General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Why hasn't the media felt the need to provide false balance on the Akin statement like it does with other counter-factual scientific claims?

Asked by gorillapaws (20658points) August 21st, 2012

Why hasn’t the media found some fringe scientist to back up Akin’s statement, give them equal time and present their false arguments with the same degree of plausibility as scientists who know what they’re talking about?

They create false controversy and false balance with other issues that don’t have legitimate scientific controversy such as evolution and global warming all the time. Is this one of those examples of the media having a “liberal bias” like I so often hear conservatives claim? Surely there must be some nut jobs who think if women get pregnant from a rape then it wasn’t really a rape. Why aren’t we hearing from conservative think tanks who are trying to distort the facts?

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31 Answers

amujinx's avatar

It’s probably difficult to find a scientist or doctor who is willing to jeopardize their entire career and life’s work to support something as idiotic as Akin’s statement.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Both NYT and NPR have called the statement “controversial” and not “factually incorrect”. The Atlantic has an article on the various conservatives, including the doctor who was president of the National Right to Life Committee, who have stated the same thing.

zenvelo's avatar

You speak of “the media” and “they” as one entity, that moves with a single minded direction. But in fact the various news outlets are independent.

I am sure there have been some off beat anti-choise news sources that have made supporting claims, but since they can’t defend it with any authority, it gets the same coverage as alien abductions.

JLeslie's avatar

I think most conservatives hope the story will just die. The more they talk about it, the more it will be talked about. This not only has to do with the right to life issue, but also with treating raped women as liars. I think most of America, even if the person is very religious and treats women like crap, most would reject using a pregnancy as proof a woman was not raped, and that is what the statments by Akins implies.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Because even conservatives aren’t that fucking nuts.

wilma's avatar

Because all “conservatives” are not of one mind, any more that all “liberals” are.
I don’t know anyone who supports Akin’s statement, and I know a lot of conservatives.

marinelife's avatar

With the withering scorn the remarks are getting, it is probably too hard to find someone to take up the opposing viewpoint.

wundayatta's avatar

In any case, Akin is not defending the remarks. He’s saying he made some kind of slip of the tongue. So there’s no need to defend the remarks.

Thammuz's avatar

Let’s put it this way: even conservative women don’t like the idea of being raped.

wundayatta's avatar

@Thammuz No, but if they were raped and got pregnant, and didn’t believe in abortion, would they keep the child, seeing as how it wasn’t the child’s fault what the father did? Since the father did it to the mother is just the mother’s bad luck, I guess. But she would believe she should carry the child to term, if she really believed in the sanctity of life starting at conception or something. Her desires wouldn’t figure in the equation, I guess.

So whether she dislikes rape is immaterial. What matters is life, and the fact that they believe a fetus has more rights than the mother. In other words, women are just baby factories—waiting for the first bit of sperm to get in there and take root in an egg. Doesn’t matter what the woman wants. If she is forced to be pregnant, tough. That’s her job in life.

I guess there are people who believe this. It seems pretty pathetic to me. Scary. Very much like women aren’t really humans with full rights.

gailcalled's avatar

This article was mentioned in the NYT article yesterday. Here is a short, clear and comprehensive piece in the article that mentions the other perpetrators (some of them MD’s) of this unspeakable theory.

bolwerk's avatar

The corporate media’s job is to parrot the Republikan Party line. Since the partly line is currently that Akin was incorrect, even if they probably secretly agree with his sentiments (which should be the crux of the matter), there is no need to balance it with an opposing viewpoint. The Democrats probably aren’t going to agree with Akin either – at least not unless there is some political expediency in doing do.

Thammuz's avatar

@wundayatta Mine was a reply to this: Surely there must be some nut jobs who think if women get pregnant from a rape then it wasn’t really a rape.

It’s obvious you can lack any sort of common sense and decide to give a rapist’s genes chance to proliferate. From that to saying that if you get pregnant is not really rape, is a huge fucking jump. I doubt anyone would be able to put out a statement like that and go home with his balls.

KNOWITALL's avatar

As a liberal Republican, I’m going to risk the ire of the column to tell you what people are really saying in my area.

Apparently there is some scientific evidence (AMA) supporting the fact that due to stress and the bodies reactions to stress, some women can likely ‘shut down’ during rape thus preventing a pregnancy. It happens in the animal world also. That is what he was trying to say although he didn’t quite phrase it correctly.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: I’ve actually read the opposite. Rape is possibly more likely to cause a conception. If he was trying to say that, he was probably lying. Though I don’t think he was actually thinking about what he was saying.

