Once widely hailed as the source for breaking news and accurate coverage, CNN has been losing out to competitors—particularly Fox News—for a number of years. In posts past I’ve touched on a few of the reasons, such as the blatant bias of “journalist” Christiane Amanpour and the bile-spewing Joy Behar. (I have yet to comment on “Parker Spitzer.” Have you seen it? Incredible.)
Piling on top of the left-leaning bias—which, to be fair, is CNN’s prerogative, as is Fox’s tilt to the right—is its less-than-accurate coverage of controversial topics. In the past, for example, they’ve trotted out entirely misleading statistics regarding the prevalence of American-sourced weaponry in Mexico—data which is refuted by the FBI, which handles the gun traces—in order to support an anti-gun stance. Today CNN posted the following headline “Court condemns Irish ban on abortion” above a story on a significant European Court of Human Rights ruling.
The European Court of Human Rights condemned Ireland’s laws on abortion Thursday, ruling the country violated the human rights of a woman forced to go abroad to end her pregnancy.
It did not, however, recommend a change to Irish law, which prohibits abortion in all cases.
Except Irish law does not prohibit abortion in all cases. It allows exceptions in situations in which the mother’s life is at risk. In addition, the issue raised by the court’s ruling was not that the woman had to leave Ireland to get an abortion, but that Irish law does not clearly define how exceptions are to be granted or provide medical guidelines for doctors and patients in such cases and, therefore, she was unable to obtain pertinent medical advice. The court did not “condemn” the Irish ban on abortion. On the contrary, it left the law intact (as it has done with complete abortion bans in the tiny nations of Andorra, Malta, and San Marino) but found it violated the Irish Supreme Court’s own 1992 ruling because it does not provide an “effective or accessible procedure” for women to obtain exceptions.
The remainder of the article blathers on about how terrible Ireland is for its repressive law and lack of respect for the “human right” to abortion. Its inflammatory language is chosen specifically to frame a negative opinion of the Irish law and to support abortion. Read the actual ruling and see for yourself how CNN’s coverage stacks up in terms of accuracy and fairness with the New York Times, BBC (and here), Associated Press.