Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How The Media Covered The March For Life

Update 2: Washington Post’s own ombudsman criticizes paper’s March for Life coverage:
January 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After receiving letters from “antiabortion readers” complaining about his paper’s coverage of the March for Life, the Washington Post’s ombudsman has penned a column agreeing with many of their criticisms.
Ombudsman Patrick Pexton says that the Washington Post gave an “incomplete picture” of the March for Life in both its print story and online photo gallery.
Pexton writes that the Post “fell down” in its coverage of the March by failing to include any photos in the gallery that conveyed the magnitude or the “festiveness” of the pro-life crowd, instead focusing on the confrontations between a small group of pro-abortion counter protesters and passing pro-lifers on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Update: This story got picked up by Steven Greydanus at the National Catholic Register and others. The collective pressure got CBS Washington to update their photo spread to include pictures of pro-lifers. Thanks Steven!

Although criticism of CBS’s original photo gallery ranged far and wide, the earliest whistleblower I’m aware of was the blog Wynken, Blynken and Nod, which commented early Tuesday. I reported on W. B. Nod’s comments later that day, and my own comments (and Nod’s) were picked up by Matthew Balan of NewsBusters. Later that evening, Al Kresta posted on the story.
Yesterday, the story spread as Jill Stanek and LifeSiteNews picked up on it. Earlier today, the issue hit The Washington Times, the Washington Examiner and Get Religion.

 * * * * *
How the media covered the 2012 March For Life: You already know the answer, don't you? The liberal media ignored or insulted the event and the conservative media had a love-fest. Right? Right?

Not so fast.

Guess: which major news network wrote this?

Thousands will gather in the District for the annual March for Life.
It’s been deemed the largest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration for the unborn, with more than 100,000 expected to attend.

Among those expected to participate in the march are hundreds of Catholic University students. University president John Garvey says “The passage of time since the adoption of Roe v. Wade has not dulled people’s sensitivity to this moral calamity. On the contrary, especially among young people, it has emerged as the preeminent human rights issue of our time.”
If you said Fox News, you'd be dead wrong. It was MSNBC -- possibly the most liberal news outlet of the big four. Not what you'd expect from the "foaming-at-the-mouth lickspittle toadies of the Democratic party" as some would characterize them.

In fact, MSNBC had the most favorable article. "[L]argest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration": read that again.

By contrast, the "right-wing, knuckle-dragging mouth breathers" at Fox News' headline read "Anti-abortion Protesters March in Washington on Roe v. Wade Anniversary" and simply regurgitated the Associated Press' 6 desultory sentences for their article, as did ABC. They also put "March for Life" in quotes, whereas MSNBC did not.

Fox News did have a short video showing the March for Life crowd, however.

The worst of the lot had to be CBS. You couldn't find their article in any of their online sections without serious digging. I had to resort to their search engine to find any results and those were in the "Local" section. Two articles were about MFL traffic, two about Speaker of the House John Boehner's address, and one about the March in Connecticut.

The remaining link was to a photo gallery entitled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life on Roe v. Wade Anniversary".  The thing I find despicable is that the caption reads in part: "Activists on both sides of the abortion issue are rallying on the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs Wade case", but ALL of the pictures are of pro-abortion sign holders (probably about 20 of them).

NONE of the pictures were of the 200,000 or more pro-life demonstrators. Hundreds of thousands vs. tens and not a single shot of the March For Life itself -- not exactly unbiased reporting.

BEFORE you spam me for being a myopic, biased, hypocritical luddite -- these results were current as of mid-afternoon on Monday. More articles may have appeared since then. My research wasn't exactly scientific, but it is fairly representative of the "average person" standard that is so esteemed in court cases.

The very best, in-depth, and positive coverage of the 2012 March for Life was provided by -- no surprise -- EWTN: live and in living color on the main page. 'Cause that's how we roll.

1 comment:

SDG said...

W. B. Nod: Don't know if you've noticed yet, but CBS, responding to vociferous criticism, has belatedly updated their slideshow with numerous photos of the March for Life. (Turns out their photographer actually took pictures of both sides! Guess he accidentally forgot about the other ones until now.)

Anyway, as far as I can tell, you were the earliest whistleblower out there on this one, or one of the first. So, kudos to you.


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