Thursday, January 28, 2010

Was this CityBeat Article Actually Meant for the Enquirer?

In this week's CityBeat I was very surprised to read the article entitled: Pregnancy Center More Than Just 'Anti-Abortion'. The surprise comes with the balance of the article. The article gives many instances of contrary viewpoints from critics of the "Pregnancy Center," namely from Planned Parenthood. That's not the problem. The problem is that the article in total gives deference to the subject. The Pregnancy Center make statements about what they do or don't do, but they are taken at their word that they actually are being honest about their counseling practices and don't have an alternative agenda. This deference is like the natural bias the Prosecution gets in the eyes of the jury, when it often thinks: why would they bring a case at all if they guy wasn't guilty?

CityBeat is a liberal/progressive paper and more often than not it chooses subjects that would not present a positive viewpoint of an 'anti-abortion' organization. For example, a question that I would have asked the group, and I think most of the CityBeat staff would as well: Does the Pregnancy Center provide contraception? A follow-up question if they said 'no': If part of your mission is to prevent abortions, why would you not take the simple action of giving people the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy? That question may have been asked, but it wasn't in the article. If the group had said they do give out condoms or birth control pills, then that would earn the headline it got.

This story is something I would have expected to read in the Enquirer. This is how the Conservative bias of the paper comes through, especially with the headline used. The article has balance, but gives the subject, one the print readers of the Enquirer favor, a positive spin it likely does not deserve.

Add this to a pro-marriage insert this week and you would think there's a spy over at CityBeat's offices!

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