There is a circle of GetReligion readers who have, from time to time, been known to lose it at the sight of a URL pointing toward material from LifeNews.com, an advocacy journalism site that focuses, as the name implies, on issues linked to abortion, euthanasia, etc.
As I just stated, LifeNews.com is an advocacy site that, basically, covers one side of hot-button stories on these topics. If you are looking for fair coverage of liberal views on this topic, this is not the site for you.
However, if you are looking for clues and information about stories that are not receiving coverage in the mainstream press, this is a place to find tips about documents, events and sources that could lead to balanced mainstream coverage. In other words, LifeNews.com has the same approach to journalism as, let's say, Rolling Stone or, on moral and religious issues, the Kellerism-era New York Times. You go there to read about one side of an argument.
Some culturally liberal readers believe, in a strange echo of conservatives who write off the Times, that this means that all events or information reported at LifeNews.com should be ignored. I don't believe that about the Times and I don't believe that about the much smaller and less important LifeNews.com. I take what I see in advocacy publications with a grain of salt and look for links to valid information about views on the right and left.
That brings me, in this post-Brexit world, to this new LifeNews.com report, which ran with the headline, "Poland Defends Its Pro-Life Laws, Blasts EU Leaders Telling It to Legalize Abortion."
(CFAM) -- The Polish government snapped back at European bureaucrats in a scathing response to a report published last week by the Council of Europe that criticized Poland’s restrictive abortion law and its treatment of women.
Donning the ceremonial tone and submissive deference that many countries adopt in their interface with international bureaucrats, Poland accused the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Latvian-American Nils Muižnieks, of “overstepping his mandate,” of bias and selectivity, and interfering in internal affairs in an official response to a report of the Commissioner published last week.
In a section on “sexual and reproductive health” the Commissioner’s report instructs Poland to decriminalize abortion, remove conscience protections for doctors and medical personnel, and enact mandatory comprehensive sexuality education.
Instead of bowing obsequiously as is commonly assumed nations will do in such situations, Poland replied that the Commissioner had his facts wrong, and that he both misunderstood Polish law and the obligation of Poland under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The key to this clash is the belief, among some Polish leaders, that Polish culture and the nation's intensely Catholic heritage -- and, thus, its sense of national identity -- are out of step with the evolving European culture proclaimed by the European Union.
Does any of that sound familiar, in the midst of the current tsunami of coverage from Great Britain?
So keep and eye on Poland. It's clear that, in many elite newsrooms, this conservative Polish move against abortion (and thus the European Union) is a threat to life in the modern world. Watch the BBC report at the top of this post, if you doubt what I am saying.
You can also see, in the mainstream post-Brexit coverage of Poland, the familiar emphasis on the good that the EU does for young people and those interested in a wider European economic marketplace. In other words, there is the clash between growing economics and protecting culture that dominated the British debates.
Another BBC report ran with the economic angle and the economic angle alone. The question that was never asked: Is everyone in Poland happy with EU life?
Britain's decision to leave the European Union is important for Poland because it affects so many Poles working in the UK and their families back home.
Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, about two million Poles have left in search of higher paid jobs, many of them heading to the UK, where they can earn up to four times as much doing the same job here. It is estimated 850,000 Poles now live in the UK, making them the largest non-British nationality. Poland's National Bank reckons Poles send home more than $1bn (£728m) a year, driving consumption in many parts of the country.
For Poles in the UK, especially those who have not lived there for the five years needed to apply for permanent residency, the future is uncertain.
And when you really state this in blunt language:
Under a headline, "The great cost of Brexit", Wednesday's front page of the daily Rzeczpospolita, listed 10 possible disadvantages including work permits, higher fees for Polish students, the end of cheap flights between the UK and Poland and more expensive Scotch whisky. ...
Poland is the biggest beneficiary of EU funds, which are transforming the country.
Stay tuned, as the money vs. culture wars continue. The question: Will readers have to look to sites such as LifeNews.com (as well as Catholic and "conservative" news outlets) in order to find links to Polish voices that are critical of the EU? If so, why is that?