Words: 'Abortion Opponents' and 'Emily's List' at the Los Angeles Times

It's estimated that well over 100,000 people marched on Washington yesterday for the annual March for Life (Mon. January 22, 2007). The next day, Los Angeles Times stuffed their version of an AP report of the event on the bottom of p.A10 with a modest 410 words. (Tim Graham reported on WaPo's article this morning here.)

One phrase you won't find in the AP/Times articles is "pro-life." Why? As Reuters widely reported in 2004 (here), the paper adheres "to a strict Times policy banning the phrase 'pro-life' as offensive to people who support abortion." (The paper appears only to allow the phrase if a person is being quoted using it.) Does the AP have the same policy as well? The AP article alternates between using the words "abortion foes" and "abortion opponents" to label pro-lifers in its article. In their headline and the first paragraph, the Times scrubbed the AP's use of the word "foes" and replaced it with "opponents." What's going on? (By the way: In 2004, this ridiculous policy of banning the phrase "pro-life" resulted in a hilarious episode in which the Times scrubbed the words in an opera review and replaced it with "anti-abortion" - even though the opera had nothing to do with abortion. Read the hilarity here.)


Also in the Times today is "Mom is at home in House, Senate," a dopey 974-word piece on the top of page A9. The sub-headline touts, "Female politicians find that talking about motherhood issues reassures traditionalist voters, strategists say," but only Democratic politicians are given as examples. ("Republican strategist" Dick Morris and his wife are the only Republicans cited in the piece.)

But more glaring is this characterization of the left-wing group Emily's List by the Times:

Ellen R. Malcolm, head of Emily's List, which works to propel the careers of Democratic women, said she considered the past year a watershed for political women ...

Emily's List does a lot more than merely try to "propel the careers of Democratic women." They only support candidates that are women who are strictly "pro-choice." (From their site: "EMILY's List, the nation's largest grassroots political network, is dedicated to taking back our country from the radical right wing by electing pro-choice Democratic women to federal, state, and local office." Also: "The Bush Republicans have launched a sustained assault on the right to choose and advances for women." (emphasis mine) (source).)

The Times has clearly attempted to "soften" the mission of an obviously strident, liberal group. The Times has actually tagged Bill O'Reilly with the "ultra-conservative" label (link); but Emily's List doesn't get an "ultra-liberal"?!

Bias? Of course.

Abortion Los Angeles Times

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