Is the mainstream media fair in reporting on abortion violence?

This is original work from Verum Serum. They contrast the mainstream media’s reporting of the Georger Tiller killing with the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon.


Of course there has been real right-wing extremism, most notably the murder of abortionist George Tiller last Summer. That shouldn’t be ignored or minimized. On the other hand, there was another killing not long after which received a lot less attention. Jim Pouillon, a long time pro-life advocate, was shot three times through the pro-life sign he was holding by a stranger who was irritated by his message.

How bad is the media bias in the reporting of the two killings?

News Outlet Tiller’s murder (stories/words) Pouillon’s murder (stories/words) Ratio
LA Times At least 10 stories totaling 8,286 words. Three stories totaling 423 words. 19.5:1
NY Times At least 17 stories and three editorials totaling 21,430 words. Five full stories and one partial story totaling 3935 words. 5.4:1
Time At least 9 stories totaling 4,838 words. No mention of Jim Pouillon at all. 5,000:0
Washington Post At least 15 stories and one editorial plus 5 AP dispatches totaling 12,002 words. Three AP stories totaling 981 words. Original reporting = 0. 12.2:1

Newsweek didn’t mention the Pouillon killing at all, just like Time.

There’s a lot more to their post, and you can read the rest here. This is a very original and informative post.

I recommend that people exercise caution when buying magazines like Time and Newsweek. They’re hard left, so you aren’t getting all the news. You are just getting all the news that fits their narrative.

3 thoughts on “Is the mainstream media fair in reporting on abortion violence?”

  1. I do find it funny that you refer to Time and Newsweek as “hard left”. Apparently, it is all in the eye of the beholder, since I consider them to be center-right. :) My opinion, of course, is based on the traditional definitions of left and right and not on my personal position on thepolitical spectrum.

    Regarding the murders, everyone Iknow is aware of both cases and condemned both of them. The imbalance in reporting, I believe, is better atrributed to the higher profile of the Tiller murder, not to some inherent bias. Of course, the whole idea of “higher profile” in this case is deeply questionable, but we are all aware of that, aren’t we? The reasons are much the same that OJ Simpson’s trial received massive media coverage, while any number of other murders, some much more heinous, were almost completely ignored. I agree that such bias is reprehensible, but it has little to do with the political leanings of the media: rather, it happens simply because some news are more “saleworthy” than others. In a sense, the reasons are the opposite of whatyou claim: it is the market that determines what gets reported.


  2. When I was in journalism school, I learned the power of the media is not that it tells you how to think but it tells you what to think about.

    Clearly Tiller’s profile was higher and would have likely gotten more coverage. But the impression the media gave in the coverage of Pouillon’s death was that violence against pro-lifers is not a story when clearly, there has been violence on both sides.


  3. Canbuhay: but consider: there are certainly major differences between the cases. One was premeditated, an execution. THe other would seem to fall into the “crime of passion”
    category, if I may use the term. That does not excuse it in any way (although, legally, they are considered to be murders of different degrees), but makes one a much more “newsworthy” story. There is no conspiracy to murder pro-life activists (as far as I know, at least), but there is something close to one to murder and/or intimidate the doctors who perform abortions, again, making the story more “newsworthy”. Once more, I am not excusing any bias, violence, or misrepresentation, but only trying to uncover the reasons for it.


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