Newly minted journalist Ronan Farrow was given the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism this week, but he seemed incapable of basic fact checking while interviewing Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
On Friday, Farrow allowed the pro-abortion Richards to get away with this whopper: “We are not a partisan organization. We’re just looking to make sure that people in office respect women’s health and rights.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In reality, 100 percent of Planned Parenthood’s political donations in 2014 have, so far, been to Democrats. In 2010 and 2012, that number was 99 percent. This hardly qualifies as “non-partisan.” However, nothing about Farrow’s questions could be described as journalistic. After praising the liberal group’s effectiveness, Farrow wondered, “Why do you think that is? Why have you think you’ve been so successful in the past?”
Just after Richards touted the political neutrality of her organization, Farrow tossed a softball about the very Republican Texas:
RONAN FARROW: I want to ask you specifically about Texas. It’s become such a critical battleground over this issue. Since her filibuster, Wendy Davis has been nicknamed, quote, ‘abortion Barbie.’ What’s your group’s next step in Texas?
The supposedly non-partisan Richards attacked Rick Perry: “…Over the last few years under Governor Perry there’s been an all-out assault on women’s health care access.”
After the Planned Parenthood president mentioned her mother and the former Democratic governor of Texas, Ann Richards, Farrow praised, “And I am a fan of hers, personally.”
Is this journalism in the style of Walter Cronkite?
A partial transcript of the February 28 segment is below:
RONAN FARROW: According to the Sunlight Foundation, Planned Parenthood was actually the most successful lobby during the 2012 election. Ninety eight percent of your money was spent on winning candidates. So, you have a good track record on this. Why do you think that is? Why have you think you’ve been so successful in the past?
CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I think because we actually represent millions and millions of American women and they respect us, think of us primarily as a health care provider which we are. We are not a partisan organization. We’re just looking to make sure that people in office respect women’s health and rights. And I think one of the things you’ll see in November that we’re seeing now is that it has been a war, not only on reproductive rights but, frankly, access to birth control. This seems to continue to be an issue that candidates are pushing. Folks in this country, and particularly young women and men, cannot understand why any politician would be against them getting access to birth control. But I’m telling you, this is going to be an issue in November.
FARROW: I want to ask you specifically about Texas. It’s become such a critical battleground over this issue. Since her filibuster, Wendy Davis has been nicknamed, quote, ‘abortion Barbie.’ What’s your group’s next step in Texas?
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RICHARDS: Well, Texas is a really important state, obviously important to me because it’s my home state. It is a state where Planned Parenthood has been a health care provider for 75 years. We are one of the largest providers of preventive health care, but over the last few years under Governor Perry there’s been an all-out assault on women’s health care access. Thousands of women have lost access to basic preventive care. So, these are issues that are going to be front and center in the gubernatorial race and in a lot of down ballot races and very clear distinction between Senator Davis and her opponent. And I believe that, again, women are paying attention in a way in Texas that perhaps they haven’t since my mom ran for governor a couple of decades ago.
FARROW: And I am a fan of hers, personally.
LifeNews.com Note: Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing writer to NewsBusters, its blog where this item first appeared. Scott’s blogs have been featured in the “Inside Politics” section of the Washington Times and linked to on the Drudge Report. He is a graduate of George Mason University.