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Sunday, March 5, 2006
'Just a Little Nuts'
Topic: Media Research Center
In a March 5 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham claims that to write about threats of violence against abortion doctors "is just a little nuts, considering that Dr. Barnett Slepian was the last abortion doctor to be killed in America, and that was eight years ago." Let's look back at how the MRC reacted to Slepian's murder:

-- It complained about a news report noting that "critics charge rhetoric from the anti-abortion movement is helping to incite this kind of murderous violence."

-- It further complained that "liberal environmentalists" weren't being similarly blamed for a radical group that burned down buildings in Colorado at the same time as Slepian's murder, adding that "while the networks have devoted more than 500 news stories since 1993 to violence and threats against abortion clinics, only a handful of stories have touched on hundreds of cases of organized eco-terrorism in the West."

-- In 2003, Graham complained that when news organizations focus on extremists who support Slepian's murder, "the pro-life movement is being demonized on television by its most unrepresentative elements."

-- MRC news division countered coverage of Slepian's death with a January 2002 article about a "pro-life activist" who claimed to have "collected eight thousand examples over the last decade of abortionists participating in criminal activity, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, even murder."

-- The only mention of Slepian's killer, James Kopp, on CNS is a reproduction of a January 2003 statement by an anti-abortion group distancing itself from Kopp.

So, which is more "nuts"? Noting that abortion doctors have ample reason to live in fear of their lives, or dismissing that fear as silly?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EST

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