Thursday, February 05, 2009

And the problem is?

Jessica at Feministing has a post decrying an e-mail from an LA Times writer and blogger named Andrew Malcolm. The e-mail (which Jessica says was a mass e-mail) has information about Nadya Suleman and her octuplets which has appeared in most news accounts. Jessica appears to have highlighted one line which is supposedly controversial. The line reads, “When the woman discovered she was expecting multiple babies, doctors gave her the option of selectively reducing the number of embryos, but she declined.”

I’m not sure what’s controversial here since most people (even abortion advocates) don’t have a problem with saying that a “woman is expecting a baby,” or in this case “babies.” Jessica’s real problem with the e-mail seems to be with the subject line, which reads,
"fyi octuplet mom alrdy had 6 kids so docs offered to kill off some of the 8 for her."

In response, Jessica writes,
I want to know why someone from the Los Angeles Times sent out an email (above) calling selective reduction "killing off" babies.
Is it me or does Jessica seems to be swinging at windmills here? Malcolm never writes “killing off babies.” He writes “killing off” in the subject line and writes “expecting multiple babies” in the e-mail. Selective reduction like other abortion procedures is “killing off” unborn children so I have a little trouble seeing Jessica’s grounds for complaint. In the comments section, Jessica writes,
I don't think sending out an email is journalism, but I do think it goes against journalistic ethics to send out (this was part of a mass email, a publicity email) something like this with a subject line that is clearly not just subjective - but offensive and false.
But what’s false about labeling selective reduction as "killing off" something (the subject line doesn't specify what)? That’s what it is. This would be like Sarah Palin responding to Ashley Judd's commercial about aerial wolf shooting by claiming the wolves aren't really being shot.

Jessica may find the truth offensive but that doesn’t mean it’s false.

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