Hyping Class, Ignoring Controversial Business
Loss of human life is a tragedy.
Media outlets rightly treated the recent
But correctly reporting the deaths of fourteen people as a tragedy doesn't mean the media necessarily did their job. If they feel compelled to note that victims were “ultrarich,” they should also note the business that made them that way. Particularly if it's as controversial as abortion.
As pointed out by Tom Blumer in a March 24 Newsbusters post, Associated Press reporters were compelled to report on the victim's socioeconomic status. The AP's Matthew Brown wrote on March 23, “Three California families headed to a retreat for the ultrarich were among the 14 victims of a plane crash in
Brown and Gouras wrote in a third article on March 23, “Dr. Irving “Bud” Feldkamp [father of two of the adult victims and grandfather to five of the children who perished] was at the entrance of the ultra-exclusive resort where he planned to spend the week skiing with his children and grandchildren when he got the call from his nephew.” They referred to the resort as a “millionaires-only resort” later in the same article.
So the family was wealthy. That doesn't make the story any more or less heartbreaking, as all loss of human life is a tragedy.
And yet, though the AP deemed it necessary to include facts about family's economic status, they failed to think it necessary to include that Feldkemp made the money for this exclusive vacation was paid for partly through abortion.
Feldkamp is listed as the president of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Inc., a health care organization that is
Brown and Gouras simply noted Feldkamp is “a dentist and president of Glen Helen Raceway in
Broadcast and cables networks offered even less information on Feldkamp than the print media did. Only NBC's Leanne Gregg noted his profession as a “prominent
Again, the loss of human life is a tragedy. But if the media is going to include inconsequential details about victims' socioeconomic status, they should also provide more background on how they reached that status.
Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the