The 2017 March for Life is receiving more media coverage than ever. For the first time in the March’s 43-year history, C-Span is livestreaming the pro-life rally. And CNN (several times attacked by President Donald Trump as “fake news”) is also livestreaming the March on social media — another first. National Public Radio, known for its left-leaning commentary, mentioned the March in its morning hourly news update, and a story featuring a young woman from Students for Life aired during “Morning Edition.”
It’s believed the more extensive media coverage is owing to the presence of Vice President Mike Pence and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, who gave inspiring speeches to the massive crowd, which erupted in loud applause and cheers frequently throughout their talks. But some speculate it may also be a response to President Trump’s recent remarks blasting the liberal media for failing to cover the March.
The annual pro-family demonstration is normally ignored by mainstream media, or if they report on it, they vastly downplay the numbers. President Donald Trump is the first president to have publicly lamented the unfair coverage.
In his January 25 interview with ABC’s David Muir, Trump caught the liberal host off guard by bringing up the biased coverage. Asked by Muir whether Trump could hear the many women at the D.C. Women’s March from the White House, the president answered, “I couldn’t hear them, but the crowds were large.”
He continued, “You’re going to have a large crowd on Friday, too, which is mostly pro-life people. You’re going to have a lot of people coming on Friday.” Muir visibly stiffened at the mention of the March for Life, and then tried to change the subject after Trump added, “And they say the press doesn’t cover them.”
Muir started, “I don’t want to compare crowd sizes again —” with Trump cutting him off and insisting, “No. … Let me just say it; what they do say is that the press doesn’t cover them.”
Trump again criticized the biased media in his talk in Philadelphia Thursday.
“You know, the press never gives them the credit that they deserve,” he said, speaking on the March for Life. “There will be 300, 400, 500, 600,000 people; you won’t even read about it. When other people show up you read big time about it, right?”
“So it’s not fair, but — nothing fair about the media. Nothing,” he added.
Reports show the feminist, pro-abortion Women’s March of January 21 received 129 times more coverage than the March for Life. And CBS and NBC spent three times more airtime covering a sparsely populated neo-Nazi rally in 2016 than it has over the last four years combined covering the March for Life.
CBS and NBC spent three times more airtime covering a sparsely populated neo-Nazi rally in 2016 than it has over the last four years combined covering the March for Life.
In response to such biased coverage, a coalition was founded in 2016 consisting of 25 pro-life groups and two members of Congress, whose goal is “to encourage the mainstream media to cover the yearly pro-life event that brings in tens of thousands of Americans who march in the District of Columbia to advocate for the unborn.”
This year makes its second annual #CoverTheMarch campaign. Its website highlights the bias:
In 2015, only CBS mentioned the march, allotting just 15 seconds. That was only one second for every 13,000 people who put work, school and other obligations aside to travel from as far away as the West Coast. That was only one second for every 3.8 million babies aborted in the last four decades.
In 2014, the networks devoted 46 seconds to the hundreds of thousands marching in Washington, D.C. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS spent six times that on the National Zoo’s new panda cub and four-and-a-half times that on the Climate March.
Since 2013, the networks have devoted just 100 seconds to the March for Life in following news shows – slightly more than they might have spent broadcasting a couple of burger ads.
by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.