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A textbook case in media bias

by | Nov 1, 2016

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

Claire Lampen is a highly educated, multi-lingual reporter for Mic, an edgy, jangly web-based news outlet that purports to appeal to millennials.

According to her LinkedIn profile Ms. Lampen is proficient in German, French, Russian, and English. She earned the Ernest P. Muller prize for her year-long honors thesis “Hitler’s Children: Education as Indoctrination under the Third Reich.”

You’d think with her stellar academic background, Ms. Lampen would be a credible journalist. Instead Claire Lampen is a sorry example of what is wrong with the institutional news media today. She disdains facts and shows reckless disregard for the truth.

In the interest of full disclosure, my undergraduate degree is in journalism. I was a reporter for 20 years mostly with The State, a major metropolitan newspaper in South Carolina.

Now I make a point of helping reporters get all the accurate information they need from the South Carolina Citizens for Life office. I require reporters to submit their questions in writing by e-mail and I answer in writing. Why? That way there is no question about what was asked and what was answered. I also can attach relevant articles and other accurate and academically credible information.

So recently when Ms. Lampen contacted my office for my comments on the revisions the South Carolina Abortion Clinic Regulations are undergoing, I was happy to help. After all, South Carolina Citizens for Life was instrumental in getting the abortion clinic regulations passed in 1996. The regulations survived a court challenge by the abortion industry.

As I explained to Ms. Lampen (along with providing documentation), the impetus for the original regulations occurred in 1992 when two abortion clinic employees sought help from the news media. The women reported that the abortionist they worked for was grinding up the bodies of well-developed aborted babies in a common sink disposal.

Initially the women contacted the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, but their complaint fell on deaf ears. They were told nothing could be done because the “clinic” was not under DHEC regulatory authority.

These two women next contacted the ABC affiliate in Charleston, S.C., where investigative reporter Dan Ashley ran a three-part series [sclife.org ] on what the women saw in the “clinic” of South Carolina’s most infamous abortionist, Jesse Floyd. (Floyd died in an automobile accident in 1995.)

Ms. Lampen is perfectly free to freely editorialize, to characterize the updated regulations in as disparaging a manner as she chooses.

However you’d think Ms. Lampen would be at least as interested in the gruesome, disgusting conditions found in an unregulated abortion facility–to repeat, the reason for the original regulations.

But she was not. Here is how she began her article:

South Carolina is maybe, possibly, ever so slightly and ever so sneakily trying to tack further abortion restrictions onto its already restrictive abortion laws.

Her article goes downhill from there. If you want to waste your time, you can read the rest here.

I emailed Ms. Lampen to question why she had not used any of the background material I provided. Here is what I would characterize as a snide–and defensive–reply:

“As to the information about babies being ground up in sinks, I did not publish it and will not publish it because it’s in no way relevant to the matter at hand, which is the revision of the state’s regulation to further curtail a woman’s right to choose.”

Really, Claire Lampen. REALLY? You should be ashamed. You failed not only your readers but also Mic’s claim that it “documents, investigates and tells dynamic stories at the intersection of identity and experience. We are leaders in reporting and writing on race, class, gender and sexuality, with a critical focus on how these categories impact our lives as millennials.”

If I were your editor, you’d be relegated to the bridal desk. After all, you could compose bridal news in four languages.

You have the education and ability to be a credible millennial journalist, Ms. Lampen, but you need to take lessons from old-fashioned Baby Boomers such as myself and Dan Ashley.

Intelligent truth seekers want fact-based, truthful investigative reporting . And they are not getting it from Mic.

Categories: Media Bias