Memorial Day frame game

GetReligion readers: What’s wrong with the lede to this AP story?

Pope Benedict XVI stepped into an Italian referendum battle Monday, endorsing efforts by the country’s Roman Catholic bishops to restrict assisted fertility treatments.

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  • Darrell Grizzle

    What is a “lede”?

  • http://www.getreligion.org/?p=2 Douglas LeBlanc

    Here’s a good explanation of lede, which is an example of journalists’ jargon.

  • http://amywelborn.typepad.com Amy Welborn

    Let’s see. Would it be that IVF treatments (not just any “assisted fertility treatments) are *already* restricted by the Italian government (*not* the bishops!), and the referendum is on whether or not the *government* (not the bishops) should loosen the restrictions?

    Or is there something else?

  • http://davidsbundler.typepad.com TheLeague

    So here it is. Italy is now run by those knuckle-dragging, women-hating Catholics bishops?

    AP is un-freaking-believable.

    /sarcasm on
    Perhaps America’s Philistines (ie. lunatic leftists) are right. If Republicans end the filibuster in the Senate, well, that will lead to…theocracy! Just like in Italy! See! AP says so. /sarcasm off

  • Paul Barnes

    Pope Benedict XVI is an Italian bishop, or, a bishop in Italy.

  • http://www.ecben.net Will Linden

    That it speaks in terms of a superior “endorsing” bishops, as though they were voting on a party platform?

  • http://paragraphfarmer.blogspot.com/ Patrick O’Hannigan

    Restatement of church teaching now counts as “stepping into referendum battles”?

    And note the implication that the bishops are alone in this effort (those kooks!)

  • http://www.xanga.com/branthansen Brant

    I’m hoping the headline wasn’t, “Bishop of Rome Endorses Own Efforts”.

  • Stephen A.

    My guesses:
    The Pope is shown here to be “endorsing” the bishops’ action, as if he’s being led by them, or as if it came as a suprise to him and he’s jumping on the bandwaon, rather than the other way around.

    And of course, the reporter means to imply that religion and this ethical/moral issue (which is “political” of course) is somehow, and should be, separate, and the pope is simply “stepping into” this battle.

    I had an editor who once called the lead (first) paragraph a “lede” too.

  • Terry Tee

    The IVF aspect is only a comparatively small aspect of what amounts to industrial use of human embryos for genetic research. By focussing the issue assisted fertility (and therefore childless couples longing for children) the lead sentence makes the Catholic Church look hard, unfeeling, lacking compassion. But once we grasp that it is the massive use of human embryos and their discarding once used that is the real issue – then we see the whole thing in a different light.

  • Terry Tee

    I really MUST read things before posting. The second sentence should read: ‘By focussing ON the issue OF assisted fertility …’ My apologies.


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