So I guess the Associated Press’ reportorial staff in Texas is on vacation this week. Good for them! I hope they’re having a great time. Not good for news consumers, though, as AP coverage of the Texas legislature couldn’t be worse right now.
Take this four-paragraph, six-sentence story published on USA Today that began:
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republicans armed with Bible verses have given preliminary approval to some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country as time runs out on the Texas special legislative session.
What in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks does this mean? I have no idea. I have no idea what being “armed” with Bible verses means. The remaining five sentences don’t tell us. They also don’t tell us what the Bible verses are. Neither do we learn why in the world Bible verses were mentioned in this “news” report. Or what Democrats were armed with.
You’ll also note, of course, the perennial approach of referring to legislation regarding abortion in terms of “restriction” as opposed to “protection.” This is done so frequently that I doubt that reporters are even aware, at this point, of the built-in bias.
You’ll note the lack of any mention of Dr. Kermit Gosnell or various other doctors in the abortion industry who operate unsanitary, unsafe or dangerous clinics.
Or what about this AP story?
(AUSTIN, Texas) – More than 800 women’s rights protesters crowded into the Texas Capitol on Sunday to watch Democrats try a series of parliamentary maneuvers to stop the Republican majority from passing some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.
Um, where to begin? How about with the fact that women are just as likely to be pro-life as pro-choice? Is that a good start? Do you think pro-life women would be surprised to find out that the Associated Press views them as hostile to women’s rights?
Or maybe the Associated Press could explain to us why wanting safer abortion clinics, or more sanitary abortion clinics, or less dangerous abortion clinics — such as the ones the media have reluctantly, if ever, covered — makes you anti-women’s rights. I’d really love to know.
Or what if you are really into the right to life for all women, born and unborn? Could the Associated Press explain to us why that makes one anti-women’s rights?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that abortion rights activists prefer to identify themselves as pro-women’s rights and those who support unborn children’s right to life as not. I get that. And I fully expect to see such labels used in, say, Mother Jones and other ideological press.
But unless the Associated Press is coming out as partisans in this debate, this is inappropriate bias for a hotly-contested story about a bill sponsored by … a female Texan who has talked about this legislation in the context of how it benefits women as well as the children growing in their wombs. Again, one might personally agree with one side or the other, but the story should not take sides.
Let’s go ahead and look at the next line in the story:
Democrats, some waving coat hangers to symbolize illegal abortions, passionately spoke against the bill or tried to add amendments to soften it.
Now, given that abortion is legal in all 50 states and that under the Roe regime, that we only last month witnessed the conviction of an abortion doctor for infanticide and murder (among other things) and that despite lax coverage we see reports of clinic failures throughout the country with alarming frequency, I wonder if the story should mention any of this.
Would you like to guess which paragraph of this 16-paragraph story got around to mentioning Kermit Gosnell or any of these things or the context under which this legislation is being considered?
Did you guess that the folks writing the story never got around to it? You would be correct!
Boy, I can’t wait for the real reporters to get back in town. I’m not sure how much more of this coverage we can take.