05 June 2009


It seems pretty long odds that it's coincidence the NYT ran a piece called "The Deadly Toll of Abortion by Amateurs" two days after the murder of prominent abortion doctor George Tiller.

While it must have been in progress for quite some time before the Tiller murder, since it's in a foreign bureau and a reasonably in-depth piece for its length, it also isn't immediate news and could easily have been held for a week or two until after the controversy subsided somewhat.

Sure, one might ask why they should hold it - shouldn't a worthy subject get timely coverage without bending to pressure to be falsely balanced? - but I think that a fairly good case can be made that a piece that so strongly highlights only one side of the debate looks like outright advocacy. And while there's a place for that in every paper (except the weak modern editorial page in the Times these days), that place is not in the straight news articles. Even if I agree.

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