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And in the twisted-reporting category...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 21, 2010

Today's award for the most flagrantly misleading reporting goes to...

(drumroll, please)...

Actually we have a tie.

Amanda Lee Myers, who wrote the AP story on Bishop Olmsted's statement that Joseph Hospital cannot be considered a Catholic health-care institution, shares today's award for starting out her report this way:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stripped a major hospital of its affiliation with the church Tuesday because of a surgery that ended a woman's pregnancy to save her life.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted called the 2009 procedure an abortion...

Yes he did. And what would you call a surgical procedure that ended a pregnancy? 

But a headline writer at USA Today captures a share of the award for this gem:

Ariz. hospital loses Catholic status over surgery

The headline suggests that Bishop Olmsted was shocked to learn that the hospital does surgery. That's nonsense, of course. He was offended by a particular sort of surgery: the surgery that is performed to end a pregnancy by destroying the unborn child. There's a word for that surgery. Not a particularly fancy medical word. A word that we all know. Just one more letter than "surgery," so it would fit on the headline easily. Starts with an "A." Most journalists know the word-- and use it, on those increasingly rare occasions when they actually want readers to understand...


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