Is there a bigger story behind this?

What “an open, honest and under-oath detailed description of what goes on during state-of-the-art legal abortion” revealed in the Kermit Gosnell trial in Pensylvania, but which no Irish news outlet has ever printed or broadcast, is openly spelled out in the pages of the pro-abortion Irish Times today.

That story, in the Irish context, may be even more significant than the abortion story itself. Has the editor of the Irish Times cracked the stranglehold which his pro-abortion staff have held the paper in for more than a decade? Might we now get other media to follow suit and give the Irish people the honest discussion on this issue which they have been denied to date?

The article comes from two journalists, a husband and wife film-making team based in Los Angeles. They are  Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney and write of their experiences watching the trial of Gosnell. This was a trial ignored by Irish media – and a good deal of international media as well – because it did not flow with the politically correct current which sweeps our media along its biased way.

In their article they tell us that it was not primarily the crimes of Gosnell which shocked anyone who spent time at the trial. It was the evidence from legitimate abortion providers describing to the court what their daily practices involved.

It was the industrial scale of the abortion industry that shocked the jury and spectators who gasped (the only time during a horrific trial) when Dr Charles Benjamin matter of factly stated he had performed over 40,000 abortions. They write:

We were always fairly disinterested in abortion. And by “disinterested” we mean we never thought much about it but, when we did, believed it was an unfortunate but probably necessary part of modern life.

And as such we would have agreed with those who have called in The Irish Times and elsewhere for more honesty and openness about abortion in the belief it would lead to a more liberal abortion regime in Ireland.

However, our recent experience would suggest that campaigners might want to rethink this strategy if they want Irish people to support a campaign to repeal the eighth amendment. .

We are making a movie and writing a book about Dr Kermit Gosnell – described by ABC News as “America’s biggest serial killer”. Gosnell was a Pennsylvania abortion doctor who performed illegal abortions past the state’s 24-week limit. His abortion “technique” was to have the babies born alive and then to stab them to death with scissors.

His case led many people, investigators, lawyers and jury members to hear for the first time the reality of abortion, illegal and legal, and how it affected them might surprise those calling for more honesty surrounding the procedure.

A pro-choice prosecutor told us how she and her female co-worker were amazed that the legal limit in Pennsylvania was 24 weeks: “That’s six months” she remembers blurting out as they read the statue for the first time. Then they discovered that PA wasn’t an outlier.

In several US states you can have, and people do have, abortions up to the day of delivery.

But the evidence that shocked the most was the evidence that was supposed to reassure the most.

To highlight Gosnell’s illegality, prosecutors decided the jury should hear from “good abortionists”.

In other words just what those campaigning to repeal the eighth amendment to the constitution are demanding – an open, honest and under-oath detailed description of what goes on during state-of-the-art legal abortion.

It was the industrial scale of the abortion industry that shocked the jury first. They gasped (the only time during a horrific trial) when Dr Charles Benjamin matter of factly stated he had performed over 40,000 abortions.

An arm or a leg

Dr Karen Feisullin was also called to describe what a legal abortion looked like. The jury and many in the courtroom shifted uncomfortably as they heard about “tools going up into the uterus and basically pulling parts out . . . an arm or a leg or some portion of that”.

And those were the easy, early abortions. For later procedures, Dr Feisullin explained the foetus was so well-formed that it couldn’t be ripped apart in the uterus. It was normally removed – through the birth canal – completely intact. But, as Feisullin explained, a baby born at 23 weeks has a 40-50 per cent chance of surviving. To avoid a live baby coming out during an abortion, the doctor demonstrated how, before the abortion, a poison – potassium chloride – was injected through the woman’s stomach directly into the baby’s heart. This would stop the heartbeat, allowing the foetus to be pulled out intact.

Dr Feisullin was asked what would happen if she missed the heart and the baby was born alive.

She explained that the live baby would be covered with a blanket and given “comfort care”.

