Monday, July 10, 2006

Media bias -- or willful ignorance

Bruce Wilson asks: Is Mainstream Media Guilty of Bias or Incompetence?

The best example is this:
Just before the start of the Senate confirmation hearings for pro-life Supreme Court appointee Samuel Alito, NBC News excitedly reported that Alito was out of step with a clear majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to an abortion. The conclusion was based on an NBC News poll that asked the following question:

“The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe versus Wade decision established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Would you like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn its Roe versus Wade decision, or not?”

Anyone who has done their homework realizes that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion without restriction in the first six months of pregnancy and provided a loophole that makes it almost impossible to restrict abortion even in the last three months of pregnancy.

So why would NBC News falsely imply that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion only in the first three months of pregnancy?

More to the point: How come the public is comprised of people who don't see through this? They can read. They can open their local phone books and see abortions advertised to 24 weeks. How do they reconcile this with the myth that Roe only allows abortions in the first three months?

This need to believe that abortion is only legal for the first three months is apparently very strong.

I once overheard a discussion between two co-workers about abortion. One, Susan, kept insisting that abortion was only legal in the first trimester. Without saying a word, I opened the local phone book to the ads posted by the two facilities in town. Both advertised abortions to 24 weeks. I put the phone book in front of Susan and pointed to the ads. She gave me a dirty look, slammed the phone book shut, and changed the topic.

A couple of weeks later, I heard Susan in another discussion, insisting again that abortion is only legal during the first 12 weeks.

I had a discussion online with a man who also insisted that Roe only legalized abortion through the first 12 weeks. I provided URLs to the National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood, the CDC, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, along with a dozen URLs for abortion services through 24 weeks. This guy insisted that all those URLs were phony -- that they'd been put up by prolifers trying to lie and convince the public that abortions were legal after 12 weeks, but, again, they weren't. This guy insisted that performing an abortion after 12 weeks would land a doctor in jail.

What's with this, anyway? It's not just perplexing that people are so able to ignore the reality all around them. It's perplexing that they feel such a powerful need do dismiss the evidence. I mean, if you're okay with killing fetuses, why should it matter how old they are? Why is that the same people who insist that it's 100% the woman's right to kill a fetus at 12 weeks so disturbed by the idea of killing a 13-week fetus that he (or she) can't even let himself believe that hit happens at all?

I don't get it.

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