Do Liberal Editors Read Their Papers?

Circulation for the New York Times is way down. Some people are seriously speculating that the days of America's great newspapers are over. They may be replaced by Kindle, or iPad, or some other newer technology.

This is not a new problem. The bygone great age of newspapers has been fading from memory as they become more distanced from the real life of our people. Recall these lines from a tender Simon & Garfunkle song of the 1960s. This poignant story of a mother's anguish and her son's lethal leap might not have been considered part of "all the news that's fit to print" by the editors of the great Gray Lady, the Times.

"Good God! Don't jump!"
A boy sat on the ledge.
An old man who had fainted was revived.
And everyone agreed it would be a miracle indeed
If the boy survived.

"Save the life of my child!"
Cried the desperate mother.

The woman from the supermarket
Ran to call the cops.
"He must be high on something," someone said.
Though it never made The New York Times.
In The Daily News, the caption read,
"Save the life of my child!"
Cried the desperate mother.

In recent Philadelphia Inquirer comes a horrific story of a dirty, dangerous, and deadly abortion center. The abortionist, Kermit Baron Gosnell, has been killing unborn children for almost forty years. The long trail of women killed and disastrous abortion practices he approved makes for depressing -- but necessary -- reading.

Notice how the "Karmen cannula" described in this story -- a flexible plastic tube inserted in women to cause them to abort -- had been hailed by abortion practitioners and even featured on a New York City PBS station. Next to the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, PBS is the ultimate expression of liberal good intentions. Only when horrifying complications came to light was the use of this "miracle device" banned.

Would the abortion center described in this story have been disqualified for financial support under ObamaCare? We don't know. The president is proposing $11 billion for "community health centers." Our concern is that these will refer for abortions. President Obama has done nothing to allay our concerns.

Why was this foul Philadelphia facility allowed to operate at all for so many years with an abortionist in charge whose record was so horrible? Before his abortion center was shut down, Gosnell had been pushing devices and practices for years that led to "punctured uterus, hemorrhage, infections, and retained fetal remains."

Contrast this with a beautiful story this week from the New York Times by Benedict Carey: "Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much." This article describes touching as "the first language we learn." The piece reviews the work of Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner. The touch of the human hand remains "our richest means of emotional expression" throughout life.

The article outlines how important touch is. In professional basketball, for instance, researchers studied the "touchiest" players -- Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, and Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz. They could be found to reach out and touch their teammates with a supportive gesture. The researchers have not necessarily equated touch with high scores, but they have shown how it brings teammates together. "In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as 'I'll share the load.'"

Dr. Christopher Oveis of Harvard interviewed 69 couples. Results are not yet complete, but Dr. Oveis says "it looks so far like the couples who touch more are reporting more satisfaction in the relationship."

Reach out and touch someone, we used to hear in ads for the phone company. It appears there's more to it than we thought. Scripture tells us that Jesus' touch could raise the dead, restore hearing to the deaf, and return sight to the blind.

Compare all this with the Philadelphia Inquirer story. What are the young women who have been driven to such a place and such dire straits learning about human touch? For many of them, that visit will mark not only the death of their unborn child, but the death of the relationship that engendered the child.

When Mother Teresa taught her young nuns to care for the poor, she encouraged them to put their healing hands on the oozing sores, to touch the ghastly open wounds of the sick and dying of Calcutta. To many in India, such people were literally untouchables. It was at first hard for the sisters to do so. But the Saint of the Gutters said you must understand that it is Jesus whose wounds you are tending, whose love you are sharing with these wretched of the earth.

I hope the editors of the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer will actually read their own papers and seriously reflect on their meaning before they editorialize in such antiseptic terms about abstractions like "a woman's freedom to choose." Would they choose to have their own loved ones touched by hands that kill or by the ones that share the load?
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