Knoxville News Sentinel needed to dig deeper
I was disappointed in the Knoxville News Sentinel (KNS) editorial about sex education in Knox County Schools.
I’m not a KNS basher. Some of my conservative friends say it’s a liberal rag. I laugh because I remember what the Charlotte Observer was like, when I lived there in the late 1980s. That paper was comical, sort of a cross between the Washington Post and the old Pravda. But in all my time in Knoxville, KNS has covered my newsworthy activities faithfully and without prejudice. They have accurately printed my letters and I hope they will keep doing so.
But I was disappointed at the misstatements of fact in this editorial, as well as the failure to recognize and address the key issues. Perhaps it’s too much to expect. After all, I struggle to be competent on just one or two subjects. I can’t imagine having to become an expert on a new topic every day.
The most obvious error was the statement that Planned Parenthood (PP) “offers abortion services in some locations across the country but not in Knoxville.” In 2009, the KNS itself reported that PP “will dispense RU486, the ‘abortion pill,’ to women up to nine weeks pregnant.” On their website, PP lists “abortion services” as being offered in Knoxville.
Further, it has been widely reported that PP has directed all of their local affiliates to operate abortion clinics by 2013. That explains why PP’s former office at Downtown West was no longer big enough and they recently moved to a larger space.
Their status as an abortion clinic is a critical fact, because it means that PP stands to make a lot of money by marketing themselves in our schools. This is an outrageous conflict of interest that completely escaped the notice of KNS reporters and editors.
The editorial went on to say that PP’s website “linked to material that was inappropriate for the classroom and could be seen by some parents as offensive.” That’s an astonishing understatement that could have been written only by a person unfamiliar with the PP material. It would be like saying that Pat Summitt “has won a few ball games and could be considered by some fans as an adequate coach.”
Evidence of PP’s criminal behavior all over the US, including their institutional willingness to cover up sexual abuse of minor children, was completely ignored. Nor was it mentioned that PP routinely arranges for judicial bypasses that allow minors to get abortions behind their parents’ backs. Were these deliberate omissions or just plain sloppiness? No rational person could think them unworthy of mention.
The tone of the editorial suggested that the issue at stake was whether or not teens needed to know about sex. I don’t recall anybody on our side of the issue ever suggesting teens should be ignorant on matters of sex. We do, however, oppose the approach to sex that tells 13-year-old children that they might be ready for sex if they “trust each other,” “care about each other,” and “have fun together.” We object to PP’s “anything-goes” approach to sex. And I do mean anything.
To my knowledge, no KNS editor ever spoke with any of the parents about this matter. I don’t know if they interviewed the other side or not. Maybe KNS just takes at face value whatever Dr. McIntyre tells them. Maybe an ad hoc collection of parents just can’t overcome years and years of taxpayer-funded PP propaganda. Maybe KNS is a liberal rag and I’m too naive to see it.
I don’t know, but I have to think KNS could have written a more insightful piece had they bothered to do a little independent research. Speaking with some of the pro-family leaders who raised this issue might have been helped.
KNS, I love you, man, but you really needed to dig deeper on this one.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 10:42 am and is filed under Pro Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.