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NBC Slams GOP For 'Unfortunate Image' of Religious Freedom Hearing 'Dominated by Men'

Kyle Drennen's picture

On Friday's NBC Today, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie eagerly touted liberal talking points attacking a hearing held by House Republicans over the controversial ObamaCare contraception mandate on Thursday: "[They] held a hearing on the matter and Democrats got a lot of mileage out the fact that, that first panel of witnesses was all men."

On to discuss the political fallout, Meet the Press host David Gregory concluded: "You look at a scene like yesterday and it just underscores the fact that not only government, but our religious institutions, are dominated by men. It was an unfortunate image to put out there." Guthrie added: "...maybe Republicans stepped into it a little bit on that."

After Guthrie cited a derisive tweet from Nancy Pelosi condemning the GOP for "having a panel on women's health and they don't have any women on the panel," Gregory voiced his agreement with the left-wing framing of the issue: "I think Nancy Pelosi underscores the point for a lot of women in the country that this is not about birth control, that contraception today, as you well know, is much more about women's health and is prescribed much more widely than just birth control."

At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams did his part in promoting the Democratic line of attack: "What's wrong with this picture? The image that's getting a lot of attention and outrage. Tonight, the exploding disconnect involving women, birth control and politics."


Later, in a full report on the supposed controversy, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell announced to viewers: "The politics of contraception provoked outrage today....This picture set off that anger, when only men had a seat at the witness table during a hearing related to contraception."

Introducing the report, Williams remarked: "Today a congressional hearing about contraception got heated. Lawmakers got angry because of what was missing."

Well, let's take a look at what was "missing" from the NBC News coverage. While O'Donnell included several sound bites of Democrats and Republicans at the hearing, she failed to make any mention of Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly berating the religious leaders who appeared, calling their testimony "shameful" and accusing Republicans of using "Stalinist-like tactics."

Why didn't Williams and O'Donnell describe the "outrage" over those offensive comments?

Surprisingly, ABC and CBS hardly touched the issue. ABC's Thursday World News did not cover the story and Friday's Good Morning America only featured a news brief, with news anchor Josh Elliot reporting:

New political drama, meanwhile, surrounding that controversial plan to require health insurance companies to cover contraception, even for religious institutions. Congressional Republicans hosted two hearings, Tuesday, but no women were invited to the first one and the only women at the second hearing opposed the President's birth control mandate, prompting Democrats to walk out in protest.   

CBS did not cover the hearing at all on Thursday's Evening News or Friday's This Morning.

Here is a portion of Guthrie's February 17 exchange with Gregory:

7:08AM ET

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And then yesterday, House Republicans held a hearing on the matter and Democrats got a lot of mileage out the fact that, that first panel of witnesses was all men. Here's what Nancy Pelosi had to say, quote, "Imagine, they're having a panel on women's health and they don't have any women on the panel. Duh!" You know what strikes me about this, David, neither Republicans nor Democrats seem very anxious to move on from this issue in an election year that's supposed to be about the economy.

GREGORY: Well, I think that's the important point. And I think that on both sides they're itching for this fight. Republicans see this as not just a women's health issue, as a matter of fact, they'd rather de-emphasize that. They see it as a religious freedom issue, they see it as a role of government, government making decisions about health care for Americans. That energizes a lot of conservatives around the country who think that the government has intruded into our lives too much.

But I think Nancy Pelosi underscores the point for a lot of women in the country that this is not about birth control, that contraception today, as you well know, is much more about women's health and is prescribed much more widely than just birth control. You look at a scene like yesterday and it just underscores the fact that not only government, but our religious institutions, are dominated by men. It was an unfortunate image to put out there.

GUTHRIE: Well, and maybe Republicans stepped into it a little bit on that.

(...)

Comments

#1 Breaking news

Catholic priests are men, who knew? Wow. They really are grasping at straws. As long as we stay on target with the message having nothing to do with women's health, or the availability of contraceptives this is the nonsense we're going to have to listen to. Anything to draw uninformed folks away from the real questions at hand.

#2 Here's the thing

The center of my universe is not dominated by Catholic priests. It's dominated by my wife and three daughters, whom I don't want any other male telling them what they can and cannot do with their reproductive future.

#3 No one is telling women they

No one is telling women they can't have contraception; that's just a Dem red herring to distract from the fact that obama is trying to force some Americans to pay for those contraceptives against their will. It's about religious freedom, but even more about individual freedom.

#4 Your wife and daughters can

Your wife and daughters can do whatever they want. It's called Free Will. The Catholic Church is not going to pay for their birth control, abortion or abortion inducing drugs. Period. You pay for it.

'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'

#5 I think you missed my point

My objection was that the people on these panels were all men and therefore have no business discussing womens health issues..Catholic or not.

#6 I think you missed the point of the article

This debate has NO relevance to women's health AT ALL. It's about religious and individual freedom, and that IS a discussion that men should not be excluded from. The MSM would hang out a sign saying "men need not apply," all to support their trying to reframe the discussion into something that sounds like it's about women's health. It's not.

#7 Your point is irrelevant

...the people on these panels were all men and therefore have no business discussing womens [sic] health issues....

Besides being completely irrelevant to the actual issue that is a remarkably ignorant statement. Or do you also believe that women physicians have no business treating male patients or discussing their health issues?

#8 It's not even a valid point;

It's not even a valid point; many men will be taxed to pay for this "free" contraception, but only women will benefit from it. If you have to pay, you get to play.

#9 Geez..read below already

..does the word troll mean anything to you?

#10 You didn't make a point. Go

You didn't make a point.

Go back and read what this mandate is all about. The Catholic Church is being forced to pay for your wife and daughters' birth control, abortion or abortion drugs. It is against our Catholic faith. And, YES, many Catholics use, have used birth control, had abortions, but they are in violation of Church teaching. They know the consequences of their actions. God Bless.

'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'

#11 Here's the other thing: you live in Canada,

so this has zero effect on you or your family.

Or am I wrong?

#12 Not wrong

Just stirring the pot..It's kinda a thing with me ;)

#13 Kinda like a Royal Canadian Mounted Balboa?

;)

#14 One of Guy Lombardo's orchestra members hopped on ---

balboa?

balboa is only 38.

He must go for older guys, eh?

MD

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#15 To Broke to Multiply

We need spending control, not birth control.

Hakapelita!

#16 And if you pay attention

they're only telling Catholics what to do. Don't fall asleep on the big words, now.

#17 What about the unfortunate

What about the unfortunate image that the realm of stupidity is dominated by liberals?

#18 It was always the goal of

It was always the goal of feminism to make men second class citizens, and they have apparently succeeded.

#19 Heterosexual, white, over

Heterosexual, white, over weight, middle-aged Christian smoker is the bottom of the caste system in America- deduct points as wealth increases!

#20 Roe vs Wade

How many unborn were included in that discussion? Was a fetus even allowed to listen in on the hearings? Was a late term aborted fetus or a sonagram or a recording of a fetal heart beat ever introduced? Was there an interview with a person who might have been aborted?
Lets have a do over.

Hakapelita!

#21 Hearing was about religious freedom

The hearing was on religious freedom and had nothing to do with womens "healthcare". The left is desperately trying to spin this first amendment outrage into something about contraception.

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