- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

“This past weekend we saw an incredible case of anti-President Trump, anti-conservative bias with the breathless coverage of the pro-abortion, noninclusive Women’s March on Washington. This event received wall-to-wall coverage, with lionizing words like ‘historic’ repeated in headlines ad nauseam,” says Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, a nonprofit supporting the nation’s founding principles.

“But every year, when the March for Life attracts hundreds of thousands of dedicated pro-life activists to Washington, D.C., political reporters tend to ignore it entirely. If the media wants to continue to be seen as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, ignore the march as usual. But if journalists are serious about improving their perceived objectivity and serving the American people at large, they should show up this Friday and give the tremendous pro-life crowds the news cycle they warrant,” Mr. Schilling notes.

Past press accounts have reported the estimated size of the crowd to be 500,000 people — and up. The march this year includes such speakers as White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York; plus Republicans Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Reps. Mia B. Love of Utah and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey.

“This is a defining year for the pro-life movement. With a Republican House, Senate and President, pro-life legislative goals are about to become pro-life legislative realities. The story is significant. Cover the March for Life,” Mr. Schilling adds.

According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House votes Tuesday on H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which bars taxpayer money from being spent to fund abortions. Mr. McCarthy also cited Ronald Reagan’s “Mexico City Policy,” which prohibited American taxpayer money from reaching nongovernmental organizations in foreign countries that provide or promote abortions. President Obama overturned the policy in 2009; President Trump restored it when he took office.

SPICER’S INNOVATION

Not long ago the White House press corps feared they would be banished from the 49-seat White House press room itself and sent to an office building next door that could accommodate more journalists. That idea appears to be on the back burner for the time being. But one new innovation was set into motion during White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s very first daily briefing on Monday: four “Skype seats.” Mr. Spicer now will take questions from reporters who are at least 50 miles from the nation’s capital via Skype. It is an interesting and original notion, and more evidence that the Trump administration has the jump on the ever-evolving media, as well as technology.

“We are all about big viewerships and large audiences here,” Mr. Spicer told the journalists on Monday. “We’re undertaking here in the press briefing room to offer up more access to a group of journalists from around the country. We’re excited to open up into the field, and fold in here a diverse group of journalists from around the country who may not have the convenience or funding to travel to Washington. I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the Beltway.”

NOTHING PAST THE FIRST TRIMESTER

Three-quarters of Americans — 74 percent — want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester of pregnancy; 78 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats agree with this, according to a new Knights of Columbus survey released Monday. Find more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” says Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the organization. “Large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.”

FOR THE LEXICON

#NotMyMarch

— New social media hashtag for those who support President Trump and reject the principles and motivation of the recent “Women’s March” in the nation’s capital and other cities.

THE NEVER-ENDING INAUGURATION CROWD STORY

Discussion about the size of the crowd during President Trump’s inauguration four days ago has taken on multiple dimensions and gone down odd side roads. It just keeps on resurfacing, a convenient narrative for the president’ critics, and likely a growing annoyance to the American audience. There are numbers reflecting coverage on NBC, ABC and CBS in the last 24 hours.

“The broadcast morning and evening news shows have spent 20 minutes and 18 seconds focusing on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd on Sunday.

Meanwhile, when President Trump signed a far more consequential executive order that limits the penalties from the Affordable Care Act, the same networks spent only 1 minute and 39 seconds covering it — less than one-twelfth the coverage,” reports Mike Ciandella, an analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

POLL DU JOUR

83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.

78 percent of Americans say that the nation’s laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of her unborn child.

74 percent want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester of pregnancy.

61 percent oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions in the United States.

59 percent believe abortion is “morally wrong.”

Source: A Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll of 2,729 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 12-19, 2016 and released Monday.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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