Even though a Fox News correspondent reported that Mayor Pete Buttigieg resolved the issue of a crisis pregnancy center’s location in South Bend, Indiana, “objective” anchor Martha MacCallum tried to get her anti-abortion guest to attack him as anti-pro life.
MacCallum’s one-sided discussion on the subject was prefaced by a report from correspondent Jonathan Hunt. But first, MacCallum made a point of talking up the Women’s Care Center in advance by gratuitously announcing it had won a “lifetime achievement award for the heroes of the pro-life movement.” She added, “But its new location that was set to open near a planned spot for an abortion clinic in South Bend became the center of a political showdown with the city’s mayor, 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.”
Although Hunt’s biased report talked up the free services offered by the Women’s Care Center, he didn’t mention that the real mission of crisis pregnancy centers (which is what WCC is) is to dissuade women from getting abortions, often through unethical means. That is not to say that the Women’s Care Center does anything unethical but Hunt painted a false picture of it as merely a service for pregnant women. He did, however, talk about its award and played a clip of famed football coach Lou Holtz endorsing the services as a benefit to parents as well as the unborn.
Hunt dutifully reported that Buttigieg opposed the site because it was “next door to a proposed abortion clinic” and that he wanted the WCC to pick another site. Hunt also noted, “Buttigieg did in fact meet with Women’s Care Center representatives, encouraging them to find a new location. They did so and the new facility is under construction right now.”
Instead of praising Buttigieg's problem-solving, MacCallum did her best to weaponize this story against him. One can’t help but suspect Fox News saw it as a method for riling up culture warriors without having to be accused of gay bashing. Whatever the reason, MacCallum was clearly on board with using what should have been applauded as a satisfactory compromise for divisive purposes.
“Just to set a few things straight,” by which she meant, “Just to make sure viewers see Buttigieg as unreasonably opposed to pro-life heroes,” MacCallum began her ensuing discussion with WCC vice president Jenny Hunsberger by confirming that other WCC centers are in 11 states and most are next to abortion clinics.
After Hunsberger assured viewers her centers are “peace-loving and peaceful,” MacCallum praised the WCC’s “enormous success.” She dubiously claimed that “one out of every two births has come through a Women’s Care Center.”
Next, MacCallum opened the door for Hunsberger to attack Buttigieg - by outsourcing what was supposed to be her own job to Hunsberger. “What do you think the mayor’s concerns were if it wasn’t that, if he wasn’t concerned that women who were making a different choice might be intimidated or might be harassed if these two places were right next to each other?”
Hunsberger declined the bait, saying, “We’re not political and I can’t speak to the mayor’s intentions.” Instead, she talked up the services of WCC.
Oops, time up! MacCallum ended the interview shortly thereafter. She did not explore what services WCC provides or even the status of the new facility under construction for these supposed heroes. But she made a quick sales pitch for WCC on the way out: “I read that 92% of the women who come through and have an ultrasound decide to stay and work with your folks and they decide to have their baby, correct?” MacCallum "asked."
Buttigieg is scheduled to do a Fox News town hall on May 19, presumably with MacCallum and Bret Baier. I have been writing about why this is a bad idea for Democrats – mostly because it gives the network undeserved credibility and advertising dollars. But it also gives undeserved credibility to MacCallum and Fox’s lie that she represents “ultimate journalistic integrity.”
Watch MacCallum’s lack of journalistic integrity below, from the May 3, 2019 The Story with Martha MacCallum.
There’s a reason that these pseudo-clinics try to place themselves right next door to the real clinics. The idea is to confuse people who don’t realize that outfits like WCC aren’t actually medical clinics, and to have a way to immediately confront the employees and clients of the real clinics. It’s been documented that one approach has been to have the people of the WCC play “good cop” as they stay inside their building right next to the actual clinic, while more aggressive and outspoken harassers stand outside the clinic and cause problems. In some of these cases, they are able to intimidate the clients into walking into the pseudo clinic, where the WCC folk presumably shame the client into a different course of action.
I want to note that the WCC members are NOT CLINIC DOCTORS. They are advocates for an extreme anti-choice position. Hunsberger never discussed this – she only stated, with some smugness, that her clinics’ record is supposedly high on getting women to not terminate their pregnancies, once the women have actually stepped inside a WCC building. (There’s no mention of what the percentage is of harassed women who have told the outside agitators to leave them alone and not fallen for the invitation into the other building…)
MacCallum’s chipper interview of Hunsberger is yet another example of how she is absolutely NOT a journalist and should not be dignified as such. If Buttigieg is foolish enough to actually humiliate himself on Fox News, we can expect MacCallum to aggressively confront him on the WCC matter, with the questions’ tone being one of mock outrage that he would dare to interfere with their good work. And then Fox News will run that clip forever. I cannot say enough times that it is a pointless exercise for any legitimate candidate to waste their time on a propaganda outlet like Fox News.