NPR, CNN repeat falsehood that Casey was denied speaking role at '92 Dem convention "because of his opposition to abortion rights"

››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

Discussing Sen. Bob Casey's speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, both NPR and CNN falsely asserted that late Gov. Bob Casey Sr. was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention "because of his opposition to abortion rights." In fact, other Democrats who opposed abortion rights spoke at that convention and at every convention since, so Casey's opposition to abortion rights could not have been the sole reason he was not given a speaking role.

On the August 26 edition of NPR's Morning Edition, referring to Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), who opposes abortion rights and was scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention later that day, host Steve Inskeep said: "His turn at the podium is notable because, in 1992, his father, then the popular governor of Pennsylvania, was not allowed to speak because of his opposition to abortion rights." On the August 25 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN correspondent Mary Snow similarly falsely asserted that Sen. Casey's "father, the late Governor Bob Casey, was denied a speaking role at the 1992 convention because of his opposition to abortion rights." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, other Democrats who opposed abortion rights spoke at that convention and at every convention since, so Casey's opposition to abortion rights could not have been the sole reason he was not given a speaking role. Additionally, The New Republic's Michael Crowley reported in 1996: "According to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Casey was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket."

From the August 26 edition of NPR's Morning Edition:

INSKEEP: Another Pennsylvania Democrat will be speaking at the convention tonight, Sen. Robert Casey Jr. His turn at the podium is notable because, in 1992, his father, then the popular governor of Pennsylvania, was not allowed to speak because of his opposition to abortion rights. The Democratic Party has embraced the son despite his opposition to abortion because the son helped his party capture the Senate.

From the 5 p.m. ET hour of the August 25 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

SNOW: Well, Wolf, we've heard the opening prayer earlier this hour at the convention. Faith-based caucuses are also on the agenda. It's part of an effort by Democrats to widen the party's tent.

[begin video clip]

SNOW: Here's something you didn't see at the last Democratic convention: a choir singing about the Lord; pastors and priests, an imam and rabbi leading an interfaith rally.

DAVID BRODY (Christian Broadcasting Network senior national correspondent): What you're seeing from the Democrats is a real effort to make sure that religion is key in the Democratic Party.

SNOW: And that's a break from the past. In 2004, Democrats shied away from using faith as part of their pitch, but when evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics helped get George Bush elected, Democrats took note.

ERIC SAPP (Common Good Strategies senior partner): Democrats had a wake-up call and said, "What are we doing wrong?"

SNOW: Eric Sapp is consulting the party on religious issues. He says Democrats are speaking more openly about values. Case in point, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Catholic who opposes abortion, is addressing the convention. His father, the late Governor Bob Casey, was denied a speaking role at the 1992 convention because of his opposition to abortion rights. Democrats are appealing to faith-based groups not voting solely on abortion but also broader concepts, such as war, poverty, and the environment.

BRODY: What they really want are the moderate evangelicals, and some of the more moderate Catholics that have a concern about the life issue but also see it much broader than that.

SNOW: But mixing prayer and politics carries some risks.

SAPP: Most voters want to hear about where our values come from. There is always a danger, as you're engaging this area, you know, you're walking along a knife's edge.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
CNN, NPR
Person
Mary Snow, Steve Inskeep
Show/Publication
Morning Edition, The Situation Room
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