A Classic Labeling Imbalance: In Oregon Case, "Patients" vs. "Conservatives"

MRC's Mike Rule reports that CBS's "Early Show" had a typical breakdown of the debate over Oregon's assisted-suicide law. It's "patients" vs. "conservatives."

As Wyatt Andrews reported: "The ruling legalizes the right of terminally ill Oregon patients, patients like Jack Newbold, to end their lives when they choose with a doctor prescribed dose of barbiturates. Newbold died of his bone cancer but felt that his lethal prescription gave him power to the end...(Followed by old Newbold soundbite)...Patient groups in Oregon cheered the decision, and they predicted that other states will pass laws like Oregon's. Conservatives, however, will ask Congress to ban assisted suicide." (Introducting a soundbite from pro-life lawyer James Bopp.)

In this case, you have to ask: so are conservatives somehow anti-patient groups? This pattern only provides the latest example of my little labeling-bias maxim: To the liberal media, the epic political battles of our time are fought between the conservatives and the nonpartisans.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis