Friday 7 June 2013

Join the Pro-Choice Truth Squad

I have a nifty idea for fashion writers hard-up for ideas for next season's trends and must-haves. When you're talking about clothing, it's only fair and balanced to also talk to nudists (or naturists as I think they prefer to be called).

You know, get their take on how clothing is restrictive and unhealthy and expensive and often silly. Get their views on fashion designers who are just in it for the glory. And on workers in the fashion industry who are just in it for the (miserly) income. And on the selfishness and vanity of people -- women in particular -- who buy and wear clothing.

It doesn't matter that naturists are a small minority in Canada. It doesn't matter that most sensible naturists would think you nuts for inviting them to opine on fashion. And it doesn't matter that the vast majority of Canadians are stout defenders of pants and shirts and sox and toques and so on.

See, fashion writers, you've got to be FAIR and BALANCED.

OK, that's loopy, but that kind of thinking seemed to bestir the mainstream media in reporting on the death of Dr Henry Morgentaler.
Although nearly all mainstream media sources quoted pro-choice views, most also interviewed at least one anti-choice spokesperson (22 out of 35 news articles or broadcasts that I reviewed). Apparently, the media thinks that view has some kind of legitimacy and must be presented against the pro-choice view in the name of "balance." Well, NO. The anti-choice position -- that women must be compelled to carry every pregnancy to term under threat of criminal law regardless of circumstances -- is an extremist view held by only 5 per cent of Canadians. It is also profoundly mistaken, cruel and undemocratic. As such, it does not deserve equal time or respect in Canada.
Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has had it with the lying bullshit spewed by fetus fanatics and the obligatory obeisance of the media.

And so have we.

There was absolutely no point in polling the forced pregnancy brigade on Dr Morgentaler's 'legacy'. We know what they thought of him and his work. They loathed him. They attacked him, his motives, his personal life, his clinics, and his person. Even -- especially gleefully -- after he was dead.

As for his legacy, they simply want to obliterate it.

There was plenty of grave-dancing going on in their own media, why the hell did the mainstream media -- who purportedly serve us all -- feel they had to give equal time to this tiny minority of lying nutbars?

Joyce again:
The lives and health of half the population are at stake here, so why is the mainstream media casually repeating dangerous medical misinformation from the mouths of zealots without any correction? Why did the media allow extremists to propagate their vicious libel and stupid lies about Dr. Morgentaler? And why is the media still giving equal time to interviewing these pro-death proponents, as if women's right to life is up for debate in Canada? Pro-choice advocates have had enough.
It's cheap, lazy, and stupid. It misrepresents Canada to itself.

And it's got to stop.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is collaborating with Dammit Janet! bloggers on a project to hold mainstream media to account when they publish or broadcast anti-choice hatred and propaganda in the name of "balance." Please email joyce[at] to alert us to examples, or to help with the project.

Go read Joyce's whole piece. It's brilliant.


choice joyce said...

Thanks Fern! :-)

For starters, I sat down to send emails to all the specific media targeted in my Rabble article to ask them to stop quoting the anti's, only to find that most of the links in my piece are wrong, Rabble screwed them all up! It should be fixed by tomorrow, but in the meantime if you click on a link and get an error 404, check the URL for the EXTRA SPACE and delete it, then it's A-Ok.

So after that time-wasting distraction, I'm now getting down to the task at hand. I'm thinking I'll ask the National Post to just fire Jonathon Kay.

fern hill said...

I think you'd have to join a long line in asking for Kay Fils (as we style him here to distinguish from Kay Mère) to be fired.

I'll be curious to see if any of the reporters or opinionaters actually respond.

Pseudz said...

Moving up the journalistic food-chain through 'cat-in-tree' to flower shows to obits must thrill the ambitious practitioner in the press. The death of a brave and tireless champion of women's health and rights is bound to include some tales involving controversy; meaty stuff for an ambitious reporter . . . except for the fact that H.M. won his biggest battles and the losers are still losers. And almost all of Canada recognizes that we're better for his efforts

I think that a special fervor in any future spankings should be saved for the editors who assign these portrayals. Treating Morgentaler's death as an opportunity to try to fan up a flame of controversy from the dying ember of this long-gone fight indicates desperation and a reliance on "If it bleeds, it leads." modus.

As you say: lazy and stupid. Editor/pimp

kootcoot said...

Just as absurd is the compulsion to balance any discussion regarding climate change. The 1-5% denialists (most of whom aren't even scientists at all, much less involved in an appropriate field) deserve almost half of the coverage for their Koch Brothers bought and paid for views - fair and balance, you know like Faux Snooze!

After all, it is more important for the Koch Bros, Exxon, BP and SinoPetro or whoever to make even more money because that is more important than a livable planet!

Godel Noodle said...

Brilliant analogy, Fern Hill! ...And multipurpose too. Climate change (as kootcoot mentioned), Evolution, and possibly a few others.

Anonymous said...

AM in BC
Henry died the same day I received my ARCC membership renewal appeal in the mail. Hell, yes, I renewed.

Re “balance” in journalism:
“Applying balance to a discussion in which there is none is equivalent to saying that truth is to be found somewhere between right and wrong, equidistant between good and evil.”
—Howard K. Smith, US journalist

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