Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray mastered the self-negating sentence on Monday's front page. Her article began:
As strong and consistent abortion foes, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer are anomalies in a Democratic Party that has overwhelmingly advocated abortion rights. Yet both are backing Sen. Barack Obama, whom one conservative blogger dubbed "the most pro-abortion candidate ever."
Dear Shailagh: If a politician supports the election of President Obama, who will nominate abortion supporters to the federal courts, doesn't the "strong and consistent abortion foes" line go directly out the window? But she stuck to the "firm opponents" fiction spin:
As firmly as Casey (Pa.) and Roemer (Ind.) have adhered to their opposition, Obama has never supported a single measure that would curtail access to abortion -- even under controversial circumstances. But Casey and Roemer have chosen to ignore Obama's legislative record, and are promoting the Democratic presidential candidate to their antiabortion allies as someone who could achieve a new consensus on the issue.
On World News Sunday, ABC anchor Dan Harris filed a report on Pope Benedict's upcoming trip to America, labeling the Catholic leader as "sometimes controversial," and calling him a "hard-liner" for "strenuously condemning divorce, homosexuality, and abortion." Harris also suggested that he has a "tin ear" because of a 2006 speech in which he used a quotation of a historical figure calling Islam "evil" that sparked riots by Muslim extremists around the world, without mentioning that the Pope later clarified that it was not his personal view that Islam is evil. (Transcript follows)
Before a commercial break, Harris plugged the story: "And coming up here on World News this Sunday, who is Pope Benedict? The sometimes controversial Pope comes to America this week."
Finding Christian leaders concerned with global climate change is one thing, but it's hard for the secular media to find an evangelical Christian who can assent to one of the Left's most favored sacraments, abortion.
That's where Newsweek's Lisa Miller comes in finding a new challenge to the traditionally pro-life political views of evangelical Christians. Miller invites readers to meet Adam Hamilton, a Methodist pastor and pro-choice "evangelical" (pictured at right). Or as Hamilton prefers, a pro-lifer with a "heavy heart."
From Miller's article "How Would Jesus Choose?" in the April 14 issue (emphasis mine):
Appearing on Morning Joe a couple weeks ago, Time editor Rick Stengel was quick to blame the controversy over Rev. Wright's past remarks on "the incredible ignorance of white Americans" about what goes on in black churches.
But the Time editor wasn't quite so forgiving when it came to the past of the current pontiff. Appearing on today's Morning Joe to discuss Time's cover story on Pope Benedict XVI's impending visit to America, Stengel blithely referred to the Pope as having been the Vatican's "hatchet man" during his years as a cardinal.
Although it already weighed in on Monday about District of Columbia v. Heller, the Post is clearly worried that the Court will find, shockingly enough, an individual right to keep and bear arms in the text of the Second Amendment. So the legal solons at the Post penned a second layman's lame brief, "Judging Guns," in the March 20 paper (emphasis mine):
BY THE END of oral arguments Tuesday in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, a majority of Supreme Court justices seemed to embrace the notion that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Such a conclusion, however, should not automatically prove fatal to the District's admittedly tough gun control law.
Every right, including freedom of speech, is subject to some limitations. The legal and public policy arguments for allowing broad government regulation of firearms are compelling.
During the roundtable segment on Monday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty compared the racist and anti-American words of Barack Obama's pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, to Jerry Falwell's and Pat Robertson's condemnation of the many abortions in America. Cafferty, who in January suggested that abortion is a "crap" issue, asserted: "How is this different than John McCain chasing after Pat Robertson or the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, who talk about how we have a culture of murdering unborn children in this country and that we've turned into Sodom because we coddled the gay community in this country? I mean, to me, that stuff is considerably more offensive than decrying racial violence and intolerance in this country, which members of the black community have some firsthand knowledge of." (Transcript follows)
It's "paternalistic" for the U.S. Supreme Court to tell a D.C. woman she can't have a partial-birth abortion. But it would be "perverse ideological purity" for the high court to strike down the city's handgun ban that leaves her defenseless in her own home against burglars or abusive ex-boyfriends. That's the logic flowing from that great fount of legal wisdom, the Washington Post editorial board.