You could see the genuine puzzlement of people in the court about what “comfort care” was until Dr Feisullin cleared up any confusion.

“You . . . really just keep it warm, you know. It will eventually pass,” she said.

Steve Volk, a Philadelphia-based journalist for an alternative newspaper who described himself as comfortably pro-choice before the trail, said that, as Dr Feisullin spoke, his fellow reporters all checked if they had heard correctly.

Dehydration and neglect

Was it really standard medical practice to let a baby die of dehydration and neglect if an error was made during an abortion? It was and they were shocked.

Local journalist JD Mullane, who interviewed many of the key players, confirmed our research that the trial changed many minds and shook assumptions.

“Almost everyone . . . who spent significant time at the Gosnell trial was less pro-choice at the end. This change was probably because they were for the first time hearing about the reality of abortion from experts under oath . . .

“They had to tell the truth and they had to tell it in detail,” he said.

Out of the shadows

Those seeking to remove the constitution ban on abortion believe the best way to do it is to bring it out of the shadows in the hope that when people hear the details, they will support the liberalisation of abortion in Ireland.

Two years ago, we might have agreed with them.

But our experience of the Gosnell case is that anyone who has learned more about the reality of abortion – the pullings apart of the foetus, the injecting of poison into the heart, the “comfort care” – has come away with only negative feelings about the procedure.

It may be a case of be careful what you wish for.

A bewildering and sad tale of deceit and betrayal

Bewildering is about the only word I can think of to describe my reaction to John Waters’ expose of the current state of what was – until recent times – Ireland’s most important newspaper as he describes the events which brought to an end his 24-year career with the The Irish Times. We knew it was bad – but we did not know it was this bad.

Waters lays it all bare in a six page account of his last few months’ experience on the payroll of the paper in the current issue of Village magazine. To most of us it would be a nightmare. Waters takes it in his stride but as he recounts the tale of deceit, dysfunction and betrayal one wonders how much longer a media operation of this kind can be among us. After reading his article we have to ask, on picking up any edition of this morning paper, what trust could we have in anything that appears in it.

Waters writes not to moan or to even vindicate himself, but rather to alert us to a danger which is lurking under the veneer of prestige, status and respectability which Irish media agencies are wearing but are wearing very thinly.

The back-story surrounding this event is the story of the libelling of Waters and others on a TV programme. They were groundlessly called homophobes. They took legal action and won substantial damages. There followed a heavily orchestrated media uproar in protest at the payments made in which all objectivity was thrown out the window. Waters writes in the article in Village:

“Anyone with the slightest concern for the health of Irish democracy must regard the deluge of hatred more or less stoked by the ‘Irish broadcaster’ and the Irish Times, and agitated in the lawless world of social media into a tsunami of bullying, with the utmost dismay.

“By far the most worrying aspect, however, is that, unless urgent action is taken by those with the power to take it, there may soon be no audible voice left to raise itself against the corrupted clamour of the unrecognised, unaccountable fifth column now directing every twitch and nuance of our public life. What is at issue is not, as some propose, the validity of any particular argument, but the capacity of the collective conversation much longer to accommodate any kind of argument at all.”

The tragedy is one with both communal and personal implications. This is, in the first instance, a drama in which we are probably witnessing the death of a national institution in the life of a small country. If the demise of the Irish Times is staring us in the face we know that it is not simply because of the undoubted economic and other difficult operating circumstances which make all media organisation vulnerable today. It will be because the paper has effectively become internally corrupted and the people who have been supporting it have lost their faith in it.

The last straw for Waters came when he found that he was personally betrayed by someone within the paper in nothing less than an Iago-style saga of deceit – smiling and smiling while all the time playing the villain on Twitter, foul mouthing and backstabbing Waters while dissembling friendship. It is a deeply disturbing and sad story.

