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.”
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.
The trial in Philadelphia of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, on trial for infanticide, continues to be mostly ignored by the mainstream press. After public outcry. there was a bump in coverage, and the New York Times finally sent a reporter to cover the trial. But Trip Gabriel only filed a single story from Philadelphia, and that focused not on the trial but on the "online furor" that forced the media to pay attention.
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.]
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan reported today, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked if President Obama was following the Gosnell case, or NBC’s reporting of it. He dodged the question, but at least NBC acknowledges that a case is actually going on in Philadelphia. The president answered:
Well, I'm familiar with it. I can't comment on it because it's an active trial. What I can say is this. I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic or doing anything else, is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.
Guthrie failed to ask any follow ups on this, but a sharp reporter might have shot back that “safe, legal, and rare” was language that was actually excised from the Democratic Party platform in Charlotte last year. The platform committee was, of course, stacked with Obama acolytes and included Nancy Kennan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
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):
As we've noted, the liberal media generally and the Big Three broadcast networks in particular have studiously avoided paying attention to the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. The Philadelphia abortionist is charged with murdering newborns who survived abortion attempts and were born alive.
But aside from the criminal aspect of the case, there's other angle in the Gosnell matter that is of interest to political observers of the 2014 election cycle, particularly the Pennsylvania governor's race. One of the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), who operated an abortion clinic from 1975-1988. J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier News has some great, incisive questions for Schwartz connected to the Gosnell matter, particularly whether Schwartz ever referred any patients to Gosnell. Her clinic stopped performing abortions in 1984, but continued with issuing referrals to other clinics. Schwartz has been curiously silent on the issue, and larger media outlets seem to be silent as well, failing to ask her if she ever referred women to Gosnell, for example.
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].
Update: On its First Read blog Monday morning, NBCNews.com claims "Gosnell case gets more and more attention."
While NBC News continued to ignore the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell on its airwaves, an NBCNews.com article posted Saturday made brief mention of the media blackout: "Conservative bloggers, including at RedState and National Review, have lashed out this week at national media organizations for not paying enough attention to the gruesome trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider accused of killing seven late-term fetuses after they were born alive."
Careful to use the term "fetuses," rather than "infants" or "children," staff writer Erin McClam did not address the validity of the criticism or acknowledge the fact that her network has refused to give any air time to the trial.
Credit Joe Scarborough not just for devoting a significant Morning Joe segment to the Gosnell abortion-murder trial today--but for declaring that he will have a reporter covering the trial--Joe Slobodzian of the Philadelphia Inquirer--back again tomorrow and throughout the week.
Ed Rendell—who was governor of Pennsylvania from 2003-10 while many of the horrors unfolded and the clinic went uninspected—was on today's Morning Joe panel. Scarborough questioned Rendell as to how this could have happened on his watch. Rendell claimed he knew nothing of the goings-on in the abortion clinic, that it was a question of bureaucratic bungling, and that he came under no pressure from abortion advocates to look the other way. View the video after the jump.