Just got done glancing at Memeorandum and saw this rant written by “WIMN’s Voices” (“Women’s Voices”) writer Keely Savoie complaining about media coverage of the explosive found behind a women’s clinic (that’s code for: abortion clinic) in Austin. In a post titled, “Silence is Complicity,” Savoie writes:
They’re at it again: A week since the SCOTUS began dismembering Roe anti-choice lunatics are terrorizing women’s clinics, as reported by the Associated Press in a very brief piece headlined, “Explosive found at Austin women’s clinic.”
The “they” in question, however, is not the domestic terrorists responsible. It is the media that systematically ignores these stories, as Jennifer Pozner has pointed out in the past. This particular story — in which “A package left at a women’s clinic that performs abortions contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death” took place in Austin, TX yesterday. I wouldn’t have known myself unless I had a friend down there, where it was covered with all the fanfare of a traffic accident.
The national press? Aside from 97 words from the AP and a brief mention from CNN — nothing (according to a Nexis search at 5:15 pm today). In that lone CNN mention, we’re told that “Officials from the Homeland Defense Team, which includes police officers, also other Austin officers, the Department of Emergency Ordnance Disposal unit and the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives” were on the scene. Yet still, not a peep from the national press. Now, imagine if this clinic had been a bank, or a high school, or a sports arena. I bet we would have heard something about it then.
The media’s silence surrounding issues of violence against women is not only emblematic of a fundamentally dismissive attitude, it ultimately harms all feminist causes, and lends to the perception that feminists are all just knee-jerk alarmists railing against imaginary enemies. It’s easier to dismiss the need to constitutionally protect women from violence and discrimination if you erase all evidence that such things exist.
She notes in an update today that ABC, MSNBC, and Reuters have now covered the story but ‘wider coverage” is still “lacking.”
Ok, first things first: I don’t have a problem with people complaining about the lack of adequate media coverage that certain stories get. Heck, conservatives do it all the time. But in this instance, Savoie has taken the usual alarmist attitude modern day feminists take when they believe they’re either being ignored or think that their rights are being ‘stolen’ from them, by assuming that the reason that the mediots supposedly didn’t cover this story (and similar stories, apparently) as widely as she’d like them to is because they want to pretend violence against women doesn’t exist. It’s almost as if she really thinks there is some kind of conservative media bias against covering stories about violence or attempted violence against women (I mean, because we know conservatives hate women – even conservative women hate women!).
Savoie makes a number of mistakes in her assumptions. First, this story was first reported two days ago, on the 25th by KVUE and KXAN in Texas. At the time it was first reported, it was reported as a ‘suspicious package’, and hadn’t yet been confirmed to be an explosive. By yesterday afternoon and evening, once it had been confirmed as an explosive, several more media outlets picked up on the story, including FoxNews and CNN. As you can see from this link, there are now at least 96 stories about the explosive being found at the women’s clinic. Now, I dunno about you, but that’s a lot more than the meager coverage she initially complained about.
To be fair, she wrote her post at 1:54 pm yesterday, and I’m not sure that at that time it was getting a lot of coverage because I don’t know when exactly it was yesterday that it was confirmed that the ‘suspicious package’ was an explosive. But she jumped the gun in assuming that the mediots wanted to ignore this story, because 24 hours after the initial reports on the two Texas stations, nearly 100 news outlets (and probably more) are reporting it. Her assuming that the media wanted to ignore this story because they wanted to pretend violence and discrimination against women didn’t exist would be like me writing on Wednesday night that she was ignoring issues pertaining to violence and discrimination against women because she hadn’t written about this story. Sometimes you have to give a developing story about 24 hours before it gains traction. In fact, the Don Imus ‘controversy’ didn’t start erupting until two days after he made the comments.
As far as the media supposedly wanting to make ‘violence and discrimination against women’ issues ‘go away’, I don’t know what she’s been doing for the last several years, but I guess Savoie forgot the wall to wall coverage we got of abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, and the hunt that was on to capture him. And perhaps she missed the massive amounts of coverage the pro-abortion crowd’s march on Washington got on the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade back in January.
In contrast to that was the meager, biased coverage that the pro-life march rec’d from the media around that same time (detailed here in a post of Michelle Malkin’s back from January). Want to complain about lack of adequate coverage, Ms. Savoie? Join up with any conservative group, perhaps like the pro-life movement, and then maybe you’ll have a legitimate complaint.
It’s fine to take issue with what may look like a derelection of duty on the part of the media to report on an topic/story that is important to you, but before you start writing about it, you should 1) give it about 24 hours to start hitting the major nets and 2) even at that, you should – at the very least – examine some modern history examples of media coverage on prior related issues before assuming that the media just wants to ignore your ’cause.’ In this case, Savoie really has no case because 1) this issue is receiving widespread coverage and 2) all it takes is a simple Google search to show how widely the media covers issues that are important to feminist women.
Although if you think about it, it really shouldn’t take a Google search to tell you that.