The reporters and editors at The Washington Post don’t care about millions of dead babies. But they sure get worked up about a single dead cat.
On January 24, mere hours after the massive annual March for Life in Washington, The Post’s media critic, Erik Wemple, ran a blog post lamenting the death of a cat, allegedly at the hands of conservatives. Wemple’s point: there is conservative media bias because “the conservative media machine” did not report on the dead cat, while The Huffington Post, CBS and Gawker did.
It’s such a delicious example of media bias that it’s hard to wrap your head around. When I first saw Wemple’s piece, I had to double-check the link. Surely Breitbart is behind this, I thought — or the folks who make the hipster-mocking show “Portlandia.” Nobody is that clueless. For years The Post, as well as The New York Times and other pro-choice media outlets, have downplayed or outright ignored the pro-life movement. This is because writers like Erik Wemple are pro-choice. (Wemple’s wife Stephanie Mencimer is a pro-abortion writer for Mother Jones, although since she was once arrested for tossing dog poo at a pet spa owner, her feelings about animals are unclear.)
So not 24 hours after the massive 39th March for Life, a march that The Post covered with a few pathetic paragraphs buried in the Metro section, the paper’s media policeman cries a river over a dead feline. (My coverage of the march is here.) After The Post ignored half a million people, most of them young people, marching to let one million babies a year live, the paper’s media critic screams media bias because Fox didn’t break into “The Five” with news that a cat had been the victim of a political hit.
Hang on, I just want to check that Post link again.
Nope, it’s not The Onion.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore animals, and the story about the butchered cat is awful and newsworthy. The story should be covered and the guilty should be punished. I only wish that when The Post covered abortion it could work up the same outrage.
Here’s how Wemple relays the story about the cat’s death:
The skinny is this: Jacob Burris, the campaign manager for Arkansas Democratic congressional candidate Ken Aden, found his family’s cat slain in front of his house, the word “liberal” painted on its dead body.
The extended version, as Burris relates it to me, has more sickening detail. On Sunday morning at about 8:30, the 31-year-old Burris loaded three of his kids into his van for a trip to the gas station. When they returned, Burris’s 5-year-old boy got out and went around to the other side of the vehicle to help unbuckle the other kids, who are nearly 2 and 3 years old. On his way to assisting with the arrival, the 5-year-old spotted something. “Dad, think the cat’s dead,” said the youngster to Burris.
The child wondered what the letters on the cat meant. Burris tried to explain them away. “It could be tire tracks,” the father said. Once the kids were inside, Burris moved the cat with a shovel into a wooded area behind the house. That night, he called the police, and the events were on their way into the country’s news stream, to Burris’s dismay.
The Post shows no such detail when writing about Leroy Carhart, the late-term abortionist who came to the D.C. area last year. The paper didn’t interview the women who regret their abortions or other victims of the procedure. For the cat caper, Wemple talked to Vince Leibowitz, general consultant to the Aden campaign. Leibowitz “characterized the conservative media response this way”: “My honest impression of it is that the conservative media probably looked at this story and said there’s really no point in giving a progressive candidate any coverage at all at this point. We don’t want to give a progressive candidate like Ken Aden airtime on the network or bandwidth on the website.”
Sadly, if the perpetrators had performed an abortion on a human, the story would have never been reported.
Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.