The Rutgers basketball story continues to transfix the media, and why shouldn’t it? Mike Rice, the disgraced former Rutgers basketball coach allegedly killed a woman and at least seven viable, born-alive babies “by plunging scissors into their spinal cords” in his filthy, macabre “house of horrors” abortion clinic.
Oh wait, my mistake. Rice was fired last week from Rutgers over video of him shoving, kicking and yelling at his players, throwing basketballs at them and – most damning – using “homophobic slurs.” That’s made Rice the most notorious villain in America. And in one week it earned him 36 network news stories clocking in at 41 minutes, 26 seconds of air time on ABC, CBS and NBC.
Now, had Rice been accused of killing a woman and eight babies, he’d be enjoying the same anonymity as Kermit Gosnell– provided the killings were carried out in an abortion clinic. Gosnell is the West Philadelphia abortionist who ran an unimaginable charnel house of a “clinic,” for 30 years. Witnesses testified that he may have murdered over 100 babies outside the womb. Gosnell’s trial, underway for weeks, has featured wrenching testimony and horrific details. And it has received exactly zeroseconds of airtime on the broadcast networks.
Let’s break it out by network.
Last week, Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell and 20 other leaders of the conservative movementpublicly demanded the networks end their blackout of the Gosnell trial. They haven’t. Perhaps they’ve been too traumatized by Rutgers and the “shocking videotapes,” as ABC’s Jenna Wolfe called them on “Good Morning America” April 6. NBC’s Erica Hill also called them “shocking” on that morning’s “Today.” At CBS “This Morning” on April 3, anchor Norah O’Donnell found the video “stunning.”
“We`ve all been in environments, basketball courts, locker rooms, where the coaches can get fiery, they can get animated with you, CBS special correspondent James Brown allowed, “but putting your hands on a player and engaging in that kind of – those kind of homophobic slurs and abusive behavior, you don`t treat animals that way.”
And you certainly don’t call them “faggot” or “fairy.” Rice’s bullying might have been excused had he not used those terms. In fact, they merited a special apology from Rutgers President Robert Barchi “to the LGBT community and all of us who share their values for the homophobic slurs shown on that video. I personally know how hurtful that language can be.”
ABC was so troubled by the antics of an overbearing basketball coach that on the April 5 “World News Tonight,” correspondent David Muir promised that the network’s “20/20” news magazine show “is now exploring the bigger question, the conversation started by that tape this week. How common is this bad behavior, how early does it start?”
And explore it they did, with Muir talking to “a mother devastated by that video the nation watched this week. Her son towering over that Rutgers coach, but still defenseless.” Stacy Williams, the mother of Rutgers player Austin Johnson, told Muir, “We have to now empower our children to say enough is enough and that we are not gonna stand idly by because you dangled a scholarship in our hands and allow you to get away with all manners of evil.”
“All manners of evil” … like severing a newborn’s spinal chord? Like JB said, “you don`t treat animals that way.”