By Dave Andrusko
You would think—or maybe not—that just to change things up, the Washington Post might actually treat a massive “March for Life” in an even-handed way. Or at least acknowledge, in some fashion, that no movement brings anywhere near the number of people each year to Washington, DC to peacefully, legally make its case.
I do not mean I would expect something beyond the obligatory “tens of thousands of abortion opponents” figure. Not so long ago the Post would trivialize a rally which routinely brings in 100,000 to 200,000 participants —or more —by talking about “thousands of abortion opponents.” So I suppose that’s progress.
But I really, honestly wonder if a massive numbers of a group came to the nation’s capital that the Post liked (as opposed to despising), how would they describe the situation if a tiny number of opponents showed up to counter-demonstrate?
Would they, for example, run one small, close-up photo in the print edition that showed some pro-abortionists, who had temporarily blocked the March, at close proximity to the police with the caption, “There were heated exchanges in front of the Supreme Court building on Thursday, and some who were in the street were arrested”?
To the unwary, you might think that there were roughly equal numbers of pro-lifers and pro-abortionists—or so few pro-lifers it’s not worth showing a photo of them. Since the pro-abortionists are not identified as such, you might even think that pro-lifers were some of those arrested in front of the Supreme Court. In fact, it was members of the estimated 75 pro-abortionists—typically foul-mouthed and confrontational—who were arrested, which was not even mentioned in the story!
As these things go, the account itself could not have been much worse. After the standard “there sure were a lot of young people there” (the gigantic crowd, in fact, was overwhelmingly comprised of younger men and women), the reporter’s agenda quickly surfaced: the not-so-subtle thrust that other groups with their own agendas other than pro-life had marched (as if anyone would have tried to stop them).
Indeed, the reporter sought out representatives of those who see abortion as only “one” issue. It’s kind of a “if you can beat them, dilute their impact” strategy.
And so it goes with the Washington Post: Fair and balanced? Not.