Waters has now resigned from the paper – and that is more bad news for the paper for there were many who bought it simply because he was writing for it. He has done so with deep regret but “certain of the importance of protesting at the present drift of the newspaper towards an ideological orthodoxy that threatens its role as an esteemed journal of record and a bulwark of Irish democracy.”

So it was. So it can be again. But will it?

Who is really spurning the Reform Alliance?

Independent deputies, Shane Ross and Stephen Donnelly

Shame, again, on the Irish Times for a headline overloaded with hostile prejudice. How did polite refusals like those of Stephen Donnelly, Shane Ross and others become a “spurn”?
“Senior Independents in Leinster House”, the paper told us this morning, “are set to spurn an invitation to attend the first Reform Alliance conference, dealing a blow to the effort by the dissident Fine Gael group to expand its political base.”

“TDs Stephen Donnelly and Shane Ross, and Senators Katherine Zappone and and Feargal Quinn, have all said they will not attend the event in Dublin on Saturday week. Neither will they be joining the alliance.” wrote Arthur Beesley. The independents in question should be on the phone to complain to him.

What Mr Donnelly, who had expressed an interest in attending the event, said yesterday was that,while he would not go along. “I wish them the very best and I think anything which challenges the the cartel that is Irish politics is welcome,” Spurn? Doesn’t sound like spurning to me.

Mr Ross, TD for Dublin South, for his part said he would be delighted to discuss any ideas with the Reform Alliance but not in a “formal atmosphere” that would be interpreted as giving “formal support” to the group. That sounds very reasonable and fair. Again, I don’t hear any spurning there.

Mr Quinn said he had not been invited to join and had no intention to do so. “I intend to retire from the Seanad at the end of the current term – otherwise, I’ll get a divorce,” he said.

It seems to me that all the spurning is being done by the Irish Times itself. Could it be that there is a conflict of interest between the Reform Alliance’s agenda for open and honest politics and this formerly great newspaper’s agenda for molding its own kind of Ireland?

Pro-aborton fifth column strikes again?

What a strange report by LORNA SIGGINS in today’s Irish Times.

“Expert highlights legislative vacuum faced by obstetricians”, the headline tells us. We wonder what exactly she is highlighting and how revealing her apparently alarming observations might be. All we are told, however, is this:

 A leading US expert on treating high-risk pregnancies has said that the legislative vacuum in which Irish obstetricians have to work is “an enormous problem”.

 Prof Mary E D’Alton of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York said the lack of legal clarity here on circumstances for terminating pregnancies was “very unsatisfactory”.

 Basically that is the end of the story. We are given no further details as to how this “enormous problem” manifests itself. In the rest of the story she seems to be congratulating Ireland on doing such a good job in the field of maternal care.

I would love to see the copy submitted to the news-desk by Ms. Siggins. Perhaps I’m wrong, but my suspicion is that the cabal of pro-abortion subeditors in the Irish Times got to work again to plug their own line for abortion legislation in Ireland. I wonder is Professor D’Alton (above) a willing or unwilling instrument in their campaign?

Spin warning – twisters hitting all areas

This is an all points spin warning about serious twisters hitting Ireland today – courtesy of the Irish Times. The warning comes courtesy of the Pro Life Campaign at approximately 1600 hours today. Read and judge for yourselves. This is what we – and the unborn – are up against.

Irish Times presentation of latest poll on abortion “grossly distorted”, says Pro Life Campaign

The presentation by The Irish Times of today’s Ipsos MRBI poll on abortion was “grossly distorted”, according to the Pro Life Campaign.

In its analysis of the poll results, The Irish Times states that public support for abortion legislation has risen from 23% in 1997 to 71% today.

Ms Sherlock said: “This is a completely distorted and inaccurate presentation. The 1997 MRBI poll which The Irish Times claims showed only 23% support for abortion actually found 77% of people supported abortion in a variety of circumstances, depending on how the question was asked. However, like the poll published in today’s Irish Times, it made no distinction between abortion and necessary medical treatments in pregnancy.

