GOP reps. to mainstream media: Stop ignoring Gosnell abortion trial

GOP reps. to mainstream media: Stop ignoring Gosnell abortion trial

The refusal by many mainstream media outlets to cover the trial of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell prompted Republicans to call for more attention on the subject of abortion and media bias surrounding it in speeches on the House floor, The Hill reported Sunday.

“Our hope is that this will act as a wake up call,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told The Hill.

“The fact [this case] has been so aggressively ignored by national media needs to be explored. I’ve been in the pro-life movement for 42 years and in Congress for 33. I just hope this wakes some people up. I hope it causes a reappraisal and a rethinking.”

Prosecutors say Gosnell performed a number of illegal late-term abortions at the Women’s Medical Society in Philadelphia.  In some cases, The Hill said, Gosnell “snipped” the spines of babies that survived the abortion attempts with scissors. According to media reports, some children were born breathing and screaming while body parts were kept in jars around the blood-stained clinic.

Gosnell is charged with partially delivering, then killing, seven children who were 24 weeks or older and is charged with the death of a mother who went into cardiac arrest during an abortion. His attorney says that if he is found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

But the so-called “mainstream media” has been oddly quiet about the details of the case, something many conservatives find troubling.

“The reason the mainstream media has not reported this story and continues to refuse to report this story about little innocent puppies having their necks cut and killed after they’re born alive is because they’re not puppies, they’re human beings, they’re boys and girls and it doesn’t fit the agenda of the mainstream media,” Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, said. “They would for sure report if these were puppies, but they’re not.”

On Sunday, Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard broke down the coverage given by the media.

“ABC and CBS have yet to do one report on the trial. The only mention of it on NBC was by the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan on the March 31 installment of Meet the Press,” he wrote, adding that the taxpayer-subsidized NPR has done only one report.

An article at the Washington Post admitted the media has largely ignored the story, but claims that conservative media outlets have as well, something Sheppard refuted on Sunday.

CNN’s Howard Kurtz repeated the claim on Sunday’s edition of “Reliable Sources.” “Perhaps the mainstream press is less attuned to a story that casts a shadow on abortion, but the conservative media didn’t do much either,” he said.

“Really?” Sheppard asked.

“According to LexisNexis,” he wrote, “Fox has done at least twelve reports on this subject. It’s impossible to give a completely accurate read because Fox only provides transcripts for its extended primetime shows.”

“As for print, NewsBusters has done 21 articles on this subject. Human Events has published nine. The Weekly Standard and National Review have been all over this as have conservative talk radio hosts, bloggers, and the Drudge Report,” he added.

“As such, claiming ‘the conservative media didn’t do much either’ would be laughable if it wasn’t so offensive,” Sheppard wrote.

Last week, a picture of the empty media gallery in the courtroom went viral. J.D. Mullane wrote at PhillyBurbs.com that he asked a court staffer “why so few are interested” in the trial. “If you’re pro-choice, do you really want anybody to know about this,” the staffer reportedly told Mullane, while motioning to the filthy medical equipment set up in the courtroom.

“It’s a good point,” he wrote.  “As saturation coverage of the Sandy Hook elementary school coverage has caused Americans to reconsider the limits of the Second Amendment, saturation coverage of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic would likely cause the same reconsideration of abortion rights.” He added, “The details are that horrifying.”

The Hill said that the trial and the subsequent media silence could force the issue in Washington, D.C., with Republicans prepared to “say Democratic policies on abortion rights make them complicit in Gosnell’s crimes.”

“I say this with absolute sadness,” Smith said. “President Obama is the abortion president and this administration, with every aspect of its domestic and foreign policy, supports abortion every day.”

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Joe Newby

Joe Newby

Joe Newby is an IT professional. He has written for Conservative Firing Line, Examiner, NewsBusters, and Spokane Faith and Values.

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