This election keeps spiraling down into the drain. The Obama administration has oozed from Joe Biden’s “chains” comment right into the sewer. Why blame your opponents for wanting to reinstitute slavery when you can try to link them to sex crimes?
Liberals took a comment from an Indiana GOP senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock and totally misrepresented it. And the American media helped. Mourdock has been depicted as somehow “pro-rape” for making a pro-life comment. “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
The media have repeated the “something God intended to happen” comment as if he meant the rape. Or that Mourdock thinks God meant for the rape to happen.
This is a flat out lie, the kind we’ve grown to expect after decades of abuse at the hands of so-called “neutral” journalists. The news media have almost no understanding of faith and even less grasp of the pro-life movement. No one running for office on left or right is “pro-rape,” but those who respect life especially respect innocent life. That even means life resulting from something as “horrible” as rape.
Only in our modern media culture could that be twisted the way it has. This is a far cry from binders, Big Bird and bayonets – the inanities that now infect our public debate. To unfairly link anyone in any way to rape is simply despicable.
And that’s exactly what news outlets did. On Oct. 24, just two weeks before the election, all three broadcast morning shows tied the Mourdock comment to Mitt Romney. Longtime Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos showed his team colors, “Mitt Romney catching some flak for his ties to a GOP Senate candidate making controversial comments about abortion and rape in a Tuesday debate.”
Print media did the same. Over the last three months, The New York Times and Washington Post have both run nearly 100 pieces mentioning the GOP and rape. The Post’s Karen Tumulty reflected that theme in an Oct. 25 piece that said Mourdock “ignited a controversy.” Of course, Tumulty also referenced the media-hyped, Republican “war on women.”
But the wackiest parts of the lefty universe have been the most over-the-top with rape allegations. The Soros-supported fringe publication Alternet ran five “rape” headlines in just a few days. “Republicans' Shocking Positions on Rape and Pregnancy Aren't Outliers -- They're Central to the GOP Agenda,” claimed the site Oct. 25.
Only the news media made Mourdock’s comment controversial. It’s not inherently controversial to say an unborn baby is a life that must be preserved. Half of all Americans are pro-life and the pro-abortion numbers are plummeting.
Except in newsrooms, where abortion support is nearly unanimous. A 1995 study of the media elite showed that 97 percent “agreed that ‘it is a woman's right to decide whether or not to have an abortion,’ and five out of six (84 percent) agreed strongly.” Based on news coverage of the issue, those numbers remain constant.
The media leave the abortion debate almost entirely in the hands of the left. Liberals are seldom made to defend their extreme positions. Only conservatives have to do that. Meanwhile, journalists who wail every time a tree is cut down or a polar bear is threatened couldn’t care less about the loss of human babies.
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.