Ed Driscoll

The Ideological MSM and its Collective Amnesia

As Brent Bozell writes, when the MSM gets the vapors over the recent hidden camera stings against Planned Parenthood, they have quite a sense of amnesia:

Twenty years ago, on the night of Halloween, 1991, ABC’s “Prime Time Live” aired a story based on its own investigation, complete with hidden cameras, of…crisis pregnancy centers. They were out to expose the allegedly awful practice of pro-lifers advising pregnant women against abortions. Within days of the ABC story, CBS and NBC also aired reports with hidden cameras and female producers lying about being pregnant.

What caused this perfect storm of stings?

Ron Fitzsimmons, then the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, wrote in a September 4, 1991 memo: “I went to the ABC program Prime Time several weeks ago and they immediately agreed to do an ‘expose’ on the issue of crisis pregnancy centers.”

Fitzsimmons told the Media Research Center that “[Prime Time producer] Ben Sherwood is mad at me about that memo, those words I used. It looked like I was directing that whole show. But I was on the phone every day. I gave him all of that stuff. I gave him all of those names and clinics. Ben would call me every day and ask me about the situation in certain states.”

Last December, Ben Sherwood became the new president of ABC News. Now you understand why it’s not surprising that ABC spiked the pro-life story, even if it proves they are complete hypocrites.

But there’s more. In 1991, all three networks used a congressional hearing chaired by liberal then-Rep. Ron Wyden as the news hook for their hidden-camera probes. Fitzsimmons said the hearing was his work, too: “This story would not have been possible without the hearing,” he said, “and that was my idea.”

This is why liberals sound so phony when they say Fox is a political organization – and by contrast imply that ABC, CBS, and NBC never act like ideological cogs in someone else’s publicity machine. They’ve been at it for decades.

Meanwhile, a new post by Matt Welch at Reason dovetails nicely with that last paragraph: “NYT Outsources Editorial Space to Democratic Party.”

Is the New York Times…? Of course it is.