Women’s March Covered 3.4 Times More Than March for Life

The 2017 Pro-Choice, Anti-Gender Norms, Pro-Illegal Immigration, Anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington was covered 3.4 times more than the 2017 March for Life.

Is anyone surprised?

The numbers are in. Among the three major broadcast news networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), the Women’s March was given one hour, 15 minutes and 18 seconds – and the March for Life was only given 21 minutes and 52 seconds.

It’s worth noting that these three networks significantly increased their coverage of the March for Life from last year – 21 minute and 52 seconds compared to 35 seconds in 2016. This year, all three networks covered the event, whereas last year only ABC even mentioned the March for Life.

What’s the reason for the increased coverage? We can’t say for sure, but many are speculating that President Trump’s interview with ABC’s David Muir may have had something to do with it. In the interview, when asked about the Women’s March on Washington, President Trump emphasize the then upcoming March for Life, saying:

“And I will say this, and I didn’t realize this, but I was told you will have a very large crowd of people — I don’t know as large or larger, some people said it will be larger — pro-life people, and they say the press doesn’t cover them.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini addressed the issue of numbers in her remarks at the March for Life, emphasizing that the number she’s focused on isn’t that of attendees.

“People keep asking me about our numbers for the March for Life. Well, it is hard to add up how many have come here over the last 44 years, but that really isn’t the point. The only number I care about, and the only number that we all care about is – 58 million. Since 1973, 58 million Americans have died as a result of abortion. We stand here today for them – for the little innocent children who have lost their lives to abortion. We also stand here for the mothers who regret their abortion decision.”

While it’s easy for us to get discouraged by media coverage comparison, Mancini’s comments put things into perspective – 58 million lives. That’s a number that puts them all to shame.

“Women’s” March Welcomes Sex Workers

As thousands are marching on Washington today, it’s important to note what a busy week it’s been for the “Pro-Prostitution, Pro-Choice, Anti-Gender Norms, Pro-Illegal Immigration, Anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington.” (I’m sorry – were you under the impression this was an event for women? That “all-inclusive” group has a very specific target audience.)

In a mere three days, the March has gone from kicking out pro-life women to dropping and then reinstating their encouragement of sex workers to participate.

A freelance writer covering the Women’s March noticed that their statement regarding sex workers had changed. Originally, the statement read “in solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement,” but was replaced with a general statement of support for “those exploited for labor and sex.”

The change insinuated that sex workers are not a part of the group, and the word “exploited” portrays them as weak – both very unwelcome revisions to the sex workers.

The coordinator for Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, Kate McGrew, reportedly noticed the replacement first. (She cried tears of joy for the sex workers’ inclusion when she saw the original statement, so obviously this replacement was probably a trigger for her.)

Needless to say, she was “flooded with relief” when the statement was reinstated. After all, the so-called “women’s rights” group hasn’t always welcomed the sex workers with open arms in the past.

Janet Mock, a transgender rights activist, claimed the original statement that ended up being reinstated was hers. On her Tumblr account, she wrote:

“I cannot speak to the internal conflicts at the Women’s March that have led to the erasure of the line I wrote for our collective vision but I have been assured that the line will remain in OUR document.”

She continued:

“I know that underground economies are essential parts of the lived realities of women and folk. I know sex work to be work. It’s not something I need to tiptoe around. It’s not a radical statement. It’s a fact.”

It’s also a fact that prostitution is illegal in this country, with the exception of a few counties in Nevada. As a true feminist, I want something better for women. Yes – that’s right – I’m insinuating that sex work isn’t an ideal career. Assuming there are others that share the views expressed in Mock’s post – these activists see this as being a career that’s preferred by some women and was to encourage them – despite the fact that it’s illegal in almost every part of the country.

The group claims their unity statement is a “living, breathing document” – and it has to be to keep up with their very specific target audience. They also note their organization is “committed to being bridge-builders” – however, given their actions with the pro-life women, that statement does not apply to all groups.

Inauguration Letter: Bush to Obama

Perhaps one of my favorite inauguration traditions as a writer is the Inauguration Day Letter from the outgoing president to the incoming president. While the letters are brief, they capture the character of the outgoing president and provide a source of inspiration mixed with a dose of reality for the president-elect.

We won’t know exactly what President Obama says in his note to President Donald Trump in the near future, unless he chooses to make the note public. But, we can guess based on President Obama’s final press conference and an interview he did with 60 Minutes that two pieces of advice might be that the president-elect should rely on his team (can’t do the job alone) and that “certain norms” and “institutional traditions don’t get eroded.”

