I have attended many protest rallies in my life and read accounts of many more: the Vietnam War, civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights. I never saw coverage of any such event that resembled the PG article about the Pittsburgh contingent to the anti-abortion rally in Washington on Jan. 22 (“Anti-Abortion Rally in D.C. Today Faces Bad Weather”).
Reporters did not ask us about what snack foods we were taking along. They didn’t appear to be concerned about our bus plans, the weather, our personal comfort or the schoolchildren we might be taking along with us (unless it was to find fault with us for taking kids to such events). What the reporters invariably did do was devote plenty of space to the views of people who found our protests repellent and who staged counterprotests. Sometimes, in the name of “balanced journalism,” our opponents got more ink than we did.
Well, there are plenty of people who find the anti-abortion forces repellent. We also look with skepticism and distaste upon the activities of the Catholic Church and other churches that regularly violate their tax-exempt status to engage in hard lobbying on issues of reproductive rights. Not a word of any of that in the PG article, which made the whole thing sound like an old-fashioned ice cream social. No, wait, hold the ice cream; the protesters were worried about the cold weather.