Anti-choice journalism at its best

What better way to gain support for your cause than make shit up?
The Times Online has literally one of the worst reported, anti-choice pieces of nonsense I’ve seen in a while.

Amnesty International risks alienating some of its high-profile rock star backers in the row over its decision to support women’s access to abortion.
The group has been accused of “duping� the singers Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne [by the organization Rock for Life], who have both made statements against abortion and are among contributors to an Amnesty CD released to raise money for survivors of the atrocities in Darfur.

And what are these “statements” against abortion that Aguilera and Lavigne made?

But Aguilera, 26, is a devout American Catholic. She is reportedly expecting her first child and has taken part in a television show in which she interviewed a teenager who had kept her baby rather than have an abortion.
Lavigne, 22, is a French-Canadian from a tight-knit Christian family. Her song Keep Holding On is the backing track to a pro-life video on YouTube that declares “abortion is murder�.

So because Lavigne’s song is used in some random YouTube video, an anti-choice organization can say she’s “pro-life?” Same with Aguilera interviewing a teenage mom? Kudos on the reporting. Seriously.
Note: I have no idea what the musicians’ personal views on choice are, but it’s ridiculously clear that these reporters, and Rock for Life, are reaching in order to push their anti-choice crap.
UPDATE: Keen commenter Megan points out that Aguilera was actually involved in the March for Womens’ Lives. So…yeah.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The Rock for Life folks say they never claimed the rocksters were pro-life; the journalists did. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Shitty journalism.

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20 Comments

  1. Shadowen
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ugh.
    So these people think that every video on YouTube using a particular song has the blessing of the song’s writer/performer? I guess that means that Motorhead are diehard Bush supporters, what with their song “King Of Kings” backing the video of George Bush photo-ops.
    (Note: I don’t know either way what Motorhead’s politics are. But wouldn’t that song, set to Bush’s screwups, be awesomely ironical?)

  2. Shadowen
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    (Also, there is no such video. It would just be a hypothetical.)

  3. Posted August 27, 2007 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t know for sure and I wouldn’t project the singers’ opinions, but yes, what fantastic journalistic integrity. As far as I know, Aguilera is incredibly feminist-y. She’s made a lot of statements to that effect.
    And what the fuck? Like, because she’s expecting a child, she must be “pro-life”?

  4. Jessica
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Well naturally–people who are pro-choice don’t like babies, silly.

  5. UltraMagnus
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    And what the fuck? Like, because she’s expecting a child, she must be “pro-life”?
    Of course, lilaeden, because we all know that women who are pro-choice just can’t WAIT to have an abortion so every single time they’re knocked up with a brat they’s gots ta get the scrapin’! [/sarcasm]
    It’s ridicoulouse, about as stupid as them saying because Chrisina Aguilera is Catholic (American none the less, the BEST kind of Catholic) that she HAS to be pro-life. Despite the fact that she probably engaged in teh premarital sex and admitted openly that when she was on the Stripped tour (and something else with Justin Timberlake) she was on birth control, which, all American Catholics support. That doesn’t go against anything Catholic at all…right?;) That couldn’t possible poke a whole in their argument. Not at all. Not one little bit. Nuh-uh.

  6. Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t Christina Aguilera go to the March for Women’s Lives?
    *checks*
    Yep. She was in the celebrity coalition. Looks like she’s a pregnant Catholic for choice. Can’t have that, so let’s make shit up about her!

  7. plenilune
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    This article should be used in journalism school as an example of bad journalism.
    BTW, I went to Rock for Life’s website. They have Christina Aguilera on their pro-abortion list for going to the March for Women’s Lives. And if you check out their pro-abortion list, you’ll note that they call it The March for “Women’s Lives.”
    They don’t appear to believe women have a right to decide what’s best for themselves in their own lives, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Rock for Life ignores the fact that these supposedly duped female musicians are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves on both their own and AI’s position on abortion.

  8. Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I read this article, too, and thought that it was pretty fucking fishy. What a load of crap.

  9. Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    An aide to Lavigne said: “I don’t think she would want to comment on this. But what has abortion to do with Amnesty? It’s for a lot of different things such as prisoners of conscience and human rights.�

    So we have an unnamed “aide” to Avril Lavigne saying “she has no comment” and then giving his/her own opinion on the matter, which is implied to be the performer’s.
    If that’s not integrity all around, I don’t know what is.

  10. Jen
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Ha! That is so funny. I don’t know about Avril Lavigne, but the show they mention about Christina Aguilera was an MTV special about how fucked up the Bush administration’s abstinence-only programs are. And the woman she interviewed used to work at NARAL in Pennsylvania.
    Here’s info on the show (if I remember correctly it was pretty good), and Feminists for Life bitching about being left out.

