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”: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday, NBC Nightly News covered the Dr. Kermit Gosnell case for the very first time, a whopping 44 days after the opening of the trial, and only after the jury had finished its first full day of deliberations. Stephanie Gosk wasted little time before emphasizing that Gosnell's clinic was "one of the only places in this low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia where pregnant woman could afford to go for abortions" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Gosk's report was also the first time that Big Three aired a report on the trial on its evening newscasts, even as ABC and CBS's evening newscasts continued their blackout. Previously, the only time that a NBC journalist mentioned the murder case on-air was when Savannah Guthrie asked President Obama if he had been "watching the Gosnell trial....and do you think it animates a larger debate about abortion in this country" on the April17, 2013 edition of Today.
The New York Times's Trip Gabriel reported Tuesday that each side has rested its case in the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, on trial for four charges of infanticide at his Philadelphia clinic. The first paragraph is revealing:
“They are known as Baby Boy A, Baby C, Baby D and Baby E, all of whom prosecutors call murdered children and the defense calls aborted fetuses -- the very difference in language encapsulating why anti-abortion advocates are so passionate about drawing attention to the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which wrapped up here on Monday with summations by both sides.”
Back in the mid-1990s I went to a public forum in Boston to hear ex-adman Earl Shorris talk about his new book, "A Nation of Salesmen: The Tyranny of the Market and the Subversion of Culture."
In one of his many anecdotes on working in advertising, Shorris told of being hired by Nestle after it was discovered that one of their infant formulas was sickening and killing newborns in Africa. What should we do, a nervous Nestle's exec asked Shorris. "Stop killing babies," he suggested. For this Shorris was dubbed the "conscience of the company." (Video after page break)
In just 24 hours, CNN spent over 76 minutes of air time on NBA player Jason Collins's announcement that he was gay. That was over nine times more coverage the network gave the Gosnell trial in one week.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz admitted on Sunday that the media champion some stories more than others that also merit attention, and this was painfully evident in the amount of time network gave the two stories. Once Collins announced he was gay, the network breathlessly touted the news as "historic," "a big moment for our country," and "courageous." CNN's jubilation over Collins is no surprise given its support for same-sex marriage, but it couldn't muster even half of that air time to report the alleged horrors of Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While polling data show that public trust of the news media is in the single digits, the real salient issue in media bias these days is bias by omission, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Dennis Miller in an April 30 interview for the comedian's podcast program. It's what the media refuse to report on, censoring stories from public view, that helps to shield liberals from scrutiny on salient public policy issues.
"For example, the Gosnell story. The average person out there has no idea what I'm talking about when I say Gosnell," Bozell noted of the Philadelphia abortionist who allegedly killed babies who survived attempted abortions. "You don't have to be pro-life to be disgusted and feel like throwing up when you hear some of these details and yet, no coverage from the national media." [To download and listen to the full interview, click here; For information on how to subscribe to Miller's podcast, click here ]
ABC's blackout of the gruesome charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell continued on Tuesday, 43 days after the trial began. This came one day after a Media Research Center study found that the network's Good Morning America has devoted 109 minutes and 41 stories to other shocking criminal trials. Apparently, ABC's disinterest extends only to cases that might put the pro-abortion agenda in a negative light.
Instead of covering the Gosnell trial, which went to the jury on Monday, GMA offered a full report on the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, another story on the case of a Utah doctor charged with murdering his wife and a third segment on the Amanda Knox retrial. This amounted to another eight minutes and 20 seconds of focusing on high profile court stories not involving an abortionist accused of murdering babies.
One of NPR's top member stations, WHYY in Philadelphia, home of conservative-trashing "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, houses a large local news operation. That news operation includes the heavily taxpayer-subsidized Newsworks, which produces a daily 30-minute local newscast for WHYY, Newsworks Tonight.
On Friday’s Newsworks Tonight, Taunya English, health and science reporter for WHYY and Newsworks, actually said this of a man accused of snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive while joking about them, keeping gruesome souvenirs of the babies, and having women give birth to babies in toilets: “a physician who had worked in our community for 30 years, cared for women in all of that time." Contrast this with Newsworks’ headline about the hanging of an elephant 97 years ago in Tennessee: “Horrific case of animal cruelty basis for PIFA's 'Murderous Mary' play.”
Forty two days ago, on March 18, 2013, abortionist Kermit Gosnell went on trial, charged with the grisly murder of multiple babies and a patient. Yet, in the seven weeks that followed, ABC News has permitted no coverage, discussion or mention of the case, not even a single utterance of Dr. Gosnell’s name.
But that’s not due to lack of interest in shocking criminal cases. Over the same 42 days, the Media Research Center found that ABC’s Good Morning America has aired 41 stories — about one per day — on other sensational criminal cases, including the Amanda Knox re-trial and the Jodi Arias case, totaling 109 minutes of coverage.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said the mainstream media have “all but gone silent” in their trivial coverage of the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, a dearth of reporting that she described as perpetrating “violence against women.”
“Mr. Speaker, it’s difficult for me to even speak about this subject today,” Bachmann said from the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday. “I’m a woman who’s been privileged to give birth to five children and I’ve also taken 23 children into my home as foster children.”
