Media Blog

What Time Calls ‘News’ Writing

At Get Religion, Douglas LeBlanc goes on the “scare quotes” patrol and pulls over Time’s Rome correspondent, Jeff Israely:

And during the oddly scheduled Friday afternoon meeting, crammed between the end of the Group of 8 meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, and Obama’s departure for Ghana, the Pope had no intention of papering over differences on what the Vatican calls “life” issues, such as abortion and euthanasia.

The headline was “Obama and the Pope: Agreeing to Disagree on ‘Life.’” When liberals claim that they are the enlightened allies of science, is it not scientific fact that the human embryo is a living organism, as is a fetus at six months, or a senior citizen in the grip of Alzheimer’s? How is this not quote-unquote life at stake?

But another look shows there’s also a notable spot where Israely doesn’t use quotes, at his article’s end, when he calls the Vatican visit “one of the key encounters of his first year in office. It gives him the chance not only to solidify support from U.S. Catholic voters at home but also to spread his new American gospel to the world.”

Obama brought his own “gospel” to the pope, and that’s not in quotes?

By the way, Get Religion also has video from ITN, and the British lady reporting the story is clearly on Israely’s wavelength. She noted Pope Benedict looked forward to meeting Obama “at last,” despite the fact that “on paper, President Obama has somewhat less in common with the Vatican than his vehemently anti-abortion predecessor, George W. Bush.”

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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