Washington Post accused of abortion bias in coverage
By Carl Bunderson
The Washington Post. Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
The Washington Post. Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

.- The leader of a conservative think-tank is calling for more balanced abortion coverage from the Washington Post after the paper’s publisher reportedly said that its production team members “do make mistakes.”

At a meeting of shareholders in The Washington Post Company May 9, David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, argued that the paper’s biased coverage of the March for Life could be contributing to its financial woes.

“In January, as almost every year, the March for Life got a tiny little story in the Metro section,” Almasi told CNA on May 10.

“That's bad enough, but then the next day, there was a rally of under 1,000 people, by the Post's own reporting, for gun control, and they gave it almost the same length of coverage.”

Almasi added that the Washington Post's article on the March for Life included a photo which prominently featured signs from pro-abortion counter-demonstrators, while the gun control article had “two photos that were of a positive nature towards the rally.”

The Post's Jan. 27 issue featured the headline “Nearly 1,000 rally on Mall to call for more gun control,” while the previous day's issue featured an article title “On Roe's 40th anniversary, more prayers to overturn it.”

Well down the article, the Post noted that the March for Life's permit was for 50,000 but that “organizers said the attendance was several times that number” and that participants “stretched for at least five blocks.”

“With something like the March for Life, they're busing people in, people are taking a lot out of their lives to be a part of this, and they're marching in weather I won't march in anymore … and I see little coverage,” Almasi said.

He contrasted this with the “better coverage” of the gun control rally and an environmentalist rally against the Keystone XL pipeline, both of which had far fewer participants.

At the shareholder meeting, Almasi told Post management that such biased reporting is “a credibility problem that's obviously hurting your bottom line.”

The previous week, the Washington Post Company had reported a sharp decline in profit in the first quarter. The company has explained the decline by costs related to early retirement, severance and restructuring, according to the New York Times.

Almasi participated in the shareholder meeting through Accuracy in Media, which own stocks in numerous companies.

He argued that the bias in abortion coverage is much the same as it was more than 20 years ago.

“This almost mimics 23 years ago when there was a very large pro-abortion rally in ‘89 and a very large pro-life rally in ‘90. The pro-abortion coverage was huge – days long, every section of the paper – and the pro-life rally the next year got in the Metro section.”

At the meeting, Post Company chairman Donald Graham, who in 1990 was the paper's publisher, “said he was appalled by what happened 23 years ago, though he didn't really say if he was appalled by what happened this year.”

Almasi said that Katherine Weymouth, current publisher of the Post, also responded to his concerns, saying “we're far from perfect – we do make mistakes.”

The allegation against the Post comes as the broader mainstream media have come under fire for their failure to cover the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who faces murder charges over the death of one mother and several babies, who were allegedly killed in his Philadelphia clinic after being born alive following botched abortion procedures.

Gosnell's trial began March 19, but it was not picked up by most of the large media outlets outside of Philadelphia until mid-April.

Almasi reports that in a private conversation following the shareholders' meeting, Weymouth said that 90 percent of the Post's newsroom is probably liberal and at times, “obviously their bias comes through.”

Now that the Post's representatives admitted the paper's bias and previous mistakes, Almasi said that they need to do better.

“But we just need to see if they take that to heart, or it's just something they say every year at the shareholder meeting when we ask them,” he stated.

Tags: Abortion, Media

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