Friday, June 09, 2006

No bias in this media

My wife just moved into a new editing position, which required her to switch from a technical writer's style guide to the AP style manual. This manual is used by most American news media to guide writers and editors on matters of usage and convention. Different disciplines have different conventions, and the choices they make reveal a lot about their aims. Hence, you'll find that style guides for science journals tend to promote language and usage that enhances a sense of objectivity. Style guides for technical writers tend to promote simplicity and clarity. Essentially, a style guide reveals a discipline's agenda.

If you need evidence that the media is biased toward the liberal agenda, you can find it in the AP manual. Here's the usage guideline under "abortion":

Use "anti-abortion" instead of "pro-life" and "abortion rights" instead of "pro-abortion" or "pro-choice." Avoid "abortionist," which connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions; use a term such as "abortion doctor" or "abortion practitioner."

Hmmm. Abortion doctor. Sounds like a bit of a oxymoron, no? Or abortion practitioner. They practice doing abortions. Some day they'll get them right.

Orwell demonstrated just how powerful the word is, how selectively eliminating those terms with a pejorative connotation or banning those with a positive connotation can shape people's impressions. Derrida knew this. The government knows this. The media knows this. When will the rest of us wake up and resist?

[Technorati tags: Christianity, Catholic, prolife, media bias]
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