Maybe they think readers don’t read news stories all the way to the
last line. Maybe they want to cover for President Obama’s more glaring
errors. Or maybe they just believe what they write is true, in spite
But the media sometimes drop these lines into their stories that
seem to have been given little thought. Like the one at the end of the Time piece on Americans becoming more pro-life (see post below).
Obama got in trouble in his talk last August with Rick
Warren for saying that the question of when life begins was “above my
pay grade.” But just because he was glib doesn’t mean he was wrong.
Look at this more closely…
Let’s re-establish the setting and the question that led to that answer. It was the Saddleback Civil Forum.
WARREN: Now, let’s deal with abortion; 40 million
abortions since Roe v. Wade. As a pastor, I have to deal with this all
of the time, all of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a
very complex issue. Forty million abortions, at what point does a baby
get human rights, in your view?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it
from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering
that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.
First, Obama turned the question of when a baby gets human rights
into a question of when human life begins. Following from that (since
he took it there) the facts are available in any medical textbook and
undeniable even without a medical degree that human life begins at
conception (even a federal court ruled
that such a definition is not an ideological viewpoint but biological
fact). So if that’s the question you’re raising and addressing…..it’s
answerable, and easily.
Second, he dodged the question of when a baby gets rights. His record as senator shows that he denied babies who survived abortion attempts any rights
under law, so as to protect abortion practices. However, the pay grade
of the office he sought and won definitely covers the responsibility of
protecting and preserving human rights for all Americans. So it was an
awkward and spectacular dodge.
But for some reason, Nancy Gibbs and Time saw fit to throw a line in
this story that tries to cover perhaps the most startling slip of
Obama’s golden tongue. “But just because he was glib doesn’t mean he
What part of his stumbling response can be defended as right?