Monday, August 11, 2008

What media bias?

This was taken verbatim from an ABC News affiliate (emphasis mine):

A pro-choice group shifts into full gear to fight an abortion ban in South Dakota. The Campaign for Healthy Families announces the launch of a massive campaign tomorrow in the nation's capital.

The group claims anti-choice forces are using South Dakota to further their agenda to overturn Roe vs Wade.

South Dakotans rejected a law to outlaw abortions in 2006 and voters head back to the polls in November to decide on a similar ban.

The Campaign for Healthy Families kicks off their effort Tuesday at eight o'clock at the National Press Club in Washington.

It also looks as if it's taken verbatim from an abortion-advocacy press release.

These people should be ashamed of themselves. But then, if you think killing babies is okay, I guess blatant bias like this is no big deal, right?

And catch this! When I emailed the News Director and scolded him for allowing such blatant bias, he sent me this lame response:

As far as I know, groups supporting the ballot measure will not be appearing before the National Press Club on Tuesday. That in fact is: that’s what the story is about – the group is launching its campaign against it on a national stage. We will have more coverage on Tuesday from the perspective that they’re taking their campaign to a national level. No doubt we will have reaction locally from people who support the measure tomorrow.

So you see, you really don’t need to push the bias button.

Does this guy's wife work for Planned Parenthood or something? Since when it is not bias to refer to one side of a contentious issue using the term the other side uses to denigrate them? He's not calling the "Campaign for Healthy Families" pro-abortion, which they are.

Another one to share with NewsBusters!

UPDATE: After an email exchange Mr. Peterson relented slightly and changed "anti-choice" to "anti-abortion", which is still biased but at least accurate. Here's the screen capture showing the original wording:

Here's a close-up:

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NYAttorney said...

I went to the Campaign for Healthy Families web site to see if in fact the KOTA story did originate from one of the organization's press releases. Alas, no Press Center" tab there. Some photos, though, of happy, healthy, child-friendly, always-laughing families -- pictured in one shot as apparently reading a giant American flag.

I'm guessing the release was written by "Shannon," the Planned Parenthood operative who does communications work for CHF and is currently guest-blogging at Feministe. Maybe she also shot this video of a CHF press conference which is posted at Shannon's Stand Up South Dakota site, and in which CHF's co-chair, former SD legislator Jan Nicolay, make the following revealing statement:

We need to remind everybody in South Dakota that we have the most restrictive abortion laws already. We have parental notification. We have mandatory waiting periods. And in addition to that, we have abortions prohibited after the first trimester. And we also have one of the lowest abortion rates in thecountry.

Not sure whether Nicolay considers the low abortion rate a good thing or a bad thing, or whether she's crediting the notification and waiting period laws for those statistics, but I'm glad she's reminding the state about all that stuff.

Maybe KOTA could win a Pulitzer with an investigative report about a state that has somehow enacted a post-first trimester ban. Or, about a abortion advocate caught lying about what the law says (not that that's really "news").

Christina Dunigan said...

In one of those "Why didn't I think of this earlier?" moments --

Calling a group that exists to fight a proposed abortion ban "Campaign for Healthy Families" as about as honest as calling a group that exists to fight smoking bans "Campaign for Healthy Lungs".