Liberal media react to Gosnell trial: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Liberal media react to Gosnell trial: The good, the bad, and the ugly

GosnellTomorrow will mark Day 21 in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Though the MSM continues by and large to ignore the case, along with the inconvenient truths that have presented in testimony or entered as evidence, some liberal commentators have spoken up.

Included in the round-up is a mea culpa of sorts by the Daily Beast’s Megan McArdle, who confesses:

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.

But I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective — of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights.

But then, in the same breath, McArdle excuses her dereliction by writing, “The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories—if the sick-making was done by ‘our side.’” She never comes out and identifies the “sick-making” acts she ascribes to conservatives that journalists on the right tend to overlook, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

At least McArdle sees the left’s reticence in the Gosnell case as a problem. Slate’s Amanda Marcotte sees a problem too, but in her view it’s the right’s problem. This morning, she amped up a Twitter assault begun yesterday, writing, “Gosnell’s clinic is a direct result of conservative polices stripping the social safety net.” The comment is a continuation of her Saturday rant, during which she tweeted, “Man, the feeding frenzy over Gosnell is a sobering reminder of how much hatred there is out there towards women” and “It’s disturbing to see antis feign outrage over Gosnell, when that’s the standard of abortion care they want for ALL women.” (Note to Marcotte, who is an arch-feminist: Although it is part of the vernacular, you might want to drop the emphatic Man from your usage.)

The New York Times continues to maintain radio silence, though the paper of record did to its credit report the start of the trial on March 18. Even so there was something remarkable about the manner in which they framed the story. Here is the lede paragraph:

In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses by plunging scissors into their necks and ‘snipping’ their spinal cords and was also responsible for the death of a pregnant woman in his care. [Emphasis added]

Although the exact moment when life begins is a bone of contention among those who favor and oppose the right to abort, no one as far as I am aware (save for Obama’s sometime “science czar” John Holdren) denies that life begins at birth. But the Times’s reference to a “viable fetus” suggests that a newborn is not yet alive.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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