This picture is one of numerous great shots highlighted by Matt Cassens on his blog St. Blogustine (which I note in passing is an excellent name for a blog). Contrast it with Newsweek’s spin from 2010, in an article entitled, Who’s Missing at the ‘Roe v. Wade’ Anniversary Demonstrations? Young Women. The article rhetorically asked, “where are the young, vibrant women supporting their pro-life or pro-choice positions? Likely, they’re at home.”
In lieu of doing their own reporting, Christian Science Monitor shamelessly regurgitated Newsweek’s outright false claims: “According to Newsweek, demonstrators on both sides were mostly from the baby boomer generation.” I mean, just look at all those Baby Boomers. Wait, I don’t actually see any in that shot. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen a single March for Life picture from the last ten years containing more than a few dozen people in which most of those in the shot were Baby Boomers. And in the four years that I marched, I can attest that the ratio of young people to Baby Boomers is staggering. The youth own this movement.
So the media coverage has long been riddled with lies and distortions. If you ever want to be in the press, an easy way to do it is to be a pro-choice counter-protester at the March for Life. Each year, a few dozen show up, and each year, seemingly every one of them gets a close-framed shot that make them seem to be part of a huge pro-choice contingent. In the Monitor article I mentioned above, the accompanying photo showed four pro-choicers and a single pro-lifer. That huge protest of hundreds of thousands of people? Ignored in favor of a few dozen (literally!) counter-protesters.
But as bad as media distortions are (and they really do seem intentional here: the photographers had to have noticed an enormous procession of people passing them by), the worst is the outright media blackout. For five years straight, the New York Times has refused to run anything on the March for Life. This year, they were forced to indirectly acknowledge the March’s existence, because Senator Rand Paul was detained on his way to the March, after he refused a TSA patdown. The last thing Senator Paul had tweeted before his detainment:
Today I’ll speak to the March for Life in DC. A nation cannot long endure w/o respect for the right to Life. Our Liberty depends on it.
So you can’t really cover Senator Paul’s detainment without acknowledging the March for Life, since it’s part of the story. Unless you’re CBS:
Paul said he was “detained” at a small cubicle and couldn’t make his flight to Washington for a Senate vote scheduled later in the day.
And where was Paul headed before that vote, I wonder? CBS doesn’t give us any clues. Because this isn’t news (be sure to watch the time lapse video — it’s the best way of grasping just how enormous the March actually is):
P.S. My friend Matt Balan offers an extreme example from this year’s coverage.