It's not often we criticize newspaper editorials, after all, bias occurs in slanted reporting. One expects opinion in editorials. But I thought it worth pointing out to NewsBusters readers the hypocrisy of the Post vehemently opposing Second Amendment rights but screaming bloody murder when the Supreme Court dared to uphold one federal law outlawing a particularly brutal form of abortion.
In an April 19, 2007 editorial slamming the Court for upholding a federal partial-birth abortion ban, the Post's editorial board lambasted (emphasis mine) "the majority's paternalistic pretense that the law can be justified by Congress's interest 'in protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession' and in protecting pregnant women from making a choice they may come to regret."
Yet the Post showed no concern for the District of Columbia's paternalistic handgun ban and its violence to the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. Indeed, in a March 17 editorial, the Washington Post called on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in Tuesday's District of Columbia v. Heller case in such a way that maximizes government's power to regulate the right to keep and bear arms (emphasis mine):
Let me get this straight: On September 11, 2001, terrorists brutally exterminated nearly 3,000 Americans, obliterated the landscape of lower Manhattan, and pummeled the headquarters of the United States's national defense. And since that same date nearly six-and-a-half years ago, pro-lifers have committed a grand total of zero murders, attempted murders, and bombings directed at abortion workers and clinics across the United States and Canada.
So the Associated Press implies that the bigger threat of terrorism to this country comes from ... pro-lifers? Here's how the AP tells it:
When it comes to fears about a terrorist attack, people in the U.S. usually focus on Osama bin Laden and foreign-based radical groups. Yet researchers say domestic extremists who commit violence in the name of their cause — abortion or the environment, for example — account for most of the damage from such incidents in this country.
Bill Clinton’s yelling at pro-life protesters in Steubenville, Ohio didn’t get processed by the networks as a sign of bad temper, or of sour and hyperbolic attacks on pro-lifers. On Monday’s Good Morning America, reporter Jake Tapper’s quick summary of what was going on with the top presidential candidates only noted he "took on some anti-abortion protesters" and ran this soundbite: "We disagree with you. You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree!"
That is clearly a sentiment that media liberals support, but it’s only a fraction of what he yelled. ABC’s Political Radar blog carried more detail, but in neither report did ABC seem to ponder the the political oddity of Clinton’s angry retort: that he and Hillary were in effect more pro-life than the pro-lifers – not to mention it’s always odd to hear Clinton yelling at others to "Tell the truth! Tell the truth!" Over a cheering liberal crowd, Clinton said:
Now that the video has been restored, it seems that this was yet another case of liberals abusing YouTube's flag feature. Originally designed to alert the video sharing service of inappropriate content or copyright violations, flagging is often the tool of angry people upset at speech they find disagreeable. (Many Muslims seem to be similarly inclined.)
Of course YouTube has every right to disallow any video they deem unworthy of their service, this goes without saying. But, when YouTube sets up it's own criteria for removing a video and then removes videos that do not fit its own criteria, then we have cause to wonder if a particular reason for banning videos is one that is kept secret from users. That secret reason would be a certain political bias used by Youtube to eliminate content. And, naturally, that bias is in favor of leftist causes and against the conservative ones.
Such is obviously the case with the recent removal of a video created by the American Life League that criticizes several promiscuous Planned Parenthood condom advertisements. The videos were removed, according to Youtube, because of an "inappropriate nature" and also because of complaints by YouTube members. But, the claim by YouTube that the ALL's ad breached Youtube's "inappropriate nature" rule does not stand up to logic or scrutiny, nor does it seem to fit their own publicly stated rules.
Last Monday, ALL received an email message from YouTube announcing the decision. The ALL website reports that, "The e-mail sent to American Life League said, 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature.'"
