What’s wrong with the television news media? Too often they refuse to look past a narrow pre-conception of what the issues are around a news story.
Let me start right off by defending the CHOICE made by Governor Sarah Palin and her family. It is the same CHOICE I would have made, had it been mine to make for my family. Let’s face it, there are few among us who have not had this issue come up if not in our immediate family, our extended family. I know I have had it happen in my extended family, and as far as I know the CHOICE has always been for life. Although I have been a pro-choice advocate all of my adult life, I have never actually known a woman who has CHOSEN to get an abortion. But once again, I am pro-100%-life. And there is a difference. I believe that we should care for a human life from beginning to end, not just until birth. As much as I would like to let my politics cloud my logic where the Palin family is concerned, I must salute Governor Palin and her family for sticking to their beliefs.
That being said, however, I think the media is obligated to pursue the issue of CHOICE versus NO CHOICE. Governor Palin herself has asked that the media and American people respect the privacy of her daughter and her family in this very delicate situation. Yet she, by her radical ANTI-CHOICE stand would deny other families the same right to privacy in a very personal matter. She is quite willing to drag parents and their teenaged daughters into a courtroom and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the newly passed laws she would advocate. That makes this an issue worth further study by the media, not by focusing on the unfortunate teenaged political daughter who finds herself in this position, but by focusing on the many young girls and women who also must face these hard CHOICES.
This morning on Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell expressed her disgust with the main-stream print media for pursuing this story, and perhaps on some fronts she’s right. Joe Scarborough decried it as a left-leaning media attack on a perfectly good Republican woman’s daughter. He is not right. Then came the voice of reason from Chris Matthews, who pointed out that the reason this is a story is because it highlights the position taken by Governor Palin on the CHOICE issue. Whereas she and her family CHOSE to handle the matter in their way, she is willing to bring down the “full force of government” on those who “CHOOSE” a different way. Joe Scarborough practically blew his top as he rushed to her defense, pointing out that she was not advocating a change in US law but only the right of the individual states to enact ANTI-COICE laws, as she is determined to do in Alaska. He assured Chris and the viewers that this is not an attack on Roe v. Wade. The more that Chris argued that it was, the more Scarborough argued that it wasn’t. I have one comment for Mr. Scarborough, “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me its raining!”
In true Republican tradition, Scarborough treats the American public like they are totally stupid about how things work because we slept through eighth-grade civics class. Maybe, but I doubt it, it was Morning Joe who slept through eighth-grade civics class. Here’s how it works. First the State of Alaska passes a very strong ANTI-CHOICE-under-any-circumstances law, and then some bereft woman who has been convicted and sentenced to prison challenges it in court. Over the next God-knows-how-many years the matter works its way through the various courts before finally reaching the Supreme Court of the United States, which by that time has been absolutely stacked by President McCain and maybe even President Palin with ANTI-CHOICE justices in the mold of Thomas and Scalia, as promised. Now the heavily right-leaning Supreme Court rules that the State of Alaska has every right to pass such a law. Then the battle, which has already been joined by every red state in the union having passed similar laws in anticipation of the favorable ruling, shifts to state-house races where the religious right does everything within its power to stack the legislatures of all states in favor of their ANTI-CHOICE position. That’s just simple civics, Joe. Remember? I remember!
That all being said, I would urge my friends at the various liberal-leaning blogs to not resort to mean-spirited Republican-style attacks on the young lady involved, but instead to use your voice to better articulate the real situation as it is. The blogosphere is a beautiful place! It’s really nice to have a place at the meeting table, but let’s stay true to our belief in truth and fairness and not gravitate to the dark side of the force where the Republicans under the supervision of Karl Rove have so tragically sunk.
One more thing, we on the left need to stop allowing those who would restrict the right of CHOICE to call us “pro-abortion” and insist that they and the media call us what we really are: PRO-CHOICE. One of these terms is decidedly negative, and the other rightfully recognizes our right to disagree and CHOOSE for ourselves. The truth is this: The other side is not pro-life at all; they are merely anti-CHOICE!
Keep fighting toward November!