“The 23% mentioned by The Irish Times was just one of the findings in a multiple choice question that included other categories of support for abortion.

“Five years later, in 2002, when the electorate had an actual choice to make in a referendum, 49% voted YES to row back on the X case ruling. An IMS poll conducted just afterwards found an additional 5% voted NO on pro-life grounds.

“In other words, despite findings like the one cited by The Irish Times from 1997 and the latest Ipsos MRBI poll, when the people have an actual democratic choice, a clear majority rejects abortion.”

Ms Sherlock concluded: “Polls showing high levels of support for abortion are nothing new. Whenever the question suppresses the distinction between induced abortion (that targets the life of the baby) and necessary medical treatments to preserve the life of the mother (where every reasonable effort is made to save the life of the baby), the results show high support for abortion. Such polls, however, significantly under represent the opposition among the electorate and create an inflated perception of the extent of public support for abortion.”

ENDS

Blind and shameless collusion in abortion news coverage

We are of course rejoicing at the success of the phenomenal pro-life demonstration in Dublin on Saturday. It was achieved in the face of what one could only describe as a media blackout of the event in the weeks leading up to it. It must surely have given both the conscientious and the crowd-following public representatives something to think about. The conscientious will have had their convictions reinforced by the platform speakers who sent out loud and clear statements and illustrations of the crime that the killing of the unborn is. For the populist crowd-followers it gave evidence that pro-life people power is on the move and for them this is a chilling signal that their cosy parliamentary seats might also be on the move.

More than 25,000 people from all over the country gathered in Merrion Square to protest at the coalition government’s proposal to legislate for abortion within the jurisdiction of the Irish Republic. Abortion is currently prohibited under the terms of a constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the people 30 years ago. An estimated 150 pro-abortion demonstrators presented themselves at the venue as well.

But we are also once again confronted with the story-within-a-story. The story of the shameless bias of the media which spells out one fact over all others: the majority of those in the positions of influence in the media in this country are openly and unapologetically campaigning for the pro-abortion cause.

If anyone needed confirmation that there is collusion between the Irish media – orchestrated, one suspects, from behind the closed doors of sub-editing rooms – and the international press one has only to scan the reports of the Vigil in the newspapers over the following days. It did not make the front page of a single broadsheet on Monday. The Irish Times reported on it without the slightest allusion to its significance. Even RTE managed to rise to using the term “game-changer” in its Saturday evening report. That this surprised us speaks for itself. Can you imagine what we would have been reading and listening to had such numbers turned out for a pro-abortion rally? Try. You won’t find it very taxing.

How did Independent Newspapers report this the following day? The opening paragraph of a report attributed to Sarah Stack and the Press Association was this:

PROTESTERS for and against abortion have staged separate rallies in Dublin as each side step up their campaigning. The Pro-Life Campaign urged people to stand up for “the right of the unborn child” at its Unite for Life Vigil but were (sic) accused of going against legislation that would save the lives of women. Note that “right of the unborn child” in inverted commas.

The Government, we were reminded, has committed to legislate and introduce regulations to allow abortion if there is a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life, including the threat of suicide.

The report then entered even-handed mode when Pro-life spokeswoman Caroline Simons’ words were reported. She told the crowd, the biggest Dublin has seen for a decade or more, that the Government’s argument that abortion is needed to treat threatened suicide in pregnancy was demolished at the hearings on abortion held in the parliament over a week ago.

“The psychiatrists who addressed the hearings were unanimous that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation”, Simons said. “But there is evidence that abortion increases the risk of future mental health problems for a significant number of women.

“The facts are simple. Where a pregnant woman’s life is at risk, Irish law and current Irish medical practice allows doctors to intervene to ensure women receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives, even where this unavoidably results in the death of the baby.”

