Veteran journalist Peter Boyer tells Breitbart News he had never really considered what happens to the massive amount of fetal tissue that is the result of more than a million abortions every year in America.
“I had not known, like most of the country, hadn’t much thought about an awful lot of fetal tissue out there. I had not thought about what happens to it,” Boyer tells Breitbart News.
Boyer is Fox News Editor-at-Large and headed the team producing The Hidden Harvest, an hour-long special anchored by Shannon Bream that airs this Friday at 10 pm.
He said the Fox news people paid attention to the videos from the very start. “Here was a national brand, Planned Parenthood, and allegations that the activists were making about the selling of baby parts. You had to stop and say, huh? Almost from the start, as it progressed, not too far in it occurred to us that this is potentially an important though a very difficult hour-long special.”
Boyer said the story Fox will tell is about “an organization that performs countless abortions every year, that to some degree or another is engaged in the marketing of fetal tissue which even the New York Times says is a gray area.” He said the videos produced by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress seem to suggest this is what’s happening.
What makes the story even more interesting as journalism is the fact that “Planned Parenthood is a national brand, wholesalers of abortions, and they get a half a billion dollars from the government? That makes a news story.”
The special also looks into the middlemen who buy baby parts from Planned Parenthood. “These middlemen — StemExpress — quite proudly tell their story about being a breakthrough startup company. What we can say is that someone is actually selling fetal tissue to the end user and between the suppliers, Planned Parenthood and the middlemen, a lot of money is changing hands. And even if it was just a little, you ask, is this legal or not?”
Planned Parenthood is on a press offensive but did not even acknowledge Fox’s request for comment. Boyer said he believed from the beginning that Planned Parenthood would “happily cooperate. I assumed we’d get Cecile Richards but they didn’t even acknowledge our request for an interview or a comment.”
Boyer said he had questions for them that that no mainstream outfit has yet asked. “If they’d sat down with us, we’d have tested Richards’ claim that the money they take in is to cover costs, and we’d have asked about their federal money and the issue of fungibility.”
He said in the editing, still going on today, that Fox bent over backwards to include public responses, particularly “the one Cecile posted after the first video” but as to direct comment for the Fox special “even their surrogates who had appeared on our news just stayed away.”
He said StemExpress’s crisis management team told Fox, “Yes, we are a for profit company but we plow all money back into the company because it is expensive to do procurement but we don’t make any money on fetal tissue harvesting and disposition. It is not profitable.” StemExpress told Fox they are in it not for profit but in the cause of medical research.
Boyer said Fox does not consider Daleiden and his team to be journalists. “What they did would get them kicked out of any newsroom in the country. We call them activists, which is what they are. Our approach was if there is a group of activists almost fanatically determined to make a point in their cause, to win a victory for their cause, and they go out into the world and employ the means they employed and have an impact on the broader political culture, it is journalistically useful to tell that story.”
Boyer came to Fox New three years ago from Newsweek after spending 18 years as a staff writer at the New Yorker. Before that he was a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a media reporter for the New York Times. Boyer headed the team that produced an hour-long special on Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor convicted of murder and now spending time in jail.
Boyer said the hour they have produced on the Planned Parenthood videos “is an hour that could have been produced by any news room in America. The fact that no one has done it yet, speaks to the need for Fox News.”
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse