Too bad they can’t be sued for journalism malpractice

By Dave Andrusko

How does it go? “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Case in point, media bias in general, absurd pro-abortion media bias, in particular.

Periodically, various media outlets make a gesture (it’s never more than that) in the direction of treating both sides to the abortion debate in a relatively even-handed way. But succumbing to comparative impartiality, for them, is like a virus to overcome as quickly as possible.

Enter a memo, dated May 15, headlined, “Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights,” by Mark Memmott, NPR Supervising Senior Editor for Standards & Practices .

“Reminder” as in if you give those crazy pro-lifers an inch…

In case you think I am exaggerating for effect, here’s the link. Hint: you don’t have to do anything other than repost comments from Memmott’s memo.

First, before we get to more recent applications, Memmott revisits an error made in the 90s–the assertion that “Partial-birth is not a medical term and has no exact parallel in medical terminology; intact dilation and extraction is the closest description.”

But as NRLC pointed out again and again and again, the bill that banned partial-birth abortions [and which was upheld by the Supreme Court] “makes no reference whatever to ‘intact dilation and evacuation’ abortions. More importantly, the term “intact dilation and evacuation” is not equivalent to the class of procedures banned by the bill.”

Memmott is so eager to accuse pro-lifers of using misleading rhetoric he swallows the pro-abortion mantra hook, line, and sinker.

It gets wilder. “NPR doesn’t use the term ‘abortion clinics,’” Memmott opines. ”We say instead, ‘medical or health clinics that perform abortions.’ The point is to not to use abortion before the word clinic. The clinics perform other procedures and not just abortions.”

So, for example, say a Planned Parenthood clinic performs thousands of abortions annually and takes in most of its revenues by obliterating unborn children, as long as it does ANYTHING else, NPR won’t call them an “abortion clinic”?

He continues

On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion rights,” but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.

Pardon? “It is acceptable to use the phrase ‘anti-abortion rights,’ but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”—and that is because….?

I understand to the Mark Memmotts of this world pro-lifers can only be “antis,” but why aren’t those who support abortion “pro-abortion rights”?

And then there is Memmott/NPR’s cri de cœur

The term “unborn” implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They’re fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a “baby” or “the unborn” is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion.

Ah, does anyone besides the likes of NPR talk about…the occupant…. of a mother’s womb as a “fetus”? Maybe Memmott is channeling Virginia Del. Kathy Tran who was asked how far into the third trimester her bill would allow abortions.

Tran responded, “through the third trimester, the third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.” Perhaps Memmott is confused by Tran’s agreement that her bill would have allowed abortions even as a mother is “dilating.”

When her cervix is closed, the occupant is a “fetus.” When the cervix is fully dilated, presto, chango, we have a baby.

As an NRLC colleague observed, “How much fun NPR’s ‘Fetus Showers’ must be for their pregnant colleagues.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

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