There may be some unknowns about the Inauguration Day Letter that’s left in the Oval Office today, but we can look back to January 20, 2009 (thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration) and see what President George W. Bush included in his note to President Barack Obama.

Jan 20, 2009

Bush-to-Obama-Inauguration-Letter
Image courtesy of ABC News and National Archives and Records Administration

Dear Barack,

Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.

Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.

There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your “friends” will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.

God bless you.

Sincerely,

GW

I had the honor to serve President Bush as a White House Intern in 2008. While the interns don’t get to spend a lot of candid time with the president, there were a few times that we got to see him when the cameras were off. I grew to admire his character the more I was there. He was a man of God – and that’s clearly reflected in his note – not just in the mention of having an Almighty God as a source of comfort, but also in saying that he will be pulling him, despite their political differences.

So when did this whole Inauguration Day Letter tradition start? Like so many awesome things, it started with President Ronald Reagan. President George H.W. Bush shared a glimpse of the note he received at President Reagan’s funeral – the heading? “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” According to President Bush’s description of the note, the stationary President Reagan used showed a group of turkeys trying to take an elephant down.

One final thought – Do you think President Reagan left any jelly beans to accompany his note?

Want Free Speech? Get a Permit

On Wednesday a federal lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of students at Kellogg Community College, who claim their First Amendment rights were violated when they were thrown in jail for handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus.

What could possibly warrant jail time at an institution of higher education – also known as the land that encourages a free exchange of ideas?

According to the complaint, Kellogg Community College requires students to obtain a permit from college officials before they are able to engage in any sort of expression on campus. If officials don’t like the content of the expression submitted in the permit request, their “Speech Permit Policy” gives them the ability to restrict the students speech if it does not:

“support the mission of Kellogg Community College (KCC) or the mission of a recognized college entity or activity.”

In addition to having full control over the content, they also have an unwritten speech zone policy that restricts student to only be able to express themselves in one certain area. What happens if you don’t get your free speech permit and/or express yourself outside of that one location on campus? You’re in violation of the code of conduct and could be expelled.

What is this place? (Sadly, while this seems like it has to be fake news, this is just an example of what so many colleges and universities have become.)

Kellogg Community College is a small public college in Battle Creek, Michigan, and yes, in case you were wondering, they have a section on their website dedicated to The Center for Diversity and Innovation that strives to:

“…be the catalyst and collaborative partner in the community toward the creation of a more equitable and inclusive Battle Creek.”

Where was the “equitable and inclusive” atmosphere back in September when Michelle Gregoire and Brandon Withers, both students in the Young Americans for Liberty student organization, decided to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution? Great question. Let’s recap the series of events.

In September, Gregoire, Withers and three other students were handing out pocket-sized U.S. Constitutions outside of the performing arts building on campus. They were ordered to stop, as a result of not having a permit, and not being in the campus’s “free speech zone.” Officials also claimed that the students were “impeding students’ access to education,” despite the fact that they were not blocking anything, or pursuing students who weren’t interested in what they had to say. When the students told officials they were going to continue to exercise their First Amendment rights, college officials had three of the students thrown in jail and charged with trespassing – charges that were soon dismissed (shocking).

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is what happened when the LGBT student group on campus decided to violate the free speech zone and roam the student center just one year earlier – absolutely nothing.

While these free speech zone policies are popping up on college campuses across the country, Travis Barham, Esq., lead counsel for the case at Alliance Defending Freedom, confirmed in my phone call with him that doesn’t make it right.

“The ‘free speech zone’ policies are in direct violation of the First Amendment. The only ‘permit’ students need is the U.S. Constitution.”

Because I do my best to be a real journalist (not the Buzzfeed Ben Smith kind), I reached out to Kellogg Community College. They replied with the following written statement:

“Kellogg Community College learned yesterday that an organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, has announced it is filing a complaint against the College in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The complaint itself has yet to be delivered to KCC; therefore, the details of the complaint have yet to be reviewed. The College, which takes seriously any allegation that one’s freedom of expression has been violated, will address this matter through legal counsel.”

Fairly standard, canned response. Glad to hear they are now supposedly going to make an effort to “take seriously any allegation that one’s freedom of expression has been violated.” I wonder if anyone at Kellogg Community College ever thought a good place to start would have been not making students get a permit for free speech and confine them to a small space in the first place?  I have a lot of questions about this place after writing this story.

In closing, I share Alliance Defending Freedom’s aspiration for the case (as stated in my interview with Travis Barham, Esq.):

“We hope to remind Kellogg Community College that the First Amendment is not only the law of the land, but also the law of campus.”

