I went onto Yahoo today to do some work on a group page I run, but I wound up entering through the main Yahoo portal instead of My Yahoo. This was one of the stories at the top of the page:
I thought, “Graphic? Wow. Must be about p*rnographic for Yahoo not to show it.” (Though a little more thought on that made me wonder just how bad it must be, considering the trash you see online.)
I clicked though out of morbid curiosity and discovered that the billboard was not graphic at all, but a statement about abortion. Apparently, despite his ex-girlfriend’s insistence that she miscarried, he believes she had an abortion; in response, he paid for a billboard that expresses his dissatisfaction with such a decision. (Remember that no matter how much a man might want his child to live, a woman has every legal – though no moral – right to kill that child via abortion.)
However, I had to do some extra clicking around just to get the above image, for the image the AP used was this one:
Aside from the fact that they made it a photographic negative, do you notice that they blocked out that word there? In fact, I’m certain their decision to make this a negative image was to make it easier to black out the word “KILL.” (Frankly, I am pretty sure I could do it myself on the white background, and I’m not even any kind of expert at altering photos.)
What, exactly, are they afraid of? That people might make a connection between abortion and killing? That they might be made to think deeply about the subject and come to the conclusion that abortion is killing?
If you leave your mouse still over the picture, this is the result:
And what of the idea that the purpose of the AP – and all media, for that matter – is to present facts and allow people to draw their own conclusions? That is its stated mission, you know (emphasis added):
The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.
Headquartered in New York, the AP’s mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability, and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed. About 3,700 employees – two-thirds of them newsgatherers – work in more than 300 locations worldwide.
How does altering a photograph this much qualify as providing unbiased news?
So, AP, what’s up with that?