Friday, July 18, 2008

The media and birth control access.

As noted earlier, McCain is rather blase about birth control access for women. Apparently it doesn't care to have to think about such dirty things, no, his minds full of beauty.

But this is such a serious and important issue, and the media...say it along with me...isn't bothering to cover it.

Where is the discussion of the real issue, which is that for over 20 years John McCain has voted against contraception every time it came up and—now he tells us!—he doesn't even care or know enough to explain why?

Women—and men—need to know where he stands on this issue so basic to health and human flourishing if they are going to make informed decisions in the polling booth. But so far the media has refused to present McCain's anti-contraception record as a big, coherent story that tells us a great deal about who he is and what policies he would pursue in the White House.

Maybe The New Yorker could do a cover about it. Then the media might find it interesting enough to discuss.

Maybe. But the only real coverage I found was from Jack Cafferty, where he didn't surprise me by showing that he and I really do part ways a good deal when not mocking our president.

Crooks and Liars: (with video)

In discussion of McCain’s painful fumbling over why health insurance covers Viagra but not birth control, The Situation Room panel of Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Stephen Hayes and Jack Cafferty debate the position between a rock and a hard place that McCain finds himself, eager to win over those feminist Clinton supporters but hesitant to speak out against that mainstay of the Republican platform: restricting women’s reproductive freedom.

Ignoring for the moment that CNN cannot bother to have a single pundit on for “balance” from the left against The Weekly Standard’s Hayes and US News’ Gloria Borger, it’s Jack Cafferty who issues the befuddling “answer” to McCain’s predictament:

CAFFERTY: Well, you know, the answer is Viagra is used to treat a medical condition, erectile dysfunction. Birth control is a lifestyle choice. And that’s why insurance companies don’t reimburse for it unless pregnancy represents a danger for the woman. And then there’s a gray area where you can do a negotiation.
Excuse me? I know that most men don’t have a huge well of knowledge on the workings of a woman’s body (any more than I completely understand all of your equipment), but I think that in absence of knowledge, it might be smarter to avoid definite declarations like that. Oral contraceptives are absolutely used to treat medical conditions:

Although they are most commonly prescribed to prevent pregnancy, birth control pills are also used to treat a variety of menstrual disorders including amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), dysmenorrhea (abnormally painful menstruation) and hypermenorrhea (abnormally Menstruation is the periodic shedding of the lining of the uterus, causing bloody vaginal discharge.heavy menstrual bleeding). They may also be prescribed to treat a number of other conditions, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hirsutism (abnormal hair growth) and endometriosis. In addition, birth control pills may be taken to regulate irregular menstrual cycles and to help in the transitional period prior to menopause.

In addition to preventing pregnancy and treating various medical conditions, birth control pills also offer women a number of significant health benefits, including a decreased risk of colorectal, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
And since when is the life of a woman to be considered a “gray area” for negotiation? But there’s no gray area about a man’s desire to get it up, nor any consideration to the consequences of what happens when he can? Jack, you disappoint me.

And at the end of the chat.

BLITZER: All right. Let’s have a — let’s have a laugh

Yeah, let us all have a good laugh, not like this affects anyone's life or anything. Our media.

And on the point at the top set aside. What is with the Situation Room using Berger (who is perpetually smirking at those who do not live by the conventional wisdom), the Weekly Standard (weekly damning those damn liberals), Cafferty (who I enjoy, but whose job has evolved into finding something to gripe about), and Blitzer (who seems to live in perpetual fear of offending). What is with that?

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