The grand jury report in the case of Kermit Gosnell, 72, is among the most horrifying I've read. "This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy - and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors," it states. "The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels - and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths."
Charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Gosnell is now standing trial in a Philadelphia courtroom. An NBC affiliate's coverage includes testimony as grisly as you'd expect. "An unlicensed medical school graduate delivered graphic testimony about the chaos at a Philadelphia clinic where he helped perform late-term abortions," the channel reports. "Stephen Massof described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, 'literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.' He testified that at times, when women were given medicine to speed up their deliveries, 'it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.'" [...]
Until Thursday, I wasn't aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it's been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would've been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power's USA Today column. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.
The media criticism angle interests me. But I agree that the story has been undercovered, and I happen to be a working journalist, so I'll begin by telling the rest of the story for its own sake. Only then will I explain why I think it deserves more coverage than it has gotten, although it ought to be self-evident by the time I'm done distilling the grand jury's allegations. Grand juries aren't infallible. This version of events hasn't been proven in a court of law. But journalists routinely treat accounts given by police, prosecutors and grand juries as at least plausible if not proven. Try to decide, as you hear the state's side of the case, whether you think it is credible, and if so, whether the possibility that some or all this happened demands massive journalistic scrutiny.
Read the rest here.
To be perfectly honest, I'm disgusted that this story hasn't been front page news, but I'm not in the least bit surprised. If you approve of abortion, then Dr. Gosnell's only crime here is sloppiness and procrastination, in that he sometimes waited until after the baby was born to kill him or her.
But guess what? As I wrote during the 2008 presidential election, our current president doesn't think that babies born alive during an abortion should be rushed into a NICU or otherwise allowed to live. That "...burdens the original decision..." of the woman and her doctor. The full quote is here.
It's just not that much of a surprise that people who think that abortion is a good way to get rid of an unwanted baby if contraception fails should not particularly object to the idea that infanticide is a good way to get rid of the same unwanted baby a few months later if the abortion has been delayed for some reason and the baby survives the late-term procedure. The mother paid for her child to die. Her child should die. The rest, by pro-choice logic, is just a matter of detail.
And the mainstream news media, which likes to pretend to be diverse, is not at all diverse when it comes to abortion. The vast majority of people who work in the news industry are in favor of legalized abortion on demand, though they like to use the phrase "pro-choice" to describe their position. They were slow to pick up the Dr. Gosnell story, and have continued to be rather reticent about it compared to things they really care about (like gay "marriage"), because it's an uncomfortable story for them to cover. Yes, Dr. Gosnell killed post-birth fetuses in unsanitary conditions and presided over at least one or two women's deaths, but that's just unfortunate. Abortion doctors (or abortionists as we pro-life people like to call them) are heroes to most in the mainstream media, and while they can't come right out and editorialize that Dr. Gosnell is the victim of some kind of pro-life witch hunt, it's probably the sort of thing that has been whispered around the water coolers of more than one major news media outlet. And the opinion that pro-life people are the reason poor women don't go get abortions when the baby is smaller and can't breathe outside the womb yet has actually been publicly circulated--in other words, if it weren't for those mean pro-lifers and their clinic protests, no woman would wait until the risk that the child might survive the abortion materialized before paying someone to terminate the little human parasite.
So, no, the media hasn't been falling all over themselves to report this story. It's not, they tell us sanctimoniously, really newsworthy. But if that were true, then we would have to accept the corollary that this sort of atrocity goes hand-in-hand with abortion; it's expected, really, and only poor ignorant women would ever think otherwise. Which tells us a lot more about the people who make up the MSM then they would like us to know.