PBS Laughably Claims Gosnell Trial Has Gotten ‘A Lot of Attention’

For the second time in a regular news story, PBS mentioned the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell on Tuesday’s NewsHour. And yet Gosnell was not the subject of the story in question. The mention came at the tail end of a piece on the battle over abortion restrictions in state legislatures.

Anchor Jeffrey Brown presented the trial as the concern of “anti-abortion activists”:


"Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists are also pointing to the trial of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell, seeking to pressure lawmakers to enact more restrictive regulations for abortion clinics. Gosnell is facing four charges of first-degree murder related to late-term abortion procedures. The jury in that case began its deliberations today."

 

The term “anti-abortion activists” was accompanied by B-roll footage of the March for Life. The choice of language here reveals a lot about PBS’s opinion on abortion. Those who oppose abortion prefer to be called “pro-life,” but the pro-choice crowd wants to tag them as “anti-abortion.” It sounds much more negative and distracts people from the life that is being ended by violent means through an abortion.

During the discussion that followed the story, Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life brought up Gosnell again:
 

"This horrible trial that you are seeing in Philadelphia of Kermit Gosnell, with his house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia, shows you exactly what happens when you have a completely unregulated abortion industry, allowed to have their own oversight over themselves."

 

Brown responded with, “That trial has gotten a lot of attention.” That is completely untrue. Most major news outlets sat on the story for the first month of the trial and only began giving snippets of coverage once they were shamed into doing so by various conservatives on social media. Our parent organization, the Media Research Center, played a large role in the fight to give this story national attention.

The mainstream media still have not given this trial “a lot of attention.” NBC Nightly News finally covered it last night, after Gosnell's defense counsel rested his case, marking the first time one of the Big Three evening newscasts aired a report on the trial. Coverage on the Big Three networks’ morning shows has been minimal (in the case of ABC, nonexistent), and CNN and MSNBC have given the trial scant coverage.

The tale of a gruesome abortionist is just not enough to get the liberal media foaming at the mouth. If, rather than killing babies, Gosnell had uttered a homophobic or anti-Islamic slur, he probably would have drawn much more outrage from the press. But liberal media outrage is selective; it only applies to those people and events who threaten the liberal agenda that the media wish to foist upon this nation.

Below is a partial transcript of the segment:

JEFFREY BROWN: Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists are also pointing to the trial of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell, seeking to pressure lawmakers to enact more restrictive regulations for abortion clinics. Gosnell is facing four charges of first-degree murder related to late-term abortion procedures. The jury in that case began its deliberations today.

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BROWN: Now I know, Charmaine Yoest, you have a different take on it. But why do you think it’s happening now? Why so much in the states now?

CHARMAINE YOEST: Well, because America's abortion policy is actually out of touch with the American people. We have an abortion policy that is so radical that only China and North Korea and Canada have as radical a policy as we do –

BROWN: In what, what – how do you use that word radical? What does that mean?

YOEST: Most of the countries around the world start to limit abortion after 12 weeks, and we can have abortion in America for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy. So what you’re seeing is this rising tide of pro-life legislation is being responsive to the fact that most Americans have a common sense approach to abortion where they want to see parental consent, informed consent, clinic regulations. This horrible trial that you are seeing in Philadelphia of Kermit Gosnell, with his house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia, shows you exactly what happens when you have a completely unregulated abortion industry, allowed to have their own oversight over themselves.

BROWN: That trial has gotten a lot of attention. Uh...

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.