January 26, 2017
The media may try to ignore pro-lifers, but they can't tune out the president! If the press had any doubts about that, they were dispelled in his first televised interview since taking the oath of office. In a sit-down sure to make the media squirm, President Trump used his new platform to bring up a subject reporters expertly avoid: the annual March for Life.
For years, the March has been one of the biggest events in Washington, but you'd never know it from the coverage. No matter how many hundreds of thousands of Americans descend on the National Mall to peacefully protest the loss of more than 59 million lives to Roe v. Wade, most major networks take every possible step to avoid the powerful display. Last year, Media Research Center's (MRC) Curtis Houck pointed out that CBS and NBC "dedicated three times more coverage of one Neo-Nazi rally than they did the last four years of the March for Life."
Already, the 2017 bias is on full display. On the eve of this year's event, MRC's Katie Yoder calculates that the networks talked about last Saturday's Women's March 129 times more than last year's pro-life March. Thanks to President Trump, they have no choice but to talk about it now that he's made it part of the conversation. David Muir tried to steer the questions toward the Women's March, but his strategy backfired -- in a big way.
MUIR: Let me just ask you while we're standing outside, could you hear the voices from the Women's March here in Washington? We know there were more than a million people who turned out, and you are their president now too.
TRUMP: No, I couldn't hear them. The crowds were large, but you will have a large crowd on Friday, too, which is mostly pro-life people. You're going to have a lot of people coming on Friday. 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.
MUIR: I don't want to compare crowd sizes again. I -- I -- I --
TRUMP: No, you should -- But let me just tell you. What you do say is that the press doesn't cover them.
It was the perfect pivot to what has already become a centerpiece of the young administration: the sanctity of life. On the heels of reinstating the Mexico City Policy, this president isn't just checking items off a list. He's proving that protecting the unborn will be a central theme of his first term. That commitment will be on display in a powerful way tomorrow, when the Trump team sends the highest ranking official to ever address a March for Life: Vice President Mike Pence. The former governor, who was a fixture behind the microphone as a congressman, will make a return trip in historic fashion. Although Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush spoke to the March by video, no president or vice president has ever attended in person.
That all changes Friday. A new chapter in the pro-life movement will be born when not one -- but two -- top administration officials take the stage in front of the Capitol. Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president and longtime friend of FRC, will also be speaking. If anyone had doubts about the sincerity of Trump's pro-life priorities, they've been dispelled -- along with any of the abortion industry's hope that he would back off his promises once in office. As Vice President Pence said at our Values Voter Summit in September, "Let me assure you the Trump-Pence administration will stand for the sanctity of life and defend the unborn from the first day that we take office," he vowed. "I want to live to see the day that we put the sanctity of life back at the center of American law and we send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history." And thanks to the bold leadership of this new president, they are well on their way to exactly that.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.