Liberal bias is always a hot debate. Does it exist? Is it a right wing conspiracy? Now, I've mentioned before that a journalist should keep his or her own private thoughts out of the equation when reporting the news. I think we could all agree on that. But what happens when he or she fails to omit personal beliefs? Better yet, how do you pick that information up, especially when you agree with the reporter? This not an easy task. For instance, if you are a conservative and find a report that puts Kerry in a negative light. Do you realize that it's justifying your opinion?
I came across this article from Reuters, which focuses on the tribulations Kerry faces being a Catholic today compared to when John F. Kennedy was president. The article is well written until it mentions abortion. Here's the quote, "A group of Catholic bishops has proposed denying communion to politicians like Kerry who are Catholic but do not oppose a woman's right to abortion." A woman's right to abortion? Adding "a woman's right" makes the statement personal. The issue ceases to be about abortion and becomes about women's rights. How dare those Catholic bishops deny communion to Kerry because he doesn't oppose a woman's right? Catch my drift?
The author of the article, Ellen Wulfhorst, should had simply written, "A group of Catholic bishops has proposed denying communion to politicians like Kerry who are Catholic but do not oppose abortion." With the statement written in this manner, you avoid taking sides. As a reporter that is exactly what you should be doing. Did Wulfhorst do this on purpose? Probably not. As I said, the article is well written.
Let me play devil's advocate here. What if the statement read "a fetus's right to life?" How uncomfortable would that make you feel if you're pro-choice? I know it would make me feel uncomfortable and angry for seeing a statement like that. Believe it or not, there are people out there that don't believe in abortion, and they have every right to believe that. But if the reporter is pro-life, he or she has no right to impose his or her views on me.
For those of you that don't know me well. I'm not a right wing nut. I'm very pro-choice and do not believe in organized religion. I do believe it's a woman's right to choose. So, I'm not part of the right wing conspiracy. I just want to make my point.