  11. SarahMC
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    :rolls eyes:
    Lifers are so terminally pathetic.
    They put scare quotes around Women’s Lives because they don’t acknowledge the fact that women have lives.

  12. johanna
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    In addition to all the douche-baggery pointed out above, Rock for Life does its best work in peddaling half-truths and making women out as simple-minded little girls who are easily “duped” into any number of things. They are one of the most fundamentalist and creepy anti-choice groups out there, and I really don’t understand why anyone from the media would find them a reliable source for anything.

  13. LindsayPW
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    God dammnit I hate Eric Whittington that stupid Rock for Life son of a bitch.

  14. HeatherNumber1
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Rock For Life’s page on Pro-Abort (snort)/Pro-Life bands reads like a Who’s Who/Who?? of the music world.

  15. Posted August 27, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Out of the four pro-life bands I’ve heard of on that list, all of them suck.
    And as someone who has a great amount of respect for alphabetical order, I am offended by all of the “The” bands being under “T” and solo acts are listed alphabetically by their first, not last, names. Disgusting.

  16. anorak
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Something about this line cracks me up (found under Proabortion bands on that shitty site)
    “Le Tigre – often seen giving Gloria Steinem the mic”.
    Yo, Steinem, rock it one time!

  17. xxhelenaxx
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    From the site, under “know contraception.”
    “What birth control has done for our society is turn little babies into disposable objects. Pregnancy is no longer seen as a blessing, but a curse. Parents of large families are looked down upon instead of held in high esteem. We now place more value on getting big salaries, driving nice cars, and living in huge homes. Young married couples want to wait years before starting families because they have learned from our society that children will take away their freedom. So if a child is conceived at the wrong time or is unplanned, abortion becomes a likely option for the couple who cannot see that children are a great blessing.” [...]
    “What we need to remember is this: The only plans we should be making, are plans to live out God’s will – not ours. [...]
    Birth control is not the solution – it’s part of the problem. ”
    —————-
    Yes….yes, because, if you don’t want children, you must be greedy. Children don’t care about financial stability, or their parent being able to offer them emotional/material/socioeconomic resources! They’d be just as happy in a nice neighborhood as barefoot, filthy, and starving in a trailer or a ghetto…potentially with parents who aren’t f*cking fit to raise a cat, let alone a child (how shocking, it’s usually those assholes that eschew birth control!)
    If you use birth control, you must hate children. Families like the Duggars–those fucking lunatics with seventeen kids–are completely rational raising 17 children on a middle-class salary (and at their church/community’s expense). There is no such thing as overpopulation. There is no rational reason for wanting to postpone or NOT have children.
    Someone needs to teach these people that survival (or the existence of life) and human dignity (i.e., the experience of being a PLANNED child born to parents who wanted it, who actually considered what they could offer their child) are very, very f*cking different.
    Somehow these people can’t make the connection btw. countries where women and girls are seen as nothing but slots for dicks/baby machines and inability to rise from staggering poverty.
    Fucking disgusting. I say this as a truly repulsed/fallen Catholic: if there’s a hell, sometimes I wish I could send those people there (or, as the Church has it that I’M the one doomed to burn…take them with me).

  18. UltraMagnus
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    They’d be just as happy in a nice neighborhood as barefoot, filthy, and starving in a trailer or a ghetto…potentially with parents who aren’t f*cking fit to raise a cat, let alone a child
    tsk tsk xxhelena, what they mean by “couples” who want to have careers and are selfish is “women” and the “men” who don’t keep them in the kitchen. When you have that kind of family, then there isn’t poverty because the menz are out playing master of the universe while the women are at home with the kiddies as God intended. ;)

  19. Mina
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    “Somehow these people can’t make the connection btw. countries where women and girls are seen as nothing but slots for dicks/baby machines and inability to rise from staggering poverty.”
    Either that or they *can* make the connection and they think it’s somehow less atheist/bourgeois/colonialist/feminist/Godless/heathen/imperialist/infidel/intellectual/Jewish/secular/sellout/uppity/Western to wallow in squalor than to keep 100% of one’s children alive and well…

  20. max123
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Avril was part of a STOP HARPER campaign in 2004
    One thing we do know is that Avril Lavigne signed on to the “Stop Harper” campaign, which seeks to keep Canada Canadian and distinct from George W. Bush’s politics.(3) The statement she signs pits more moderate reactionaries against more extreme ones and in so doing she opposes Canadian involvement in the Iraq war, building the military, taking away abortion rights and reinitiating the death penalty.
    part of that campaign was Womans right to choose .
    so i guess Avril isn`t Anti-abortion and isn`t being represented Erik Whittington and the Rock for Life collaboration
    source:
    Voter Education Campaigns – Election 2004 – CANADA
    Election 2004 – CANADA – Issues index page
    Who Speaks For Women? Choice is a Woman’s Right! — NAC Media Release dd June 8, 2004

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