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Sunday, January 24, A.D. 2010
The March and the Media

I have been attending the March for Life for over two decades, ever since my mother took me as a kid. Each year, an enormous crowd of folks descends upon Washington, and, each year, the media routinely ignore or distort the event. I have now spent the last decade in D.C., and I have a pretty good idea of what marches and protests look like in the city and how the media portray them. Without a doubt, the March for Life is the largest annual event. I’ll grant that the abortion rights march from A.D. 2004 was huge. It likely was larger than the annual March for Life. However, the abortion rights march occurred at the end of April, when it is loveliest to visit D.C., and it happened once. I did an internet search to discover that the previous abortion rights marches of significance were in A.D. 1989 and 1992. So, after twelve years, abortion rights supporters visited D.C. just as the Kwanzan cherry trees in East Potomac Park were in full bloom. For this, the American media establishment from every network and paper devoted much attention to the vitality of the abortion rights cause, as manifested by their march. Yet, the media ignore the March for Life year after year. Is this fair or honest coverage?

The scaly harridans of N.O.W. claim that the death march numbered more than one million people. However, based on my observations, the abortion march in A.D. 2004 could not have been more than twice as large as the annual March for Life. I would say that it was a third to a half larger. Thus, if the national coven really did number more than a million, then the annual March for Life would have to number at least 500,000, which is higher than anyone estimates (as the figure varies between 50,000 and 400,000, depending on the year and source). Moreover, I have noticed that the March for Life has significantly grown over the last five years, and I think that this year’s march was the largest showing that I have seen. It certainly took longer than ever for everyone to march, ending about an hour later than usual. Nevertheless, such a showing of concerned citizens about one of the most controversial social issues of our age elicits every little interest from the media.

Furthermore, the coverage that does occur is wildly, absurdly inaccurate. Every year, the media portray the march as a clash of abortion rights supporters with prolife marchers, and their photographs often focus on the few abortion rights supporters in a sea of baby defenders—“Yes, fellow citizens, we see here another picture of American democracy in action.” Yet, such a treatment is willfully deceiving. I remember that my first march had a number of abortion rights counter protesters. They were an insignificant minority, but there were enough of them for them to be visible—probably a few hundred people. By contrast, in the last ten years, I have rarely encountered any counter protesters. I believe that it was two years ago when I found one old woman sitting on the curb outside the West Building of the National Gallery of Art with an abortion rights sign—and no one else from the evil side. Last year, I wrote about the four “Keep Abortion Legal” counter protesters in front of the Supreme Court. This year, I saw no one until I was returning to Capitol Hill after having accompanied my brother to Arlington Cemetery for his school’s bus pick up. As I was ascending the escalator at the Capitol South station, I noticed about five girls with N.O.W. signs going down into the station on the opposite escalator. So, they did exist, but they were practically invisible. Nonetheless, the media likely covered them as much as the hundreds of thousands of prolife marchers. That, I suppose, is what the Left considers “fair and balanced.”

By the way, during the march, I did notice a disheveled man holding a sign that read, “End Theocracy.” Perhaps, he was a counter protester, or perhaps he was just a lunatic. Political activity attracts the crazies like a flame draws moths.

Given my abundance of experience with this consistently wacky and unfair media treatment, I was not surprised to read Steven Greydanus’ coverage of the coverage in the National Catholic Register. Greydanus is shocked. Hey, Steven, the shock wears off after several years of seeing the same brazen misinformation and bias.

Greydanus also links to Jill Stanek’s listing of media follies concerning the march. Among which, we find that C.N.N.‘s Rick Sanchez channeled Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf (“Baghdad Bob”) in a hilarious journalistic disconnect from reality: “It’s the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade case . . . both sides being represented today, but it does appear to me, as I look at these signs that—which side is represented the most . . . Do we know?” I am not sure if laughter or a despairing sigh would be more appropriate.

Another egregious example was Krista Gesaman’s post on Newsweek that the prolife marchers were getting older and that young women were absent from the march. I suppose that these things may not appear as Baghdad Bobtastic unless you are familiar with the march. Gesamen seems to have based her fortune telling (as her post was published before the march began) on a change in the march route, thinking that such a shortening of the march by three blocks was to accommodate an aging marcher demographic. I have complained about this shortening, myself, but it has nothing to do with the average age of the marchers, as a considerable number of them are teenagers and college students from Roman Catholic schools. Rather, I suspect that police officials have pushed for the march route to be shorter to accommodate the growing number of people at the march. Even so, this year’s march was three blocks longer than last year, which was a return to the march route from A.D. 2008. So, Gesaman wrongly guesses at the demographic make up of the march based on a change in facts that she misinterprets—and the change in facts is actually the opposite of what she wrote! This is what passes for acceptable journalism at Newsweek?

I wonder if the media folks have simply lost their minds. Evidence for this theory? Consider the following, which you really have to see to believe:

May I rest my case?

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, January 24, Anno Domini 2010
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