Only some social issues are divisive in the Plains states, or so implies the New York Times. A sour tone permeated Wednesday's front-page story by John Eligon and Erik Eckholm from Fargo on North Dakota's strict new abortion laws, which ban abortions based on sex or disability and forbid abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable: "New Laws Ban Most Abortions in North Dakota." Yet Colorado's passage of civil unions legislation for gay couples was celebrated with no dissenting voices.
And alhough the quotes from sources pro and con were balanced, with two people quoted in favor, two against, and one classified as neutral, the two pro-life sources were the last two quoted, in paragraphs 26 and 29-30 of the 31-paragraph story.
Closing out an interview with Sen. John Hoeven (R) of North Dakota on today's Andrea Mitchell Reports, substitute host Chris Matthews thanked the former governor and said he "loved visiting your state this summer" and that he loves Mt. Rushmore, having "sat there for two hours and just looked up at it" during his trip to South Dakota over the summer.
Hoeven corrected Matthews, saying he was from North Dakota. Matthews retorted that he "liked South Dakota better anyway." [video follows page break]