Morning Joe Repeats Sarah Sanders’ Bloody Lie That Democrats Support ‘Killing Babies After They’re Born’
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders became the latest Republican to slander Democrats by saying that they support “killing babies after they’re born,” a dangerous lie that Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist repeated on the air without correcting it.
On Monday night, Sanders released the statement in response to House Democrats’ expansive document requests, saying it was an effort to “to distract from their radical agenda” of “killing babies after they’re born,” among other things.
A review of television news clips and transcripts shows that while every broadcast and cable news outlet reported on Sanders’ statement, only two read that portion on the air. One of them was Geist, on Monday morning’s edition of Morning Joe.
But after reading the statement on the air, Geist did not correct the lie, nor did he or any member of his panel even make note of it.
The other broadcaster who read the statement on the air was Sean Hannity, whose network has been pushing this particular lie for weeks now, and has pushed variations of the lie for years.
To be clear, there is nothing in current law, or in any law being proposed by Democrats or anyone else, that permits “killing babies after they’re born,” and the fact is that lies like this have directly inspired violence and mass murder in the recent past.
Most recently, then-presidential candidate Carly Fiorina claimed, during a September 14, 2015 debate on CNN, to have seen a video of Planned Parenthood personnel with, in her words, “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
Two months later, a man named Robert Lewis Dear committed a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that left three people dead and nine wounded, and was inspired by the lie that Fiorina told.
But the current campaign to inspire acts of violence against women and doctors is much more widespread, and several degrees more inflammatory in substance. While Sarah Sanders, Fox News, and other Republicans are programming conservatives to believe that Democrats want to legalize the murder of newborn infants, the silence of the other TV networks is almost as outrageous as Geist’s repetition of the lie.
There are only two possible reasons for ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the rest of MSNBC to ignore Sanders’ statement, and neither is very reassuring. The first, and most likely, is that they considered it less newsworthy than Sanders’ sniping about oversight from the House, which is borne out by the discussion that followed Geist’s recitation on Morning Joe.
The second possibility is that they recognized the danger in broadcasting such a dangerously inflammatory lie, and decided it would be irresponsible to do so. This possibility would be much more compelling had they not literally broadcast the same lie to over 45 million people just a few weeks ago, without any attempt to correct it.
It may not be possible for anyone to undo the damage that these lies have done, or will do, but shame on the media outlets who haven’t even tried, and especially on the ones that are making it worse.
Watch the clips above, via MSNBC and Fox News.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.