Laura Ingraham Comments on Web Series Bump+
February 9, 2010
National talk show host Laura Ingraham hammered John Paul the Great Catholic University (JPCatholic) because of its association with the production of a new web series called BUMP+. The scripted-reality show follows three women through crisis pregnancy situations. It encourages viewers to tell their stories on the BUMP+ website in hopes of influencing the characters’ choices. Some pro-lifers have trashed the show, and it’s a shame because they are missing what BUMP can tell us about our culture and its views on abortion.
JPCatholic University is a new institution created to impact the culture for Christ particularly in new media because of its singular opportunity to reach the young. Facebook and YouTube are where the young live, it is their community, and their intellectual home, where ideas are formed, and culture is shaped.
People across the cultural spectrum have come to understand BUMP. Women from all walks of life are sharing their stories. Charitable dialogue is happening daily on the website of BUMP+. Liberal Perez Hilton comments in his blog, “This is one hell of social experiment. We think it could spark some really important discussions on the subject...or just get a lot of people really angry.” Conservative National Catholic Register in a blog penned by Danielle Bean comments that I look at this series and I see potential. However this particular show turns out, thousands of people will be witnessing, thinking about, and discussing the reality of abortion as it exists in our society. Let’s consider what is true about abortion, the reasons people might choose it, and the consequences when they do. Doing so might make some people uncomfortable, but I think many good things can come of that.”
So how did the university fall foul of Catholic talk-show host Laura Ingraham? The answer is simple - she didn’t do her homework! She called BUMP+ “disgusting” and crass entertainment“laughing at fetuses” was her accusation. Ingraham missed the fundamental point BUMP+ is none of these things. Through identification and empathy with the characters, the audience drops for the moment their preconceptions and ideological barriers and are welcomed to share their stories on the website. Ingraham nailed University Provost Dominic Iocco for his refusal to reveal his personal opinion on the life issue. Iocco resisted because he appeared on the show as a representative of BUMP+, which was produced by people of different perspectives. He recognized that making the show about his own views would undermine the project, which aims at providing a forum for people from all perspectives. We believe that this willingness to listen ultimately leads to more compassion for women and more productive dialogue between people who oppose abortion and those likely to consider it.