Counting the Reasons to Defund

The 20 Most Memorable Leftist Excesses of Public Broadcasting

Pro-Life 'Terrorism'

14. PBS’s Now devotes a half-hour to assessing if the pro-life movement’s “domestic terrorism” is hurting the abortion business (2007).

    On June 12, 2007, the PBS show Now (formerly with Bill Moyers) devoted most of its half-hour to smearing the pro-life movement. It didn’t matter how many times activists decried the shooting of late-term abortionist George Tiller -- they were still advocates of violence and terrorism. PBS hailed two other late-term abortionists, Dr. Warren Hern and Dr. Leroy Carhart.

    Now host David Brancaccio began the program with a topic sentence: “If terrorism uses violence to change behavior, was Tiller’s killing an act of domestic terrorism? And viewed through that gruesome prism, did it succeed?” Correspondent Maria Hinojosa asked Hern: “Do you say they’ve won? They’ve been successful?” Hern replied: “Of course, they won. But this is the consequence of this kind of violence and terrorism. Terrorism works ... The message from the anti-abortion movement is, ‘Do what we tell you to do, or we will kill you.’ And they do.”

    Hinojosa announced at the outset that PBS would focus on sympathy with the Left: “We wanted to know what it’s to like to live your life as a target on the frontlines of the abortion battle. And we wanted to find out what the violence directed at abortion providers means for medical doctors, for free speech, and for our society.”

    Carhart attacked: “They may claim innocence, and they may technically, under the law, be innocent, but their heart was certainly with Scott Roeder on the day that he shot Dr. Tiller.” Hern echoed: “The anti-abortion organizations, you know, making these statements of distress and disapproval. No, no, no, no, no. This is what they wanted to happen. And it happened.” Hern went further. “This is a terrorist movement. And they instill fear in people....This is a civil war. The anti-abortion people are using bombs and bullets. And they’ve been doing this for 30 years.”

    PBS also aired a series of Bill O’Reilly clips where he referred to “Tiller the Baby Killer,” and then Hern denounced O’Reilly as an accessory to murder: “It’s offensive, it’s vulgar, it’s grotesque, it’s fascist speech that’s designed to get Dr. Tiller killed, and it worked.”