Bernie Goldberg
Bernie's Column: Media Ignore Mass Murder Trial
April 16, 2013

Remember all the attention the media gave to the O.J. Simpson murder trial?  How could they resist, especially TV, since cameras were allowed in the courtroom? A super star football player, who’s black, is charged with killing his wife and the young man who was with her, both of whom are white.  Never mind what the trial said about race.  All the suits in the front office cared about is what the trial said about ratings.


But you don’t have to be famous or a player in some big social issue for the media to fall in love with you.  Who ever heard of Jodi Arias before she went on trial for murdering her boyfriend?  Now she’s on TV all the time.  More people know all about Ms. Arias then they know about Benghazi, which makes sense since their eyes glaze over when they hear the word Benghazi and they salivate when they hear the word sex, a word that comes up a lot at the trial of Ms. Arias, a young, semi-pretty woman who allegedly slit her boyfriend’s throat.


Before that, it was Casey Anthony, another shiny object the media couldn’t get enough of. She was charged with killing her baby, and who could resist a story about someone who would kill a baby?


Well …


If you don’t watch the Fox News Channel there’s a good chance you don’t know the name Kermit Gosnell.  Why would you?  The media by and large have shown just about zero interest in Doctor Gosnell, who is on trial in Philadelphia for mass murder.


Given the details of his case you’d think the media would be falling all over themselves covering his trial.  Dr. Gosnell is charged with 7 counts of murder, and everyone one of them was horrifying almost beyond belief.


Prosecutors say he beheaded victims, that he put their cut off feet in jars, that he snipped their spinal cords to make sure they were all dead.


Oh yeah, all the victims were newborn babies who survived Dr. Gosnells’s abortions.  Or to put it another way, they were born alive — or about to be born — until Gosnell killed them, allegedly.


He says he’s innocent.  He admits performing the late term abortions, but his lawyer claims the babies were dead when they left the womb.  Witnesses who worked in Dr. Gosnell’s clinics disagree. One said former Dr. Gosnell “snipped the spinal cords of babies,” another testified that Gosnell showed her his “snipping” technique to use on infants born alive.


Here’s part of what the grand jury found: “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.”


This is not a column about abortion, late term, partial birth or otherwise.  It’s a column about how far too many journalists will go to protect their interests.  How could the same journalists who put Mitt Romney on Page One for allegedly using a scissors to snip off one lock of a high school classmate’s hair — 50 years ago — be deaf dumb and blind to a story about a doctor who allegedly used a scissors to snip the spinal cords of babies?


For openers, survey after survey show that most reporters are far more liberal than the American population at large and far more likely to support abortion rights. Yes, we all know that professional journalists shouldn’t let their personal views intrude on their judgment, but who’s kidding whom?  The only abortion story that interests these high-minded journalists is a story about some right-winger trying to limit abortion rights.


Then there’s the part about how liberals in general and journalists in particular never gave much credence to the partial birth abortion argument.  It was, they figured, just one more right-wing delusion.


But as Kirsten Powers put it in a piece for USA Today, “Planned Parenthood recently claimed that the possibility of infants surviving late-term abortions was ‘highly unusual.’ The Gosnell case suggests otherwise.


“Regardless of such quibbles, about whether Gosnell was killing the infants one second after they left the womb instead of partially inside or completely inside the womb — as in a routine late-term abortion — is merely a matter of geography. That one is murder and the other is a legal procedure is morally irreconcilable.”


Recently in Florida, a woman representing the state’s Planned Parenthood organizations, testified against a bill that would require abortionists to provide medical care to babies who survive attempted abortions. She was asked:  “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” The woman from Planned Parenthood replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.”


And this brings us to another reason the so-called mainstream media have shown virtually no interest in the story: President Obama shares that woman’s view on partial birth abortion, a term I’m sure he would not use.


When he was an Illinois state senator he said the issue should be left to women.  But he went even further, voting against a bill that would have protected babies born alive after botched abortions, claiming (many say falsely) that there were already laws on the book to cover that possibility.


On February 29 2012, National Review Online published a piece by Patrick Brennan that came to this conclusion:


“Obama’s record as a state senator was not merely pro-choice, but radically pro-abortion. His voting record indicates that he does not believe infants deserve protection even once they have emerged from the womb if they are deemed to be below the age of viability, and he did in fact, three times, vote to keep a form of infanticide legal.”


As I say this is not a column about abortion.  Reasonable people may disagree on abortion, though I suspect, each side sees the other side as anything but reasonable.  This is a column about how corrupt the mainstream media have become.   This is a piece about journalistic malpractice.


Posted by Bernie Goldberg at 7:57 AM
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