The article chronicles horrific barbarities at a chain of Southern California abortion clinics managed by a Bertha Bugarin. Bugarin has now "been charged with practicing medicine without a license on five patients in February and March 2007." The article begins (WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE):
By the time paramedics arrived, the patient was lying in a pool of her own blood, her pulse racing and her blood pressure dangerously low.
Here's a belated item for your media-bias talking points: after rummaging through the media coverage of the typically large March for Life on Tuesday, January 22, I have the following scorecard:
-- ABC, CBS, and NBC had absolutely nothing on the March, and absolutely nothing on the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Put the word "abortion" into Nexis and you get a black hole for that day, and the next day.
-- By contrast, Fox News Channel at least had a fair-and-balanced report on the March (complete with abortion advocates like Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation) on Tuesday night's Special Report with Brit Hume.
-- National Public Radio offered several segments on the Roe anniversary, but no mention of the March for Life (with the asterisk that news breaks on the hour are not loaded into Nexis.)
Mooch-a-mas grassas! That was Ted Kennedy -- the man who brought you "Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser" -- thanking a California crowd. View here. Now we know why he paid someone back at Harvard to take that Spanish exam.
John McCain might want to borrow that snippet of smashed Spanish from his amnesty bill buddy to thank Today. The NBC show this morning depicted the Republican primary race as all but over with the GOP establishment coalescing around the Arizona senator. And for good measure, weekend co-host Lester Holt threw in some campaign consulting, gratis, counseling McCain against moving right to appeal to the conservative base.
Never doubt that Washington Post movie reviewer Ann Hornaday is a feminist. But sometimes she can't quite make up her mind which words to use to blast recent choose-life movies ("Knocked Up" and "Juno") as unhelpful and unreal. Were they full of "consoling" fictions? Or "cutesy" fictions? Although the Post movie reviews usually run long in the Style section and condensed (Reader's Digest style) in the Weekend section, Hornaday chose both of the two adjectives in slightly different reviews.
The film being reviewed was a stark Romanian film "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days," about how a pregnant woman and her friend try to get her an appointment with an illegal abortionist, who terminates the pregnancy, but also rapes them both. Hornaday's long Style review used the "consoling fictions" line:
Heaping praise on moderate Republican Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), the Washington Post devoted not one but two articles in the January 31 paper to the congressman. The Post lauded Davis for his centrism, but particularly for angering the Virginia GOP's conservative base. Yet left unmentioned was any analysis suggesting moderation was what felled his wife's 2007 state senate reelection campaign.
Staff writer Bill Turque penned a Metro section front pager ("In Va., Congress, Davis Has Ruled From the Center") that began by noting Davis's Republican Party family pedigree before adding that Davis "crushed" his first political opponent in a 1979 election "by placing himself firmly in the center."
Teenagers who tumble from the bed to a sudden pregnancy often face this reaction from the people surrounding them: These poor kids made a mistake, yes. But they don’t have the maturity to bring a life into the world. It would ruin their lives, and they would probably be irresponsible and resentful parents. Admitting their immaturity and having an abortion is the truly mature choice.
That might sound like a formulaic TV movie of the week. But then comes “Juno,” the quirky, arty film with a completely different take – and it’s taking the movie world by storm.
An article in Wednesday’s Albany Times-Union carried the deceptive title "35 years pass, but not debate: Demonstrations mark 1973 high court ruling affirming right to abortion." Instead of covering any of the various pro-life or pro-choice demonstrations over the past few days, the Times-Union spent the bulk of article discussing a ceremony at a new Planned Parenthood facility in Albany where local clergy "blessed" the clinic. Only two sentences mentioned that "Capital Region activists joined voices with their counterparts nationwide to mark the day" and that the annual March for Life was being held in Washington, DC.
The article, written by Times-Union staff writer Carol DeMare, quoted several "pro-choice" clergy who took part in the "blessing" ceremony. Rev. Larry Phillips of Schenectady, New York's Emmanuel-Friedens Church described the new Planned Parenthood center as "sacred and holy ... where women's voices and stories are welcomed, valued and affirmed; sacred ground where women are treated with dignity, supported in their role as moral decision-makers ... sacred ground where the violent voices of hatred and oppression are quelled."
