Stuck on Stupid

Back when the Soviet Union still existed, jokes were often circulated that ridiculed their government-controlled media. One of them went something like this:

Athletes from the United States and the U.S.S.R. were pitted against each other in a track meet that was eventually won by the Yanks. The next day, headlines across Russia screamed, "Soviets Take Second in International Competition; Americans Finish Next to Last!"

In those days, jokes like this worked because America still claimed the moral superiority of having a "free press." And whether that claim reflected reality or not, we believed it was true and that is all that mattered.

Of course, the bloom is now off the rose. Only a complete idiot could witness what's going on in modern American journalism and not see that it has become a joke in and of itself. The fact is that the same godless / Marxist ideology that once controlled the Soviet media now controls the American media. It could also be that the American system is the worst of the two. After all, the Soviet press may have pushed the socialist manifesto because they were ordered to do so by humorless people wearing hobnailed boots. But the American press has no such defense; they knowingly manipulate the reporting of world events in order to advance this political agenda because they are its true believers.

However, while there is ample evidence to support this cynical analysis, my experience has been that it does not really explain most of the rabid pro-abortion bias we have seen from the media over the last 40 years. Instead, what I have noticed is that, as it regards this specific issue, contemporary journalists are not driven by ideology as much as they are by their own stupidity and laziness. This may sound overly simplistic but, after many years of interacting with these people, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that, with almost no exceptions, they are simply not very bright. It is also clear that they have now devolved into a collection of people who dismiss traditional concepts of morality as arcane, quaint and irrelevant. Moreover, that doesn't change much whether they work for the Frognot Texas Weekly Gazette or the New York Times or ABC News.

It was in the mid 1980s that I first began to understand how profoundly these things impact the media's abortion coverage. At the time, I was traveling almost every weekend conducting 8-hour training seminars designed to teach people how to articulate the pro-life position. I eventually did about 150 of these seminars across the U.S. and Canada and had more than 15,000 people attend.

One day, it dawned on me that if I were doing a parallel seminar for the pro-choice side my task would be much easier. In my Life Activist Seminar, I had to address complex issues related to the law, philosophy, biology, medicine, theology, logic, marketing,etcetera. These are the areas that, I knew, attendees had to understand in order to be effective defenders of the unborn. But if I were training the other side, my seminar would need to last no more than five minutes and I would not have to touch on any complicated issues. All I would have to do is make sure that every attendee left the room knowing how to mindlessly recite the following mantra:

"I am not in favor of abortion, I would never be involved in an abortion and I would do anything I could to discourage anyone I know from having one. But ultimately, I don't think the government has a right to make this decision."

That's it! If you can just memorize that, you don't need to know anything else. In effect, that simple rhetoric keeps you from ever having to defend a practice that you intuitively know is indefensible. At the same time, however, those who defend the rights of the unborn will never escape the requirement that they have at least a basic understanding of the things I mentioned above: law, philosophy, biology, medicine, theology, logic, marketing, etcetera. In short, it is an unavoidable aspect of this battle that the pro-choice position will always be exponentially easier to defend than the pro-life position.

Of course, once you combine that with the fundamental nature of the modern press, it becomes obvious why the pro-choice position has become the default position of the contemporary media. It requires no effort, no thought and no morality, all of which make it custom made for these people.

Today, the media advances this agenda through the use of two mechanisms. To illustrate the first, I ask you to imagine that you work for a corporation that has just fired a long-time employee. The next morning the company sends the following memo to the remaining staff:

"Yesterday, we were forced to terminate the employment of Chief Financial Officer, John Smith. It has always been company policy that employees who are found to be embezzling money from our accounts are immediately dismissed."

So why was John Smith fired? The obvious assumption would be that he was stealing money. But notice that, technically, the memo didn't say that; it simply made two true statements that encouraged such an assumption. It's a real-world variation of the, "Soviets Take Second, Americans Finish Next to Last!" joke.

