We here at NewsBusters have been documenting the virtual blackout of the Gosnell murder trial by the liberal media. As of May 6, the Big Three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have offered scant if any coverage of the gruesome murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
In a May 3 special on the Kermit Gosnell case entitled “See No Evil” Fox News not only gave an in-depth and graphic account of the charges against Gosnell but also documented the broadcast media blackout of the case. Narrator Bret Baier introduced the segment by noting that:
Kirsten Powers at Daily Beast made a shocking comparison – legislatively speaking – concerning the Gosnell trial and the abortion rights movement in her column today. They’ve become “the NRA of the left," the liberal but pro-life Democrat charges.
To her buddies on the Left, those are meant to be fighting words. There is no greater insult for liberals than to be compared to the National Rifle Association, the nation's oldest civil rights organization founded in 1871.
NBC truly showed what its priorities are on Sunday's Meet the Press.
The outing of NBA player Jason Collins and the topic of same-sex marriage got a full 8 1/2 minutes while the murder trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell received a whopping 2 1/2 minutes (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple spends a lot of time picking apart Fox broadcasts, but he was stunned by a Thomas Roberts interview on MSNBC with the new leader of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue. She claimed “we were the first out of the gate to call attention to this case.” Like a news butler, Roberts set her up to make that bizarre claim and then moved on to the next publicist's softball.
Wemple shot back: “Having done precisely 3,454 Nexis and Internet search on the Gosnell case, we missed the part where NARAL had led a charge to highlight the alleged atrocities in West Philadelphia.” He kept searching, and NARAL’s new boss kept looking sillier and sillier:
Live Action, a "new media movement dedicated to ending abortion and building a culture of life," hosted a "Stop the Killing" infanticide protest in front of abortionist Cesare Santangelo’s clinic in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 2013.
At the protest, MRC’s Culture and Media Institute asked speakers about the media's coverage of infanticide, especially in connection with the Kermit Gosnell case – watch their answers below.
Last Friday, Obama made “history” by being the first president to address Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest purveyor of abortions. Obama did this in spite of the terrible timing, during the Kermit Gosnell trial. But like the Gosnell trial, Obama’s speech drew a blackout: no story on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, or NPR.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes hailed it was a "history-making" speech, but complained that Obama never used the A-word, which he should never feel ashamed to use. Rachel Maddow praised Obama for “putting a new capstone” on bold proclamations for the “right to choose.” USA Today and the Los Angeles Times somehow missed it. The New York Times blogged it – with this amazing paragraph from reporter Peter Baker as he mentioned Gosnell:
Last night, NBC Nightly News deliberately censored the grisly details of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s alleged crimes. Claiming that they’re "too gruesome" to be discussed on television is absolute nonsense. NBC News covered the Casey Anthony child murder trial 12 times on Nightly News in 2011, including multiple graphic descriptions of that crime. If they can talk about Caylee Anthony’s body decomposing in the trunk of a car, they can talk about Gosnell "snipping" spinal cords to kill babies born alive.
The difference is that the details of this murder trial raise serious questions about abortion, the liberal media’s most sacred cow.
The New York Times's Pam Belluck wrote twice about the emerging controversy over the Food and Drug Administration's decision immediately allowing girls under 15 to receive Plan B One-Step, the morning-after pill for emergency birth control, without a prescription or parental consent. Citing safety concerns, the Obama administration had previously overruled the FDA, which had removed all age restrictions on access to the pill. Obama's Justice Department announced yesterday that it will appeal the FDA's latest "compromise" decision.
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.]
Hard-left Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky has a nasty habit of smearing conservatives every chance he gets, and it seems he has found his newest target, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.). Writing in a May 1 piece for the online publication Tomasky used the FBI investigation over gifts McDonnell received for his daughter’s wedding to slam the Virginia governor's Christian faith.