It's a sad and horrifying story enough as it is, yet the Associated Press surely has compounded the grief for a Texas couple with its January 23 story, "Lawsuit: Stillborn Was Put in Laundry," excerpted below (h/t NB reader Tracy Zeeb):
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A couple filed a lawsuit against a hospital alleging that it sent their stillborn fetus's body with dirty laundry to the cleaners.
For pro-lifers used to being ignored when they come to Washington for the annual March for Life, Wednesday’s Washington Post story will please them. It’s placed on page A-3, and even more surprising, it came with a wide crowd shot that lets the reader see the rally’s size (it’s a shot by a Post photographer, not the Reuters photo the website used). The headline is "A Youthful Throng Marches Against Abortion." The story underneath by Sue Anne Pressley Montes is straightforward, as she noted "In many ways, the march resembled a gigantic pep rally, with smiling teenagers in matching scarves or sweat shirts holding school banners high as they moved along."
The Post website also has a brief video, although it’s simply some of Bush’s remarks over AP video, not really a Post staff production. The story was not located anywhere on the washingtonpost.com home page this morning (although you could find it on the Politics page).
Mark Moring has an interesting read at Christianity Today's Web site. He recalls all the popular movies in 2007 that feature life-affirming responses to unexpected pregnancy in films such as "Knocked Up," "Waitress," "Juno," "Bella," and "August Rush.":
To some, it was a year of war movies and "statement" flicks—including In the Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition. Meanwhile, David Poland of Movie City News declared 2007 "Oscar's Year of the Man," noting that of the top sixteen contenders for best picture, only three were headlined by women.
But others noticed a different trend: In some ways, 2007 was the Year of Pro-Life Cinema.
Ordinarily there wouldn't be a link between an awards ceremony and the anniversary of legally sanctioned abortion. But this was before "Juno."
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which gave women access to legal abortions. This morning the Academy Award nominees were also announced, and "Juno," a movie in which a teenage girl chooses adoption over abortion, scored nominations for Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.
What if pro-choicers wrote a column filled with well-articulated pro-life arguments . . . and never mustered a substantive response? Would it suggest they have effectively conceded defeat on one of the great moral issues of the day?
That "what if" becomes reality in Abortion's battle of messages in today's LA Times. As noteworthy as the column's substance is the identity of one of the co-authors: none other than leading pro-choice light Kate Michelman, past president of NARAL [and current John Edwards advisor].
Consider these excerpts, which with minor editing could just as easily have come from a Bill Buckley column.
One of the standard MRC categories of bias is bias by placement. In Monday’s Washington Post Metro section, an article profiling students traveling to Washington for the annual March for Life was placed on page B-4. But a 17-year-old activist who wanted to make sure she could vote for Barack Obama in Maryland was on B-1. (This is in my Virginia edition. In Virginia and now in Maryland, 17-year-olds can vote in primaries if they’ll turn 18 before the general election.)
Post editors can surely claim that the Maryland-teen story on presidential politics is both more local and more contemporary than out-of-town teens attending an annual march. They also must have liked the angle that the angry father of the Obama-loving teen wrote a letter to The Washington Post, which sparked the whole campaign for 17-year-old voting rights in Maryland. The strangest part of the story by Daniel deVise is the lack of labels for any activist in this story on the liberal side, especially leftist Democratic state legislator Jamie Raskin (son of Marcus Raskin, one of the founders of the far-left Institute for Policy Studies).
In the article, "Abortions down 25% from peak" (Thu. 1/17/08), the Los Angeles Times continues their practice of propagating abortion falsehoods. But their faulty reporting exceeds simple factual errors. Their falsehoods put women's lives in jeopardy.
In a passage on the activities at pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, the author of the article, Stephanie Simon (more on her below), writes,
Some of the material given to women at such sessions [at these centers] is false or misleading -- for example, warnings that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer or causes post-traumatic stress disorder.
