Thursday, February 23, 2006

Of Partial-Birth Abortions and Heart Attacks. Okay, why does our beloved media feel compelled to refer to partial birth abortion in scare quotes or with other qualifiers? See, for example, this WaPo Story from yesterday, which began,
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether a 2003 federal ban on the procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortion is constitutional . . .
The justification ususally given is that this is a term that pro-lifers came up with or that it's not medically accurate (or both).

Of course, I would reply that it doesn't matter who came up with it and that it is accurate.

In any event, why can't our beloved media get the story of Harry Whittington's heart irregularity correct? So far, I've only seen one story, by the LA Times, surprisingly enough, describe it correctly. It wasn't a "heart attack."

The rest of the media keep referring to it as a "heart attack." See, for example, this story by ABC, also posted yesterday:
Whittington, 78, was struck by up to 200 shotgun pellets in the right torso, neck and face. He sustained a mild heart attack caused by a pellet lodged at his heart three days after the shooting but was released from a Corpus Christi hospital Friday.
As explained in the Best of the Web,
A physician who reads this column writes:
Calling the pellet-induced arrhythmia a "heart attack" is a little sensationalist. A "heart attack" is not an official medical term, and is generally taken as meaning a blockage of a significant cardiac artery and resultant damage to the heart. Calling the pellet-induced heart damage a "heart attack" is like calling a bruise a "tissue infarction." The pellet presumably irritated a small area of heart tissue or obstructed a tiny blood vessel.
If the media can go through all its pains when it comes to partial birth abortion (or what journalists call "a procedure critics call 'partial-birth abortion.") why can't they get Whittington's heart irregularity correct?

Admittedly, I've had way too many arguments about this in the past, but this is one of those things that will not go away...

No comments:

Post a Comment