In shining examples of the phrase “better late than never,” Conor Friedersdorf -- a staff writer on politics and national affairs at The Atlantic -- and Dylan Byers -- a media critic for the Politico website -- hammered conservatives on Monday for charging that the mainstream media had mostly ignored or minimized the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Friedersdorf called the charge the “Whopper of the Year,” while Byers accused conservatives of taking a “guilty-until-proven-innocent approach” regarding the reaction by President Barack Obama and his administration to the incident, which 11 months ago led to the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The media's censoring of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial is appalling. But why, exactly, are reporters failing to cover the Philadelphia abortionist's trial? Mollie Hemingway of the Patheos blog Get Religion thought she'd ask Washington Post staff writer Sarah Kliff, who responded via Twitter that she isn’t writing about it because she “cover[s] policy for the Washington Post, not local crime."
That, of course, is a patently ludicrous excuse. In an April 12 blog post, Hemingway aptly noted that local crimes are often used to give context to a larger issue in public policy. The Trayvon Martin shooting sparked a debate about Stand Your Ground Laws. The murder of Matthew Shepard launched a debate around hate crimes, and awareness of bigotry against gays. And as for the most recent case of a local crime story gone national, a day after the Newtown shooting, Kliff penned a piece asking, “What would ‘meaningful action’ on gun control look like?” The bottom line is that the Gosnell trial illustrates just how poorly regulated many inner-city abortion clinics are and how that lack of regulation can allow horror stories like Gosnell to happen.
Another NPR freelancer has been fired for activism at an Occupy rally. On Gawker, Caitlin Curran laments she was canned from 20 hours a week producing for the public radio talk show The Takeway (co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in New York, and supported in part by the taxpayers through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Unlike Lisa Simeone, who served in a very official capacity as a public-relations flack for “Occupy DC,” Curran held up a sign in the Occupy Wall Street march in Times Square on October 15. The plan was for her husband to hold the sign, but she was also photographed with it and posted it to her personal Twitter account. It drew blog kudos – which was her undoing.