One of the points I have argued over time is bias in the media is not some grand conspiracy but selective. In that reporters allow their biases to show and they have no idea they’re doing it. Why would they? What they’re writing is perfectly natural to them so it can’t possibly be biased. Except it is, and this article about the COO of Facebook donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood is a perfect example.

First off, in the video, they describe Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as a “reproductive rights advocate.” They managed to leave out that she was a supporter of eugenics as well a supporter of segregation and sterilization of the “profoundly retarded.”

In the article, writer  Sara Ashley O’Brien first writes:

Sheryl Sandberg is giving $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

The Facebook COO has been expressing her displeasure with the Trump administration.

This time, she’s doing it with money.

While Sandberg has been a donor for years, Planned Parenthood confirmed to CNNTech that she has committed to giving $1 million more.

“On behalf of the more that two million patients who come to Planned Parenthood each year, we are so grateful to Sheryl Sandberg for her longstanding, and now increased, support for our health care,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in a statement sent to CNNTech.

O’Brien doesn’t mention that over 300,000 of those “patients” are terminating their pregnancies. That’s not “health care.” Then she writes:

The nonprofit is facing a fierce battle in the Trump era. Republicans have pushed to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal health care funding because it provides abortions to women — although they make up only a small portion of its overall services.

Emphasis mine. This is misleading. Planned Parenthood counts handing out a condom as a “service.” If they refer somebody to a place for a breast exam (since PP doesn’t do them), it counts as a “service.” I don’t know about you, but if I pull into a gas station and they tell me they’re out of gas and direct me to another location, that’s not “service.” It’s called “courtesy.” Planned Parenthood tries to minimize how important abortion is to their survival. The fact is, nearly 40% of PP’s revenue comes from performing abortions. So it is in fact, a significant part of their business. 

O’Brien goes on:

Federal funds never go toward abortions but do cover Planned Parenthood services like preventive health care, birth control and pregnancy tests.

“Shutting down Planned Parenthood would create a national health disaster for women,” Richards added.

She’s right in that federal funds never go directly towards abortion. It’s a violation of federal law. That said, there is no question the federal funds subsidize the abortions. 

In the movie ‘True Believer,’ James Woods plays a hippie lawyer (Edward Dodd) who defends drug cases as he believes it is where the government oversteps its’ constitutional authority. At one point, a district attorney says to Dodd, “What else should expect from somebody who defends coke pushers for free.” Dodd replies, “No, coke pushers pay cash. They subsidize the pot cases. Those are free.” 

That’s how Planned Parenthood operates. They’re able to artificially keep the price of abortions lower because the federal dollars they receive subsidize the other services. The only thing that suffers is Planned Parenthood’s business model if they’re cut off from federal funds.

The subsidization of Planned Parenthood’s abortion service is never mentioned in these stories. That is a reflection of the biases of the reporters. CNN can report on Sandberg’s donation without the subtle editorializing on behalf of Planned Parenthood.