This is a slimy little trick the media has learned to use when dealing with the abortion issue. There are thousands of examples of this but I'll cite just one of the more outrageous. Years ago, Operation Rescue went to Buffalo, New York, to peacefully blockade an abortion clinic. On CNN News that night, the voice-over for the lead story was something along the lines of, "Violence Erupts as Operation Rescue Invades Buffalo." Meanwhile, on the screen they show a group of enraged protestors literally punching police officers and having to be wrestled to the ground.

The message was unambiguous and perfectly delivered: pro-lifers are violent. The only problem was that the protestors who were shown fighting with the police were not part of Operation Rescue but were, instead, a group of pro-choice thugs. These people had physically accosted the pro-lifers and when the authorities intervened they were attacked as well. And make no mistake about it, CNN knew exactly what was going on because they were right there on the spot. But they are also aware that in a nation where video cameras are everywhere, they can't take the risk of telling an outright lie. So like the corporation I cited in the earlier fictional story, CNN carefully assembled two true statements in a way that would encourage the audience to believe a lie.

This sort of strategy is now almost universally employed by the media when reporting on abortion and illustrates the abysmal dishonesty that has become endemic within contemporary journalism.

A second phenomenon exemplifies the laziness of these people.

When covering a story in which those on opposite sides of an issue make contradictory statements, legitimate journalism dictates that the journalist investigate and expose who is lying and who is telling the truth. Today, however, that is not what happens. Modern journalist have adopted the "equal time" doctrine. They are too inept and too lazy to investigate, so they just regurgitate whatever the two sides say and declare that they have been fair to both. The problem is, if statement "A" and statement "Z" cannot both be true, publishing both without exposing who's lying does nothing more than give as much weight to the lie as it does to the truth.

Those of us in the pro-life movement see this almost every day but I will just cite one common example. In a story about late-term abortions, it is almost inevitable that the pro-life spokesperson will say that, in 1973, the Supreme Court made abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy. This, of course, is something the other side has been hiding from the American people since day one and they realize that it would be a public relations nightmare for them to find out about it now. So they say something along the lines of:

"Roe was a compromise decision that allows unrestricted abortion in the first trimester, allows it for the health and safety of the mother in the second trimester and does not permit it at all in the third trimester except to save the mother's life."

Now obviously, somebody's lying. But the media does not investigate because they are either too lazy to do so or because they are afraid to find out who's lying. On many occasions, I have confronted reporters over this very issue and told them precisely how they could discover for themselves what the truth is. But with not one exception to date, the response has been that their responsibility is to let each side have their say. In their world, this perverted sense of "fairness" trumps the truth every time.

In the final analysis, we live at a moment in history that is often called the age of information. Yet it is a constant source of aggravation for the pro-life movement that, even after all these years, so many Americans know so little about abortion. But let's also remember that we live in a society that is obsessed with the meaningless and the trivial. I am reminded of this every time I think about a particular article that was published several years ago. It gave the results of a series of man-on-the-street interviews in which randomly selected people were asked questions pertaining to current events and the United States government.

One question asked them if they could name the only woman who was on the United States Supreme Court at that time. The number one answer was ... Judge Judy.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)

Your claim that the media today in America is controlled by marxism is beyond ludicrous. We still have free speech in America,except for some universities.

And any one who claims that Obama has taken our free speech away or is planning to is a dolt.

Anti-choice conservatives claim to want to preserve "freedom" to America. But where is there any freedom for women if the government stupidly declares that all pregnant women must give birth or else?

And is it even possible to enforce laws against abortion?
Of course not. No government has ever been able to do this,
and ours certainly won't if the government is stupid enough to outlaw abortion again. The law was never even enforced before Roe V Wade. What makes you think it will if that decision is reversed?

What will the government do? Appoint thousands of anti-abortion agents to scour every inch of America 24/7 to make sure that no abortions are taking place? Is this in any way realistic?

This sounds more like Orwell's 1984 to me than the "free" America you claim to want.

