Friday, February 18, 2005
The SAEN Editorial Board On Abortion
Clinging with a death grip on a belief in a woman's "right" for an abortion under virtually any circumstances, this board disregards the sentiments of a vast majority of Americans-72 percent according to the most recent Gallup Poll-who favor restrictions, because they view abortion from a moral and ethical perspective, rather than from a 'rights' point of view.
The board spewed venom at Rep. Frank Corte, R-San Antonio, in editorials (4/11/03, 5/2/03) blasting his sponsorship of legislation called the "Woman's Right to Know Act" that requires a 24-hour waiting period and the dissemination of a pamphlet that includes pictures of developing fetuses. The newspaper urged its defeat, calling it a "coercive piece of legislation" (5/2/03).
The legislation passed.
Stayed tuned as I address the editorial board's opinions on other issues over the next week.
No fair-minded person would argue with the proposition that the E-N is overwhelmingly liberal. But there are notable exceptions to this on the news and editorial staffs. In Scene's series, not one word -- not one -- has been printed about these people.
The irony is that Gilliam calls his group Newspaper Veterans for Truth, yet they and Scene appear no more interested in writing the truth than Bob Rivard is interested in running positive news stories from Iraq.
Particularly tawdry is Gilliam's regular use of anonymous, off-the-record and unattributed sources to make his case for "the truth." Does anyone really care if Rivard wears bermuda shorts on Friday, and does that have any bearing on bias?
Also as a matter of journalistic propriety, Scene should disclose to its readers the former employment of its publisher at the Express-News and the circumstances of his departure.
There's ample evidence to make the case for bias at the Express-News. But that case loses its credibility when only one dimension to the story is discussed and when lax journalistic standards and ad hominem attacks replace verifiable facts.