Was There a Media Blackout on the Gosnell Abortion Trial?

Kermit GosnellThe testimony paints a picture worse than any horror movie plot:

-An abortion clinic infested with rats and smelling of cat urine, its basement filled with bags full of biohazardous material.

-A doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who allegedly illegally performed third trimester abortions, and allegedly cut infants' spinal cords with scissors if they were alive when he extracted them.

-Drains clogged with tiny body parts.

-Dirty operating equipment that wasn't washed between procedures.

-A patient who died after an overdose of anesthetic.

It's the kind of trial that reads like front page news -- but even though it's been going on now for five weeks, mainstream media has just now begun covering it.

And many are asking why.


Conservative news outlets have been covering the story now for weeks, and rightfully so -- I'm pretty sure Kermit Gosnell qualifies for the Worst Doctor of All Time award.

But mainstream media was silent on the trial for more than a month, prompting many online to begin shaming them for ignoring it. "So how many dead American babies does it take to make the news?" wrote Mark Steyn on the National Review's website. As a result, over the last few days, national newspapers and news networks have sheepishly announced that they would (finally!) be sending reporters to the trail.

Explanations as to why the trial hasn't been covered up to now ran the gamut. " I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime," explained the Washington Post's Health Policy editor.

This explanation was offered by Megan McArdle, a reporter for The Daily Beast: "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."

Washington Post writer Melinda Henneberger was refreshingly frank about the lack of coverage:

I say we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage.

That makes far more sense to me than the other two explanations. And before you try and read into anything in this post: -- full disclosure-- I'm a moderate independent who personally would not choose abortion, but believes it's something each woman should decide for herself.

I do think politics entered into the decision to not cover this story, as much as I hate to admit it-- because in my experience as a television reporter, MANY journalists out there are concerned with reporting a story impartially and without bias-- and I know plenty of journalists who manage to keep their own opinions out of their reports. In general, I think the media gets a bad rap.

That said, regardless of politics this is clearly a story that deserves to be covered. No one on either side of the abortion debate is disputing the fact that babies were killed in this clinic- living, breathing humans who would have survived outside the womb if their spinal cords hadn't been snipped by this doctor or one of his assistants.

It's sickening. And I'm disappointed that it took mainstream media so long to cover the story.

How about you?



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Ricki Finlay

I'm outta here. Thought this was about moms who care not a political commentary on abortion. Bye.

bills... billsfan1104

Thank you so much!!! I would like your liberal bloggers and you Lindsey to read the Grand Jury report. It's far worse they what you put in here. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for being frank. This monster was no doctor. He is a murderer and a racist. He preyed on poor minority women.

Do you know he joked while killing these babies?? Like one meme said, If Dr Gosnell killed these babies with an AR-15, the media would not shut up about it.

I again thank you Lindsey for saying this an bringing it up. I pray now, the rest actually follow.

abra819 abra819

Not only am I disgusted by this monster, i'm totally disgusted by the monsters (mothers) who chose to have late abortions. UNBELIEVABLE.

abra819 abra819

Not only am I disgusted by this monster, i'm totally disgusted by the monsters (mothers) who chose to have late abortions. UNBELIEVABLE.

Torra... TorranceMom

Via the Washington Times:

It took almost five weeks, but national media outlets finally are beginning to cover the horrific abortion trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell — and at least one of liberal political bent has admitted that the blind eye was purposeful, in order to protect the future of abortion. “For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights,” said Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor at Columbia University and a frequent television analyst who advances liberal views. He made the comment during a HuffPost Live segment that looked at the media blackout. “Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is,” he said, as The Huffington Post reported.

Vegeta Vegeta

This guy didn't capture these women and pull their baby's out. The women went to him and saw what the place looked like, they could have left. Not saying he isn't sick and wrong. But people were buying this service, it wasn't forced on them.

Melan... MelanieJK

 Black on black crime in a poor community?    Who wants to hear about that?     Not liberals!

  The Treyvon Martin case is about to get going so I'm sure  they have to save their outrageous crime budget to report every peep and nuance of that.      


Allis... AllisonWD

More and more, I agree with you, Billsfan. I'm pretty liberal when it comes to certain rights, abortion being one of them. This, however, was straight up murder and he (and all the women he gave these "abortions" to) should be held accountable. I will never understand late term abortion--so close to just being able to give the baby to someone who wants it.

LadyM... LadyMinni

You didn't even mention the abortion he forced on the teenager who changed her mind. That was one of the worst parts of the whole thing to me. She changed her mind, but he still ripped her clothes off, tied her down, and gave her an abortion.

Oh and you can't complain about the "mainstream media" not giving it proper coverage when there hasn't  been  proper coverage of it from you either.

Andrea Wescott

Why not give those babies up for adoption? If they were almost there just make them wait and give birth to the baby. One will never know. $$ talks. and there isn't money in adoption.

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