By Rich Noyes and Matthew Balan of the Media Research Center, today:

Two of the 3 presidential debates have now passed without either candidate being asked about abortion, an issue that nearly four out of ten voters said was “very important” to them, according to an August Pew survey. What makes the abortion issue especially salient this campaign year is Barack Obama’s extremely liberal record – which may also explain why the big broadcast networks have practically avoided the subject.

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TV reporters barely mentioned Obama’s pro-abortion stance during the primaries – from the launch of his candidacy in January 2007 through the end of the primaries in June 2008, just 6 out of 1,289 network evening news stories about Obama (0.46%) mentioned his position on abortion; none discussed it in any detail. It was thus unusual when ABC’s Terry Moran pointed out, in a February 25, 2008, story on World News, that Obama was “considered a reliable liberal Democratic vote in IL… opposing efforts to ban so-called ‘partial birth abortions.'”…

Obama’s stance protecting partial birth abortions puts him to the left of many liberal Democrats – 17 out of 47 Democratic Senators, including Obama’s running-mate Joe Biden, voted to outlaw such abortions in 2003, a position backed by 75% of the public, according to a 2007 Pew survey. But besides the Moran story, only 2 other network evening news stories mentioned Obama’s support for the procedure, including an April 21, 2007, CBS Evening News story briefly noting Obama’s condemnation of the Supreme Court for upholding the federal law banning such abortions.
But Obama’s most extreme pro-abortion move came in IL, when he voted against a bill to protect babies born alive following unsuccessful abortions, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act….
As for the broadcast networks, none have yet mentioned this radical aspect of Obama’s record. That silence helps the Democrat cast himself as more centrist than he really is, but shows how hopeless the media’s “watchdogs” are when it comes to their liberal friends.

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