How will we stop women who can afford it from flying off to
other countries for safe,legal abortions, or stop the poorest women from killing themselves by attempting self-induced one?

Put up blockades at every border and airport and examine every woman of childbearing age for pregnancy, and put up surveillance cameras in every home to keep women from doing it themselves?

And how much money would these futile and unrealistic programs waste? Give me a break ! You anti-choicers are totally deluded.

You can't stop abortion,period.
# Posted By Robert | 3/19/10 4:11 PM
Keep up your efforts to save the babies you're articles reach places you can never imagine...may the LORD bless you and your organization and your family. Al
# Posted By Allen | 3/20/10 7:07 AM
I wish those who still believe they receive unbias reporting from network news (abc, nbc, & cbs) could read this.
# Posted By Mark | 3/20/10 9:06 PM
I wish those who still believe they receive unbias reporting from network news (abc, nbc, & cbs) could read this.
# Posted By Mark | 3/20/10 9:06 PM
Good one. Thanks and God bless.
# Posted By norma ann | 3/24/10 12:00 PM
Mark, I hope you can take some criticism. What do you mean at the top of LDI's home page, "Without Compromise, Without Exception"? LDI's mission statement does make exceptions: "In those extraordinarily rare instances in which a pregnancy poses an immediate and life threatening risk to the mother, she should be allowed to direct her physician to perform any medical procedure that is necessary to save her life. In that effort, however, the physician must always do whatever is possible to save the life of both mother and baby. If as an unintended consequence of saving the mother's life, her unborn child loses its life, that should be viewed as a profoundly regrettable but lawful outcome."

You also say nothing about the contraception-abortion connection! Guttmacher's own facts (see 2008 In Brief) points to 54% of abortions due to contraception failure. Source: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion...
# Posted By Nina | 3/24/10 3:02 PM
I see no mention of the uses of fetal tissue. Children of God for Life at www.cogforlife.org have information of one use. Vaccines are grown on different fetal body parts. As MMR vaccine was sold in Great Britain autism began to appear and more recently in India. Their info is documented. Since the courts have found in the USA that thimerosal is not connected to autism, another connection has been sought. With 1 grandson 6 mo old and twin grandsons 3 weeks old, I have become almost frantic. I've ordered more brochures and a petition.
Please help studying this website. I became aware of them when they appealed to the Vatican for advice re: using a measles vaccine which was derived from abortion. Parents have a right to protect their children and the abortion was not directly done to produce the vaccine. Now more cell lines have been used and fortunately, some ethical sources of vaccine are found.
God bless you, Marie
# Posted By Marie | 3/24/10 10:49 PM
Robert...

Some people have it, some people are full of it. You belong in the latter group. Free speech? "(E)xcept for some universities"? Try being a famous conservative personality, speak out against the government, and see how long you can go without an IRS audit. And the rest of us... all we have to do is disagree with a liberal policy and we're accused of racism and a host of other evils. We are closer to Castro's Cuba than you realize. And not just geographically. We're VERY close to Canada's "whatever you say will be held against you if we don't like it" idea of "hate speech."

The real dolt is the one with the discernment of a slab of concrete and can't perceive the hatchet job done on our rights.

You call us "Anti-choice conservatives". Because we want innocent life to live? Because we want a woman to choose LIFE? So... how does this work? If we want a woman to choose life, we're anti-choice? But if we want a woman to choose abortion, we're pro-choice? What's that? You don't have a problem with a woman choosing life as long as she really does have a legal choice? Well, with what the current administration is doing, being pro abortion is about the only choice any of us will be left with. So much for being pro choice.

Your ridiculous comments about whether the government can enforce laws against abortion are, well, ridiculous. By your logic, why have laws banning robbing banks? After all, there WILL be banks robbed, despite laws against robbing banks, right? Does ANY law guarantee 100% compliance?

OK, I'll play your game. Suppose abortion is outlawed. Will people still get abortions? Yes, some will. But many will not, since there are many who would actually obey the law. And, there are lots of people who equate something legal with it being moral. Likewise, if it's not legal, it might be a bad thing.

