Friday, May 22, 2009

The Prez Gets Schooled -- Notre Dame

The AP sent a few reporters to South Bend, Ind., last weekend for POTUS' speech. As a media insider, today I'll show you how you can tell a lot about a writer's perspective if you just pay attention to little things.

For example, the AP reporter’s (or editors) word choice describing the motivation of those holding signs: " express their anger ...." Anger? What’s so vociferous about “Shame on ND” or “Stop Abortion Now”? Must they be "angry" with all the connotations that come with that emotion ( i.e. wild-eyed, raving redneck, bible-thumping Pro-Life nut jobs)? Isn't it possible they could be reasoned, respectful, principled yet passionate people standing in opposition to his policies and opinions?

Perhaps they were “remorseful” over their country’s 30-year history of death or “saddened” by their president’s position or “heartbroken” over the fate of millions of unborn babies? Would pro same-sex marriage advocates protesting government policy be described off-handed as, “angry.” I think not. No, “opposed” would have sufficed here without the editorializing, especially in an article calling for “tolerance” and Obama’s plea to stop “reducing those with differing views to caricature.”

Next, Norma McCorvey -- “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade fame -- is mentioned as one of the 27 arrested “trespassers.” While pleased this fact made it into the article (and that she now opposes legalized abortion), I can only wonder what the lead and headline of a story would have been if Rosa Parks would have reversed her position on Jim Crow bus seating, or Karl Rove would admit he opposed former Pres. Bush's Iraq policy. “Roe” is THE iconic figure in this entire issue, and she’s given three sentences seven paragraphs into the text, without a quote attributed to her or about her made by anyone else.

Perhaps we should consider a favorite saying adopted by many who subscribe to the "Progressive" perspective for lots of other societal or governmental incursions into the lives of individuals:

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." (Nelson Mandela)

President Obama said in his inaugural address his Administration was going to "restore science to its rightful place" in public debate; he should do that with this issue. He should mandate that we "wield technology's wonders" by requiring abortion seekers receive a sonogram image of the "non-viable tissue mass" that she carries. After all, he said in Notre Dame that he hoped to reduce the numbers of abortions.

Such a requirement just might do that.