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Today Among Nominally Pro-Choice Conservertarians


Glenn Reynolds has some Deep Thoughts:

And it’s also reminder that media bias exists not only in how the press covers stories, but in the choice of stories to cover and, in particular, the choice of stories not to cover. Bear that in mind, in the future.

Trite, but not wrong, and considering the source I’d say take the money and run. Entertainingly, however, Reynolds provides us with his very own example of the phenomenon earlier in this column:

Before Powers’ column, the [Gosnell] case wasn’t on the national radar. Oh, it was getting attention from pro-life writers, conservative media critics, and law bloggers, but in terms of national media, the story didn’t exist.

Media bias is indeed what you leave out, and by omitting not only the mainstream media coverage but the extensive attention the case has received from feminist writers Reynolds is certainly showing his hand. He cares about the Gosnell case because his interest in the abortion begins and ends with the issue allowing him to express some kind of MRA-style resentment and/or engage in idiotic criticisms of liberals for being actually rather than nominally pro-choice. Hence his need to lie by omission about whether pro-choicers have paid attention to the Gonsell case.

Speaking of which, he cites another allegedly staunch pro-choicer:

Pro-choice writer Megan McArdle of The Daily Beast notes that it’s about fear of where the story would go, and what it would require writers to confront: “Gosnell is accused of grisly crimes that I didn’t want to think about. … I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective — of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories — if the sick-making was done by ‘our side.’ “

“Our side,” eh? One rather obvious problem with McArdle’s assertion is that attacks on her alleged “side” constitute, as far as I can tell, the only occasions when she shows any interest in abortion rights at all. She’s apologized for Operation Rescue while poo-poohing anti-abortion terrorism, she opposes Roe v. Wade, and she not only (being a principled libertarian and all) supports mandatory vaginal ultrasounds but believes in all arbitrary impediments to abortion as positive ends in themselves.

Both Reynolds and McArdle, in other words, ignored the Gosnell case for the same reason that actual supporters of reproductive freedom didn’t ignore it — they’re “pro-choice” in the sense that they think it’s nice that any woman they know will be able to get a safe abortion irrespective of what their state’s abortion law looks like, and they couldn’t care less whether any woman of lower socioeconomic status enjoys the same rights and privileges. Why would McArdle care about the consequences of the arbitrary regulations she strongly favors for any reason other than to score (incoherent) points against her alleged pro-choice allies?

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