New York Times Reporter Comes Under Fire for Pro-Abortion Bias

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 27, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Times Reporter Comes Under Fire for Pro-Abortion Bias Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 27
, 2006

New York, NY ( — Newspaper reporters may have deeply felt opinions ab out controversial political issues, but journalistic integrity compels news professionals to keep their personal views under wraps and to focus on writing unbiased news stories. However, a New York Times reporter let loose an attack on pro-life advocates during a recent forum.

Linda Greenhouse, a Supreme Court reporter for the Times, is a decorated writer. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her Supreme Court coverage, but her accolades may be for naught after her tirade in favor of abortion at a Harvard University forum in June.

During her appearance at the Massachusetts school’s policy forum, Greenouse bashed pro-life advocates.

She said they have engaged in a “sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism."

"To say that these last few years have been dispiriting is an understatement," Greenhouse added.

NPR aired her remarks in a recent broadcast and Greenhouse, in an interview with the radio news outlet, defended her statements.

“I said what I said in a public place,” Greenhouse told NPR. “Let the chips fall where they may.”

Daniel Okrent, who served as the Times’ first public editor, told NPR he was surprised by Greenhouse’s public statements on such a divisive topic.

“It’s been a basic tenet of journalism … that the reporter’s ideology (has) to be suppressed and submerged, so the reader has absolute confidence that what he or she is reading is not colored by previous views,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Greenhouse has been in trouble over the issue of abortion.

MSNBC reported that the Times reporter received a reprimand from the newspaper when she participated in a pro-abortion march in Washington in 1989.

The Times has a 38 page ethics policy that prohibits reporters from owning stock in companies on which they report and also forbids reporters from contributing to political campaigns or marching in “public causes or movements.”

The New York Times has frequently been accused of having a bias against the pro-life perspective.

In 1998, the Media Research Center issued an in-depth study of pro-abortion bias in the news media.

The watchdog group noted that New York Times health reporter Gina Kolata defended her pro-cloning slant in the National Journal by saying, "If you read their (reporters’) pieces, you can usually figure out what they think.

"Anybody who reads The New York Times who doesn’t think the New York Times is pro-choice, they are out of their minds…we send messages," Kolata added.

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