The Corner

A Key Measuring Stick for the Media: Coverage of the March for Life

Terry Schilling offers a simple and fair measuring stick for how much the national media is willing to attempt to make up for past mistakes and misdeeds: how extensively and how well do they cover this Friday’s March for Life?

Shilling contends this weekend we saw “breathless coverage of the pro-abortion, non-inclusive ‘Women’s March on Washington.” The women’s march warranted considerable coverage; it was a big crowd, and the opposition to Trump will be a big deal in the coming year. But year after year, huge crowds of pro-lifers head out in late January – usually among the most miserably cold days of the year. (It will not surprise you that as with the Inauguration crowd and the Women’s March, there’s considerable debate about the number of marchers. To quote K2SO, “It’s high. It’s very high.”)

Most years the March for Life gets cursory coverage, if it gets coverage at all. As Dan McLaughlin noted…

… virtually any reliable source on the March for Life acknowledges the sprawling size of the annual turnout, year in and year out, including busloads arriving from Catholic parishes and colleges across the country. But the media annually yawns and treats this simply as a ho-hum part of the annual DC landscape, not as a sign of broad popular resistance, after all these years, to the brutality of abortion, and tends to bury the story far from the front page. I can predict with great confidence that they will do so again this year.

The irony is this year the March for Life is a delicious, complicated story. A Republican president who claims to be pro-life but who has no real history of activism in pro-life causes has just taken office. He repealed the Mexico City policy, ensuring family planning funds only go to groups that would agree to not perform abortions or lobby foreign nations to overturn their pro-life laws. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway is speaking at the march. The repeal of Obamacare is allegedly in the works. How much faith do pro-lifers have in the Trump administration? How patient are they willing to be? What Supreme Court justice nominees do they want to see? A hugely consequential story is waiting to be reported. Let’s see if the national media gets interested, and if they resist the urge to imply that march participants have horns and hooves. 

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