Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story


Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story
Conor Friedersdorf

Apr 12 2013, 10:14 AM ET

Until Thursday, I wasn’t aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it’s been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would’ve been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power’s USA Today column. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.

The media criticism angle interests me. But I agree that the story has been undercovered, and I happen to be a working journalist, so I’ll begin by telling the rest of the story for its own sake. Only then will I explain why I think it deserves more coverage than it has gotten, although it ought to be self-evident by the time I’m done distilling the grand jury’s allegations. Grand juries aren’t infallible. This version of events hasn’t been proven in a court of law. But journalists routinely treat accounts given by police, prosecutors and grand juries as at least plausible if not proven. …

For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where …

But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions!

Some liberal-“moderate” New Media and MSM folk are posting mea culpas and promises to cover this story: Why Is the Press Ignoring the Kermit Gosnell Story? - Bloomberg; Washington Post pledges Gosnell coverage; Kermit Gosnell and the media - POLITICO.com; Why I Didn’t Write About Gosnell’s Trial–And Why I Should Have - The Daily Beast; https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/322812828903940096. I’ll believe it when I see it. Per John Nolte on Breitbart.com, apparently CNN finally gave the story some significant coverage friday evening (and Jake Tapper there has been covering the story for a while). So it could happen. But how pathetic is it that the national MSM jump on stories such as Trayvon Martin or Newtown or George Tiller so hastily that they get numerous basic facts if the story totally wrong, but give this far more important story very little coverage over a 2-3 year period?! And have to be shamed into covering it (assuming they do!)***?!!!***


Eight Reasons for the Media Blackout on Abortionist Kermit Gosnell
by Trevin Wax | Washington, DC
4/13/13 4:48 PM

To put the Kermit Gosnell trial in perspective, consider other famous cases of child-killing. From Susan Smith to Andrea Yates, and most recently the horror of Newtown, we are accustomed to 24/7 news coverage of these types of tragedies.

Not so with Dr. Gosnell. Here are the reasons why:

1. The Gosnell case involves an abortionist.

Whenever we see news stories about abortion, the abortionist must be portrayed as a victim of hate and intolerance, not a perpetrator of violence. But it is impossible to spin this story in a way that keeps “abortionist” separate from testimony about dead women and children.

2. The Gosnell case involves an unregulated abortion clinic.

Whenever we see news stories about abortion, the clinic must be portrayed as a “refuge” for women in distress, not a “house of horrors” where women are taken advantage of. But it is impossible to spin this story in a way that keeps “abortion clinic” away from negative connotations.

3. The Gosnell case involves protestors who, for years, stood outside 3801 Lancaster and prayed, warning people about what was taking place inside.

Whenever we see news stories about abortion, the protestors must be portrayed as agitators and extremists, not peaceful people who urge mothers to treasure the miracle inside them. But it is impossible to spin this story in a way that keeps the abortion protestors from looking like heroes.

4. The Gosnell case involves gruesome details about living, viable babies having their spinal cords “snipped” outside the womb.

The bottom line of Wax’s eight reasons is that there are too many questions raised by this story that cannot be spun to support the MSM’s Pro-Abortion narrative, many/all of which speak counter to that narrative. For its broad scope, this article is pretty laconic. Each of his 2-sentence points could be two or more paragraphs!


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s much harder to hide this in the age of the internet. It is much like how Television helped hasten the end of Jim Crow, People who didn’t live in the South didn’t fully understand what was going on down there.

This looks like the type of story that could cause a public outcry.


The reason is probably much more simple: the television media is made to get ratings, and no one wants to hear about a monster who kills babies.


Bullcrap. Gory sensationalism sells like the proverbial hotcakes.


Maybe, but no news outlet in their right mind would, for example, show photos of gory, dead soldiers.


Maybe, maybe not. But they would sure as taxes talk it to death.


The reason is probably much more simple: the television media is made to get ratings, and no one wants to hear about a monster who kills babies.

The MSM didn’t cover the Tiller murder?

The MSM didn’t cover the Trayvon Martin killing?

The moronic drunks who murdered Mathew Shepard?

The MSM didn’t cover the Eric Rudolph clinic bombing and abortionist shootings?

The MSM didn’t cover the Aurora, CO massacre?

