CBS accused of editing Virginia Gov. Northam's comments on 3rd-trimester abortion bill
CBS was accused Thursday of downplaying Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s comments on late-term abortions, in which critics say he indicated a child could be killed after birth.
"CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor" reportedly broke the media’s silence on Northam’s comments Thursday during a brief newscast in which political correspondent Ed O’Keefe ran a short soundbite that seemed to downplay the Virginia Democrat’s remarks by ignoring the full context of his statement, NewsBusters reported.
The story was framed as: "Virginia's governor today responded to critics after a move by Democrats to ease restriction on late-term abortions ignited an intense debate." Ed O’Keefe said Northam upset "anti-abortion rights activists," and that the outrage over Northam's remarks were "unfounded."
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The segment began with Glor introducing Northam’s response to intense backlash. A soundbite of him doubling down on his comments played: “Virginia Democrats are on the side of ensuring women have access to the health care they need,” he said.
After going on to explain the logistics of the bill, O’Keefe played a short clip of Northam’s statement from his interview with WTOP.
“And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
But Northam’s full comments on the bill are what sparked outrage from conservatives, who felt he implied a child could be killed after birth.
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“So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
The intent of his comments was not clear. But some conservative commentators and lawmakers took his remarks to mean he was discussing the possibility of letting a newborn die -- even "infanticide."
CBS did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Analysis of Wednesday night's news coverage from NewsBusters found that CNN, MSNBC and the broadcast networks' nightly newscasts ignored Northam's shocking comments.
NewsBusters analyzed coverage from Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC from 7 p.m. to midnight ET on Wednesday and found that only Fox News included the story in its nightly coverage.
On Friday, Northam came under more fire, this time over the emergence of his old yearbook page, which included a photo of two people in blackface and KKK garb. As he apologized for the photo and the hurt it had inflicted, there were calls from various lawmakers and social groups for his resignation.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.