Sometimes media bias is subtle. Not last weekend.
On Friday, pro-life supporters gathered for the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The crowd easily topped 100,000. The lead of the USA Today’s story, however, reported that “thousands of anti-abortion activists” gathered at the nation’s capital.
No, that’s not a typo. Its reporting was only off by a factor of 100.
The March for Life featured a surprise appearance by Vice President Mike Pence and a video message from President Donald Trump. Those elements created a newsworthy event, but the national media did their best to ignore it.
ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC didn’t have a single story about the March for Life on their homepages Friday around noon Pacific. To its credit, The Washington Post did. Broadcast news gave the March for Life a scant 58 seconds of coverage.
Contrast that with the media coverage of the Women’s March, which advocates for a variety of leftist causes, on Saturday. Its organizers submitted a National Park Services permit estimating the crowd size at 10,000 people in Washington, D.C., for its flagship march. Actual attendance may have been even lower. There were smaller sister marches cities across the country.
It’d be logical to assume a rally that was a fraction of the size of the March for Life — held the very next day, in the same location — would struggle to get any national coverage. Except that assumes the national media are objective.
Turns out they find liberal events to be much more newsworthy. Each of the news sites listed above had at least one story on the Women’s March on its homepage Saturday afternoon. Most had multiple stories. The same broadcast news shows that all but ignored the March for Life spent more than 14 minutes covering the Women’s March.
The only story the media were interested in covering about the March for Life began circulating hours after the event ended.
A group of Catholic high school boys wearing MAGA hats who had attended the rally were accused of harassing a group of African-American men. Nathan Phillips, a Native American, told the media the boys were going to attack those men and that the boys had surrounded him. This was a narrative — white, Christian, pro-life Trump supporters are horrible racists — the media are very interested in. Network news spent more than 19 minutes covering that incident.
Just one problem. As more video came out, it showed the narrative wasn’t just wrong but backward. The African-American men, who belong to an obscure religious sect, had verbally harassed the boys, calling them “crackers,” “school shooters” and gay slurs. Video shows Phillips walking into the middle of the boys, not being swarmed. The original narrative has fallen apart but not before the media had made the boys national objects of hate and ridicule.
Not every national journalist is a liberal lackey, but truth seekers are right to regard every national mainstream media outlet suspiciously. Just look at what happened in one weekend.