Saturday, July 13, 2013

Analyzing bias in the media

Let's look at USA Today's article about the Texas abortion law.
Republicans in the Texas Legislature passed an omnibus abortion bill that is one of the most restrictive in the nation,
So right away, 'most restrictive'. Nice and negative wording.

but Democrats vowed Saturday to fight both in the courts and the ballot box as they used the measure to rally their supporters.
No mention that Democrats support some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world. Instead, they vowed to fight the most restrictive laws in the country.

Democrats offered 20 amendments to the bill, which will ban abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and require all abortions take place in surgical centers. They ranged from exceptions for rape and incest to allowing doctors more leeway in prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. But Republicans would have none of it. 
Again, notice the framing: 'Republicans would have none of it'. Now, the GOP view is that they're making sure that abortion services don't turn into Kermit Gosnell house-of-horrors situations, by requiring the best medical services available for abortion, under the safest conditions. But the theme is 'this is so restrictive', and the article runs with that.
The bill is just one of many across the nation championed by anti-abortion groups set on a constitutional challenge to Roe vs Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision guaranteeing a woman's right to decide on an abortion before the fetus is viable outside the womb. 
 Mandatory Roe v Wade reference.

Those arrested or removed from the chamber included four women who tried to chain themselves to a railing in the gallery while singing, "All we are saying is give choice a chance." One of the women was successful in chaining herself, prompting a 10-minute recess.
Not mentioned: the protestors who tried to sneak in jars of urine and feces.

Sen. Glen Hegar of Katy, the bill's Republican author, argued that all abortions, including those induced with medications, should take place in an ambulatory surgical center in case of complications.
Democrats pointed out that childbirth is more dangerous than an abortion and there have been no serious problems with women taking abortion drugs at home. 
Now, here's where the bias gets subtle. Notice that Glen Hegar 'argues', but the Democrats 'point out'. This could have just as easily been written as 'Glen Hegar pointed out that complications can arise from abortion, so having them take place in the best facilities available is a reasonable precaution. Democrats argued that abortion is safer than childbirth.' But, that wouldn't have worked. If you 'point out', you're not making an argument - you are asserting a fact. If you 'argue', you're trying to make a case, and may fail to make it.
The dedication of those activists will be tested during the 2014 elections. Democrats have not won a statewide seat in Texas since 1994, the longest such losing streak in the nation.
"Dedication of activists". You can practically smell the rallying cry here.

1 comment:

whiteroseofsummer said...

You think this is bad? Try watching MSNBC for 5 minutes. They don't even try to subtle.