Skip to comments.Why I Didn't Write About Gosnell's Trial--And Why I Should Have
Posted on 04/12/2013 4:17:09 PM PDT by drewh
Kermit Gosnell, a Pennsylvania abortion doctor, is on trial for a lurid series of lurid crimes at his clinic. I can't bring myself to describe them, so I'll let Kirsten Powers do it.
Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations?
It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.
NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, "described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, 'literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body." One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his "snipping" technique to use on infants born alive.
The evangelicals in my twitter and Facebook feed are asking, justifiably, why these crimes seem to be nowhere in the media. You'd think that a lurid crime touching an issue of major national importance would be covered everywhere. And yet, there's been been very little. Mollie Hemingway has been asking reporters who ordinarily cover this beat why:
Then I decided, since tmatt has me reading the Washington Post every day, to look at how the papers health policy reporter was covering Gosnell. I have critiqued many of her stories on the Susan G. Komen Foundation (she wrote quite a bit about that) and the Sandra Fluke controversy (she wrote quite a bit about that) and the Todd Akin controversy (you know where this is going). In fact, a site search for that reporter who is named Sarah Kliff and stories Akin and Fluke and Komen yields more than 80 hits. Guess how many stories shes done on this abortionists mass murder trial. Did you guess zero? Youd be right.
So I asked her about it. Heres her response:
Hi Molly I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.
Yes. She really, really, really said that. As Robert VerBruggen dryly responded:
Makes sense. Similarly, national gun-policy people do not cover local crime in places like Aurora or Newtown.
So when a private foundation privately decides to stop giving money to the countrys largest abortion provider, that is somehow a policy issue deserving of three dozen breathless hits. When a yahoo political candidate says something stupid about rape, that is a policy issue of such import that we got another three dozen hits about it from this reporter. It was so important that journalists found it fitting to ask every pro-lifer in their path to discuss it. And when someone says something mean to a birth control activist, thats good for months of puffy profiles.
I know and like Sarah Kliff, and this seems harsh to me; there's a lot of news out there, and sometimes we don't cover everything our readers would like.
But Hemingway (who I also know and like), does have a point: the MSM has barely covered a story that could plausibly be named "The Trial of the Century". And that demands explanation. So I'll tell you why I haven't covered it.
To start, it makes me ill. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the grand jury inquiry. I am someone who cringes when I hear a description of a sprained ankle.
But I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective--of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories--if the sick-making was done by "our side".
Of course, I'm not saying that I identify with criminal abortionists who kill infants and grievously wound their patients. But I am pro-choice.
What Gosnell did was not some inevitable result of legal abortion. But while legal abortion was not sufficient to create the horrors in Philadelphia, it was necessary. Gosnell was able to harm so many women and babies because he operated in the open.
Moreover, as Jeffrey Goldberg points out, this has disturbing implications for late-term abortions. It suggests that sometimes, those fetuses are delivered alive. Worse, it hints at what we might be doing inside the womb to ensure that the other ones aren't. I don't think that this affected my thinking, since I don't support late-term abortions of viable infants unless the mother's life is in danger. But I understand why pro-lifers have their suspicions.
I could also offer Kliff's defense, that this is a local crime. But George Tiller's murder was also a local crime. There was no "national policy issue" involved: murder is a matter for state law. And there was no real question that if Tiller's murderer was caught, he was going to be tried and convicted for the killing. Nonetheless, lots of national journalists--including Sarah Kliff, for Newsweek--covered the killing and discussed what it meant for abortion provision nationwide.
If I think about it for a moment, there are obviously lots of policy implications of Gosnell's baby charnel house. How the hell did this clinic operate for seventeen years without health inspectors discovering his brutal crimes? Are there major holes in our medical regulatory system? More to the point, are those holes created, in part, by the pressure to go easy on abortion clinics, or more charitably, the fear of getting tangled in a hot-button political issue? These have clear implications for abortion access, and abortion politics.
