When the Newtown shooting took the lives of 20 children, the nation was justifiably horrified. Journalists reported round the clock on ways to change public policy to prevent another shooting. But when seven children and a mother died in a Philadelphia abortion clinic dubbed a “house of horrors,” the major media couldn’t have cared less.
It’s a news story that reads more like a Hollywood torture plot – “Saw” or “Hostel” or some other movie so foul that it makes you want to take a shower just having viewed it.
Only this case is real and the media are keeping it real quiet because it betrays the barbarity of the abortion industry in open court, where they can’t hide. It’s all about abortion “doctor” Kermit Gosnell and the purportedly Medieval facility he ran to kill babies – both before they were born and after, claim prosecutors. Eight clinic employees have already pleaded guilty to “various charges.”
ABC, CBS and NBC have spent 41 minutes and 26 seconds telling viewers about the Rutgers basketball scandal. And not a second about baby murder in Philadelphia.
“Gosnell is charged with killing seven babies born alive, along with Karnamaya Mongar a newly-arrived, 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan. Prosecutors say Gosnell's staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers during a 2009 abortion,” according to the Associated Press.
ABC has never carried that story. Not once. Neither has NBC. CBS did … back in 2011 when Gosnell was first arrested. The rest of the media landscape is an equal travesty. CNN did one story on it in 2013, even though the trial has been going on for more than three weeks. Fox has covered it more than most of its TV kin, but it has surprisingly not done a lot.
It’s OK, they’ve been too busy with basketball. Yes, ABC, CBS and NBC have spent 41 minutes and 26 seconds telling viewers about the Rutgers basketball scandal. And not a second about baby murder in Philadelphia. Of course, Rutgers Coach Mike Rice did throw basketballs at grown men, deploy “abusive behavior” and, worst of all, use “homophobic slurs.”
Gosnell’s charges seem mild by comparison. He is charged with murdering seven viable, born-alive babies “by plunging scissors into their spinal cords.” Sherry West, who worked for Gosnell, recently testified she saw an 18- to 24-inch-long newborn. “It didn't have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching, making this noise. It was weird. It sounded like a little alien,” she told the court.
“A former clinic worker who grew up in Mt. Lebanon testified on Thursday that he routinely saw babies born and then killed with scissors in an inner-city Philadelphia clinic that catered to minorities, the poor and women with late-term pregnancies,” reported AP. The worker estimated the number of babies he saw killed at about 100.
Despite all that, print publications haven’t covered the story much either. The local papers, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, have done a fantastic job covering a story that is so ghastly that its reporters will probably never stop having nightmares. Lexis-Nexis credits the Inquirer with more than 140 stories about the topic, each more gruesome than the last.
But the national papers have largely ignored it. The New York Times, the land of “All the News That's Fit to Print” only found this mass murder story “fit” four times, just once in 2013. The Washington Post has mentioned it three times, but not since April 11 of 2012.
The liberal press has been almost as silent. Lefty Salon had a few AP stories, but only ones that undermined the charges against the doctor. Those include: “Doc disputes ‘killings’ at Philly abortion clinic” and “Med. examiner, lawyer clash at doc’s murder trial.”
The liberal Huffington Post, on which so many journalists rely for their news, was equally dismissive. It’s run a couple wire stories, but those conveniently left out the most heinous aspects of the trial.
Surprisingly, the whacko site Alternet included one condemnation of Gosnell, but it did to hold the line on unlimited abortion. The site ran the text of a speech by Dr. Jennefer Russo of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. While she admitted, “what happened in Philadelphia in the office of Kermit Gosnell is an atrocity,” she still defended abortion as a way to “protect women’s health.” Perhaps she hasn’t been following the trial.
Or maybe she has and the abortion industry doesn’t care what happens as long as it adds to the 50 million aborted babies since Roe v. Wade. That was certainly the impression given by Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. She testified that how to handle a child born from a botched abortion “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.” Someone needs to teach Planned Parenthood that abortions after a child is born are murder.
Sadly, that story also has received no attention. Journalists are quick to worry about “extreme” ways states are trying to curtail abortion. But clearly, murdering babies is not the news media’s definition of “extreme.”
Twenty conservative leaders including L. Brent Bozell, of the Media Research Center, Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, and Jeanne Monahan, of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, have all demanded the media stop censoring this ghoulish trial. In an open letter, they concluded: “This cover-up is a national disgrace.”
The oddest thing about the media blackout is how it defies everything news folks ordinarily do. Journalists aren’t just predictable, they are stunningly so. Give them a Casey Anthony, Amanda Knox, Scott Peterson and more, and they will be reporting it, desperate for the attention and ratings.
That is, unless it makes the Merchants of Death at Planned Parenthood look bad. Then that story will be ignored, no matter how many babies die in the process.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.