8:41 pm EST For…

Nov 30, 2005 9:22pm

8:41 pm EST

For all you Scalions, Ginsburgers, and Souterites, I believe you can hear the audio of today’s Supreme Court arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England HERE.

Great blog posting comments, everyone. Let me respond to a few items raised by y’all…

thumb.dckw10611301921.scotus abortion dckw106 8:41 pm EST For...

AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

1) I do, truly, understand that "Partial Birth" abortion is a term created by opponents of abortion rights. I put it in quotations in my blog for that reason. On air, I’ve referred to it as "so-called Partial Birth abortion."

To refer to it, as reader "DKNY" suggests, as "a subset of those cases referred to in the mediacal profession as intact dilation and extraction (or "D&X), though, since the term is without grounding in actual medicine it has been used to include much more (for example D&E)" would take about 20 seconds each time.

That would eat up anywhere from one-fourth to one-tenth of the entite time I’m allotted for my story. I have other points to make in a limited amount of time.

OK, that flipness wasn’t called for. But seriously, I also think the term D&X (or whatever), while easily understood by the big brains among my blog readers (whether or not they ever merited Phi Beta Kappa), would confuse some people. Most people.

"Partial-birth abortion" is what the ban was referred to in the various bills, federal and state, that have been struck down. I agree that this is a word-victory that opponents of abortion rights have won (some of whom would argue that the media should not be using terms like "fetus"). If you have suggestions for alternatives, I would be happy to hear them.

The larger issue: words matter in these debates (which is why Defense Secretary Rumsfeld tried to outlaw the term "insurgent" yesterday, thinking it gives the bad guys in Iraq too much legitimacy). I try to be fair to all sides, but often brevity necessitates shorthand that undervalues the complexities being discussed.

 8:41 pm EST For...

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

2) I assure you, DKNY, ABC News has reached out to abortion rights groups to hear ways that the Minnesota parental notification law (which does not have an exception for medical emergencies) has caused "undue burden" and physically harmed girls. We are still waiting. I invite you to share evidence that proves me wrong. That is a legitimate request.

 8:41 pm EST For...

An image from the video game Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood

AP Photo/Ubisoft

3) I’m sorry if any "gamers" thought my spot about videogames unfair to the videogame industry; I agree that not just everything said by the National Institute on Media and the Family should be taken as gospel.

But this wasn’t a piece about the merits of videogames; it was a report about whether the videogame ratings system works, a question raised not only by David Walsh of the Institute, but Senator Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2000 and a respected member of the Senate.

You may be interested to know that after interviewing Doug Lowenstein of the Electronic Software Association, I implored him and his able press aide Dan Hewitt to let me know of positive stories we could do about their industry, since for me the generally important issue is that I think the industry is under-covered and it’s a perfect thing for TV news to cover more and more because of the exciting visuals.

One final private comment, to one of the many advocates who spoke at the "sticks" (the forest of microphones) on the Supreme Court steps after oral arguments today.

 8:41 pm EST For...

AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

It is rude to interrupt other advocates, even if you disagree with them. (Please note: the person speaking at the microphone in the above photo is not who I’m talking about; but this was the setting.)

These debates are passionate on both sides, you dishonor yourself, your organization, and your cause in not extending to others the civility they have shown to you. You know who you are.

OK — tired. Must. Leave. ABC. for. Home.



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