This year’s March for Life, on Friday, Jan. 25, marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It also highlights how far the media will go to avoid using anything positive to describe people opposed to baby killing. Marchers get called “opponents” and “anti-abortion activists,” not “pro-life.”
The march showcases the strength of the pro-life cause despite the media’s ongoing support of abortion. It’s an event where hundreds of thousands show up each year to protest in support of life that thousands of journalists either ignore or denigrate.
It’s so overt that The New York Times has ignored the march five years running (or walking in this case) in its print edition. And the network news shows are so put off by the concept of pro-life anything that they’ve only said the word “life” twice in the last 10 years when referencing either the march or the Roe v. Wade anniversary. That’s twice in 22 stories.
A recent interview by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell illustrated the “life” language prejudice pervading broadcast media. When Republican strategist Juleanna Glover identified herself as “deeply pro-life” in an interview, Mitchell interrupted, “Well, what I would call anti-abortion,” and added, “to use the term that I think is more value neutral.”
That’s the American media for you – killing children needs to be “value neutral.”
The Associated Press is responsible for some of this problem, institutionalizing the bias with its famous style manual. Journalists should “Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice,” according to The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook’s 44th edition.
The Washington Post and The New York Times both went to ridiculous lengths to make this point. Rather than introducing interviewee Richard Doerflinger by his real title, both papers called him “Associate Director of Anti-Abortion Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.” His proper title was “Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities.” George Orwell clearly envisioned the future abortion debate.
There’s a reason for all this. Journalists are overwhelmingly pro-abortion, just as predictable as the Hollywood left, in fact.
Two of the shrill voices on “The View” showed the similarity during a Feb. 8, 2012, discussion. A ruling that required an ultrasound before having an abortion sent the “View” ladies into an uproar. Lefty loon comedienne Joy Behar called it “very totalitarian,” a term conservatives get mocked for using. Her allegedly journalistic co-host Barbara Walters sounded almost identical. “Then to have to go and be forced to hear, to see the fetus, to hear the heartbeat, to put more guilt on you, I think is heartbreaking.” Yes, guilt for killing an innocent child is somehow more cruel than the actual killing itself. At least on “The View.”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s defunding Planned Parenthood or a rare pro-life movie, the media are always on the side to end innocent life. New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis even attacked the film “October’s Baby” as communicating “in the language of guilt and fear” all because it was pro-life.
A recent estimate said there have been 54,559,615 abortions since Roe v. Wade. That’s almost equal to the entire population of the Northeast United States according to current Census estimates. We accurately describe the horrific loss of 6 million Jews as a Holocaust. But to the American media, 54 million dead is “value neutral.”
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.