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Blogcritics on Bill Bennett’s Black Baby Abortion Brouhaha

While answering a question from a caller to his “Morning in America” radio show last Wednesday (9/28), former Education Secretary William J. Bennett took issue with the hypothesis put forth in the book Freakonomics that one reason crime is down is that abortion was legalized, reducing the number of unwanted babies born in recent decades.

Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues, admitted high stakes gambler, and director of drug control policy under the first President Bush, said, “But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” He went on to call that “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.”

He said later his point was that abortion should not be opposed for economic reasons because “immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong, not because of an economic calculation.”

Conservative Republican Bennett’s comments drew criticism from the usual Democrats: Senate minority leader Harry Reid said he was appalled; Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy called them racist; House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said they were shameful; Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said the comments were “hateful, inflammatory” and asked whether they represented the values of the Republican party; and the Rev. Al Sharpton said Bennett’s comments were “blatantly racist.”

But the White House also weighed in: “The president believes the comments were not appropriate,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

The fallout continues. Yesterday, Bennett postponed what would have been Tuesday’s appearance at the University of Cincinnati, saying, “The current controversy that has arisen around comments I made on my radio show, based on a willful distortion of what I said, will take away from the serious discussion I wanted to engage in with the students and community at the University of Cincinnati,” in a statement released Sunday by the UC College Republicans.

Today, education curricula company K12 Inc. announced that Bennett “has resigned as an employee, and as Chairman and member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

Blogcritics’ ongoing news and opinion on the controversy:

In The Middle: Bill Bennett
In The Middle is an attempt to focus more on what unites us than what divides us. Can two reasonable people from opposite ends of the political spectrum put aside partisanship and meet in the middle? We think so.
Posted to Politics by Phillip Winn on October 6, 2005 05:00 PM

William Bennett and Barbara Bush To Head Racial Sensitivity Initiative
When you need another fake news source, is there. Former Education Secretary and lifelong gambling addict, William Bennett, seen here not saying anything stupid, but thinking it. Written by Joe Wilson WASHINGTON D.C. ( – President…
Posted to Politics by PoopyCaca on October 4, 2005 01:42 PM

Parody News Of The Week
Tech News Google and NASA Team Up. Google and NASA plan to cooperate on research projects such as large-scale data management, nanotechnology, and the entrepreneurial space industry. According to a Google spokesperson: “Look, with all the cash we’ve got we’re…
Posted to Culture by Warner Crocker on October 2, 2005 06:58 AM

Fire Bill Bennett: Don’t Ask Him To Apologize
Bill Bennett, author of “The Book of Virtues” must think that gambling addiction and racism are virtues, because he keeps defending himself on both accounts. Bennett, while pondering the crime rate and abortion, recently said: “… if you wanted…
Posted to Politics by Balletshooz on October 1, 2005 02:53 PM

Does Bill Bennett Advocate Aborting Black Babies to Reduce Crime?
Former Drug Czar and long-time Republican presidential appointee Bill Bennett is a lot of things. Here’s Brad DeLong’s laundry list:Bill Bennett is a hypocrite, a loathsome fungus on the tree of American politics, a man who has worked unceasingly…
Posted to Politics by Pete Blackwell on October 1, 2005 02:29 PM

William Bennett, Cheerleader for Abortion Rights
Aren’t these people special? “George Bush has distanced himself from comments made by a leading Republican crusader on moral values who declared that one way to reduce the crime rate in the US would be to ‘abort black babies.'” I suppose…
Posted to Politics by Douglas Anthony Cooper on October 1, 2005 02:34 AM

Bill Bennett: Exterminate Blacks!
Bill Bennett said like a Dalek from Doctor Who: I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose—you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime…
Posted to Politics by John Bill on October 1, 2005 12:48 AM

If You Killed All the Homosexuals…
Former Education Secetary and self-appointed moral stormtrooper Bill Bennett got himself into some hot water by suggesting crime would go down if every black baby was aborted. The White House condemned Bennett’s statement, while Bennett defended himself by…
Posted to Politics by Blunderford on September 30, 2005 04:28 PM

The Bill Bennett Debacle
On his syndicated radio show, William Bennett told a caller, “If you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would…
Posted to Politics by LegendaryMonkey on September 30, 2005 12:01 PM

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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