Is President Bush Anti-Child, as ABC Suggests?

ABC says it's all about money.  It's not.

President Bush will veto the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) bill when it comes to his desk, and if you watched the ABC World News coverage of the story on Aug. 26, you'd think the man hated kids.

According to the report by Kate Snow, the threatened veto is all about “the Bush administration … trying to reign in the program.”  She continues that the purse-string-tightening makes “states coping with health care costs and families that can't afford insurance”...“furious.”

Snow fails to report, as all the mainstream media have, that other provisions in the new bill also concern the President.  As reported by the Culture and Media Institute earlier, key language in the House version of the SCHIP also may affect the protection of unborn children and abstinence-only education.  Neither of those changes was included in Snow's report.

ABC is proud of its coverage of children without health insurance.  Snow's story was cast in context with children left without health insurance after Hurricane Katrina.  Snow used the children of a middle class working family in California to make her public relations pitch for an increase in government spending.  By pitting innocent children (“in New Jersey alone, 29,000 children!”) against a threatened presidential veto, Snow makes it plain where her sympathies lie, despite the fact that she included both liberal and conservative sound bites in discussing government-funded health care.

But the continued absence of any mention of the changes to abstinence education funding and the protection of unborn children also speaks to the mainstream media's general disdain for these two topics.  They will continue to paint the President as a hater of children because he won't spend more money on their health care.  They won't mention that by exercising his veto privilege he may also be defending the unborn and insuring that kids get an abstinence message in school.

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.