Beware your news sources

The Twitter community in Portugal was having a great laugh last night when a tweet came round alerting readers to the following headline:

PORTUGAL RE-ELECTS PRO-ABORTION AND PRO-GAY ‘MARRIAGE’ PRESIDENT

Labeling President Cavaco Silva “pro-abortion and pro-gay” is analogous to labeling George W. Bush the same way. He’s a member of one of the right-wing parties and has behaved accordingly. But if you read LifeSiteNews, you’d think he’s as far left as one can get:

Legislation approved by Silva in 2007 allows abortion on demand up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Last year, Silva garnered criticism from the country’s powerful Catholic bishops when he approved a law that created same-sex “marriage.”

There are two problems with that paragraph (one for each sentence!). First, the 2007 law allowing first-trimester abortion was a referendum — a nationwide vote of the people. This is not at all the same thing as a legislative bill passed by Parliament and approved by the President.

Second, Cavaco Silva only signed off on the equal marriage rights bill after first sending it to the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality. Most saw that as a political tactic, with the President hoping that the Court would strike the law and take the issue out of his hands. Once the Court overwhelmingly approved the bill (with several judges stating that the Portuguese Constitution had no room in it for sexuality-based discrimination), Cavaco Silva had two choices: sign it and maintain some illusion of control over the process, or veto it and have his veto promptly overridden by Parliament (which had the votes in hand).

But these are annoying little facts, which shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of messaging. Just another reminder that not all news sources are actually about news. And of course, any news source that puts scare quotes around “marriage” when referring to equal marriage rights is instantly betraying its bias.

Enough of this — I’m off to catch up on the news from Egypt, which did a 180º turn since I last checked just a few hours ago!

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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3 Responses to Beware your news sources

  1. Kugai says:

    Nothing like putting ‘Spin’ on things.

    I think Politicians have been doing that since year dot.

  2. Kugai says:

    True, but only by a hairs breath the way some of those spin quacks work.

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