There is yet another example of clever wording by the L.A. Times‘s David Savage this morning. Like last night’s example, today’s story tells the literal truth about abortion, but distorts the facts in a way that would fool unsophisticated people into thinking there is more evidence for the pro-abortion position than actually exists.
If you went to a trial and watched 6 people testifying that the light was red, and 6 people testifying that the light was green, would you go home and tell people: “The plaintiff testified the light was red, and other witnesses backed up his testimony” — and leave it at that?
Only if you were already prejudiced in favor of the plaintiff.
And so it is with Savage’s story this morning. Savage reports that the Bush administration has filed a brief in the Supreme Court supporting the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act. Here is how he describes the state of medical support for the procedure from the trial in Stenberg v. Carhart, the previous partial-birth abortion case decided by the Court:
In Nebraska, for example, Dr. Leroy Carhart was the only physician who performed midterm abortions, and in 1997 he filed a legal challenge to a state law banning intact dilation and extraction procedures, contending the law was unconstitutional. He testified that the intact removals were safer than other methods because there was less chance of bleeding and infection.
Other medical experts backed up his testimony, agreeing that, in some instances, the procedure was a better method of performing abortions.
Literally true. And very misleading — because other medical experts disputed Dr. Carhart’s testimony.
Clearly, from his record, Savage is a supporter of abortion rights. So he tells you that doctors agreed with Carhart — and completely fails to mention that other doctors didn’t.