bill which states that the fee applied to only those who choose an insurance plan with abortion included. Back in November, Fox & Friends Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade provided a sympathetic platform for Stupak They referred to abortion as “ending a life.” Doocy claimed that Stupak’s amendment would prevent federal funding of abortion with the implication being that the other pending legislation permitted it. Flash forward to yesterday’s Fox & Friends during which Steve Doocy stated that Stupak is not voting for the Senate bill because it contains federal funding for abortion – rather than "Stupak is not voting…because he claims that it contains…” Doocy also added that the National Conference of Catholic Bishops is against the bill because it allows federal funding for abortion – not that the "NCCB is against it because they claim…” (Words matter!) This morning, Fox & Friends Brian Kilmeade made the ludicrous statement that “almost everyone agrees” with Stupak that the Senate bill contains federal funding for abortion. Nice propaganda, here Brian. Make a totally unsubstantiated claim about the “agreement” on the issue you’re promoting. The “agreement” is only within the anti-choice community. Some fairly reputable sources in the reality based community have fact checked the bill and have come up with a different conclusion – source including the Catholic Magazine “America Magazine” which takes issue with the NCCB.

There are other examples of this pattern. On last night’s Greta Van Susteren show, she allowed Bart Stupak to say that Democrats are using the health care legislation as a way to change the law on federal funding of abortion. On March 4th, she did not rebut Stupak when he made the false claim that his amendment doesn’t go beyond the anti abortion Hyde amendment when it has been argued that his amendment goes far beyond the language of Hyde in that it prohibits women, who utilize government credits for insurance, from paying for abortion coverage with their own money. Fox’s resident Catholic priest, Father Jonathan Morris, also promoted the federal funding meme when he appeared as a panelist on the Hannity show. And the bloviating king of them all, y’all, Bill O’Reilly, who won an award from a “family values” organization for his role in creating a climate in which an abortion doctor was killed, said, last night, that the health bill will “require American taxpayers to fund abortion.” The omniscient Bill doesn’t seem to know that Medicaid already funds abortion under certain circumstances – but details, details!!! Who needs facts when you’ve got anti-choice propaganda to push.

And as I began by noting that Bill Hemmer, of Fox "News," is also pushing the anti-choice agitprop, it's only fitting that I end with today's propaganda. He cited a poll which showed that a majority of voters in the district of his guest Democratic Representative Jason Altmire, would not vote to reelect Altmire if he votes for a bill which includes federal funding for abortion. That the "Polling Company" is run by right wing Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway wasn't noted That the bill doesn't do what the question says it does wasn't an issue for Hemmer either. Pretty slick.

Comment: See a pattern here?