But that was as even-handed as it was going to get. Separately, Stack then told us, – without mentioning the number protesting – that pro-choice campaigners staged a counter-demonstration nearby and said pro-life groups are protesting against the introduction of legislation that would save the lives of women living in Ireland.

“They’re protesting against legislation that the majority have voted for in a referendum. They’re protesting against a supreme court decision. They’re protesting directly against what the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) says Ireland needs to do to protect the human rights of pregnant women,” a spokesperson for this group complained about the 25, 000.

Then came the red-herring inbthevform of a report of a two-day-old story about the opening of an inquest into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar on October 28 after she suffered a miscarriage. The international media has – with the help of its Irish fellow-travellers – sat in judgement on this and has decreed that Savita died because she was refused an abortion. On the information currently available there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for that conclusion.

Stack’s report then goes over the background to that case – all in the context of the demonstration in Dublin. No mention is made of the multiple statements made by gynaecologists, and by speakers at yesterday’s demonstration, that there is no evidence that an abortion need ever be resorted to as a solution to a complication which might arise in pregnancy.

Stack then proceeded to report on the formation of a new pro-choice group, Abortion Rights Campaign, being established in the country.

She reported that Clare Daly TD said the campaign is not a sprint but a marathon. “We’re here for the long haul,” she said. “In the meantime, we want the immediate introduction of legislation for the right to safe, legal abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, including from suicide.

“We also want the simplest, broadest legislation that includes the right to abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality. We will keep the pressure on until we get this.”

She did not say what everyone knows, that the pro-abortion campaign wants abortion on demand, and knows that prime minister Enda Kenny’s “restrictive” legislative proposal is the best way to get it.

The entire report devoted about 150 words to the demonstration by 25,000 people while the cause being promoted by the pro-choice group got the lion’s share of attention with over twice that. Shameless. Admittedly another report, seen online, by two reporters from the group’s newsroom did carry more of the content of what was said at the demonstration. But it was not much more and it also laboured the Halappanavar case which in the end of the day may have nothing at all to do with abortion and be revealed as a sad case of a woman dying from the effects of an infection.

For some serious coverage of the demonstration a more balanced report can be read here. See this short YouTube video for an atmospheric snapshot of the event.

All this is happening in Ireland while conscientious Americans are mourning the more than 55 milion lives sacrificed on the twin altars of, on the one hand, false compassion, and on the other of selfishness and self-indulgence. This is the toll of lives taken over the 40 years since the US Supreme Court conceded the right to life of the unborn in Roe V Wade.

Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, keeps telling his people that he is not entering the same road as this. He offers no plausible reasons for this assertion, no reasons at all in fact, but instead moans about receiving abusive letters among which are some which suggest that he is “worse than Herod” who slaughtered the Holy Innocents. Well, he may not be worse than Herod. But if he presides over the passing of legislation which will lead to the intentional killing of babies in the womb, even one baby in the womb, then he will bear responsibility for that act and will join a significant number of public representatives who are running Herod a close scond. Is there any other moral reasoning which will deny that? These babies are the new Holy Innocents.

The US picture is truly horrendous. Since that fateful decision by nine men on the Supreme Court in 1973, there have been approximately 55,772,015 abortions that have destroyed the lives of unborn children. Looked at another way, that is 1,392,500 abortions each and every year, 116,191 abortions each and every month in all 50 states. The math breaks down to 26,813 abortions each and every week nationwide. And every day, that’s 3,820 abortions.

Almost 4,000 children have died in America from abortions each and every day since.

A bad week for human dignity and honest journalism

I’m not sure that that I needed it, but affirmation of one’s judgement from independent sources is always useful. Eilis O’Hanlon’s piece in today’s Irish Independent reaffirmed me in my judgement that I did the right thing in refusing to fund the Irish Times with my weekly subscription. We have been through a bad week for objective journalism – sorry, not objective, honest journalism. The Times is not the only medium in which my colleagues have shamed themselves but it led the charge.