The Littleton, CO shooting?

The Newtown, CN massacre?

The real difference from Gosnell? Those murders and killings suited one or another of the MSM’s narratives.


The simple truth is that the msm is in the pockets of the pp thugs. The msm supports abortion and so they would appear hypocritical if they were to tell the truth about what happens in many abortion mills. This is not an isolated case. Like this case, other cases have been squashed by the msm.


Now, is there anything that would grip viewers and sell papers/magazine more than government bureaucrats’ gross refusal to do their duties and that refusal leading to patient deaths?! And that is a huge facet of the Gosnell Hell-Hole story!


Huh, saw this article and I thought it would be perfect for this thread. 14 Theories for Why Kermit Gosnell’s Case Didn’t Get More Media Attention - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic


Why do we need theories? We know why.


EXCELLENT point, Susanna! You ALWAYS come up with the simplest and most concise replies!!! (Where’s my “thumbs up” emoticon???)



Thanks, Susanna!!


Is media bias to blame for lack of Gosnell coverage? Or something far more banal?
By Paul Farhi

Published: April 14

The trial of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell would seem to have all the elements of a spectacular news story: shocking allegations, horrifying visuals, sympathetic victims.

Yet until late last week, much of the national media was silent as testimony about Gosnell’s alleged “house of horrors” abortion clinic rolled out. Much of the media attention outside Philadelphia, in fact, centered on how little media attention the story was receiving outside Philadelphia.

The charge of liberal media bias is perhaps undercut by the fact that a number of conservative media outlets — and conservative leaders — overlooked the story, too, until a flood of tweets and commentaries about it began late last week.

The Weekly Standard and the National Review, two leading conservative magazines, for example, hadn’t published anything on the trial, according to a search of the Nexis database. The New York Post’s conservative editorial board has written one commentary — an editorial lamenting the lack of coverage, which, although it doesn’t mention it, includes its own paper. The Washington Times has published five staff-written articles and guest commentaries on the matter, all focusing on the absence of press coverage.

Heh! The Gosnell trial opening statements started on 3/18/2013. I bothered to do a search on the Weekly Standard’s site. It was sophisticated … I typed the word “gosnell” into the search box. The Weekly Standard did articles on: April 15 (the day after this WashPost article); for the April 22 magazine issue (which was, obviously, e-published before the magazine cover date); April 11; April 10; April 3; Feb. 7, 2011; three articles in January, 2011. Calling out National Review is an apples-and-oranges smokescreen. National Review is a commentary publication; the NYT, WashPost, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, et al claim to be news organizations. Edit: The Weekly Standard was an appropriate comparison, but this WashPost article got it wrong. Better choices instead of National Review would be Drudge, Breitbart or PJMedia, but those have been all over the Gosnell story, contradicting the WashPost’s flimsy moral equivalency narrative-smokescreen. (end of edit)

Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor, offers a more mundane rationale for the newspaper’s lack of coverage: He wasn’t aware of the story until Thursday night, when readers began e-mailing him about it. “I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can’t be,” he said. “Nor can any of us.”

Seriously? One of the biggest murder–malpractice–medical-facility-filth–regulatory-negligence-and-cronyism stories in years or decades and the WashPost editor is clueless? The editor of a national newspaper is unaware of one of a huge story less than 150 miles from DC, practically in his backyard?! NOT! CREDIBLE!!!

A newspaper editor knows what stories his people are covering. Either he’s lying, crudely, or the WashPost had literally no one covering this story and the editor is incredibly ignorant. IMO, both!


See, this story sickens me. My time in the service didn’t have much effect on emotional things for me, but my daughter being born did.

I can’t watch tv shows where bad things happen to kids. I don’t read the details in a story like this, it would sicken me. Hearing Hannity pound on about it has me changing the radio station.


I understand your disgust, JStang. But, this is the reality of abortion–this is what happens in so many abortion mills here and around the world. This is murdering unborn human babies for the sake of $$$ in the most barbaric way possible. Someone here called it, appropriately, “Mengele-sque”. (Oops! There goes that “Godwin” thing again!! :crybaby:)


I get it. I’m fine with getting the meager headline and brief synopsis. I don’t need the gory details.