KNOWITALL's avatar

There’s another ‘question’ that lists all the people and articles, etc…that have listed the same thing. This is what the Pro-Life conservatives are saying.

I have a family member who was raped and became pregnant and knowing the circumstances I’d say I’m not unbiased on this particular issue.

It was a stupid thing to say but many of our politicians do the same thing, how can we punish him for his faux pas. Bill Clinton looked into the camera and said he did not have inappropriate sex with Monica which was a total lie. They all lie about everything. The only one I halfway believe is Ron Paul and that’s based on him saying he wouldn’t take a salary over the average American worker, which I respected.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Bill Clinton’s lie does not harm millions of women. Plus, I still say Clinton technically didn’t lie. If my son came home and said, “I just had sex with Monica.” I would not be thinking blow job, I would be hoping they used birth control. But, that is a different topic anyway. I don’t think Clinton’s sexual affairs was any of the publics business, but that’s me. The politicians talking about rape will help make policy, law, it really really matters, it is not something that only concerns their own private life.

I would just say to any idiot who brings up the unlikeliness of a woman becoming pregnant when raped, if their wife or daughter was raped (God forbid) would they really have no worry about a possible pregnancy. This just furthers the idea that right wingers don’t care at all about science, they look stupid. I don’t mean all Repiblicans, I am talking about the extreme, religious, Christian right part of the party.

This was not a Faux pas, he believes it, just like the people you are talking about who live around you.

I appreciate your input, I really do. We have very few jellies with the inside track on the Evangelical thinking. You and Nullo are probably the two who are willing to debate it. I like that.

wundayatta's avatar

@KNOWITALL They read that stuff and believe it, but it isn’t science. It gets passed off as science since everyone is saying it within those circles. I just read something about that today in or something. There is one doctor who said something like what your friends are saying, and he’s wrong and misinterpreting the data. But these things get out there and everyone starts repeating them and next thing you know people believe it.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think this is relevant and pretty good.

gailcalled's avatar

The satirists are now moving in and suggesting that rape is a wonderful and free form of birth control that women should embrace.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@KNOWITALL Rape is actually twice as likely to cause pregnancy as consensual sex and almost three times more likely when accounting for birth control methods; some theorize it’s because acute stress (like being raped) may cause ovulation in women. While some female animals do have post-copulatory sexual selection, humans are not one of those animals.

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham Thanks for the link. Pretty scary. I can’t believe how much conservatives like to complain. Looks like they were all talking from the same script, too. Akin is just wrong and can’t redeem himself, so he needs to resign. No discussion of the issues, of course. No attempt to figure out where he is coming from. Just the same rush to condemn like they always do. Politics by condemnation. I’m surprised we don’t have conservatives committing mass hari kiri. Unless, maybe, they are just saying the expedient thing and don’t really believe what they’re saying.

bkcunningham's avatar

I knew you’d like it and take something away from it, @wundayatta. Thanks for watching. ~

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham lol! Yeah, you probably could have seen that one coming from a mile away.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Either way, true or not, Akin is probably done. ttyl

andreaxjean's avatar

No one is on that guy’s side anymore. This article should be published in the NY Times. LOL Whoever wrote it obviously not Todd Akin was really angry.

Thammuz's avatar

Woah. That guy was running for senate?

Holy shit, guys you dodged a bullet on that one!

/uninformed foreigner

JLeslie's avatar

@Thammuz Well, he has been part of the US congress the last ten years. He was assigned to the committee on science, space, and technology. Should he really be near anything to do with science? Before that he held offices locally in his state. The question is did we dodge all the bullets? How many other idiots in the senate or the house believe the same thing, just haven’t said it out loud to a camera? I would say most of us liberals had no idea some Christians believed this about pregnancy and rape, but it is written on websites and seems to be something talked about in parts of the Christian communities.

Thammuz's avatar

@JLeslie =.=

No. Fucking. Comment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Thammuz I’m not sure what that means. I assume you are just shaking your head in disbelief. My answer was also for other jellies to read who seem to think the conversation dies with Akin getting out of the race. I think it is ridiculous we have to deal with this shit in modern day America.

Thammuz's avatar

@JLeslie I’m shaking my head, yeah. Sorry but i was literally speechless, and anyone who knows me, knows that doesn’t happen often.

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