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CBS Fawns Over Pro-Abortion State Senator Turned 'Political Star' in Texas; All But Encourage Her to Run for Governor

Thursday's CBS This Morning heralded pro-abortion Texas State Senator Wendy Davis as a "new star in Democratic politics" for her "marathon filibuster that went viral". Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell tossed softball questions at Davis, and wondered if she would "run for governor or for national office now" because of her "new role in the national spotlight". [audio available here; video below]

Correspondent Manuel Bojorquez hyped how the filibuster supposedly has turned Davis into a "national political star", and ballyhooed how "some political analysts are comparing it to the 1988 Democratic convention speech that catapulted [former Texas Governor] Ann Richards to the national stage." He also continued CBS's biased coverage about Davis from Wednesday.

Rose asserted that "people are still talking about the dramatic standoff at the Texas State Capitol" as introduced Bojorquez's report, which ran immediately before the Davis interview. Minutes earlier, the CBS anchor used the "new star in Democratic politics" label of the Democrat as he previewed the segment.

The correspondent first trumpeted that "the marathon filibuster that went viral has turned a little-known Texas lawmaker into a national political star. It literally happened overnight, as State Senator Wendy Davis stood and talked for 11 straight hours without food, water, or bathroom breaks."

Bojorquez then outlined that "with help from a crowd of pro-choice supporters, Davis stopped Republicans from passing sweeping new abortion restrictions – maybe just for now. But the move put Davis on the map." After pointing out the anonymous political analysts comparing the Texas state senator to Ann Richards, and underlining it with a clip from her 1988 speech, the CBS journalist hinted at the question Rose and O'Donnell would end up asking their guest: "Davis, a teen mom turned Harvard Law grad, has already come a long way. The question many are asking now, is will this take her even further in the solidly red state of Texas?"

The two anchors then turned to Davis, and gave her the kid glove treatment in their first four questions:

NORAH O'DONNELL: So, no leaning, no eating, no going to the bathroom for 11 straight hours. How did you do it physically? How tough was it?...

CHARLIE ROSE: You've met tough things before in your life, though – as a single mother; a woman who went from community college to TCU to Harvard Law School, and back to practice law. So, this seems to be another challenge for you. When you started, did you – what did you think you would accomplish when you went on your feet that day?...

ROSE: But did you think you could stop it by this filibuster, or did you simply want to make a very powerful statement on behalf of the people you just mentioned?...

O'DONNELL: Senator Davis, Governor Perry has called this back into session on July 1, and this bill is likely to pass. So, what do you think you will have accomplished? Will you do this filibuster again?...

Near the end of the segment, Rose and O'Donnell pressed her about her future political plans:

ROSE: It has also catapulted you in the political limelight. Will you run for governor or for national office now?

DAVIS: You know, right now, I have my hands full, honestly. As we go into this next special session, we have a tremendous amount of work to do, and I'm focused fully on that. I don't know what the future will hold, but I'm honored to have people talking about that.

O'DONNELL: But I did hear you say you'd be lying to say that it – that it – it has crossed your mind about running for higher office, right?

DAVIS: Well, yes, it certainly has. (Rose and O'Donnell laugh) But I don't know if now is the right time for me. We'll see.

O'DONNELL: Well, there isn't a seat until 2014, right?

DAVIS: Yes. (O'Donnell laughs)

It should be pointed out that this supposed political "superstar", as an on-screen graphic labeled Davis, barely won her last race in 2012, the same election where President Obama won his second term.

Rose and O'Donnell have a history of conducting softball interviews of liberal/Democratic guests. The CBS anchors fawned over Caroline Kennedy back in March 2013, and helped New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg boost gun control during a January 2013 interview. By contrast, they have consistently played hardball with their conservative/Republican guests, with Senator Rand Paul being the latest example earlier in June 2013.

The full transcript of Manuel Bojorquez's report and the Wendy Davis interview segment from Thursday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: People are still talking about the dramatic standoff at the Texas State Capitol. The fight is over abortion rights. Governor Rick Perry is calling lawmakers back for a special session next week after Republicans barely missed a deadline to pass a bill on Tuesday night.

NORAH O'DONNELL: That defeat was due, in large part, to a marathon of words led by one Democrat. We're going to speak with Wendy Davis in just a moment. But first, Manuel Bojorquez shows us why she is now the talk of politics far beyond Austin, Texas.

[CBS News Graphic: "Lone Star To Superstar: 11-Hour Filibuster Spotlight On TX Lawmaker"]

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ (voice-over): (clip of crowd chanting, "Wendy!" in Texas statehouse) The marathon filibuster that went viral has turned a little-known Texas lawmaker into a national political star. It literally happened overnight, as State Senator Wendy Davis stood and talked for 11 straight hours without food, water, or bathroom breaks.