First - The Times and Simon, despite the loads of evidence contradicting them, continue to deny the numerous studies asserting the link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer ("ABC" = "abortion-breast cancer"). They are wrong to do this, and we have cited Simon and the paper on this very issue before (here and here). In addition, as recently as three months ago (October 2007), a major study conducted out of England concluded that abortion is the "best predictor" for developing breast cancer.
On Wednesday's The Situation Room on CNN, during the roundtable segment, Jack Cafferty charged that Hillary Clinton's recent contention that she would be best prepared to deal with a terrorist attack amounted to "the same boogeyman fearmongering garbage we've had from the Bush administration for the last five years." He added that "it isn't the terrorists that are going to take this country down. We're doing a good job of that all by ourselves." (Transcript follows)
Cafferty also lamented that Republican candidates were talking about issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and the Confederate flag, which he called "the same crap that we hear every election cycle." He went on to recommend both spending cuts and tax increases to improve the economy. Notably, Cafferty's reference to the Confederate flag gave an impression that he saw one of the candidates pushing the issue, when in reality, as reported by CNN's John King at about 4:30 p.m., the discussion of the Confederate flag consisted of a few people protesting outside, and a man in John McCain's town hall meeting audience bringing up the subject and complaining about the Arizona Senator's opposition to the flag's display above South Carolina's state capitol, with McCain defiantly standing by his opposition. Cafferty also neglected to mention that McCain has been talking about fighting against wasteful spending, which is consistent with some of what Cafferty was pushing for.
"Freakonomics" co-author Stephen Dubner appeared on Thursday's "Good Morning America" to talk about crime and also to repeat his unsubstantiated argument that legalized abortions have resulted in less crime. The journalist and author asserted, "What happened when Roe V. Wade was handed down was that unwanted children are basically at a much greater risk for being born into the circumstances where they're more likely to lead a criminal life. Not every unwanted child by a long stretch, but typically."
In other words, 35 years after the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision, "the generation of people around then included fewer unwanted children and therefore fewer criminals." At no point did Roberts question this assertion or mention that it has been repeatedly challenged since Dubner and his economist co-author Steven Levitt made it in their book. In fact, a study by another economist, John Lott, found that legalized abortion actually increased the murder rate by seven percent. However, unimpeded by contradictory arguments, Dubner simply told Roberts, "It's good to know what forces work in society, if for no other reason than to keep doing the right thing." The right thing, one presumes he means, is to keep aborting children.
The Democratic presidential race is turning into a snippy identity-politics battle waged around the question: Is America more racist or more sexist? Is America too racist to deserve Barack Obama? Or too sexist to deserve Hillary Clinton? Liberals think this is a real puzzler, since they assume America is bigoted both ways. It’s going to be a long, America-accusing election year no matter who wins.
This is nuts. Our system of laws in this country contains energetic remedies for discrimination against blacks and women. Discriminatory attitudes still exist in isolated, politically irrelevant pockets whose existence is then magnified one hundred-fold by those in the media who want this picture of discrimination to exist. Blacks and women simply are not as a rule denied their humanity, as evidenced by a black and a woman vying to become America’s next president.
If we don’t want this year to be an exercise in liberal accusation and intimidation, we should force the Democratic front-runners to answer a different question. If we want to identify the one segment of American humanity that is routinely disregarded, we should ask them: when will you recognize the civil rights and humanity of the unborn baby? When will America overcome this injustice of destroying human lives in the name of "choice"?
How left-wing is taxpayer-supported radio? WBAI-FM, the New York City home of the radical Pacifica Radio network that gets roughly $1 million each year in federal funds, is asking for contributions and offering a premium for $100 donors: a President Bush trash can that says "White Trash" on it.
For a short time only, WBAI offers a signed and numbered limited edition replica of New York artist, Robert Cenedella's "Basket Sculpture." This round metal construction is functional as a waste basket. Each measures 12" x 10".
For $100, which includes both shipping and a donation to WBAI, you can have the pleasure of trashing the President every day just as he has trashed the United States Constitution.