WashPost Skipped Pro-Life Court Win, But Plugged Abortion Advocate's "Inspiring" Book

March 1st, 2006 10:17 PM

A telephone tipster made a very interesting point to us today about The Washington Post. In the midst of their coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith case, and a Vermont campaign-finance limit case, the Post found no room Wednesday for the pro-life win in NOW v. Scheidler. (That's the case where NOW tried to have clinic protesters charged under a mob-racketeering statute.) The Post could argue that the case is a bit of a rerun: the court dismissed it in 2003, only to have a federal judge keep the case alive like a zombie. But the court ruled 8 to 0 and the feminists were routed in the opinion by none other than liberal Clinton appointee Stephen Breyer. USA Today published a fairly prominent, thorough piece Wednesday on Page A-4.

If you asked an editor or the ombudsman, they might suggest that there's only so much room in the paper (only so much of a "news hole") for the Supreme Court coverage. They had enough of a news hole for Alan Cooperman to cover briefly the Catholic Democrats' latest attempt to defend themselves and their "tensions" with their church over abortion. But more egregiously, as the tipster recalled, on Monday morning, the Post's Federal Page again tried to goose the sales of strident abortion advocate Kate Michelman's book with a review by reporter Ceci Connolly. 

The headline was "On the Front Lines for Women." Connolly complained only that Michelman doesn't show enough of her own life story: "Michelman's life story from abandoned, pregnant housewife to feminist leader is inspiring." In this, she found her "calling." (As in God called me to smite the babies?) Connolly never noted that perhaps Michelman represents "liberals" or the "left," although she noted Michelman's enemies on the "influential evangelical right." (Well, that's their "calling.")

The Post also promoted Michelman's book last month on the front page of their Style section when she appeared to push her book at a Democratic women's event.

Now, to wrap up, there's a humorous end to the story. I managed to pick up one of today's free tabloid "Express" edition of the Post for commuters, and there, on Page 4, was "Victory for Abortion Foes," a story by AP (and former Post) reporter Toni Locy. Who would have imagined that the tiny digest of the Post would have the NOW-loses story, but not the regular paper?