The first thing that goes through my mind every time I lay eyes on an article on abortion in the Los Angeles Times is, "Oh, no." As we've relayed several times before, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, the Times's reporting on abortion and life issues can be problematic, to say the least.
So imagine my pleasant surprise after reading Friday's front-page piece by Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi, "Abortion foes' strategy advances." I wasn't offended by a blatant agenda by the writer. There were no factual errors that I could see. The article wasn't laced with hysterical pro-choice rhetoric. Even the photo that accompanied the article portrayed pro-lifers respectfully.
Sure - the Times still clings to its ridiculous editorial policy of using the labels "antiabortion" and "abortion foe" rather than "pro-life." And maybe the front-page placement of the piece was a bit over-the-top, considering the subject matter. But at least the content and presentation were straightforward and honest. And that's a step in the right direction for the Times.
Let's hope the Times continues in this direction. Hats off to Nicholas Riccardi on this one.
Are you reading this, Stephanie Simon?
[ADDENDUM, 11/27/07: Well, I wrote, "There were no factual erors that I could see." But then I picked up today's Times (Mon. 11/27/07). They printed the following correction:
Antiabortion movement: An article in Friday's Section A on proposed ballot initiatives to give legal rights to fertilized eggs incorrectly stated that the contraceptive sponge prevents fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The sponge prevents spermatozoa from fertilizing an egg and would not be at risk of being banned should the initiatives become law.
Oh, well. It was still a decent article!]