The Senate held a historic vote on health care reform last night at 1 AM. Splitting exactly along party lines–that is, if you call Joe Lieberman a Democrat–the health care bill made it through a cloture vote and is one step away from final passage and the conference committee.

To get so-called moderate Democrat Ben Nelson on board, however, Harry Reid had to agree to a decidedly un-moderate compromise on abortion rights. It’s not Stupak language–but it’s close.

Stupak’s staffers, meanwhile, were sending frantic emails to catholic bishops and top republican staffers asking for their help to keep his amendment in the final bill. If that’s bipartisanship, they can keep it.

So who says these guys are so moderate, anyway? Politico, for one. The Washington Post as well. The Wall Street Journal called them “centrists,” as did the New York Times. Interesting that moves that would radically alter women’s right to choose are moderate.

Maybe the media’s idea of moderate has something to do with who they’re talking to. Look at the Sunday talk shows, for instance. Meet The Press had not a single woman on to discuss health care. You know it’s bad when FOX News Sunday features a pro-choice woman, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and the biggest show on Sunday doesn’t. CBS’s Face the Nation was the only one to feature two women.

As Ann Friedman pointed out in The American Prospect, white men are the least likely to identify as progressives. So why do Democrats–and the media– continue to act as if their opinions are the only ones that matter?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at and Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.