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.
CNN gave the trial a pittance of coverage, just over eight minutes in one week. Ironically, CNN anchors like Chris Cuomo admitted to the seriousness of the story even as the network barely covered it.
"And remember, this is one of those cases that will raise a larger question about when does life begin? And there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Important case to watch," Cuomo reported on Monday morning.
However, CNN was much more enthralled with the coming out tale of Jason Collins. "But the fact is that this is the moment where we are in our country, and it is a big moment for our country," hyped correspondent Lisa Sylvester on Monday's The Situation Room.
"A lot of people using the words 'courageous.' I think that probably sums it up," Sylvester noted. Host Wolf Blitzer agreed: "In the four major sports, he's the first one, the first one as an active player. Not after retirement but as an active player to acknowledge he's gay. So it is a courageous step."
Host Piers Morgan, speaking to former tennis champion Martina Navratilova who came out as a lesbian in 1981, praised both her and Collins: "And that, just as you were, Martina, in 1981, is an act of real courage. Because it takes guts to do that."
Openly-gay host Anderson Cooper touted, "Pro center Jason Collins becoming a true pioneer, the first big league male athlete to say he's gay." He called it a "historic decision."
Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin called it "A huge barrier broken in big league sports," on Tuesday morning.