NYT in March and Daily Beast on Friday Call Gosnell's Born-Alive Victims 'Fetuses'

In the paper's only story relating to the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on March 19 on Page A17, Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened (HT Twitchy.com) by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses ..." -- not already-born infants.

On April 12, while attempting to defend the establishment press's general failure to cover the Gosnell trial ("Why Are the Media Apologizing About Kermit Gosnell Coverage?"), Josh Dzieza at the Daily Beast wrote that "Gosnell is accused of providing late-term abortions by inducing labor and then severing the fetus’ spinal cord with scissors." Uh, Josh, at that point anyone should concede that we're talking about a b-b-b-b ... baby. Gosh, even the obviously proabort Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, concedes that.


Dzieza's defense of the press's non-coverage needs vetting (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

There are plenty of possible reasons the story hadn’t made the leap from local to front-page national news until now. First of all, every detail of the story is ghastly. [1] I had to force myself to read the report; I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to read about baby feet found in jars. Compare that to the Sandra Fluke conflagration, or the Susan G. Komen scandal—much easier to devote airtime talking about, because the underlying events aren’t graphically appalling. Pictures of dead fetuses are the stuff of abortion-clinic protest signs for a reason: they make people uncomfortable.

That Gosnell seems like something ripped from one of those signs could also be a reason his story never took off. [2] Slate’s David Weigel acknowledges that journalists tend to be socially liberal and that “horror stories of abortionists are less likely to permeate that bubble than, say, a story about a right-wing pundit attacking an abortionist who then claims to have gotten death threats.”

But another possible reason could be that, as awful as the case is, it’s not clear that there’s anything controversial about it. [3] When Trayvon Martin (to use the standard comparison) went from local to national story, it was partly because there was a debate over stand-your-ground laws and whether his killing constituted murder or self defense. There’s no such dispute here. The question isn’t whether what Gosnell is accused of doing should be illegal: he’s on trial because it clearly is. Gosnell could become a useful pro-life bogeyman, but it’s not clear what policies the antiabortion movement would use his case to push for. That could be why conservative organizations haven’t been giving the Gosnell story top-billing until recently, either. [4]

On the left, abortion-rights activists have reason to be wary of calls for stricter clinic regulation, given the recent string of states effectively regulating clinics out of existence. But activists have also pointed to Gosnell as an example of what would happen if legal clinics are closed and women are forced to go underground, so for them, publicizing it is a wash.

... The issues raised by the Gosnell trial are important—poverty, racism, enforcement of medical regulations, government accountability, how something like this could go on in plain view for years—but they’re not the issues that generally create partisan outrage or national headlines. [5]

Notes:

- [1] -- So I'm to believe that this "if it bleeds, it leads" stuff is nothing but a myth? Sure, Josh.

- [2] -- Well, there's an admission that properly covering the story might help the political agenda of the prolifers Washington elitists and journalists so loathe. That's not a justification, Josh. It's a self-admitted damnation.

- [3] -- That this trial is supposedly so non-controversial totally explains why most Associated Press "Big Story" articles on the trial have used the wire service's "abortion controversy" and "reproductive rights" meta-tags. (/sarc)

- [4] -- The idea that conservative organizations haven't been following the story is laughably absurd. In addition to what I noted in a post this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Life News has been covering the trial on a daily basis since inception. A search there on Gosnell's last name returns "about  351" items going at least as far back as the original arrests in 2011.

- [5] -- Try to remember the last time the trial of someone who murdered eight children who is claiming innocence didn't make national headlines.

Even more troubling than the lack of coverage of the Gosnell trial is the apparent indication that there are more than a few members of the press, including at least one at a publication which believes itself to be the standard of journalism, who won't recognize a just-born infant for what it is: a baby.

Image found at Twitchy.com.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.