Media Misrepresents Bennett Comment

Techniguy - 09-30-2005

They’re at it again. The old media taking words out of context to smear another Republican. We have to expect this from the left, it’s the only card they have left. They’ve done it to Rush, they’ve done it to Sean, they did it to Trent, Carl, Tom, and anyone else they can tag with the “gotcha” game. Now it’s Bill Bennett’s turn.

This is how the game is played. You have this staff who listens closely to everything any Republican with power or influence says for anything not politically correct that you can use against him or her. When you hear the keywords, you write them down then publish them out of context or play them on a newscast with the context edited out and make up your own story around it. If you can shut up a Conservative, you win, and the left brainwashing continues a little longer. “Political correctness” was invented by the left for no other purpose than to conceal the truth. Just ask Bill Cosby or Larry Elder.

Today, only a black man is allowed to point out deficiencies in the black population, anyone else who exposes the truth is branded a racist by the real racists like Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and to some extent, Charlie Rangel. But that doesn’t stop white Democrats from playing the race card either. I won’t list them here, we’ve heard the remarks on the news of people like Nancy Pelosi who didn’t hear the program or read any more about it than the outtakes from the media. Armed with only a scrap of information, they are out there in front of the cameras acting like experts and demanding an apology, as though someone really cares what they think in all their glorious ignorance. They all owe Bennett an apology.


CNN ran this lead in their story:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressional Democrats blasted former Education Secretary William Bennett on Thursday for saying that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate, and demanded their Republican counterparts do the same.

"This is precisely the kind of insensitive, hurtful and ignorant rhetoric that Americans have grown tired of," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois.  White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters on Friday that President Bush "believes the comments were not appropriate."

The rest of the article was filled with comments from Democrats who had heard nothing more that what you see above, and with little clarification on the context of the statement or any comments in defense of Bennett. Someone has to do it so I guess that would be me, in addition to all the popular radio talk show hosts who have been talking about this all day today. Of course, Fox News has also been telling both sides of the story.

Although the article does include the partial context (completely out of sequence, of course) by Bennett in a later interview: "I was putting forward a hypothetical proposition. Put that forward. Examined it. And then said about it that it's morally reprehensible. To recommend abortion of an entire group of people in order to lower your crime rate is morally reprehensible. But this is what happens when you argue that the ends can justify the means", the article does not represent accurately what Bennett actually said or the message behind it.

Why is Scott McClellan commenting on the President's views on this issue? Does Scott, or the Media, think that the President was listening to the program? Does President Bush even know the full context of the radio caller's discussion, or just what the mainstream reporters have said about it? McClellan’s response was inappropriate, he should have had no comment. Perhaps he wanted to avoid a lengthy analysis of the statement in context, or perhaps at the time he didn't even know the context as I don't think the President did either. On the other hand, I'm getting pretty tired of seeing President Bush acting like a Democrat, and siding with Democrats lately against the voter base that put him in office. Correction, I’m getting really tired of it.

Bennett's comment was only part of a response to a callers suggestion that abortion has caused a decrease in federal revenue. Bennett though that view was far reaching and to illustrate his point, he used the hypothetical situation of "aborting black babies to lower the crime rate" as being equally “ridiculous, impossible, and morally reprehensible”. You have to see the whole conversation in context to understand what he was saying.

As usual, CNN and Democrats in general have tried to read something into this that wasn't there. Obviously, none of them understood what Bennett was talking about, and those who did, intentionally misreported it by leaving out the context in which the example was used. They, for the most part, avoided clarifying the context of the statement. Isn’t that supposed to be the job of the media? Again, we see the old media playing their political games to advance their own agenda instead of fairly reporting the news.

Why did Bennett site blacks in his example of reducing crime? Because statistics show that blacks have the highest crime rate of any ethnic group in this country. He had to pick one to make his point so he chose the one with the potential for the most impact. The incarceration rate for white men is 717 per 100,000, for black men, 4,919 per 100,000, for Hispanic men, 1,717 per 100,000.  (Source: Harrison, Paige M., & Allen J. Beck, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, April 2005), p. 2 and p. 11, Table 14.)

Bennett, on his radio show, "Morning in America," was answering a caller's question when he took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book called "Freakonomics" that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up.

Bennett answered the caller this way (Transcript):

CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at all.

BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?

CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue.


BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.

CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.

BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both -- you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well --

CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.

BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.


Bennett's only "sin" was in violating political correctness by using the words "black" and "crime" in the same sentence. If you know the context of the statement, you would know that what he said was not a racist remark and those who are trying to portray it as one are playing politics, and for no other reason.

Listen to audio of the call at:

For decades, Democrats have been making the claim that they want to help blacks out of poverty, and have had years to do it and failed. They failed because their solution to black poverty is to throw money at the problem and make them government dependent (on Democrats). This assures the Democrats of generations after generations of dependent and loyal voters. The Bush Administration wants to break that cycle and teach poor blacks that they ARE able to depend on themselves and make a better life, but they have to be willing to cut the cord and take the first step themselves. Go back to school and get your high school diploma, maybe some college. Stop having babies out of wedlock and get a job so you can afford legitimate babies with a husband and a real family. The government is there to help you every step of the way if you make the effort, but I’ll be damned if we’re going to go on paying your way forever and ever if you don‘t.

Bill Bennett has spent his life trying to help these people out of poverty with education and civil rights activities. To turn around now and accuse him of racism is just stupid and ignorant. He stated a simple fact to illustrate a point. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we can’t let that stop it from being told in spite of liberal political correctness. If we refuse to face the truth, then we will never correct the problem.

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