After all, when ostensibly neutral local regulations threaten to restrict abortion access--as with Virginia's recent moves to require stricter regulatory standards for abortion clinics, and ultrasounds for women seeking abortions--the national media thinks that this is worthy of remark. If local governments are being too lax on abortion clinics, surely that is also worthy of note.
Moreover, surely those of us who are pro-choice must worry that this will restrict access to abortion: that a crackdown on abortion clinics will follow, with onerous white-glove inspections; that a revolted public will demand more restrictions on late-term abortions; or that women will be too afraid of Gosnell-style crimes to seek a medically necessary abortion.
There are some stories that the MSM simply cannot cover... they... simply... cannot... and we all know why.
Did she mean JONAH Goldberg and not JEFFREY Goldberg??? geesh..
Then, sometimes, when they get caught one of them will pretend to be disturbed and seek our sympathy.
They are not human beings and they deserve nothing.
Let's escalate it until they can't stand it anymore.
The very flesh revolts at the atrocities perpetrated by these butchers.
Then you do.
That is like saying of course I don't identify with starving people to death and executing them for owning a gold fish but I support the "Great Leap Forward".
Rational thought is apparently not this person's strong suit.
Ive sold 57 articles, mostly to newspapers. I wanted to do a political column for the Tallahassee Democrat. The editor was horrified. I was informed that only trusted employees of the paper were allowed to write on politics. People who didnt work for the paper, I was told, simply didnt have the political knowledge required to write about the subject. Seriously, thats almost verbatim. They carried George Will, but you should have seen the editors face when I said his name. Apparently, it was a requirement from the head office. I was told that he often had to be edited (long pause) for length, she added.
Heres the funny thing. The paper did several surveys to find out why their circulation was circling the toilet. They published the results with a lengthy excuse explaining why the results were wrong and they werent going to change anything. Amazing. Simply, amazing. If theyd simply split the coverage to 50/50 liberal conservative theyd probably double their best circulation numbers.
After a reasonably good start. The author lets her lib flag fly at the end.
Pro-choicers worry that there will be restrictions on late-term abortions? Those restrictions would be a bad thing? Because killing a born-alive infant is so much worse than killing a 9 month fetus 5 minutes earlier, in the womb? Which is so much worse than killing a viable 8 month fetus? The libs are terrified about that slippery slope. As well they should be!
As for a "medically necessary abortion," another false left-wing costruct: It is virtually never necessary. Once the kid is extracted from the womb, the mother's health is unaffected by whether or not the baby's spinal cord is severed. Plus, the strawman argument falls apart because even the staunchest pro-lifers are willing to make an exception if the life of the mother is in jeopardy.
There is a Jeffrey Goldberg who’s a staff writer for the Atlantic Magazine.
I’m guessing this Lib would be more likely to quote the Lib Jeffrey than the Conservative Jonah, but I don’t know the answer for certain.
Either that, or she meant Jonah, but as a Lib, but her mind was channeling her fellow Lib, Jeffrey...
I was just about to make the same point, well done.
I wouldn’t expect Diane Sawyer or Anderson Cooper to care about Democrat doctors torturing children, but Even Fox is protecting the lefty child-abusers. Sick, sick sick.
“Did I save my a** with this article!” 5 days late
Can I say you’re Toast!
Liberals cannot take opposing views. They can't debate for beans. They run away (or "unfriend", or unsubscribe, or ban the channel) rather than allow themselves to have to deal with the idea of there being a rationally presented opposing side.
My guess is that Fox is queasy about the explicit nature of the facts driving away ad dollars
Of course you are.
Yeah, they like FOX and Friends to be about fun stuff. A big mistake for FOX. Shame on them.
You are amazed at their reaction because you assume these "journalists" think its their job to provide news to the public.
They don't. They think they're crusaders.
This woman is pathetic. She revels in her pro choiceness but didn’t write about this murdering bastard because she could not bear to read how her pro choiceness results in the slaughter of unborn babies. Screw her and those like her.
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