League’s American Girl Protest Draws Intense Media Attention

Ann Scheidler gives an interview

Ann Scheidler interviewed during the Nov. 25 American Girl picket [Photo by EJS]

The American Girl protest (see story) has drawn more media attention than any project we have ever tackled. In fact, it far eclipsed media attention to the League’s third trip to the United States Supreme Court on November 30 (see story).

As soon as our first press release was issued on October 12, we started getting calls. ABC World News was the first to do a taping. Fox News’ Rebecca Gomez did a lengthy piece including interviews with Ann Scheidler and Girls Inc. CEO Joyce Roche. Associated Press did a story on the possible boycott on October 15, carried in papers across the country, including the Chicago Tribune.

On Tuesday, October 18, Ann was a guest on the Eileen Byrne Show on WLS talk radio in Chicago. After a fifteen-minute discussion, Byrne opened the phone lines for another half-hour.

League Links Media with Pro-Life Families

We directed several media outlets interested in interviewing families boycotting American Girl to pro-life families in the Chicago area, including the Wiesners of Aurora, IL, whose daughters began making picket signs when they learned about American Girl’s funding of Girls Inc. CNN spent three hours at the Wiesner home. The piece aired on the Paula Zahn Show in conjunction with the first picket of American Girl Place, November 25.

In her November 2 Chicago Tribune column, the out-spokenly pro-abortion Dawn Turner Trice praised American Girl’s link with Girls Inc. and called our objections ridiculous. The Tribune also ran a story on November 13 on the effectiveness of boycotts, featuring the Pro-Life Action League’s boycott of American Girl and a photo of the Wiesner sisters with their American Girl dolls.

CBS interviewed Wanda Glitz of Des Plaines, IL and her daughter Natalie, as well as a family in Evanston, IL who planned to buy an American Girl doll for their daughter for Hanukkah. The report also featured Ann Scheidler and Joyce Roche.

Fox News Chicago featured the American Girl protest on its morning news on November 2, with anchor Tamron Hall interviewing Ann. Hall was especially interested in whether the “Black Friday” protest would include graphic abortion signs.

The Los Angeles Times carried a story on the protest, as did the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Omaha World Herald carried a story on Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaking at a Girls Inc. event in Omaha, NE. Obama called the protest “silly” and the Herald contacted Ann Scheidler for a comment, which was included in their story.

Millions Reached by Hours of Coverage

In October and November, broadcast media coverage amounted to over five hours and reached over twenty-five million viewers. Radio stations from all over the country called for interviews. Relevant Radio‘s Drew Mariani interviewed Ann Scheidler three times, as well as following up on the story on several other occasions.

American Girl provided no media spokesman. They issued a statement lamenting that we had misconstrued their “altruistic efforts,” but offered no apology, nor any indication or our protest’s effect.

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