This post is belated, partially because one thing led to another. At some point, I decided that although this could use a full-scale write-up, someone else will have to do it.
Yesterday’s comment that by Cleansing Fire that the piece on the front page Living section should have been on the editorial page prompted me to look it up. I agreed that it sounded more like opinion. It was one in a series of columns and both of the paper’s columnists were placed in the News section. That made sense since most of their columns were about human interest stories, such as profiles of local people. Two exceptions that sounded clearly like opinion pieces were the column about Randall Terry and a recent one about what Sotomayor “should” do.
Initially, I wanted to comment on how the column on Randall Terry was opinion starting with her lead sentence of describing Terry’s local tie as “scary.” The author’s use of words like antic, stunt, and trick are meant to depict Terry’s actions as not to be taken seriously. Furthering this theme are the words celebrity and phrases such as “seeking the limelight,” later in the piece “cashes in on the spotlights,” and in the middle, “any other accidental celebrity trying to eke out 17 minutes of the fame that earned him magazine spreads, talk show appearances and a voice on a national stage.”
After her attempt to discredit Terry, the local author then attempts to imply that Terry’s actions are counterproductive, beginning with her comment that (Terry) “alienated many in the pro-life movement.” “Disagree” would be a more accurate word than “alienate” for pro-lifers. Though some pro-lifers disagree with the way Terry does things, they understand where he’s coming from. The only people I’ve heard speak of alienation are people already in favor of abortion.
Continuing to attempt to persuade the reader are the phrases “tactics like his that cut off meaningful conversation about anything” and in closing, (actions) “only makes the rest of us deaf to his cause.”
Initially, my response was the impression that the author was deaf to the pro-life cause for reasons other than Randall Terry and that she was using him as a convenient punching bag.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the article mentioned in “”Terry, 50, talked about it in a Washington Post article published Wednesday.” The article (require registration that is free, but asks a lot of demographic questions) unfortunately had no context such as interview (unlikely) or overheard with no direct interaction with Randall Terry.
The article was accompanied by two other pieces: one was a timeline (ditto registration) titled “Decades Fighting Abortion” in which half the entries were irrelevant to his fighting abortion and included simply for their negative portrayal: unsuccessful run for Congress, divorce and reprimand, unsuccessful run for state senate; and a video titled “Judging the Nominee” with the sentence: “Outside the Sotomayor confirmation hearing, people take sides on the Supreme Court nominee’s qualifications and record.”
The only note of humor is that the WaPo article is also on the front page of a section – the Arts and Living Style section. Sandwiched in between the “Antiques Roadshow,” “dating for the over-50 set”, and the Contemporary American Theater Festival is this pair of hit pieces on Randall Terry, linked with the political note of Sotomayor’s nomination. It’s almost like the grade school magazine pictures captioned, “What doesn’t belong in this picture?” Not so funny is the character assassination.
It seems clear that the local columnist took her tone from the Washington Post article which also characterized Terry as “always had a theatrical bent,” “to try to reclaim the prominence he once enjoyed,” and “always had a flair for making himself the center of attention.” All of which imply that Terry’s only interest is that it’s all about him.
As it turns out, apparently even the articles that are ostensibly about him really aren’t. If they were really about him, they would have appeared in May during the ND scandal. Instead, they’re paired with pieces on Sotomayor’s hearings and at the same time as pi. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Addendum: It’s late and I didn’t add the last piece that NOW has seized the opportunity of the WaPo article to make ludicrous, unsubstantiated claims. The local column was just the tip of the iceberg in the abortion war, in discrediting those who stand in the way of the abortion agenda.
Postscript: It occurred to me while writing this that perhaps there would be women and/or men who have been directly affected by abortion and would like to share that with someone, but are not sure who. The regional Project Rachel number is 1-888-9Rachel aka 1-888-972-2435.