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Pronouncement of Bias at the Washington Post
January 26, 2005
by Carey Roberts

I doubt that many will be shocked by the revelation that political correctness has taken hold at the Washington Post.

Take the December 18 murder of pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett, whose baby was cut from her mother's still-warm uterus. When news of the gruesome homicide began to trickle out, the Washington Post newsroom was astir.

Why? Because the feminist catechism teaches that women are the eternal victims at the hands of those brutish men. But in this case, the alleged killer was a woman, Lisa Montgomery.

Normally, the solution would be simple: bury the story. That's exactly what the Washington Post did, relegating the account to page A18 on December 19.

But that didn't entirely solve the problem, because that very same day, the Post was set to launch a three-part series on Maternal Homicide. The series, by reporter Donna St. George, was based on the stories of mothers who had been murdered by their boyfriends or husbands.

But the strangling of Bobbie Jo Stinnett by a deranged woman threatened to sabotage the over-arching message of the WP series: that pregnant women need stronger laws to protect them from the male menace.

In order to reach this conclusion, reporter St. George had to work the numbers. First, St. George produced the shocking statistic that 295 pregnant or new mothers are killed each year in the United States. But when you peered through the blood-spattered accounts, the following facts soon came to light:

1. Slightly less than half of these deaths involved women who were actually pregnant. Most involved women who had given birth up to 12 months before, mutilating the obvious meaning of the word "maternal."

2. According to St. George, 70% of the women were killed by their intimates, and the remaining 30% died in car accidents and the like.

So crank the numbers, and that "epidemic" of 295 maternal deaths turns to be only about 100 pregnant women who were killed by their intimate partners. This is not to downplay the tragedy of those 100 women, but rather to put it in proper perspective. Each year, over four million women give birth in the United States. So we're talking about an infinitesimal risk here.

Interestingly, the series drew flack from critics representing the broad spectrum of political opinion: Slate editor Jack Slater, Fox columnist Wendy McElroy, domestic violence expert Richard Davis, Men's News Daily editor Mike LaSalle, radio talk show host Glenn Sacks, and Howard University professor Stephen Baskerville.

It may be tempting to dismiss the Maternal Homicide series as a journalistic aberration, a bad-hair day for Donna St. George and her editors. But it is not.

Research shows that women are just as likely to commit domestic violence as men. But the radical feminists would never let that fact get out. So the Post's coverage of this issue has long followed the "man = batterer, woman = victim" formula.

Still, the Post attempted to maintain at least the semblance of journalistic objectivity.

But five months ago, the Washington Post editors completely took leave of their senses. On August 24 last, the Post ran a piece that plumbed the depths of tabloid journalism.

Get ready for this nasty headline on page C1: "Man of Your Nightmares: When Good Husbands Go Bad." And if the casual reader didn't get the drift, the page C5 continuation was festooned with the smear, "What Darkness Lies in the Hearts of Men?"

One can only hope that no newspaper ever subjects female malcontents like Lisa Montgomery, who now awaits trial in a detention center in Leavenworth, Kansas, to such journalistic abuse.

So esteemed reader, we need to decide. Did the Post's Maternal Homicide series merely represent a well-intentioned but flawed presentation of a complex social issue?

Or published just a few weeks before the controversial Violence Against Women Act is set to be re-introduced in the U.S. Congress, does this series reveal a covert editorial intention to set the stage for this feminist-driven legislation?

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