The MSM’s disgraceful silence about the Gosnell trial

I don’t believe we have commented on the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. I guess that’s because, although some, if not all, of us at Power Line are pro-life (I haven’t taken a full survey), none of us has the abortion beat. Or maybe it’s because we have had nothing of particular interest to add to the discussion of this gruesome affair, in which a child screamed after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure, the spinal cords of babies were snipped, and fetuses “rained” (in the words of one witness).

Power Line does, however, handle the media beat. Therefore, we should at least note the lack of coverage the Gosnell trial has received. Here, I’ll rely on Kirsten Powers, writing in USA Today:

A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.

The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial’s first day. They’ve been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.

Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerable NBC Nightly News’ Brian Williams intoned, “A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh,” as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed — a major human rights story if there ever was one — doesn’t make the cut.

You don’t have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” It’s about basic human rights.

The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace.


By the way, now is a good time to try to reverse an injustice I did to Powers. In a post last year about Todd Akin, I referred to her as a feminist/Democratic partisan. Powers probably considers herself both a feminist and a Democrat, and I think my criticism of one of her comments about Akin was justified. However, the way I wrote the post makes Powers sound like an extremist and a partisan shill.

She is anything but. This is clear not only from the USA Today column cited above, but from her appearances on Fox News, where she is now, in my opinion, a very valuable contributor.

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