Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No Liberal Bias Here

The only surprise is that it took the media this long to come around to NARAL's point of view:
This clip is from the Associated Press stylebook. It is used by newspapers across the country to provide guidelines in how stories should be written. By and large, many guidelines are neutral and simple are matters of style (i.e. capitalization, punctuation, etc). However, in this one entry, standing unique in comparison to the whole guide, the AP picks sides in the abortion debate and insists that the pro-abortion side be the one supported in news coverage:

Usually when referring to either side, the AP uses that group's favored terminology. Using the terms of another group often skews the debate. For instance, pro-lifers emphasize life thereby pointing the finger at the life that abortion takes, whereas pro-choicers emphasize choice and seek to cast abortion as a "civil liberties" issue.

So what has the Associated Press done? They've done a great framing favor to the pro-choice side by relegating pro-lifers as the "anti-" side in the debate. As any "framing" person will tell you, people will instinctively find the "pro" side more appealing. Being pro-freedom sounds better than being anti-slavery. The Democrats would not have such sour electoral prospects if they realized that being anti-Bush is their weakness; almost nobody will vote for somebody who's main claim to your vote is being against something.

By contrast, the AP manual does the abortion lobby a huge favor, going so far as associating it with "rights," an even greater boon than being the "pro" side. The AP could not have created a greater framing disparity if it tried. How unexpected.

The avoidance of the term "abortionist" is laughable. An abortionist is somebody who performs clandestine abortions? What world is the AP living in? Considering the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion throughout all stages of the pregnancy, this "abortionist" must be a creature that does not exist. These "people who perform abortions" throughout America's abortion clinics seem not to have any name. There are people fighting for "abortion rights" but the abortions themselves occur quite magically, really -- you stroll into the clinic, they hand you a lolipop, and you walk out! If the term is a "pejorative," it's only in the sense that it accurately describes what the abortionist does, much like the term "murderer," not because of any bias in the wording.


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