CBS is putting its Big Three competitors to shame in actually covering the capital murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, but that's not saying much, as Thursday's CBS This Morning devoted a paltry 11 seconds to the latest development in the case. Norah O'Donnell highlighted that the abortionist's defense attorney rested his case without calling his client or any other witness to testify. [audio available here; video below the jump]
It was the second straight day that the morning show devoted air time to the news story. On Wednesday, O'Donnell gave a 13-second news brief on the Gosnell trial judge dismissing some of the murder charges against the abortionist.
It’s blatantly obvious that the broadcast networks can’t claim the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell isn’t as newsworthy as the parade of piffle they display on the airwaves. But they're audacious enough to block out the news, and keep up the bubbly blather.
To underline this, please see this video compilation of the things that the major "news" networks deemed more important, from Sixties rock bands to cupcakes to cats on the Internet. Katie Yoder and Kristine Marsh put this together with help from MRCTV's Cory Parks.
For the first time in over a week, CBS covered the murder trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. But instead of a full report, as on April 15, Norah O'Donnell read a news brief that lasted just 13 seconds on the trial judge dismissing three of the murder charges against the Philadelphia physician [audio available here; video below the jump].
ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today on Wednesday failed to cover this noteworthy development in the case. Neither broadcast network has aired one second of reporting on the Gosnell trial on their morning and evening newscasts.
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's blackout on the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell has resumed after a three-week silence was broken for a day on April 12. The network hasn't touched the story in nine days, and despite live coverage of the disasters in Boston and Texas the network has still managed to report on stories like airport traffic, Mark Sanford's "soap opera," and the "North Pond hermit" thief in Maine.
On Friday, April 12, CNN covered the Gosnell trial for the first time since March 21 and basically shelved the story after that. The one exception came in a 90-second discussion by media critic Howard Kurtz of the media coverage of the trial, on the April 14 Reliable Sources. Kurtz lamely offered that CNN had aired a "half dozen segments" on the trial. [Video below.]
After more than a month of silence, PBS finally covered the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell on Monday’s NewsHour. Considering that all other major news outlets have barely given Gosnell a mention, if they mentioned him at all, it was refreshing to see PBS devote a full seven-minute story to the gruesome abortionist (even if that story came at the very end of the broadcast). However, there was still a stench of disingenuousness in the air as the PBS journalists subtly dismissed the notion that the trial has not received sufficient media coverage up until now.
Anchor Jeffrey Brown introduced the story as “the murder trial of an abortion provider that has captured national attention.” But if the trial has captured national attention, why has PBS waited until now to mention it? Why have we seen nothing more than a trickle of coverage from other major national news outlets? The story might have rightfully captured national attention from the pro-life crowd, but the liberal commercial broadcast media, which favors abortion, has been unwilling to give it national attention. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Well that didn’t last long. In fact, it barely happened at all. After a month of ignoring the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist accused of murdering one woman and seven infants, it looked like the media had been shamed into covering the story.
Barely. Even after the most gruesome detail in a trial full of them came out – a baby who survived an abortion “swimming” in a toilet and “trying to get out” – the silence resumed. In fact, the only major news outlet that bothered to report on that testimony was The Chicago Tribune. CNN.com mentioned it, it got no air time. Video after the break
Although the bombing of the Boston Marathon rightfully commanded much of the media's attention last week, the Big Three broadcast networks still found time for a host of superficial and inconsequential "news" stories while continuing to censor the horrific details of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's murder trial in Philadelphia. For example, ABC's Diane Sawyer devoted 32 seconds on the April 18 World News to Superman's 75th birthday while NBC's Brian Williams took time on the same night's edition of Nightly News to report that octogenarian actor Dick Van Dyke gets headaches when he lies down.
Even after one of the most gruesome details of Gosnell’s alleged crimes emerged last week – a baby who survived an abortion “swimming” in a toilet and “trying to get out” – the broadcast networks’ deafening silence continues. NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell released the following statement about this censorship this morning:
When it comes to the trial of abortionist doctor Kermit Gosnell, the media play a “now you see me, now you don't” game.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced of big media names rushing in to finally cover the Gosnell case. Yet, besides the Media Research Center, an average of only 12 – 15 reporters appeared in the courtroom at a time on Wednesday, April 17. While a few outlets like The Washington Post have started covering the trial, there has been no sea change in the major media. CBS did one story on April 15 and NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Obama a question about Gosnell later in the week. That’s all.
Yesterday 72 congressmen sent letters to the executives at the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC expressing that they were "profoundly appalled" at the broadcast networks censoring the Kermit Gosnell murder trial and the official testimony by a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida opposing a law to stiffen criminal penalties on abortionists who fail to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion attempts.
The effort was organized by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) and joined by 70 of their colleagues. You can read more at Blackburn's official House.gov website here. [Update: Only one Democratic congressman, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, joined in on the letter.]
Under pressure from pro-life websites and writers, several national news outlets have reluctantly began covering the trial of ghastly abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Beyond that, a handful of liberal media figures are finally beginning to ask the important question of why such a sensational trial--if it bleeds, it supposedly leads--received almost no attention whatsoever in the national press.
