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.
Sundance glorified adultery, porn, and sex with minors during the 2013 Sundance Festival, but now another topic received excruciating recognition: death.
Two weeks ago, Jennifer Leigh Morbelli died at the hands of LeRoy Carhart, one of the four remaining United States “doctors” who performs third-trimester abortions. Morbelli sought a 33-week abortion in Germantown, Md., after learning her baby suffered from a medical condition. Morbelli passed away “… due to immense blood loss and hemorrhagic shock” after being revived several times by a medical team, according to the Catholic News Agency. Carhart was “nowhere to be found” when hospital staff and Morbelli’s family tried to reach him for assistance, the story reported.
Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival featured a documentary celebrating four “amazing” abortionists who evacuate wombs in the third trimester of pregnancy. The critics in attendance loved it. The Philadelphia Inquirer boasted it drew “two standing ovations -- one for the doctors.”
Sundance attendees in Utah were greeted by police and armed sheriffs in green jumpsuits that made a show of force outside the the theater. They had to have their bags searched and were inspected with hand-held metal detectors. After the movie was shown, two police officers stood at the front of the auditorium as the directors and the four abortionists featured in the film answered audience questions.
Today's Washington Post provided a sympathetic profile for Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who in December of last year expanded his practice to include abortions in a Maryland clinic about 30 miles from the District of Columbia.
"From abortion provider to activist," read the below-the-fold headline on page A1 of today's Post. " Physician is committed to doing late-in-pregnancy procedures despite threats."
Yet for someone who allegedly is the subject of numerous threats against his life, the Post only cited one credible threat from 20 years ago.
Under the sub-heading "From ashes, a mission," reporter Lena Sun noted that:
At the time, Carhart refused to disclose where he would open his D.C.-area clinic, but said that it would be in a jurisdiction that was favorable to abortion.
"The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we're going to do the maximum the law allows," Carhart told the Washington Post.
Stein filed an 8-paragraph follow-up story in today's Post, having received new information from an abortion clinic official that Carhart would be joining that clinic, based in Germantown, Md. That follow-up story, however, was buried at the bottom of page 10 of the paper's December 1 Metro section.
As usual, ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Friday’s March for Life protest. (Even the Associated Press skipped over the tens of thousands marching.) But the PBS NewsHour at least offered a brief from news anchor Hari Sreenivasan:
Thousands rallied in Washington in the annual March For Life. It was the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. The anti-abortion crowd rallied at the White House, and then moved on to the Supreme Court. A handful of abortion rights supporters were also present.
NPR covered the trial on the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller on Friday night (as well as Friday morning), but had no March for Life mention. On the afternoon talk show Tell Me More, host Michel Martin interviewed Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life. But the pro-life movement was harshly smeared by late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart in an interview that led off that same show:
Friday’s CBS Evening News devoted a full story, filed by correspondent Jim Axelrod, to late-term abortion Doctor LeRoy Carhart – who stepped in to succeed Dr. George Tiller, known for performing many partial birth abortions, after his murder last spring – during which Carhart was given several soundbites to justify his work. At one point gushing that "Until I can find someone else to care for women, they still need somebody to care for them," he later asserted: "I totally believe in this cause every bit as much as I did believe every morning when I got up in the military that I was doing the right thing. And if dying for this cause is what I have to do, then that`s what I will do."
But CBS’s Axelrod never used the term "partial birth abortion," or described the horrific procedure involved in some abortions. And, after anchor Katie Couric described Carhart’s work as "controversial" as she introduced the report, she also conveyed a more positive connotation as she referred to his and Dr. Tiller's activities as a "cause," as did Carhart himself. Couric:
Dr. LeRoy Carhart had ample television time to further his cause against "domestic terrorism" on the news program Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday night. Anderson Cooper, the anchor, asked Carhart some direct questions, but failed to press Carhart on the answers, and didn't interview anyone from the mainstream anti-abortion movement.
After a brief news segment concerning Scott Roeder, Cooper asked Carhart, "You probably heard from Ted Rowland's piece some of the things this man Scott Roeder [the man charged with the murder of abortionist George Tiller] has said. He said he called the closing of this [Tiller's] clinic quote ‘a victory for unborn children.' How do you respond?"
ABC gave pro-abortion advocates free advertising last night with its "World News Sunday." During the report, an abortionist unequivocally stated that late-term abortion is "really a miscarriage of a stillborn fetus."
Anchor Dan Harris framed Steve Osunsami's segment as a look at why doctors risk their lives to perform abortions given the "constant threat" of violence they face, as evidenced by last week's murder of abortionist George Tiller and recent comments from Tiller's accused killer that "similar attacks are planned all over the country."
Harris teased the segment "Tonight, we talk to late-term abortion providers who fear they are targets. Why do they do it?" He stated in his introduction, "Why would a doctor take that risk? And why would a woman make that choice?"