Action Alert!

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?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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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!