There are those who WILL short circuit the law if given the chance. I think we all understand that. So, obviously, more ought to dictate whether a law should be passed than merely whether or not the "government" can enforce 100% compliance. We'd have no laws if we only had laws that boasted perfect obedience. Let me repeat this for all you pro aborts so you'll stop using the "can't enforce compliance" red herring: EVERY SINGLE LAW will find some who will abridge said law if given the chance. From now on, if you appeal to this, you will be, as Mark said, lazy.

The bottom line: terminating RU-486, hamstringing school nurses and guidance counselors from recommending/encouraging abortifacients or abortions, gutting the abortion business end of Planned Parenthood and similar venues... MANY WILL LIVE who would have died. Honorable, yes?

By the way, please leave Orwell on the shelf. Abortion is all free and legal and stuff, but at no time in American history has Big Brother been busier taking names and making lists than now. Tell you what... if you are not one of those lazy persons Mark talks about, maybe you'll not mind doing a little homework and discovering, in each of these dates, the rights that have been snatched out from under us:

April 9, 1865
July 9, 1868
February 3, 1913
April 8, 1913
December 23, 1913
June 26, 1945
June 25, 1962
June 17, 1963
October 22, 1968
January 22, 1973
October 26, 2001
October 17, 2006
October 9, 2009
March 21 and March 23, 2010

...and you think talk of repealing Roe v. Wade will usher in the Age of Orwell? We're pretty much there already. Get your head out of the sand.

You can also stop your feigned pity for "the poorest women from killing themselves by attempting self-induced" abortions. Robbing banks is illegal. Do you feel pity for the guy who robs one because he is poor and ends up getting gunned down in the crossfire? Probably not. You're pro "choice," right? During a legal abortion, an innocent baby dies. During a botched abortion, the mother dies. Which one do you pity?

It's the same old story. We want to abolish the killing of innocent life, and you let your imagine run wild with all kinds of vain imaginings about what the abortion police might do. Defunding PP and making abortion illegal does NOT entail installing security cameras in the homes of every child bearing woman. You invoke slippery slope illogic with your melodrama. You actually do, what you claim conservatives do with Obama. You really need to stop looking for the pro-life boogie man or anti abortion monster under your bed.

Sure, some women just might travel to another part of the world where they can get a legal abortion. I'm sure there are lots of things that are illegal here that are not illegal elsewhere. We've got no dog on that porch. We are responsible for us. OUR country. It's like my property. In MY house, nobody is allowed to smoke, drink or cuss. Don't like it? I don't care. If you must do these things, go shake a leg somewhere else. In the meantime, anyone, friend or family, who wants pleasant company, good times, and great fellowship is always welcome here.
# Posted By Ron | 3/27/10 4:04 PM
Referring to the media being stupid, I think it has more to do with two things. First, the whole "Truth is Relative" belief and secondly "perception is reality". They both really go hand in hand, but to a lot of people, mostly Liberals but sadly not just Liberals, think that what you perceive to be the truth or at least their view of the truth is the actual truth. Their point of view is all that matters. It is all that is "relative". It has to do with this whole entitlement mindset of no accountability. For example, have you noticed that when Christians show up to peacefully protest but get assaulted, the Christians are not the victims but the attackers are because they where provoked. But when a Liberal of any kind is attacked for any reason, even if they were the instigator, they are the victim because they were attacked. It does not depend on the "Facts" or the "Truth" it all hinges on perspective from your pre-existing worldview. How you want it to fit into your neat little world of "Truth".

