The Associated Press and other media were called out on Thursday for distorting statements made by Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a pro-life event by reporting that he accused abortion supporters of being Satan worshippers.
The Media Research Center's NewsBusters, which documents liberal media bias, said AP and other publications that picked up the AP report - such as The Dallas Morning News and The Huffington Post - "cherry-picked and twisted statements from Sen. Cruz" with such headlines and leads as "Ted Cruz likens abortion rights backers to satanists in appearance" and "Calling their opponents Satan worshippers and savages …"
AP later issued a correction to the story: "In some versions of a story March 12 about possible Republican presidential contenders talking about abortion, The Associated Press reported erroneously that they called abortion rights activists Satan worshippers. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said abortion rights activists had chanted 'Hail, Satan,' referencing a rally last year in Austin, Texas."
Cruz was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, for the Susan B. Anthony List's Campaign for Life Gala and Summit. There, he recalled a protest last July in Austin, Texas, when pro-abortion advocates chanted "Hail, Satan" to drown out other protesters singing "Amazing Grace."
"But when the press was lionizing her (Sen. Wendy Davis) for fighting for the right to take the lives of unborn children in late-term abortions, it was really striking. The pro-life protesters put their arms around each other and began singing 'Amazing Grace.' And the pro-abortion protesters began chanting 'Hail, Satan.' There comes a point when you can't make this stuff up," Cruz said Wednesday. "At least it's truth in advertising. But that is in fact what they were doing, arm in arm, chanting 'Hail, Satan,' embracing the right to take the life of a late-term child."
The protest occurred after Gov. Rick Perry called a special legislative session to pass an omnibus abortion bill that, among other things, banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The abortion bill package was previously filibustered by Sen. Davis (D-Fort Worth). The special legislative meeting prompted pro-life and pro-abortion advocates to gather at the state's Capitol building to both support and oppose the bill's passage.
A YouTube video uploaded by a Texas blogger named Cahnman showed a group of pro-life advocates gathered in a circle singing "Amazing Grace" at the July 2013 protest. Some pro-abortion protesters yelled "Hail, Satan" in response. The brief video caused such uproar on social media that the term "Hail Satan" was trending on Twitter after the incident.
Cruz was one of several GOP politicians to speak about the importance of defending social issues during Wednesday night's event held by the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life, political action group. Other speakers included Mike Huckabee and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).