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Distorted lens

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jun 05, 2003

A question to ponder as you read today's media coverage of the partial-birth abortion ban:

If more than 90% of all Americans believe that partial-birth abortion should be illegal, why do most reports carry a half-dozen quotes from people who oppose the ban, and only 1-2 quotes-- further down in the story-- from people who support it?

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  • Posted by: News Hound - Jun. 06, 2003 5:30 PM ET USA

    Hi, Phil, as a retired newspaperman I can tell you that people who support a controversial issue rarely make it high up in a news article. The news is the ban. The next news is about people who oppose the ban, with a few comments from people who support it so the writer can say he wrote a balanced story. Why doesn't the writer say 90 percent of Americans also believe PB abortion should be illegal? Because it would eliminate the controversry and there goes the writer's story!

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