Newsbusters' increasingly creepy criticism of Tiller reporting

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Yesterday, Newsbusters' Kyle Drennan complained that a news report about the murder of Dr. George Tiller didn't describe him as "controversial." In response, I wrote:

Calling Tiller "controversial" just because because conservative anti-abortion terrorists tried to, and finally did, kill him is insulting, and suggests some justification for the assassination. Calling him "controversial" blames the victim. Drennen's complaints that CBS didn't offer such justification for Tiller's assassination is creepy, at best.

Today, Newsbusters' Colleen Raezler makes it explicit, complaining: "In failing to highlight what Tiller's work actually entailed, reporters do nothing to help their audience understand why this man was targeted."

I thought conservatives usually criticize people for offering "understanding" to terrorists?

Raezler goes on to complain that the media has portrayed Tiller as a "martyr":

Tiller as Abortion Rights Martyr

Broadcast networks painted Tiller as a man willing to die in defense of women's rights.

All of the broadcast coverage noted past attempts people have made to disrupt Tiller's work - a bombing of his clinic in the 1980s and a 1993 attack in which he was shot in both arms - which, while pertinent to the story, also increased the aura of martyrdom that now surrounds him.

Notice what Raezler doesn't say: she doesn't so much as hint at disapproval of the terrorists who bombed Tiller's clinic and shot him. Instead, she is unhappy that mentioning those events increases "the aura of martyrdom that now surrounds" Tiller.

UPDATE: Two months ago, Raezler complained that media didn't make clear that a plane crash victim "made the money for this exclusive vacation was paid for partly through abortion [sic]." Here's Raezler:

Media Ignore Abortion Connection in Montana Plane Crash Coverage


[C]orrectly reporting the deaths of fourteen people as a tragedy doesn't mean the media necessarily did their job. If they feel compelled to note that victims were "ultrarich," they should also note the business that made them that way. Particularly if it's as controversial as abortion.


though the AP deemed it necessary to include facts about family's economic status, they failed to think it necessary to include that Feldkemp made the money for this exclusive vacation was paid for partly through abortion.

Feldkamp is listed as the president of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Inc., a health care organization that is California's largest for-profit abortion provider. Its Web site lists 17 different abortion clinics throughout the state, and the group provides abortions up to the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Gingi Edmonds, a pro-life activist, reported this on March 24. Yet as of April 2, the mainstream media appeared to have whitewashed Feldkamp's abortion connection.

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