Fox News to air 1-hour report on PP videos – but will skeptics watch?

Nine videos and counting. The Center for Medical Progress continues to release videos documenting Planned Parenthood’s involvement in harvesting and selling body parts from aborted children. Fox News has taken notice and is running a one-hour report on the videos this evening (September 4, 10 p.m.).

But will this bring the videos to a broader public, or will the only people to watch the Fox Report be the ones who’ve already seen them?

Fox is certainly publicizing the program. Pro-life groups are promoting it on social media, sight unseen; I’m unaware of any advance screening. All good. But who will watch?

Fox wants ratings, and I understand the economic imperative. It’s in the network’s interest to maximize the number of viewers, and viewers’ reasons for tuning in are not relevant to that calculation. High ratings made up of people who were already outraged by the videos would suit the network. I hope for more.

I doubt I’ll tune in for the full airing, happy though I am that a major news network is giving this story the attention it deserves. I barely have the heart and stomach for one of the CMP videos at a time. What I hope nevertheless is that people who are new to the videos watch tonight’s report, and then go to the CMP site to view the unedited videos and read the transcripts. This especially goes for individuals who have defended PP throughout this scandal and who are proud to say they’ve never watched the videos.

That’s what I hope for. It’s not what I expect.

The Susan B. Anthony List held a screening of the videos this week in Washington, D.C., and they invited roughly 2000 staffers of federal officeholders who have been defending PP. Fewer than a dozen staffers showed up.

The nation’s Chief Executive just sent a million bucks to three PP affiliates – chump change in PP’s world, but a very high-profile vote of confidence from the White House. It was also a very public slap in the face to Americans who do not want their tax dollars subsidizing abortion providers.

The New England Journal of Medicine editorialized this week about the awful people trying to hurt Planned Parenthood and interrupt researchers’ supply of baby body parts.

Call me naïve, but I thought after the first video that we would finally be able to move past the god-awful we era of compulsory public funding of abortion providers. I thought the spotlight on the commercialization of fetal remains would turn enough stomachs to bring an end to that industry.

Live and learn.

If this reaches anyone who hasn’t seen the Center for Medical Progress videos about Planned Parenthood, my plea is that you’ll do what I won’t: watch tonight’s Fox News report, and then look at the CMP videos yourself.

Those defending Planned Parenthood might somehow still do so after seeing the videos. At least they’d be doing so with their eyes open.


Author: Ellen Kolb

New Hampshire-based writer, activist, hiker.