I also hope that if you, or someone you know, is a conservative college student who suspects his or her First Amendment rights are being violated, that you’ll spread the word about Alliance Defending Freedom – they provide free legal counsel to help college conservatives…and college conservatives need all the help they can get.

Pro-Choice, Anti-Gender Norms, Pro-Illegal Immigration, Anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington

The anticipated Women’s March on Washington is expected to kick off this Saturday in D.C., but don’t let the title of the event fool you, as not all anti-Trump women are welcome.

A pro-life group, New Wave Feminists, opposes President-elect Donald Trump and was listed as an official sponsor of the event. But after an article written by Emma Green, one of the march’s co-chairs, was published in The Atlantic, sharing pro-life women’s involvement, stating “We must not just talk about feminism as one issue, like access to reproductive care,” a tweet storm ensued and they were abruptly kicked out.

The reason for kicking these women out? “The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism.”

Here’s the statement from Women’s March on Washington regarding their “error”:

Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists told LifeSiteNews that the group will still be attending the march on Saturday, with a statement that I just love:

“It appears that the [Women’s March on Washington] only wants to include a ‘diverse’ array of women who think exactly like them,” she said. “That’s unfortunate, but we will not be deterred.”

I’ve often wondered where the modern-day definition of feminism has come from. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is:

“The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”

Last time I checked, men didn’t have the ability to terminate their pregnancies, so I guess I’m a little confused as to how abortion has any effect on how much of a feminist you are – let alone being a “fundamental part of feminism.”

Curious if you qualify for the Women’s March on Washington? Review their unity statements to get a feel for what they’re looking for in a woman. (Note: Having female genitalia, believing in equal women’s rights and not supporting President-elect Trump’s divisive language isn’t enough.)

Modern-day feminists joke about, and embrace, their stereotype of being “nasty women,” but claim the reality is that they only want equal rights for women. They claim it’s us, the conservatives, that paint them in such a negative light.

Perhaps I’m shining a light by writing this article, but they are definitely doing all the painting.

Healthcare Ignorance Makes Me Sick

Protestors recently staged a “cough-in” at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan, New York, to protest the repeal of Obamacare. What exactly is a “cough-in”? This group of protestors started coughing, and then held up signs and chanted “We Need Obamacare” and “Trumpcare Makes Us Sick.”

Watch it for yourself:

I’m supportive of protests, however this particular protest exposes ignorance. What?! Liberals, ignorant? Yes, it’s true. You see – this protest demonstrates that these people believe there are only two options – Obamacare and going back to the way things were before Obamacare. The reality is that Republicans have released several thoughts on what the best replacement plan might be – yes that’s right, replacement plan – as in not going back to the pre-Obamacare years. It’s no secret there were issues with healthcare – no one is denying that.

The latest Republican to release a glimpse of what the replacement plan will look like includes the President-elect himself. (Good news liberals – his plan is summarized as “healthcare for everybody.”)

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) also recently shared his thoughts on what the replacement plan should be in a townhall meeting.

“We believe that state high-risk pools are a smart way of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. We had a really good one in Wisconsin. Utah had a great one. I was talking with a Congresswoman from — from Washington today who was telling me how good their state high-risk pool is. What I mean when I say this is, about eight percent of all the people under 65 have that kind of pre- existing condition. My mother-in-law — cancer — she had melanoma in her 20s, breast cancer in her 50s, ovarian cancer in her 60s. People just have these things. And we don’t want people to go poor or go bankrupt because this thing happens to them.

So we, obviously, want to have a system where they can get affordable coverage without going bankrupt because they get sick. But, we can do that without destroying the rest of the healthcare system for everybody else…So, by financing state high-risk pools to guarantee people get affordable coverage when they have a pre-existing condition, like yourself, what you’re doing is, you’re dramatically lowering the price of insurance for everybody else.”

I know it’s easier to believe that all conservatives are uncompassionate monsters, as illustrated by this tweet (note the number of retweets and likes):

But the reality is both sides of the aisle want fair and affordable healthcare for everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions. Believe it or not, Obamacare’s premium increases this year are anything but affordable – Arizona, 116 percent; Oklahoma, 69 percent; Tennessee, 63 percent; Minnesota, 59 percent; just to name a few.

Now that’s something worth protesting.

According to Buzzfeed Journalism is Dead

Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd had Ben Smith, Buzzfeed’s editor in chief, on his show “MTP Daily” to discuss Buzzfeed’s controversial release of documents with unverified allegations against President-Elect Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

Todd’s questions seemed to indicate that he’s concerned Buzzfeed’s release of the documents is a poor reflection on journalism – and he should be.

“You just published fake news,” Todd said in the interview. Smith, quoting the note he sent to his staff after releasing the documents, said “Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.” (More on this later.)