The shamelessness with which the paper fostered the hysteria around the sad death of Savita Halappanavar,  and used the woman and her family in promoting a cause which is accountable for the deaths of millions of children across the globe, is astounding. The complexity of the case, the sensitivity with which human decency should have suggested it be treated, were thrown to the winds.

O’Hanlon cites the submission by the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to the Oireachtas All-Party Commission on the Constitution as an example of the standards which should have applied. It said on that occasion: “There is a fundamental difference between abortion carried out with the intention of taking the life of the baby … and the unavoidable death of the baby resulting from essential treatment to protect the life of the mother.”  The institute’s Clinical Practice Guide on the management of early pregnancy miscarriage, she notes, warns: “Women are sensitive about references to pregnancy loss. As their loss is not out of choice, use of words like ‘abortion’ can be sometimes offensive at a vulnerable time. Hence, discussion or documentation of management of early pregnancy loss should be worded appropriately.” O’Hanlon continues:

There was no such sensitivity shown at the Irish Times last week in its reporting on the death of 31- year-old Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital after contracting septicemia following a miscarriage. Instead the paper opted to present what had happened as a simple morality tale of what can happen when a woman is denied an “abortion”. Beyond the headlines there was more nuance about the range of treatments which, in practice, are offered to women in Ireland in similar circumstances, but there was no doubt that the pitch being presented by the Irish Times was one of the dangers of failing over a 20-year period to legislate for abortion in light of the X Case.

The debate for the rest of the week was coloured entirely by the Irish Times’s decision to reduce a complex personal tragedy, about which few facts were still known, to a rallying call for a new abortion law. And it wasn’t only in Ireland. The world’s media, having picked up on the tragedy, echoed the same line, deaf to the testimony of doctors that what was being called for in this case was not an abortion but a routine clinical procedure carried out on thousands of women in Ireland, and ignoring entirely the position of pro-life campaigners who made it clear that they had no moral or legal objection to Savita’s life taking precedence in these circumstances.

The Irish Times rushed to fill the vacuum left by an absence of facts with a single word, “abortion”, which was then tossed into the debate like a hand grenade into a small crowded room. In doing so, they not only sent out a message to the world that Ireland is some benighted, backward, bigoted land where religious dogma takes precedence over young women’s lives. At home they also opened the door to a vitriolic assault on pro-lifers who were suddenly being blamed for a chain of events which none of them had supported or would ever support.

There was an air of palpable nastiness in the air; the sense that a coiled spring of anger and bitterness which had been building since Clare Daly’s private member’s bill to deal with abortion was defeated in the Dail had suddenly found an outlet and could be unleashed. Pro-choice groups were now able to portray anyone who did not want to immediately legislate for more liberal abortion laws as a monster who was responsible for the death of an innocent young woman.

There was no doubt that they were upset and outraged by what had happened, but no side has a monopoly on compassion. This wasn’t a case of good vs evil, the compassionate vs the heartless, but pro-choice campaigners seemed to feel that they had a monopoly on human sympathy. They took total ownership of the story, refusing to allow anyone to even express their own sense of horror and sadness at a woman’s death unless they signed up wholesale to the pro-choice manifesto.

Everyone who dared put their head above the parapet was raked with rhetorical machine gun fire. Caroline Simons, solicitor for the pro-life movement, was measured and humane on Tonight With Vincent Browne, but her reasonableness seemed to annoy the critics more.

Senator Ronan Mullen received even more abuse when he appeared on Pat Kenny’s radio show. Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulherin, on the same programme the next day, didn’t stand a chance, having previously made an ill-advised comment about “fornication” in an unrelated context.

Anyone who tried to present any sort of argument for limiting abortion was tarred as a hardhearted dinosaur, a defender of the abstract rights of foetuses over the life of living, breathing, suffering women.

