The media’s annual bout of blindness

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 19, 2018

(This comment is posted annually.)

Dozens of professional journalists, particularly in the vicinity of Washington, DC, are showing early signs of a strange illness that strikes, oddly enough, at exactly this time each year. The illness causes restricted vision, so that reporters fail to notice large-scale events.

The disease—to which medical professionals have not yet assigned a name—makes it almost impossible for major-media reporters to notice tens of thousands of people marching up Constitution Avenue. Because the disease also causes mental disorientation, reporters fail to notice traffic jams, sold-out hotels, crowded Metro cars, and an unusual number of young people carrying pro-life placards around Capitol Hill.

This remarkable malady invariably claims reporters from mainstream media outlets as its first victims. But the disease is highly contagious, and other reporters—including those outside Washington—frequently show the same symptoms.

Fortunately the disease passes quickly, typically lasting only about 36 hours. Victims will recover completely, and by Sunday even inexperienced journalists will be able to recognize a potential headline story immediately if a half-dozen people gather outside the Japanese embassy to protest the killing of innocent dolphins.

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: extremeCatholic - Jan. 23, 2018 8:33 AM ET USA

    Another example of "Journalism" being about suppressing stories that don't support their liberal agenda. But that monopoly on news is over. Deo Gratias.

  • Posted by: shirleyjohnson17174119 - Jan. 20, 2018 7:01 PM ET USA

    You have that exactly right. Having been there and marched, it was quite obvious that there were thousands of participants most much younger than myself, equally enthusiastic to be there supporting and praying for an end to the heinous abortion mill but absent to the media nevertheless.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 19, 2018 4:48 PM ET USA

    Total media blackouts on events inconvenient to the ruling classes were very typical under Soviet communist system. E.g. the Chernobyl meltdown was first announced to the public only after Western European countries reported an unusual sudden rise in radiation levels. It is troubling to see the Soviet methods of selective reporting of events, no matter how significant, being adopted by the Western "free" press.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Jan. 19, 2018 3:22 PM ET USA

    I think the media believe that they can shape and define reality. And I suppose they can, to the degree that Americans are willing to rely on them for information about the world.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Jan. 19, 2018 2:33 PM ET USA

    My humble correction: Victims will recover completely, and by Sunday even inexperienced journalists will recognize a potential fakenews story immediately even if there is no evidence for it.

  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - Jan. 22, 2014 3:56 PM ET USA

    I guess, like the proverbial ostrich with its head stuck in the sand, the popular press thinks if it doesn't see the hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers they really don't exist.