White Men Are Dominating Roe v. Wade Coverage on Fox News

The people having abortions in this country look, uh, very different from the people discussing the issue on certain cable networks.

White Men Are Dominating Roe v. Wade Coverage on Fox News
Screenshot:Twitter/Tara Palmieri

Fox’s Sean Hannity, whom, you’ll note, has been sued for sexual harassment and gender discrimination, hosted several panels on the rapidly-approaching end of abortion rights this week that looked like the photo above.

Is this shocking to anyone? No. Should we still point out and meditate upon the fact that the most-watched cable network in the country is shutting women, people of color and pregnancy-capable people out of their discussions on Roe v. Wade? Yes.

Media Matters released a report on Saturday confirming that 87 percent of guests discussing abortion on Fox News this week were white, and 64 percent were men. By contrast: cis white men account for zero percent of abortions being had in this country, and white people in general account for less than half.

The Media Matters report also looked at the other two major cable, networks, CNN and MSNBC:

CNN and MSNBC fared slightly better when it came to featuring a diversity of voices. Both networks featured more guest appearances of women than men in segments on Roe, with CNN featuring women in 63% and MSNBC featuring them in 69% of such segments. Across the three cable news networks, just 21% of guest appearances were by women of color — 24% of appearances on CNN, 30% on MSNBC, and just 7% on Fox News.

Of course, the issue of representation in these discussions is far from a new problem, and it’s not just on cable news: Back in 2012, Democrats famously walked out of a House Oversight Committee hearing on birth control coverage because the entire panel of speakers were men.

“What I want to know is, where are the women?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked the Republicans in charge before walking out of the hearing in protest. “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”

I think it’s a good general rule, if you’re going to debate people’s ability to control their own bodies and decide when and whether to give birth, that you have to include at least some of said people in the discussion—particularly people who are inclined to defend their own rights and not just prop up the patriarchy with some brainwashed bullshit. Voters don’t really love it when you take away a vital right we’ve had for 50 years and try to cup your hand over our mouths while you’re doing it.

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