Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

A foolish mistake by pro-life demonstrators

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 24, 2015

How dumb was it for thousands of pro-lifers to wear that hi-tech reflective clothing on Saturday, so that when they gathered to demonstrate outside Planned Parenthood clinics, there were completely invisible to reporters from secular news outlets?

Quite naturally the reporters, arriving on the scene and seeing nobody on the sidewalks, went directly to PR people for Planned Parenthood for the quotes they used in their stories about the demonstrations. What else could they do?

Yet while they were invisible to reporters, the demonstrators could be seen by each other and by ordinary passersby. I wouldn’t recommend buying one of those Cloaks of Invisibility just yet; the technology obviously isn’t perfect. Still, even if it only wards off reporters, that line of clothing could become popular with celebrities trying to shake off the paparazzi.

Oddly, even in those cities where the demonstrators did not wear Cloaks of Invisibility, coverage in the mainstream press was generally sparse and not terribly accurate. I hope my fellow journalists won’t be offended if I offer a suggestion for covering future events:

There’s another hi-tech device, fairly new on the market, that allows you to capture a picture of a scene, to convey the size of the crowd and even the whole atmosphere of the event. It’s called a “camera.” If you can find one, maybe bring it along next time.

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: msorensen71798 - Aug. 24, 2015 5:14 PM ET USA

    Thank you for this! Our local ABC affiliate showed up at 11:05 am (after the end of the event). The local paper's reporter did take photos and video (posting just the speech of a state rep), and the story wasn't too bad. But the reported count was 200, while there were actually over 500 in attendance (huge for our town). PP's supporters are still today attacking us via combox. Well, at least they knew about the event!