ross.jpg

Ross Douthat Gets it Right

Ross Douthat’s column today, “The Media’s Blinders on Abortion,” could hardly have made him popular among his colleagues at the New York Times–and readers all over the island of Manhattan must have gagged on their morning lattes when they came across it–but Ross gets it right.  Excerpts:

IN the most recent Gallup poll on abortion, as many Americans described themselves as pro-life as called themselves pro-choice. A combined 58 percent of Americans stated that abortion should either be “illegal in all circumstances” or “legal in only a few circumstances.” These results do not vary appreciably by gender: in the first Gallup poll to show a slight pro-life majority, conducted in May 2009, half of American women described themselves as pro-life.

But if you’ve followed the media frenzy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation’s decision — which it backpedaled from, with an apology, after a wave of frankly brutal coverage — to discontinue about $700,000 in funding for Planned Parenthood, you would think all these millions of anti-abortion Americans simply do not exist….

But reporters have different obligations. Even if some forms of partiality are inevitable, journalists betray their calling when they simply ignore self-evident truths about a story.

Three truths, in particular, should be obvious to everyone reporting on the Komen-Planned Parenthood controversy. First, that the fight against breast cancer is unifying and completely uncontroversial, while the provision of abortion may be the most polarizing issue in the United States today. Second, that it’s no more “political” to disassociate oneself from the nation’s largest abortion provider than it is to associate with it in the first place. Third, that for every American who greeted Komen’s shift with “anger and outrage” (as Andrea Mitchell put it), there was probably an American who was relieved and gratified.

  1. KC Mulville

    Good for Douthat. 

    I’m a little worried for him, though. The lesson of the Komen travesty is that the Left doesn’t tolerate opposing views. I’m sure the howling has begun for his head, and the NY Times may strategically wait for a moment when no one is looking.

    Which means, if you’re an opportunistic employer, he could be a valuable asset and draw readers.

    I know I’ll read him, wherever he goes.

  2. flownover

    For every sap in NY who can agree with Andrea Mitchell, there are 3 Americans out here who welcomed the initial move by Komen and are sorely disappointed by their caving in.

    But, now that the light of day has been shined upon on the thing that PP (I can’t say the title without a gag) does as it’s mission , the truth will not settle lightly in the hearts of most Americans.

    Now let’s wait for the female members of the Congressional Black Caucus to bring up the daily mass murder of their babies…………………………………………..

  3. Mel Foil

    The pro-choicers may not be the majority anymore, but they’re a lot more violent and vindictive, as their aborted children in Heaven could testify (if we could hear them speak.)

  4. Noesis Noeseos
    etoiledunord: The pro-choicers may not be the majority anymore, but they’re a lot more violent and vindictive…· 1 minute ago

    In this they act remarkably like their allies, the union thugs.

    I wonder whether conservatives would have to become militant in order more successfully to combat the Left, but when I try to imagine such a possibility, the scene becomes ugly–like civil-war ugly.  Then I wonder what would likely happen if Obama were re-elected.  That scene too is very ugly.

    There are times when I feel relief at the arrival of old age and the knowledge of where it must lead, but then I return to worrying for my son and to mourning for my nation.

  5. whatmeworry

    Donations to Komen were up 100% in the first two days following the initial announcement to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

  6. David Williamson

    Mr Douthat will most likely go the way of Mr Kristol – which will be good, because then he is not so likely to be behind a paywall. What’s up with the NY Times – are they capitalists or something?

    But, more generally, the liberal tendency to ignore the other side, or describe them as “divisive” or “polarizing” or “stupid” is well on display in this case.

    If only everyone could be liberal we would be in Utopia!

  7. Noesis Noeseos
    David Williamson:…

    If only everyone could be liberal we would be in Utopia! · 2 minutes ago

    Yes, we’d be going nowhere fast.

  8. Ben Domenech
    C

    This is Douthat at his best. Very solid.

  9. DrewInWisconsin

    The comments section of that article is depressing.

  10. Percival

    The extent to which the media suffer from Pauline Kael Syndrome is remarkable.  They just don’t know anybody that doesn’t think like they do.  Andrea Mitchell needs to get out more, whereas Paul Krugman just needs to get out.

  11. michael kelley
    flownover: For every sap in NY who can agree with Andrea Mitchell, there are 3 Americans out here who welcomed the initial move by Komen and are sorely disappointed by their caving in.

    But, now that the light of day has been shined upon on the thing that PP (I can’t say the title without a gag) does as it’s mission , the truth will not settle lightly in the hearts of most Americans.

    Now let’s wait for the female members of the Congressional Black Caucus to bring up the daily mass murder of their babies………………………………………….. · 4 hours ago

    Edited 4 hours ago

    Succinctly put.

    Until that day comes, Ms. Sanger smiles from her grave.  Eugenics lives!

  12. R. Craigen

    Wow.  Breathtaking common sense.

    And I like the focus. Douthat “gets” where the problem lies:  not in these advocacy organizations struggling to find their place and secure their reputations in society, but in a press that has abandoned all fealty to their calling, traitors to their own profession.  Problem is, what does one do with a calling in which (by appearance) the majority count among the traitors?

    I don’t know his political affiliation, but I regard him as an ally to Breitbart.  Well snagged, Peter!

    What Douthat missed — at least in the segment you quoted, is the bigger issue about what justification Komen’s support of PP was for in the first place.  First, Komen is in the business of funding breast cancer research.  PP does not do cancer research.  Second, Komen’s own site lists one of the most significant lifestyle factors in breast health and avoidance :  having babies and nursing them; PP is a force in society that labours against precisely that lifestyle choice.  It is thereby a net contributor to the incidence of breast cancer.

  13. Douglas
    whatmeworry: Donations to Komen were up 100% in the first two days following the initial announcement to cut ties with Planned Parenthood. · 4 hours ago

    And those people have to feel like chumps now.

  14. Douglas
    DrewInWisconsin: The comments section of that article is depressing. · 3 hours ago

    It shouldn’t be. The NY Times, if honestly named, would be The American Liberal Times. They act like they speak for the country, but they speak for the 20 percent of fools that wallow in that ideology, no one else. 

  15. Polyphemus

    The comparison of referrals for adoption (841) to the number of abortions (329,445) in the article is staggering. It shouldn’t be and yet it still is. The cynical black heart of that organization is revealed in those numbers. 

    The idea that this is about “choice” as opposed to coercion and seduction for profit is a naked lie.