MSNBC Finally Covers Gosnell Trial in Primetime Five Weeks After it Began

The murder trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell began on March 18.

On April 23, more than five weeks after it started, the folks at the so-called "news network" MSNBC decided it was time they reported it in primetime.

Hardball's Chris Matthews surprisingly ended the blackout Tuesday:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: In Philadelphia right now, the trial of an abortion doctor charged with the murder of babies the prosecutors say were born alive is generating national headlines. Of course, it was page one of today's USA Today with the headline "Gruesome Testimony Renews Debate Over Abortion."

Well, Im not sure about that, but it is gruesome testimony. A grand jury report released in 2011 called the clinic a house of horrors. But the bottom line remains this is a murder case. Let's keep our heads around that.

Originally, Dr. Kermit Goswell -- or Gosnell was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for killing babies that were allegedly alive, born alive and viable. Well, today, a judge threw out three of the seven murder charges. The judge did not explain his reasoning. But reports have indicated he did not hear sufficient evidence that the three babies he took out were actually born viable and then killed.

"Well, I'm not sure about that."

What Matthews obviously meant was that he's not sure this renews debate over abortion. Of course, that's why his network and virtually all of the liberal media chose to boycott this story because they were indeed afraid it would renew the debate.

Also of note was MSNBC ending its primetime blackout on the day the judge reduced the charges on Gosnell. Makes you think that if he's found innocent the media will gleefully report that.


To assist in preventing this from renewing the debate on abortion, Matthews brought on NARAL President Ilyse Hogue to make the case.

"The thing that has allowed the people like Dr. Gosnell to continue is unnecessary restrictions on women going to the safe clinics with reputable medical care," she said.

As readers are aware, we've heard this nonsense before: "unnecessary restrictions" on abortion caused Gosnell to kill babies.

What was Matthews' response? "Yes."

Yet Matthews was clearly bothered by the horrors happening in Gosnell's clinic.

"Everybody in our office, all producers, mostly women, are appalled at this," he said. "They can`t even read these articles. It's so tough. I had a hard time reading them. It's beyond belief that there was something going on like this, without getting into the testimony questions. If it's even like this at all, it's horrible."

Indeed it is. So why did it take Matthews and his mostly female producers over five weeks to report it, and why is he the only primetime person on MSNBC to have mentioned it up until now?

(Readers are advised that MSNBC's Morning Joe has done reports on this trial. Tamron Hall also did a Gosnell report on Tuesday's News Nation. As MSNBC only provides transcripts for its extended primetime programs, it's possible this trial has been covered by the network at other times as well.)

Not surprisingly, Matthews never got into why this is the first time he's mentioned the trial, his network's primetime blackout of it, or the fact that most other news outlets boycotted the story until quite recently.

Also not surprising was that Matthews was the only extended primetime MSNBC host that reported this Tuesday.

I guess the folks at MSNBC feel one primetime segment on this trial will suffice.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.