March 26, 2006

by Reb Yudel
Annals of the Right Wing Media: The New York Times Anti-Abortion Agenda

The American Prospect reports:

A liberal, poet Robert Frost once quipped, is
a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. Nowhere is
this truer than at The New York Times
today on the subject of abortion.

The past two years have seen one of
the most contentious and closely watched presidential contests in 40
years, the retirement of the first female Supreme Court justice, the
appointment of two new justices, and an attempted Senate filibuster
against one of them specifically because of liberal concerns about how
he would vote on choice issues.

And during that period, not one op-ed
discussing abortion on the op-ed page of the most powerful liberal
paper in the nation was written by a reproductive-rights advocate, a
pro-choice service-provider, or a representative of a women’s group.

Instead, the officially pro-choice New York Times
has hosted a conversation about abortion on its op-ed page that
consisted almost entirely of the views of pro-life or
abortion-ambivalent men, male scholars of the right, and men with
strong, usually Catholic, religious affiliations. In fact, a stunning
83 percent of the pieces appearing on the page that discussed abortion
were written by men.


A Prospect examination of the authors
published between late February 2004 and late February 2006 found that
90 percent of writers -- including staff columnists -- who discussed
abortion on the Times op-ed page over the past two years were male. These men wrote 83 percent of the op-eds that mentioned abortion.

Even more surprising, more op-eds that mentioned abortion in the Times were written by pro-life men than by women of any belief system.

While the unsigned Times
editorials have remain resolutely pro-choice, their influence has
sagged under the heavy load of conservative jurists, conflicted
Catholics, and emotionally distraught men readers find on the op-ed
page when they turn to the Times for thinking about abortion.
This suggests either that the op-ed page now favors a much more
doubt-ridden, hand-wringing stance than it has historically -- or else
that the Times, in attempting to balance its own editorial
stance, has unwittingly engaged in one of the most egregious cases of
liberal overcompensation in recent media history

You decide: Is The New York Times so liberal that its brain has fallen out? Or has the Sulzberger family decided that the risk of being designated an "enemy combatant" requires hewing closer to the Bush Party line?

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