You are here

Selecting Perception


From an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal comes a stark illustration of how Big Media works according to a narrative:

In news reporting, it's not unusual to encounter constructions such as this AP dispatch from the presidential campaign about Sarah Palin: "She has worshipped at a nondenominational Bible church since 2002, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and supports classroom discussions about creationism."

That's fair as far as it goes. Just once, however, wouldn't it be interesting to see a leading newspaper write something like, "Nancy Pelosi, who opposes any restrictions on abortion, even in cases where a pregnant minor is taken across state lines without a parent's permission or where the fetus is halfway out the mother"?

The lost art of reporting involves accurate, complete and relevant facts. The evolved practice of journalism is the weaving of selected facts into a compelling story.

Also highlighted in the piece is Big Media’s self-perceived power to frame a debate:

Some object to the term pro-life on the grounds that it gives the anti-abortion movement an unfair advantage. Accordingly, a number of news organizations no longer use pro-life or pro-choice, the latest being National Public Radio. The thought here is that the word pro-life is fooling people.

Now, if this were 1973, that might be an argument. But isn't it just a wee condescending to suggest, after more than a generation of contentious moral and political debate, that the American people really haven't figured out what pro-life and pro-choice mean?

For several decades I’ve been hearing from the pro-lifers that “pro-choice” was an unfair term. They say the fetus baby doesn’t get a choice. And most of the time, neither does the father person much more likely to become a father after conception.

The labels are dependent upon a point of view. And every viewpoint is hidden from at least a part of the truth.

H/T: Maggie’s Farm