JOHN OLIVER (from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"): That right there is the kind of athletic feet that will definitely get you a product endorsement deal, at the very least (audience laughs) – 'Fila-busters'.

BOJORQUEZ: (clip of crowd chanting, "Wendy!" in Texas statehouse) With help from a crowd of pro-choice supporters, Davis stopped Republicans from passing sweeping new abortion restrictions – maybe just for now. But the move put Davis on the map.

BRIAN SWEANY, TEXAS MONTHLY SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR: It really became this galvanizing moment. We saw the national media chime in. We saw social media jump in. The Obamas were Tweeting about it. Hollywood movie stars were Tweeting about it.

BOJORQUEZ: Some political analysts are comparing it to the 1988 Democratic convention speech that catapulted Ann Richards to the national stage.

ANN RICHARDS, (D) FMR. TEXAS GOVERNOR (from 1988 Democratic National Convention) : Poor George [H.W. Bush] – he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth. (audience cheers and applauds)

BOJORQUEZ: Davis, a teen mom turned Harvard Law grad, has already come a long way. The question many are asking now, is will this take her even further in the solidly red state of Texas? For 'CBS This Morning', Manuel Bojorquez, Austin.

NORAH O'DONNELL (live): With us now, Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis. Senator, good morning.

WENDY DAVIS, (D), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Good morning.

[CBS News Graphic: "Lone Star To Superstar: Wendy Davis On Her 11-Hour Filibuster"]

O'DONNELL: So, no leaning, no eating, no going to the bathroom for 11 straight hours. How did you do it physically? How tough was it?

DAVIS: Actually, it was 13 hours, because even when I was cut off from my filibuster, we spent the next two hours arguing the procedural move by the chair that took me out of the – of the filibuster. So, I still had to stand while we continued to argue that. It was – it was a test of endurance, but it was well worth it. This is a very important issue, and it affects women across the State of Texas.

CHARLIE ROSE: You've met tough things before in your life, though – as a single mother; a woman who went from community college to TCU to Harvard Law School, and back to practice law. So, this seems to be another challenge for you. When you started, did you – what did you think you would accomplish when you went on your feet that day?

DAVIS: Really, what I hoped to do was to give voice to the women across the State of Texas and men who love them who would be affected by this law. The law, essentially, would mean that almost every clinic in Texas would close. We would have only five remaining open. And I wanted to give voice to the people who wanted to be heard on the issue. I spent a great deal of time reading the personal stories and testimonies from people who wanted to share why this law was going to have such a devastating impact on Texas women.

ROSE: But did you think you could stop it by this filibuster, or did you simply want to make a very powerful statement on behalf of the people you just mentioned?

DAVIS: You know, I thought that – that we could stop it, and we did stop it for now. No one knew for sure whether the governor would call us back for another special session on this particular topic. I'm disappointed that he did, but it shows his continued interest in intruding in the privacy of women and their decision-making. It's big government intruding in private lives in Texas. And Texas values don't – don't cotton to that very well, and I'm seeing a – an uproar against it from all sides of the political spectrum, because this, truly, is about government intrusion into people's private lives. And unfortunately, Governor [Rick] Perry and Lieutenant Governor [David] Dewhurst insist on continuing to exercise big government over some very private decision-making.

O'DONNELL: Senator Davis, Governor Perry has called this back into session on July 1, and this bill is likely to pass. So, what do you think you will have accomplished? Will you do this filibuster again?

DAVIS: You know, I was able to do the filibuster because this bill came to the floor on the last day of the special session, and it made it possible to kill the bill as a consequence. It's not likely that they'll make that same mistake again. Who knows? If they do, of course, we will do everything we can to try to kill this bill.

But I do think that something tremendous was accomplished, and that was there was an incredible focus put on what's happening here in Texas. Women and men across Texas are in an uproar about it, and I don't expect that their concerns on this issue are going to go away with the passage of the law. And I think that there will be political consequences in the future, as people exercise their opinion about this issue at the ballot box.

ROSE: It has also catapulted you in the political limelight. Will you run for governor or for national office now?

DAVIS: You know, right now, I have my hands full, honestly. As we go into this next special session, we have a tremendous amount of work to do, and I'm focused fully on that. I don't know what the future will hold, but I'm honored to have people talking about that.

O'DONNELL: But I did hear you say you'd be lying to say that it – that it – it has crossed your mind about running for higher office, right?

DAVIS: Well, yes, it certainly has. (Rose and O'Donnell laugh) But I don't know if now is the right time for me. We'll see.

O'DONNELL: Well, there isn't a seat until 2014, right?

DAVIS: Yes. (O'Donnell laughs)

ROSE: Senator Davis, thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you both.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.