“Gosh, who do you have to decapitate to make Page 1 around here?” That was Michael Kinsley’s question his first day on the job as opinion editor of the famously stuffy Los Angeles Times in 2004.
The story went: a bum had broken into the house of an elderly Hollywood screenwriter, hacked off his head, carried the head over the back fence, stabbed a startled neighbor to death, and made a run for it. He was finally tackled by a couple of Keystone security guards at Paramount Studios. The Page 1 query wasn’t a rhetorical question, as Kinsley later explained: “[I]t didn’t make the front page. It ran in the Metro section.”
Tens of thousands of pro-life critics (if we count social media, and we should) have been asking a version of Kinsley’s question about the Philadelphia murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. They’ve made such a stink of it not being national headline news that it is now well on the way to becoming national news.
On Friday, press criticism website Get Religion’s Mollie Hemingway reported on the reporters, so to speak. She asked several journalists whose beats ought to include the Gosnell trial why they weren’t covering it and publicized the answers.