The annual pro-life rally March for Life took to the streets of Washington, D.C. Friday, and the New York Times acknowledged it -- barely: Reporter Eileen Sullivan's “March for Life Holds Its Rally In Quiet Capital.” The online headline was more straightforward: “Thousands March in Washington at Annual Anti-Abortion Rally.”
Sullivan seemed to work to put a negative spin on the day’s march in her brief 330-word story. Not even a taped address from the President, and the live presence of the Vice President and his wife, could attract more prominent coverage. She didn’t bother mentioning any of the march speakers, including prominent conservative Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire:
Anti-abortion demonstrators descended on the National Mall in Washington on Friday for an annual rally a day after Republicans in the Senate were slowed in their efforts to advance a ban on federal abortion funds.
Organizers had pledged to go on with the event, called the March for Life, in a capital full of shuttered federal agencies because of a partial government shutdown.
Um, why wouldn’t they “go on with the event,” the same way they do every year in all kinds of weather:
While thousands of demonstrators marched and cheered on guest speakers, the climate in Washington this year was not the same as a year ago, when Mr. Trump hosted some of the marchers in the Rose Garden with enthusiasm after having just broadened religious freedom protections for health care providers who were opposed to performing abortions and gender reassignment surgery.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, made a surprise stop at the rally on Friday. Mr. Pence, who was scheduled to speak at the organization’s annual dinner that evening, told demonstrators to remain strong.
As we’ve reported before: The paper has traditionally ignored the annual pro-life march entirely, while devoting copious space to much smaller left-wing protests like those supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants.
In 2013, after a five-year absence of print stories, the paper finally covered the march with a so-so story. In 2014, after yet another news blackout, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan waded into the controversy: “The lack of staff coverage unfortunately gives fuel to those who accuse The Times of being anti-Catholic, and to those who charge that the paper’s news coverage continually reflects a liberal bias...”
Yet the 2015 march coverage amounted to a half-sentence in a hostile story, and in 2016 the paper also failed to devote a full story to the March for Life. The presence in 2017 of Vice President Mike Pence coaxed out a decent story, but the paper reverted to form in 2018 as Jeremy Peters covered the march under this petulant headline: “President Reaches Out To Foes Of Abortion.” (Otherwise known as March for Life.)
Now the question becomes: Will the paper use more than 330 words to cover the liberal anti-Trump Women’s March that happens today?