Got news? The space between

On Tueday, March 24, leaders in the American anti-abortion movement met with Joshua Dubois, Executive Director of the White House Faith-Based Office to discuss two of that office's goals.

You'd think that this would be news, wouldn't you? After all, the Faith-Based Office is staffed by a 26-year old former pastor with the mission of strenghtening ties between the White House and faith communities in arenas that include abortion reduction and encouraging responsible parenthood.

Well, it is news--everywhere (apparently) but in the mainstream press. Initiated by anti-abortion leaders, the projected White House conversation was noted on the Christian Post website.

Here's part of what CNS (Cybercast News Service) had to say about the meeting before it occured:

"We hope to start a dialogue with the White House faith-based office," CWA President Wendy Wright told "The faith-based office has been reformulated to now have a new mandate, which included reducing the number of abortions and focusing on fatherhood."

On Feb. 5, when Obama unveiled his faith-based office -- an office started during the Bush administration -- the new president said the priorities would be to "support women and children, address teenage pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion," among other priorities addressing poverty.

On the "Brody Blog" David Brody of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) has a partial transcription of an interview he did with Wright after the meeting, which she termed an "honest" one. Last night MSNBC's liberal muckraker Rachel Maddow commented on the meeting in her inimitable Maddow style (see video above). Heck, even the lion of the left, Mother Jones, had something to say.

Kudos to the NPR show "Tell Me More, by the way, for doing a really good interview with Wendy Wright and Religion News Service's Kevin Eckstrom on this topic today.

To strike a note heard before on GetReligion-what makes a story "conservative news?" What makes it "liberal news?" And why, if it seems worthwhile for media from both "wings" to report on an unfolding story, isn't it being covered by beat journalists with an ear for the political and religious implications?

I'm reminded of a recent column by the New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof. In the "The Daily Me" Kristof talks about our increasing tendency, with the disappearance of many mainstream media outlets and the ascent of blogs and other sources, to seek out news that reinforces how we think about the world already. But what other option does one have when the MSM don't cover a story that many of the partisan and denominational outlets consider to be real news?

Whatever you think of their opinions, this time, the reporters on either side of the conservative-liberal divide made the right choice--and, by and large, the mainstream media missed out. Readers will just have to fill in the quotes, the context and the information that form the "space betweeen."

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