Watchdog Says Media Bias Evident in Coverage of Killing of Abortion Practitioner

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Watchdog Says Media Bias Evident in Coverage of Killing of Abortion Practitioner

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 4
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A leading media watchdog says media bias is clearly evident in the mainstream media’s coverage of the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center points out that many outlets have condemned pro-life advocates.

Others, Bozell says, have gone out of their way to interview abortion advocates or find obscure or even anonymous people who are supposedly pro-life and applaud the Tiller killing.

"The national media had zero interest in spotlighting a pro-life spokesman expressing horror, because let’s face it, they don’t believe it," Bozell says in a new editorial. "Instead, as with ABC, they found anonymous citizens on the web site Twitter saying ‘Oh, happy, day. Tiller the baby killer is dead.’"

Bozell points to several media outlets where the majority of Americans who are pro-life didn’t get a fair shake.

Keith Olbermann started his MSNBC program with these words: "A religious jihad by fundamentalist crusaders who believe that murder is justified, their acts of violence having the intended effect of changing behavior."

Bozell explains: "He was referring to conservative politicians and bloggers and the Fox News Channel. Olbermann insisted there was a ‘straight line’ of culpability" from pro-life advocates to alleged gunman Scott Roeder despite the fact he has no affiliations with any pro-life groups.

"Olbermann insisted that the mere act of denouncing Tiller as a killer of babies — as if he were instead removing tumors — is an invitation to terrorism and murder. This was not a call for moderation by the pro-life movement, but for rhetorical surrender," the watchdog said.

Over on National Public Radio, "Talk of the Nation" host Neal Conan was hoping the polls would tilt back to the left.

"There was a recent Gallup Poll that suggested opinion on abortion had actually shifted in this country toward the pro-life side, sort of, outside of the context of Kansas in — on the national level — there might be some concern that if the pro-life movement is associated with vigilante tactics like this, again, that could cut in to those gains," Conan said.

Bozell responds: "That’s exactly what the pro-abortion media would love to accomplish. They’re willing to smear the pro-life movement with the mud of the militia movement or al-Qaida if it will enable their cause. There is no extreme, and no mainstream. There is only a ghastly, murderous blur."

Bozell concludes that there is a double standard in the media where other killers are not seen as representing an entire movement of people.

"But when you have things such as the Unabomber killing people for environmental reasons, no one in the press ever went to anyone in the environmental community asking them if they needed to apologize or reflect on their words and their actions."

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