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Coloring the News: Feminism and Diversity

Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM

"Journalists are more disproportionately liberal on [the abortion] issue," wrote Jonathan Alter, Newsweek's poster boy for liberal bias in the media. "So they are more likely to rely on whether consciously or unconsciously, the information they get from the pro-abortion side."

What he neglected to add was that in almost every case, liberal reporters don't even bother to seek comments from the pro-life forces, relying most often on what the spokeswomen for the abortion industry tell them.

In 1970, before the diversity mania gripped the media, Time magazine described feminist Kate Millet as "an unsmiling thick-eyebrowed sphinx with emerging eyebags and a laser-beam stare that could melt male testicles from 50 yards."

Perhaps it was that kind of stare that appears to have emasculated male reporters since then, depriving them of the ability to resist the blandishments of what Rush Limbaugh has called the legion of feminazis who now dominate the feminist movement and intimidate the press.

McGowan maintains that "an examination of the coverage of a variety of feminist issues - particularly abortion and gender integration in the military - reveals a sharp skew in

He cites what he calls "the media's bias on the abortion industry - feminism's premier cause" and notes that that bias was shown in a 1990 study of the issue by Los Angeles Times reporter David Shaw.

After studying "reams of reportage in 18 major American newspapers and hours of videotape" and numerous interviews of reporters and editors, Shaw estimated that an astounding 80 percent to 90 percent of American journalists favored abortion, thus upholding the alleged right of women to kill the unborn babies in their wombs.

"Show cited scores of examples showing that in content and tone, coverage was riddled with double standards against the anti-abortion camp." He quoted NBC's Lisa Meyers as agreeing that "some of the stories I have read or seen have almost seemed like cheerleading for the pro-abortion side."

One of the most egregious examples of media manipulation of the facts to favor the abortion industry involved the horrendous partial birth procedure in which a late term baby's body is drawn down the birth canal until the abortionist has reached the child's skull. He then punctures its head at the base of the skull with scissors, and sucks out its brain. That done, he or she crushes its skull and removes its now lifeless body.

The issue got hot during the debates over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 in which, as McGowan puts it, "journalists who should have been trying to help the public sort through a complex and deeply felt issue struck poses and insulted those [deemed] to be on the wrong [pro-life] side."

Lining up against the ban on this inhuman practice, the media accepted the abortion industry's line, adopted hastily to counter the horrific images evoked by the term "Partial Birth Abortion" by suddenly coming up with the newly discovered "correct" technical term "intact dilation and extraction," although the very doctor who pioneered the procedure called it "Partial Birth Abortion."

The media also swallowed whole the abortion industry's provably false claim that the procedure was performed a mere few hundred times a year and then only in the third trimester of pregnancy when the fetus is severely deformed or the mother's health is in serious jeopardy.

Largely ignored were arguments in favor of the ban, that "the procedure is used thousands of times a year, mostly on healthy mothers, and on viable babies."

"In fact," McGowan notes, "supporters of the ban claimed, most partial birth abortions are elective, sometimes for such frivolous reasons as cleft palates or sex selection."

McGowan cites numerous instances of anti-ban propaganda masquerading as reportage in the media including one particularly egregious example in which CBS "60 Minutes" reporter Ed Bradley quoted one doctor who called "'partial birth abortion' a 'propaganda term' not found in medical dictionaries."

Bradley also showed his hand by choosing to highlight the case of a mother named Vicki, whose fetus's brain was growing outside its head, making no mention of how atypical - almost bizarrely so - this case was among prospective third-term abortions. Bradley went on to parrot the abortion industry's claims that the procedure was "largely reserved for cases of catastrophic fetal deformity.

"Ignoring those who claimed otherwise, Bradley gave the last word to Dr. Warren Hern ... who claimed that no doctor would perform this procedure 'on a healthy baby in the last trimester.'"

Fourteen months after the issue arose, the facts finally emerged. Reporter Ruth Padawar of the Bergen (New Jersey) Record dug into the matter and discovered that the abortion industry had distorted the facts - that instead of the 500 or so partial birth abortions done annually as claimed by its supporters there had been 1500 in New Jersey alone in just one year.

"Padawar also found that contrary to claims that almost all the procedures are done only in cases 'where the woman's life is in danger or in cases of fetal abnormality,'only a miniscule number had been performed 'for medical reasons.'"

Padawar's expose was followed by another blockbuster story by the Washington Post's medical reporter, David Brown who wrote that most of the women receiving the abortions were not having them for medical reasons and most of the fetuses were not deformed at all.

Wrote McGowan "Brown also laid to rest another fallacy; that the fetus felt no pain. According to researchers he talked to, in fact the fetus did feel pain, since the anesthesia used to sedate the mother does not render it unconscious."

Despite these revelations, most of the media continued to report the false propaganda the abortion industry fed them.

Finally, in February of 1997, an official of the National League of Abortion Providers, one Ron Fitzimmons admitted that he had "lied through his teeth" to interviewers on "Nightline" when he told them that the procedure was only done five hundred times a year. He confessed that he had "just went out there and spouted the party line."

"It was a stunning admission," McGowan observed. "Yet even as the media was reporting Fitzimmon's lie they continued to shy away from the clear implication that the abortion lobby, which had based most of its case on his figures, was lying too, and that it had duped the press into swallowing vastly understated numbers of partial birth abortions and misleading statements about the conditions under which they were performed."

When the truth finally emerged, McGowan notes, it was too late to save the ban. President Clinton vetoed it after it had passed both Houses of Congress. Attempts to override the veto in the Senate failed by a narrow margin.

The media had done the job for the abortion industry, and McGowan has performed yeoman service for the truth in unmasking the frightening facts about media bias and showing how damaging it can be to the national welfare.

What NewsMax.com has covered in this series hardly begins to reveal the full story revealed in McGowan's book. It needs to be widely read.

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Journalists are more disproportionately liberal on [the abortion] issue, wrote Jonathan Alter, Newsweek's poster boy for liberal bias in the media. So they are more likely to rely on whether consciously or unconsciously, the information they get from the pro-abortion...
Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM
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