The Media’s Abortion Problem

Social Fabric by from The Federalist, May 16, 2014

“It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.”

This is how Upton Sinclair summed up the process by which hogs were transmogrified into meat in the turn-of-century Chicago meatpacking industry. It occurred in plain sight—he describes the horror on the faces of visitors to the plant—but Americans were broadly unaware of how their meat came to be. It took his novel The Jungle to douse the industry with public attention, resulting in reforms that still have force today.

I couldn’t help but think of the celebrated muckraker Sinclair as Philip Bump’s attempt to discuss when life begins on theWashington Post’s “The Fix” blog ricocheted around the Internet yesterday. It wasn’t just the content of Bump’s effort at explanatory journalism—the obedient acceptance of a pro-abortion organization’s spin, the ignorance of embryonic science—that was so galling. More than that, it was the posture of incuriosity toward his topic that showed just how poorly today’s media compares with the courageous figures of years past

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