I heard recently that at a promotion event in the head office of the Irish Times, its editor – in defending the paper’s coverage of the abortion issue – said that he himself was a Catholic and that he was not pro-abortion.  If that is so then the only explanation for what the record of publication shows is that  the paper’s standard of honesty, fairness and integrity is being set by a clique within his organisation. This clique is clearly far more interested in achieving legislation which will facilitate the deaths of thousands of babies in their mother’s wombs than it is in providing an honest, comprehensive and balanced news and comment service to its readers. Whatever the truth of the matter is, and while this standard persists, I feel vindicated in my personal decision to cancel my subscription.

It’s not about “cold fish” or “wet fish” – it’s about people’s lives, stupid

What a breath of fresh air this sober analysis is after the rantings of Paul Krugman  and utterly blinkered wishful thinking of Lara Marlow in the Irish Times and her other platforms.

Liberalism’s Glass Jaw by ROSS DOUTHAT in today’s New York Times calmly and coolly exposes the bubbly substance of everything that Obama stands for and shows us that the real problem with all this is not Obama himself but the fragile ideology he stands on. We can only hope that while he has been able to fool a majority of the people to get  one term in office he will not be able to fool enough of them to get a second.

As Doubthat reads it, all of Obama’s signature accomplishments have tended to have the same weakness in common: They have been weighed down by interest-group payoffs and compromised by concessions to powerful insiders, from big pharma (which stands to profit handsomely from the health care bill) to the biggest banks (which were mostly protected by the Dodd-Frank financial reform).

It may have been an empty rhetorical gesture, but the fact that Romney could actually out-populist the president on “too big to fail” during the last debate speaks to the Obama-era tendency for liberalism to blur into a kind of corporatism, in which big government intertwines with big business rather than restraining it.

Doubthat does not mention his social policy “evolutions” and the concessions he has risked making to the gay lobby on marriage, the ease with which he has slipped into assuming that Christian consciences on sexual morality issues can be tossed around the ring like so many rag dolls. But he might have done. These were the cotton wool compassionate gestures which Obama has allowed to distract him from really grappling with the more difficult challenges of getting the country back on its feet.

One hopes that the American electorate will get well beyond the preoccupation which some in the media have tried to focus on – whether it is Romney as a “cold fish”, or Obama as a “wet fish” – and look at the real issues of substance which Doubthat summarizes here.

Regrettably, the end of the line

Perhaps a day will come when this decision can be reversed. Today, with a heavy heart, I sent this to the subscriptions department of The Irish Times.

Regrettably, because of what seems to me to be an inbuilt editorial bias towards the so-called pro-choice side in the ongoing debate on abortion I wish to cancel my subscription for morning delivery of the Irish Times. I say “so-called” because we are all, hopefully, pro-choice. What we should be judged on is the justice of the choices we make. 

I have no wish to provide funding for what appears to be an extension of a campaign to introduce abortion legislation to Ireland.  I am not referring to the free expression of opinion on the issue, either by columnists or leader writers  My concern is about a bias I find in the treatment of news stories.
One small example is the burying of Patsy McGarry’s minimal news coverage of the Irish Bishops’  pastoral initiative at the bottom right hand corner of page 6 yesterday (cf some observations on this in a post on http://www.garvan.wordpress.com). 
Another example would be your sub-editorial treatment – the report itself was fair enough – of the medical conference on maternal health a few weeks ago. This spoke volumes to me about your lack of openness to any positive pro-life stories in the news. Had that conference produced a story which would have served the cause of introducing abortion legislation here I have very little doubt but that it would have got a much more explicit headline and an much better space than the far-left column of a right hand page. I cannot judge about what is happening on the letters page but I have anecdotal evidence that many people on the pro-life side do send letters which never see the light of day.
My observation to you would be that while your by-lined reporters try to be reasonably objective, your anonymous sub-editors are playing a different game.
 
Yours sincerely
 

Michael Kirke.