In a scathing piece, Washington Post blogger Melinda Henneberger, a rare pro-life liberal journalist, rounds up some excuses from her colleagues about why they think the media ignored the Gosnell case. One of her co-workers responded that the story of the abortionist’s alleged crimes seemed more of a local news story than a national one. Of course, local crime stories such as the disappearance of Natalee Holloway or the case against Andrea Yates, are routinely covered by nationwide news outlets.
As Newsbusters has detailed again and again, coverage by dominant news organizations of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial has been almost non-existent. Taxpayer-subsidized public radio is no exception, even after the issue of non-coverage gained widespread attention last week.
As the fifth week of the Gosnell trial continues (it opened March 18), NPR still has not devoted a single piece to the topic of the trial. It did briefly reference the trial once--in a story about Pennsylvania abortion clinic regulations that resulted from what authorities found in Gosnell's clinic during a raid. On March 28, NPR's afternoon news magazine All Things Considered gave only 19 seconds out of 4 1/2 minutes to reporting on the Gosnell trial. In sharp contrast, the piece's author, Jeff Brady, NPR's Philadelphia-based National Desk Correspondent, gave five times the amount to time to detailing the "expensive" hardships Pennsylvania abortion clinics now have to endure. The story left out entirely the details of the horrendous charges against Gosnell.
"[I]n the end, Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors exposed more than the grim reality of late-term abortion. It also revealed what happens when journalists act as though 'sacred cows' are more important to us than our sacred duty to follow the story wherever it leads, irrespective of how uncomfortable it makes us -- and regardless of the political fallout. Even in these polarized times, I hope this lesson will endure."
That is how Real Clear Politics Washington editor Carl M. Cannon concluded his April 17article "Abortion: Journalism's Most Sacred Cow." Cannon began his piece with a personal story about his experience at the San Diego Union-Tribune when his liberal colleagues protested their publisher who, as a devout Catholic was pro-life and thereby refused to run an advertisement for a local Planned Parenthood clinic. As Cannon explains, his colleagues cloaked their complaints in terms of a journalist's aversion to censorship, but as Cannon says he came to discover, it is the liberal media that regularly censors the grisly, bloody reality of abortion (emphasis mine; h/t my colleague Matt Hadro):
While for five weeks NBC News completely censored any mention of the Gosnell abortion trial from its airwaves, in an interview with President Obama conducted on Monday and aired on Wednesday's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Have you been watching the Gosnell trial? It's a Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of gruesome crimes. Are you following it and do you think it animates a larger debate about abortion in this country?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The President certainly wasn't "watching" the case on NBC, it was the first time viewers of the network heard anything about the ongoing trial.
The trial of notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell -- as close to a demonic presence as anything this country will ever see -- was almost a month old when the network blackout finally ended. CNN broke its silence, as did CBS. National newspapers sent reporters to the trial for the first time.
They started covering it only because of a national outrage that they would so deliberately withhold this horror story from the public -- for political reasons.
Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry (R) had some harsh words for the media blackout of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial in his state.
Appearing on NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Show Tuesday, Perry said, "This is what we’ve come to. We can’t discuss the murder of grown women and babies in our country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A mere month after the trial began, the New York Times has, under pressure, sent a reporter to Philadelphia to cover the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell on charges of mass infanticide.
Trip Gabriel did indeed file from Philadelphia on Tuesday, "Online Furor Draws Press to Abortion Doctor's Trial." But his location was mostly irrelevant, as he only pinned two and a half paragraphs from what happened in court on Monday to the end of his report. Most of the story was a recap of the trial's "grisly details," accusations from "conservatives" that the media was ignoring the story, and defenses from unlabeled liberal media "experts" denying a coverup.
Kermit Gosnell is the late-term abortion doctor in Philadelphia, on trial for infanticide in the gruesome killing of seven babies. The day after his trial began March 18 (as Tom Blumer noted at Newsbusters) Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened 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..."
Fetuses? The Times more accurately described it in a January 2011 brief, when Gosnell was first charged with murder:
CBS finally ended their on-air coverage blackout of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial on Monday's CBS This Morning, airing two segments on the story a month after opening arguments began. Jan Crawford acknowledged that the Gosnell case "has received little national news coverage". Meanwhile, ABC and NBC's morning and evening newscasts continued to ignore the ongoing legal proceedings against the abortionist.
Crawford pointed out how conservatives "accused the media of ignoring the story because what it called a bias in favor of abortion rights", and how those "charges went viral on Twitter". She even played a sound bite from a former attorney for the murder suspect who questioned the national news media's lack of coverage of the trial: "A case involving a medical doctor charged with eight counts of murder would seem to me that just that fact pattern would make national news" [audio available here; video below the jump].
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, hours after CNN finally covered the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the first time in weeks, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at the notion of a liberal media bias responsible for the cover-up.
"Well, the people making those criticisms by and large are conservatives, who are saying the liberal media is trying to protect abortion rights by not showing this horror show. I don't buy that at all," Toobin asserted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]