Survey Reveals Impact of Mainstream Media's Downplaying of Planned Parenthood Controversy

Planned Parenthood
Protesters stand on a sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Vista, California, August 3, 2015. |

According to a recent YouGov poll only 61 percent of those who hold a favorable view of Planned Parenthood have heard about the undercover videos showing the sell of aborted babies' organs and limbs, and only 20 percent have watched the videos.

However, a whopping 89 percent of people with unfavorable views of Planned Parenthood have heard about the three-year undercover investigation, and 42 percent have seen the videos.

As of this week, the Center for Medical Progress has released six undercover videos and David Daleiden, founder of the organization, has said CMP will release 10 to 12 edited and undedited videos.

Since the mainstream media has largely ignored the Planned Parenthood scandal, the public's opinion of the nation's largest abortion provider has changed only slightly, according to polling. 

While pro-life advocates lament the media blackout of the Planned Parenthood investigation, a YouGov survey from early August shows that only 13 percent of those polled had not heard about Cecil the Lion, while 32 percent had heard nothing at all about Planned Parenthood selling babies' body parts for profit.

Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist noted, "Democrats are particularly uninformed on the videos, with more than three out of four reporting they have heard little to nothing about the videos."

A YouGov analysis explained, "There has been a slight increase in negative feelings about Planned Parenthood, but half of Americans retain a favorable opinion."

In a July interview with Salon, Camille Paglia, a notable social critic who is pro-choice, called the footage of Planned Parenthood selling babies' harvested tissue and organs a "huge and disturbing story."

"Now let me give you a recent example of the persisting insularity of liberal thought in media," said Paglia. "When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows and television."

Paglia called the initial coverage of the story by "the liberal media" "shockingly unprofessional." She accused the "liberal major media" of trying to "bury the story by ignoring it."

At the end of July, Planned Parenthood's new public relations firm SKDKnickerboker circulated a memo to select media groups asking them not to cover the videos. The liberal public relations firm argued that the undercover journalism was obtained under privacy violations to patients and through "fraud," according to a statement heavily recycled by the White House press corps.

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, noted in a statement last week, "When a lion's death receives more than four times the coverage in one week than five shocking Planned Parenthood videos showing potentially criminal acts do over three weeks, the media's moral compass isn't just broken, it's dead and soulless."

Bozell went so far as to say the media "are just as guilty of perpetrating this horror as are the butchers masquerading as healthcare workers at Planned Parenthood."

The Christian Post also reported last week that CNN's Jake Tapper pressed the Obama administration and spokesman Josh Earnest, specifically, to at least watch the videos after Earnest admitted he had not seen the videos and was unsure if President Obama had watched them — despite throwing their full support behind the abortion provider.

Even though pro-life activists and conservatives' have complained about the lack of media coverage, Alabama became the third state last week to defund Planned Parenthood. Over a dozen states are now investigating the country's largest abortion provider.

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