Abortion, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, fails to make the cut among the top 10 issues important to voters.
Yet, because of the GOP opposition to abortion, the mainscream media insist that Republicans suffer from a voter “gender gap,” with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney down 8 percentage points among women. Fifty percent of men support Romney, but only 42 percent of women do so.
Funny, just two years ago in the 2010 off-year elections, Republicans took the female vote for the first time in nearly 30 years. There are big differences in the way married women vote versus unmarried women. Married women vote Republican, as do their husbands.
Non-married women are more likely dependent on government either through welfare, Social Security, Medicare or some other “social safety net.” Their reliance on government makes them vote for the party that promises to “save the social safety net” rather than the party that attacks the size and scope of government. They vote Democratic, but it is not because of their ovaries.
On the supposed “women’s issue” of abortion, polls show them evenly split, with a recent Gallup poll finding 44 percent of women describe themselves as “pro-choice” versus 46 percent who call themselves pro-life. Furthermore, a majority of Americans not only oppose third-trimester abortions, but also second-trimester abortions — which is a more restrictive position than Roe v. Wade.
The 2012 GOP platform abortion plank provides no exception for rape or incest. But neither did the 2000, 2004 or 2008 Republican Party platforms. This is simply offensive to many in the media. The Todd Akin gaffe presented them an irresistible opportunity to switch topics from the economy to something far more manageable — attacking Republicans on social issues. A 1985 Los Angeles Times poll of newspaper journalists found that 82 percent of them favor “abortion rights.”
Does this affect their work?
An internal memo in 2003 by then-Los Angeles Times editor John Carroll looked at a front-page abortion story and called out his own paper for bias. He wrote: “I’m concerned about the perception — and the occasional reality — that the Times is a liberal, ‘politically correct’ newspaper. Generally speaking, this is an inaccurate view, but occasionally we prove our critics right. We did so today with the front-page story on the bill in Texas that would require abortion doctors to counsel patients that they may be risking breast cancer.
“The apparent bias of the writer and/or the desk reveals itself in the third paragraph, which characterizes such bills in Texas and elsewhere as requiring ‘so-called counseling of patients.’ I don’t think people on the anti-abortion side would consider it ‘so-called,’ a phrase that is loaded with derision.”
Carroll quoted several other examples of obvious bias in the article and wrote: “The reason I’m sending this note to all section editors is that I want everyone to understand how serious I am about purging all political bias from our coverage. We may happen to live in a political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values (and is unreflective of the nation as a whole), but we are not going to push a liberal agenda in the news pages of the Times.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times’ ombudsman recently characterized the paper as biased in favor of the left — especially on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Arthur S. Brisbane wrote: “Across the paper’s many departments … so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.
“As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.”
The Washington Post, too, ‘fessed up to its bias during the 2008 election. The Post’s ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, tracked its presidential campaign stories, front-page coverage and use of photos covering the period from Obama’s nomination on June 4, 2008, to Election Day that year.
Howell wrote: “The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces about McCain, 58, than there were about Obama, 32, and Obama got the editorial board’s endorsement. …
“Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. …
“But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama’s acknowledged drug use as a teenager. …
“When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected (Joe) Biden. They are right.”
We face high unemployment, sluggish growth and rapidly increasing debt. But the GOP “gender gap” and the “war on women” are more vital issues — to Obama-embracing/Republican-hating left-wing “journalists.”
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.