CNN's Costello: 'I Just Can't Believe We're Still Talking About Birth Control in 2014'

Carol Costello predictably carried water for the cultural left on Friday's CNN Newsroom during a segment about the firestorm over former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's "Uncle Sugar" attack on Democrats. Costello trumpeted how "Democrats are quite gleeful" over Huckabee's remarks, and bemoaned conservatives' opposition to ObamaCare's contraception mandate: "I just can't believe we're still talking about birth control in 2014. It's just weird to me."

The anchor also glossed over the religious liberty component to the debate, and suggested that the GOP/conservatives should just drop the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below]

CAROL COSTELLO: ...Why then bring the issue of birth control up? It seems to be a losing issue for the Republican Party. Most women are in favor of taking birth control, and some polls show that most American women don't mind that the insurance companies have to pay for birth control.

Costello brought on Amy Holmes of and Jess McIntosh of the pro-abortion Emily's List organization for their take on Huckabee's recent comments. The CNN host introduced her two guests by asserting that "Huckabee is not helping the party's push to attract more women voters. Huckabee, normally a gifted speaker, muddled his argument against mandated birth control, and sparked an 'Uncle Sugar' storm....Of course, Democrats are quite gleeful about this."

The anchor did underline that "Mr. Huckabee was not saying he thought women had uncontrollable libidos. He said Democrats make women believe they have uncontrollable sex drives, and hence, they need birth control." She then turned to Holmes and wondered, "Does this comment really have legs?"

The conservative guest answered, in part, that "there's a much wider panoply of issues that women care about and want to address beyond just our ovaries." Costello gave her first hint of her liberal slant in her first question to McIntosh: "He [Huckabee] was actually trying to say that Republicans shouldn't talk so much about social issues, but...he put the focus back on social issues, didn't he, Jess?" The Emily's list communication director likened Huckabee's remarks to the uproar Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke:

MCINTOSH: ...This wasn't the first time a Republican has said something very odd about women and birth control, suggesting that women take it because they can't control themselves. You had the Foster Freiss comments about back in his day, the gals would put aspirin between their legs. You had Rush Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke. This is part of a major pattern of the Republican Party, and it's deeply offensive to women. It's why they're – they're turning out in droves for Democrats.

Costello then made her "losing issue" assertion about the controversy, which Holmes replied to by blasting her fellow guest's spin of Huckabee's remarks, as well as the media's coverage about it:

HOLMES: Well, I think it's important to point out that women voters are not a monolith, and, in fact, married women with children do tend to vote Republican.

I would tend to disagree with my fellow guest. Those were not Mr. Huckabee's remarks. That's a complete mischaracterization – as was the initial reporting on Mr. Huckabee's remarks. But it's the Obama administration that's putting the focus on free birth control for women, as if that's the only thing that we care about. Once again, I think Republicans appeal to women on a number of issues, but Democrats always want to bring the focus back to our reproductive systems. We're more than what happens – you know, with our insides.

Later in the segment, when Holmes criticized Democrats/liberals "war on women" framing of the abortion and contraception issue, Costello interrupted her and again made her liberal bias clear:

HOLMES: ...I do want to get back to this idea that birth control is the number-one issue for women. It simply isn't. It's Democrats that are trying to frame it that way. You saw it going into the 2012 election, with Democrats saying, hey, listen, women – we're going to give you free birth control. Come vote for us. And it was Republicans who were saying to women, we know that you care about a lot more things than just that-

COSTELLO: Well, well, Amy – Amy, I will say it's not so much the discussion-

HOLMES: So, I really have to object to this mischaracterization of the Republican agenda-

COSTELLO: It's not so much birth control, per se. It's how we're talking about the issue that bothers some women. And I think that's – you know Mike Huckabee meant well, but he-

HOLMES: But you know what, Carol? Look at all of the women who went down to the Washington – who went to Washington, D.C. just this week to March for Life – these are pro-life women. We don't hear their voices today on CNN talking about that. Instead, we're talking about Mike Huckabee.

A year earlier, the CNN anchor forwarded the left's talking points on abortion during a January 22, 2013 segment on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and actually challenged the president of NARAL for  supposedly not doing enough for the "pro-choice" cause. Almost two months earlier, Costello all but suggested that the Christian owners of the Hobby Lobby chain were "imposing its will" on their employees.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.