It was a stark contrast at the top of Friday's Style section of The Washington Post. At the far right was a typically harsh anti-Trump piece by media columnist Margaret Sullivan headlined "For Trump, USA Today acts like USA Toady." Really? Right next to that piece was a toadying puff piece on Michelle Obama by Peter Slevin. The subhead was "Michelle Obama steps into the spotlight to promote voting and girls' education (and sell a zillion copies of her memoir, Becoming)."
Jeff Anderson, a lawyer that has filed over 1,500 lawsuits against the Catholic Church, got a free 1,400-word advertisement in the Washington Post April 19. The supposedly non-opinion article was titled "Jeff Anderson, jousting with the Vatican from a small law office in St. Paul." The reporter, Peter Slevin, cast the Catholic Church as the big, bad wolf and Jeff Anderson - the "Vatican's chief American pursuer" - as the ordinary hero taking it down.
"[Anderson uses] manic energy to challenge one of the most powerful and secretive institutions in the world, a 2,000-year-old church with hundreds of millions of devoted followers," the article read. "He gets his balance from Zen Buddhism, his persistence from the reporters that felled Richard Nixon and his inspiration from the sexually abused clients who trust him to make the Roman Catholic Church pay for the sins of its fathers."
The glowing profile quoted Anderson nine times and his "longtime friend" Mike Finnegan twice. Opponents to Anderson's work were only given four sentences - three of which were nothing but one-word epithets strung together and the fourth a partial quote sandwiched between two quotes of Anderson defending himself.
In his glowing tribute “Minnesota Abortion Provider Helps Meet Need in South Dakota,” Slevin not only turned Ball into a hero, but sympathized with her “difficult” situation. “This is a difficult time for Ball and her colleagues,” Slevin wrote before citing last year’s murder of abortion provider George Tiller.
Slevin and Ball downplayed the controversial nature of her profession. Ball told the Post her decision to start performing abortions was easy. “It was legal. It was right…Why would anybody argue with that?” Talking about pro-lifers upset with what she does in South Dakota Ball said: “I think to myself, ‘What century do we live in?’”
The Washington Post took up the struggles of the abortion lobby in the Sunday newspaper. Reporter Peter Slevin's story was headlined "Abortion rights activists brace for another year of challenges."
Update: A spokeswoman at the Mississippi Department of Health informed NewsBusters she'd "never ever" heard the term "TRAP" used inside the department to describe the state's laws and regulations governing the practice of abortion in the state.
Reporting on how pro-life advocates have been fighting state-by-state legislative and regulatory battles to curb abortion, the Washington Post's Peter Slevin today did the abortion-on-demand lobby a favor by passing along a loaded term it likes to use to discredit laws aimed at reducing abortion by placing regulatory speed bumps on the road to the procedure (emphasis mine):
"We tried every which way, and we were successful in the state way," said Terri Herring, head of Mississippi's Pro-Life America Network. She calls ever-stricter regulations a matter of common sense and creative strategy.
"All-or-nothing means nothing," Herring said. "Incremental means something."
What it means in Mississippi, one of the most restrictive states in the country and a model for antiabortion forces elsewhere, is that a woman seeking an abortion must go twice to the clinic, at least 24 hours apart. A girl younger than 18 requires the consent of both parents or a judge's signature. Public money is available for very few abortions.
Such rules are known as TRAP laws, for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.
While the media are fixated on the ire gay activists are directing at the president-elect for selecting Prop 8 proponent Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Obama inaugural, I've noticed little attention given to the fact that the man selected to give the benediction is pretty much the polar opposite of Warren on some key doctrinal matters related to homosexuality.
Rev. Joseph Lowery, a liberal United Methodist minister, has mostly been referred to in the media in connection to his work in co-founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the key organizations in the civil rights movement. Yet freezing Lowery in time as an icon of the 1960s civil rights era doesn't do justice to his status as a vocal clerical advocate of same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.
Reports Cathy Lynn Grossman of the USA Today Faith & Reason blog:
Ah, the land of lollipops and unicorns has descended upon us now that the savior has won the election.
Perhaps with the safety of the completed election securely behind, Peter Slevin of the Washington Post did a very cutesy article covering the not-so-cutesy terrorist, Bill Ayers.
Ayers was gracious enough to come out of the woodwork to offer his viewpoints on the Republicans demonizing him during the campaign.
"Pal around together? What does that mean? Share a milkshake with two straws?" Ayers said.
No William, palling around together might include one pal giving another a glowing review of their book, or perhaps the two of you serving together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or maybe even inviting Obama over to your home to help launch his political career. Hell, who's to say Bernardine Dohrn wasn't serving up milkshakes in your living room at the time? But maybe we're just splitting hairs on defining the term ‘pal.'
He goes on to say:
Weather Underground leader turned-academic William Ayers is now so docile that it never really "bothered anyone in Chicago," that Sen. Barack Obama had any connection to him, wrote Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet in the April 18 paper. Along those same lines the Washington Post's Peter Slevin argued that the '60s radical was now "considered so mainstream" in Chicago "that [Mayor Richard] Daley issued a statement on Thursday praising him as a 'distinguished professor of education' and a 'valued member of the Chicago community.'"
But while he may have forsaken violence long ago, as his blog attests, Ayers's politics are far from mainstream, and go far beyond the standard Democratic arguments to withdraw from Iraq. For example, Ayers wants to pay reparations in Iraq AND Afghanistan and practically withdraw the U.S. military from the entirety of the Middle East, even in countries that have longstanding security arrangements with the U.S.
Taken from an April 13 blog post titled originally enough, "End the War" (emphasis mine):