Abortion and Kavanaugh Stories Highlight Media Bias and Political Ideology

September 24, 2019 Updated: September 24, 2019

Commentary

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” So begins “A Tale of Two Cities,” the classic novel by Charles Dickens.

Even as it described 18th-century England, it could just as well describe today’s modern news cycle, with a touch more facetiousness, of course.

In the last week, two stories have emerged, both interesting—even alarming—and of national importance. Both stories will affect politics and culture for generations to come, yet only one really made lingering news, while the other made a splash and disappeared. Why? Political ideology, of course.

The first story was about the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Two New York Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, published a book this month about him. Despite that the book contained information that showed flimsy allegations flung at Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing were, in fact, likely false, The New York Times chose to print a so-called “new” allegation, saying there was yet another assault victim, in addition to the infamous Christine Blasey Ford.

As the days passed, it became clear that the story had withheld from readers pertinent information contained in the book itself: The alleged victim failed to speak to reporters to confirm the incident and, in fact, didn’t recall it at all. On top of this, the book also clarified that Leland Keyser, Blasey Ford’s key witness, never recalled the story of Ford’s assault and that there had been a targeted campaign to pressure Keyser to recall specific details and change her story to align with Blasey Ford’s.

Still, despite these facts, none of this made it into broad daylight until after the blatantly inaccurate—or at least incomplete—information had already circled the globe via social media.

The same week, a harrowing story made the news in Indiana. The family of now-deceased abortion doctor Ulrich Klopfer, following his death, found 2,246 unborn babies who had been aborted and “medically preserved” in Klopfer’s garage. Authorities are investigating how and why the remains were transported from the abortion clinics to his home.

A USA Today story highlighted Klopfer’s unethical medical career, which included performing an abortion on a 10-year-old girl and failing to report to police that she had been raped by her uncle, causing him to lose his medical license. Before that, he was charged with performing abortions on two 13-year-old girls and failing to report them.

David Mastio, deputy editorial page editor at USA Today, wrote in a column about how shocked he was at the lack of coverage of what was essentially a grotesque crime scene full of stored dead bodies.

“At my request, the conservative Media Research Center looked into coverage of Klopfer and found little interest. No coverage on the nightly broadcast news. Nothing on MSNBC. A story on CNN and a few on Fox News. National newspapers each handled it with one or two stories,” Mastio wrote.

Despite its relevance to the national conversation regarding abortion policy, this story hardly gained traction. The mainstream media failed to show significant interest in reporting the ghoulish story of Klopfer’s penchant for keeping aborted babies. This is worsened by the fact that the story is 100 percent true, even if it seems to be straight out of a Stephen King novel.

By contrast, the allegation in the New York Times story that Kavanaugh had assaulted yet another woman remains not only unproven or corroborated, but also wasn’t an accurate representation of the information presented in the newly released book—and still it was widely circulated as if it were the gospel truth.

Bias in the mainstream media has been present for decades—many of us in the media understood and made peace with that long ago—however, it continues to persist even past a point of tolerance or understanding. The zealous interest in falsely peddling the dramatics of a book post-Kavanaugh hearing and the total disinterest in a heinous discovery at the home of an abortion doctor are demonstrative of not just media bias but that political ideology drives coverage.

These stories—and the coverage or lack thereof—are important to understanding the country’s political divide as we look ahead to another election.

Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.