Huffpost Denver
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jason Salzman Headshot

CO Reporters, Who've Essentially Ignored Buck's Abortion Stance, Should Follow Lead of Talk-Radio Host

Posted: Updated:

No matter what you think of abortion, it's fair to say that U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck's opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, is newsworthy, maybe not font-page material, but deserving of serious treatment.

Yet this tidbit about Buck has barely seen the light of day in the Colorado mainstream media.

In fact, Buck's stance on abortion has been covered by only one major news outlet in Colorado, and that is, the Associated Press, according to Nexis search, though you might have heard about his view on this issue via the local blogosphere, progressive news sites or from a few national news outlets.

The Aug. 11 Associated Press piece ran in some smaller Colorado newspapers, or at least on their websites, but the AP story gave only passing treatment (12 words, to exact) to Buck's abortion position, listing it among other positions cited by progressive organizations as "too crazy for Colorado."

It has yet to appear in The Denver Post, and it got exactly 21 words in one Spot blog post and a vague reference and link in another.

Denver local TV news stations apparently haven't mentioned Buck's abortion stance at all, according to an admittedly non-comprehensive web search.

Even if I missed something, and please let me know if I did, it's fair to say that Colorado's major news outlets have essentially ignored Buck's position that women should not be allowed to choose to have an abortion if they become pregnant after being raped, even by family members.

That's a serious omission, but Buck sprang up unexpectedly, and I have no doubt that Colorado's major news outlets will get around to covering his position on abortion, now that he's the official GOP nominee for U.S. Senate.

In questioning Buck on this issue, reporters should follow the lead of KHOW talk-radio host Craig Silverman, whose detailed questioning of Buck August 4 on this issue sets a high standard for journalists who interview Buck about abortion in the future.

Notice in the transcript below how Silverman leads Buck through a line of questioning that ends with the most important and relevant answers.

He first establishes that Buck believes if you allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest "you're taking a life as a result of the crime of the father."

Silverman then asks Buck the key question of whether his personal position on this issue would guide his actions if he became a U.S. Senator.

Buck responds that he would indeed favor a federal law banning abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

It's worth taking a moment to read the transcript of Silverman's interview with Buck below (KHOW, 630 AM, Aug. 4, 5 p.m. hour):

Craig: You're saying even in the cases of rape or incest, you're not for abortion?

Buck: That's correct. You know, Craig, if you believe that life begins at conception, which I do, then with the exception of rape and incest, you're taking a life as a result of the crime of the father. And even though I recognize that the terrible misery that that life was conceived under, it is still taking a life in my view, and that's wrong.

Craig: Right. And I believe life begins at conception. I think that's a matter of science. To me the question is, when does somebody become a human being and entitled to the same rights and protections that any human being in America deserves, or frankly around the world. To me, that's the debate. How did you come to your position? Is it informed by your religion?

Buck: It's my upbringing. It's my faith. It's my life experiences, the three things that have brought me to that position.

Craig: And have you always been there, or is this something that you've evolved to.

Buck: No, I think it's something I've evolved to. It's something that I realized in my mid-twenties. I certainly as a teenager hadn't thought through the positions. As I got out of school and was observing things and growing in my faith I came to that position.

Craig: And would it transfer into the legal world. You're going to be a legislator if you're voted into the United States Senate. Would you create a law that would prohibit abortion in the cases of rape or incest?

Buck: I would favor that position in law, yes.

Craig: ...Let's say, god forbid, that a 13-year-old boy impregnates his 14-year-old sister and does it by forced rape. You're saying that the 14-year-old and anybody involved in the abortion should be prosecuted, if they choose to terminate the pregnancy, either through surgical abortion or a morning after pill?

Buck: I think it is wrong, Craig. I think it is morally wrong. And you are taking a very small group of cases and making a point about abortion. We have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of abortions in this country every year. And the example that you give is a very poignant one but an extremely rare occurrence.

Craig: Incest happens. I'm sure your office prosecutes it. And we know rape and sexual assault happen all the time, and your office prosecutes it. So it's not completely rare. I agree that most abortions have nothing to do with that. I don't know if I'd go with rare.