Friday, January 23, 2009
clumsy attempt to invent a real pro-life movement
Media clumsiness reigns, although we'll see how long the Los Angeles Times keeps this photo up which basically contradicts (or at least severely problematizes) their headline. The headline reads "Anti-Abortion Marchers Hope Obama's Listening." For good measure, the teaser beneath the headline reads "Thousands in Washington commemorate Roe vs. Wade and speak up against the president's position on abortion rights." The event the Times is covering is the anti-abortion "march for life" that conveniently coincides with Obama's innauguration this year. There, in the midst of a couple of visible pro-life signs was a very firm NOW sign saying "Keep abortion legal." The sign-holder, apparently a "Lisa King of Washington, D.C.," is identified by name. There is no mention in the artcle of any pro-choice demonstrators. Nor is there any critical reflection in the article concerning demographics or numbers (eg, the consistent pro-choice majority in the U.S.). Instead, there is a tone that strongly suggests the Times, like the rest of the mainstream media, is more interested in generating controversies that imply overwhelming conservative opposition to an Obama presidency. In this case, they betrayed themselves with a photo...or perhaps a photographer (Carolyn Cole, also of the Los Angeles Times) and page editor betrayed the unreflective tone of the article by Ben Meyerson. My friend Jimbo would call this a journalistic "fail." I call it great fun.