On Tuesday, Smith released the documents, in the name of “ferocious reporting.”

Then, many of us were hit with a cloud of confusion – reports that part of the document was proven to be false and none have yet to be proven true. And then the story that the president-elect was debriefed on the documents. We’re all wondering, “why would he be debriefed if it was fake news?”

I’m doing my research (as a good journalist should) to write this article and my head is spinning with all the “he said” “she said.” And that brings me to Jake Tapper of CNN. Thank you, Jake! In a series of tweets this morning, he’s captured the short and sweet version of what you need to know – based on the statement released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Here’s a two tweet summary:

This story doesn’t stop with the Buzzfeed documents. Journalists are on the receiving end of all sorts of juicy gossip. We see (or used to see) them as a filter (or as Smith says “a gatekeeper”). In case we’ve forgotten, journalists are supposed to do their research and only bring us the stories that have substantial evidence. It’s their job to put the stories brought to them into a category – have enough evidence to share, require further investigation or juicy rumors.

To quote a recent piece by David French (because I couldn’t say it better myself):

“So here’s what responsible people say when confronted with claims like that: What’s your evidence? If the answer is ‘an anonymously written and anonymously sourced series of memos that no one has yet been able to substantiate,’ then you either pass on the story or — if you have the time and resources — try to substantiate the claims. If you can’t, then you pass. It’s that simple. Any other action isn’t ‘transparency.’ It’s not ‘reporting.’ It’s malice.”

But according to Smith’s interview with Todd, the reality is the Internet has brought a new era of journalism – when journalists should share with the public all the juicy leads they get, verified and unverified, without doing any research, assessment or qualification.

Journalism, according to Smith, is dead. After all, I can post all sorts of juicy leads on my Facebook page. How is that any different? I have higher standards for my Facebook page than Smith has for Buzzfeed.

As I mentioned yesterday, whether you are President-elect Donald Trump claiming Ted Cruz’s dad assassinated President John F. Kennedy, or BuzzFeed publishing unverified stories – you are WRONG. Fake news is fake news, and neglecting to do (and cite) thorough research isn’t journalism at all. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on.

The American people deserve better. Do your job and don’t publish until you have the facts.

New Year’s Resolution: Get That Abortion

Looking for a great way to start the New Year? How about relieving yourself of that pesky pregnancy by getting an abortion?

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards took to Twitter to encourage people to start the New Year off with a Planned Parenthood appointment.

Richards wasn’t the only Planned Parenthood executive in the news last week – the U.S. House of Representatives released their investigative report into the undercover videos regarding the sale of fetal body parts. Investigators asked an unnamed executive if it bothered her that StemExpress, a former Planned Parenthood business partner, made a profit from the fetal body parts, to which she replied “It’s none of my concern. It doesn’t bother me.” For those of you who thought there wasn’t any substance to those “fake videos” – think again.

According to a recent fundraising email, the beginning of 2017 and the swearing in of the 115th Congress is “the most dangerous moment” in Planned Parenthood’s history. The “danger” of having taxpayer funding come to an end has caused all sorts of activity. Organizations and individuals are jumping in, using the hashtag #IStandWithPP to raise awareness. You may have seen photos of this tote bag fundraiser floating around social media (note: they’ve changed “mammogram” to “breast exam” as mammograms aren’t offered).

I think it’s great. It really shows just how unnecessary Planned Parenthood is – after all, which services listed on that bag are you not able to “get access to” at your gynecologist? The answer is none.

And why isn’t abortion listed? It’s the first service listed on Planned Parenthood’s website, and their most recent annual report shows they do 323,999 in a year (that’s 160+ for every 1 adoption referral). Don’t want your tote bag to say “abortion”? Why not? It’s just a “piece of tissue.”

What would we do if we didn’t have Planned Parenthood? Where would people go for honest information on abortion?

Well if they can’t find an gynecologist, Pregnancy Centers will give you the reality that Planned Parenthood doesn’t have the guts to share. Best part? They offer free, confidential services and don’t require massive amounts of taxpayer funding – they raise their own money. Many of them offer STI and STD testing (45% of Planned Parenthood’s services) and ultrasounds in addition to pregnancy tests (~10% of Planned Parenthood’s services), options counseling, parenting classes, baby supplies and post-abortion counseling (a few services you won’t find at Planned Parenthood).

Why would you need post-abortion counseling? A comprehensive, international study of almost one million women from six countries shows that women who have abortions are 81 percent more likely to experience mental health problems. If you ask me, that doesn’t sound like a great way to start the New Year.

It turns out a stand with Planned Parenthood isn’t a stand with women’s health at all.