The James Wilson Foundation on Natural Rights and the American Founding

“The Unaccountable Silences of Bret Baier” –Professor Hadley Arkes in First Things

In an essay for First Things titled “The Unaccountable Silences of Bret Baier”, Professor Hadley Arkes criticizes the media for its silence on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  After sketching the history of Born-Alive legislation in the United States, Professor Arkes skewers the media establishment for allowing the bills’ opponents to evade responsibility.   With an eye toward 2020, Professor Arkes challenges Fox News anchor Bret Baier—himself a consummate professional—to live up to the sterling reputation he has earned as a tough but fair journalist.

Some excerpts from the piece:

“When we put the pieces together, we have a conclusion so startling that it strikes us in the face: In the understanding now settling in the Democratic party, that ‘right to abortion’ is not confined to a pregnancy. Rather, that right now extends beyond the pregnancy and entails nothing less than a right to kill a child born alive. That is an understanding that would come as a shock to  most people in the country, and it should administer a jolt to all Democrats participating in the confirmation hearings for new judges: For if Professor Obama is correct, that Roe v. Wade entails this new freedom to kill the child born alive, that claim would come as a jarring surprise to the public, and Roe could hardly be the ‘super precedent,’ as Diane Feinstein calls it.”

“As 2020 approaches, we find ourselves in another season of interviews and debates with presidential candidates. And Bret Baier is taking the lead at Fox News, holding town halls and interviews with candidates as liberal-left as Bernie Sanders. Baier will run true to form in raising the question of abortion, but it is almost predictable that he will stop yet again and refrain from crossing the line that will shock: He will ask only about abortions performed up to the very edge of pregnancy—the state of affairs that has been in place since Roe v. Wade in 1973.”

“Whether witting or not, Bret Baier has allowed himself to become complicit in an illusion, or a convention of silence sustained by the media: an unwillingness to break out to the public those simple, but jarring facts, that show that the Democrats are now firming up in support of a position that would surely shock most people in this country.”

Read the whole article here.

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Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790