Tomasky started off his rant by throwing harsh language at the governor, calling his actions, “sleazy and cowardly.” At issue is the controversial relationship McDonnell has with businessman Jonnie Williams and whether or not the governor accepted money for political benefits aimed at Williams’ company, Star Scientific Inc.
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.
After reporting on the FDA allowing girls as young as 15-years-old to receive the morning-after pill without a prescription or parental consent, NBC's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman voiced her support for the controversial decision: "13, 14, and 15-year-olds are having intercourse. So we have to talk about, if we want to prevent abortions, should we have birth control, contraception that's safe, condoms, and put all of this stuff out there for active teenagers?"
In her report, Snyderman touted how "The pill's manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, welcomed the ruling, calling it 'a significant milestone for women.'" But she also admitted that "lowering the age restriction is likely to dramatically raise the level of controversy, especially among parents and teens."
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asserted that, since Republicans have taken control of the North Carolina state government, the state is moving toward becoming an "insane right-wing dystopia," and claimed that the GOP wants to engage in "voter suppression" in the state. Hayes:
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)
The pro-abortion movement seems to have reached a new extreme in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. In a piece for The Daily Beast, columnist Michelle Goldberg argues that the real lesson of the Gosnell horror show is the need for “freely available and fully subsidized” early-term abortions.
That's right, she wants you and me to pay for early-term abortions, so as to prevent the demand for the sort of late-term abortions Gosnell performed and, in many cases, botched.
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 ]
Addressing a meeting of Planned Parenthood last Friday, President Obama accused pro-lifers of wanting to "turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century."
Like any decade, the '50s had its problems -- racism, discrimination, sexism -- but I'll defend the '50s on other grounds, if the president will defend the decade that followed. In the '50s, for much of mainstream America drugs were something you bought at a pharmacy with a prescription; living together meant getting married first, then having babies; abortion was not legal; our culture wasn't the enemy; metal detectors were instruments one took to the beach to find loose change and schools and the streets were mostly safe.
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.
ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.
"Virginia's assault on abortion claims a victim," lamented the WashingtonPost.com headline for an April 28 editorial -- headlined "Virginia's assault on abortion" in the print edition -- savaging the new regulations on clinics in the Old Dominion.
It seems the Post, generally no opponent of government regulation, is staunchly pro-free enterprise when the business in question is killing unborn children for a fee. Here's how the liberal editorial board began its overwrought piece:
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes not only praised President Obama for being the first sitting President to speak to Planned Parenthood in the group's history, but he also seemed to lament the fact that pro-choice Democrats are not confident enough to actually use the word "abortion" more openly, as he noted that the President avoided the word during his speech.
The MSNBC host asserted that the President "made history" as he plugged the segement before a commercial break: "President Obama made history today doing something that took 97 years for a President to do. That's coming up."
Every now and then a liberal newspaper can pleasantly surprise us. Today is one of those days, although as I explain later, our praise is qualified. In a 27-paragraph story in Monday's edition, staffers Sandhya Somashekhar and Lena Sun noted a recent sting video by pro-life group Live Action wherein Washington, D.C. abortionist Cesare Santangelo admitted that "in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, 'we wouldn't help it.'"
"[T]echnically, you know, legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive, but it probably wouldn't," Santangelo told the 24-week pregnant woman in the Live Action video. In a subsequent interview with the Post, Santangelo sought to spin what folks could see on the hidden camera expose.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.
The ongoing trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell has ignited the already contentious abortion debate across this country. Dr. Gosnell is on trial for the murder of four babies and one woman at his abortion clinic, which people have called a “House of Horrors.”
Given the horrific nature of the crimes Gosnell is accused of committing, one would think MSNBC would discuss this horrific trial in any future discussion on abortion. Unfortunately, if you are Thomas Roberts, such a concept is foreign to you.
Following a speech by President Obama at the annual Planned Parenthood gala on April 26, Roberts decided to bring on three pro-abortion guests to trash Republicans, yet did not ask any of the guests about the Gosnell trial. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
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.”