On Twitter yesterday, CBS News reporter Kate Smith announced that she had quit her job covering “reproductive rights,” using the announcement as an occasion to divulge her personal views on the subject of abortion:
Now that I’m not a reporter I can be candid about my own opinions on reproductive rights. I’ll say this: With or without Roe v Wade access to abortion is disappearing across the South and Midwest for low income women. And it’s happening more or less under the radar.
— Kate Smith (@byKateSmith) July 15, 2021
Smith might not be aware of it — though it’s hard to imagine how not — but most of us had cottoned on to her pro-abortion views quite a while ago. One big tip-off: While at CBS, Smith described herself in her Twitter bio as a reporter covering “abortion access,” a political euphemism used nearly exclusively by abortion-rights activists and advocacy organizations. Such a phrase is akin to a pro-life writer describing herself as a “reporter covering the killing of unborn children” (though such a reporter would never be taken seriously the way Smith has been).
In her tweets, she doesn’t quite come all the way out and say that she supports legal abortion, but it’s quite clear that’s what she means when she laments the passage of pro-life laws and calls it “a pivotal moment for abortion rights.”
In a piece at NRO last spring, I chronicled Smith’s extensive history of pro-abortion bias. While covering this beat, Smith routinely excludes relevant facts, spins away information that inconveniences the narrative of abortion-rights supporters, and features their perspective prominently or even exclusively in her “reporting.” Here’s some of what I wrote at the time:
Kate Smith is not a reporter at all. She is an advocate for abortion rights who exploits her perch at CBS to disguise as fact the opinions of the country’s most radical abortion-rights activists. She is Planned Parenthood’s ambassador to CBS, posing as a reporter and constructing articles that more closely resemble press releases for the nation’s most powerful abortion-rights advocacy groups. She has traded her objectivity for access to these organizations, offering them the kid-glove treatment so they will permit her to be the first to publicize their PR campaigns, interview their leaders, and scoop their briefs in court cases. . . .
Earlier this month, she was the first to report that a “coalition of abortion rights groups” had responded to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of Texas’s COVID-19 abortion restrictions. Her article noted that Texas was restricting “abortion access” and exclusively quoted pro-abortion activists, one from the Center for Reproductive Rights and one from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.
When Alexis McGill-Johnson became acting president of Planned Parenthood last summer, her first public interview went to — who else? — Kate Smith, who opened their conversation with a broad smile and a hearty, “Congratulations on the new job!” Smith went on to pose such probing questions as “How did you first get involved with Planned Parenthood?” and “There are a lot of different ways that you can get involved with health-care access, especially for women of color, and especially low-income women. Why Planned Parenthood?”
It is hard to imagine how the interview would have gone any differently had it been a PR video crafted by Planned Parenthood itself to give its supporters a polished, inside look at the glamor and gloss of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
To be sure, neither supporting nor opposing legal abortion on a personal basis necessarily means that a reporter will be unable to cover the issue from a fact-based, neutral perspective. The trouble is not that Smith supports legal abortion; it’s that her support for abortion was so readily apparent in her work, even as she presented that work as allegedly neutral and fact-based.
Judging from the tenor of the tweets announcing her departure, it seems likely that Smith is headed off to work for an abortion-rights group of some kind. Her CBS career parroting the talking points of abortion advocates has prepared her perfectly for the task.