Now lazy, that is another story. I recently had it brought to my attention with my first experience with a GPS. We went on a trip and my mother-in-law let us borrow hers. It was great and I loved it, but I found myself not looking at landmarks and exits like I normally would, I was just listening and following, like a lemming over a cliff, to whatever the GPS would tell me to do. I had to remind myself to open my eyes and look at what was going on around me and think for myself. In this great technological age that we have, a lot of well meaning people need to do the same thing. Get out of the house, office, or whatever and get into life. Get your head out of the sand and out of this computer and look around to see what is going on and think for yourself. Read your Bibles, pray, listen to what God is telling you, and then get involved. We can't be like lemmings going over a cliff listening to what the TV, internet, or wherever you get your information from telling you what do without digesting it and thinking it through Biblically.

And we need to remember, converting unsaved people is our primary mission and the key to winning any battle we face. We are here to be sowers of the Truth, seed planters if you will. Like Paul with his conversion experience, until Jesus removes the scales from their eyes they are spiritually blind. We cannot expect them to act, think, and talk like us. But, we can show them a better way. Through strength, courage, perseverance, patience, and love.
# Posted By Brett | 3/29/10 9:22 AM
Robert:

Stop making this silly argument (that you have made previously at jillstanek.com and all.org) that you cannot stop abortion crime by prohibiting it. In fact, you also stated that prohibiting the killing of unborn children would increase it. This is just ridiculous.

If you believe this, perhaps you would like to advocate "legalizing" murder, rape and armed robbery, with a view to reducing the incidence of these crimes?

Actually, I believe that you can reduce the incidence of abortion crime by as much as 90-95% through vigorous, aggressive, relentless enforcement. Of course, we would have to have a much better system in place than that before 1973 when enforcement was spotty at best. An abortion crime industry is actually quite fragile and vulnerable to disruption and infiltration. We would have to have police stings in place everywhere to intercept as many people as possible, mothers, fathers and criminal abortionists, to prevent as many deaths as is feasible.

This effort will be aided by hundreds of thousands of pro-life volunteers who will spend their free time hunting criminal abortionists and uncovering their crimes. We have a strong, well-organized unborn human rights movement, something we did not have before 1967 when states first started allowing abortion crime.

In this way, many criminal abortionists will be taken down in stings and other undercover work. Many mothers and fathers will be deterred from even trying to kill their children. Many of those who are not deterred will be intercepted before they can commit the crime. I believe we will save hundreds of thousands of lives each year doing these things.

With a strong and well-organized effort to stop abortion crimes, I believe we will greatly reduce the frequency of their commission.
# Posted By Joe | 3/30/10 9:08 AM
Sorry, but all your arguments against abortion are absolutely false. It's true. You cannot stop abortion, and every time the government of a country has made abortion illegal after it had been permitted, the abortion rate has skyrocketed, as well as the number of women dying from botched illegal abortions.
To call abortion "murder" is ludicrous. It's a tragedy, not a crime. Murder is the intentional and malicious killing of a BORN person, but a fetus is only potential life. And women don't have abortions for the same reason as other people commit murder. It's an act of desperation, not murder.
It's even stupider to equate abortion with slavery, and the way anti-choicers disingenuously and self-servingly compare themselves to abolitionists disgusts me and other pro-choicers. We resent the assumption that being pro-choice is somehow as morally reprehensible as being pro slavery. If anything, the true slavery is when women are dineied the right to have abortions and thereby
reduced to being baby-making machines.
And it's true. You cannot enforce laws against abortion. It's absolutely futile, and to attempt to do this is also a massive and egregious invasion of people's privacy.
The only way to deal with the problem of abortion is to decrease poverty and provide much more to poor pregnant women,married or single, so that they will be able to provide decently for their children.born or unborn.
But hypocritical conservatives, whether private citizens or politicians, don't want the government to do this.
Noooo-they say. That would be "socialism", and we don't want that in America, do we?
And please don't give me all that self-serving and disingenuous garbage about conservatives donating more money to charity than liberals. That's a total cop out. Private charities are a good thing and I'm all for them but they can't possibly provide for all poor people,or all poor pregnant women.
Just making abortion illegal will only make a bad situation much,much,worse.
# Posted By Robert | 4/3/10 4:30 PM

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics