Monday, June 01, 2009

Coverage of a killing (by Suzie)


       A few thoughts on the killing of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider. First, my former newspaper has this headline: "Abortion provider was polarizing force." This, from a paper whose longtime political cartoonist, Wayne Stayskal, championed the right to own guns and equated abortion with murder. I love it when the media accuses others of being polarizing.  
       The headline is on a shorter version of this AP story, which describes Tiller as "strident" in its first paragraph. "Strident" is generally defined as loud and harsh, but the article doesn't give any evidence of that. Instead, it says, he rarely gave interviews in recent years.
        William Saletan has written a piece for Slate in which he suggests that most people who are pro-choice would have a hard time performing a late-term abortion, just as most people who oppose abortion rights would have a hard time murdering a doctor.
        But the analogy doesn't hold. Any nut can get a gun and kill someone at close range. But Tiller had medical training, years of experience and a clinic in which to operate. Those who have no qualms about late-term abortions cannot simply step up to take Tiller's place. 
        Saletan compares both abortion providers and their assassins to veteran soldiers. That must make women the battlefield.