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Apr-10-2013 11:58printcomments

Why is the National Media Ignoring Murder Trial of Phil. Abortion Doctor?

The public is ill-served if this is the case, as it certainly seems to be.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Dr. Kermit Gosnell

(PHILADELPHIA) - The national media, as we all know, has a penchant for scandal, the more gruesome the better.

Consider the case of Jodi Arias, the young woman on trial for murdering her boyfriend---allegedly inflicting 29 stab wounds, a slit throat and a shot to the head. She claims it was self-defense.

This case has saturated the media. Anderson Cooper seems to discuss it almost nightly on his CNN program. The cable network HLN airs a daily show entitled, "HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial." ABC News conducted a jailhouse interview with Arias and the case was featured on an episode of "48 Hours Mystery: Picture Perfect In 2008." Inside Edition also interviewed Arias at the Maricopa County, Arizona jail.

While the media has devoted itself to promoting the Arias trial, another trial was taking place in Philadelphia, with Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor, charged not with a single murder---as in the Arias case---but with killing 7 newborn babies as well as a 41-year-old refugee from Nepal who was getting an illegal late-term abortion.

Dr. Gosnell is black and his clinic is in a minority neighborhood. Most of his victims were African-Americans. The facts of the case are shocking by any standard. Gosnell is accused of using unfathomable abortion procedures on his inner-city patients who were well into their third trimester at an unsanitary,bloody clinic called the Woman's Medical Society.

While he is only charged with killing 7 live babies, prosecutors believe Gosnell killed hundreds of infants and destroyed related records, according to a grand jury report. During the trial, ex-clinic employee Stephen Massof testified that he "snipped" babies' spinal cords to kill them after delivering them live. "It would rain fetuses," Massof said, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia. "Fetuses and blood all over the place."

Gosnell wasn't licensed to practice obstetrics and gynecology and illegally peddled pain killers during the day and murdered babies at night, according to the grand jury. In Feb. 2010, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies finally raided his facility, following reports that he had been writing illegal prescriptions. Here's what they found: "There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine in the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners with blood-stained blankets."

On Jan. 31, 1998, a then 15 year old Robyn Reid, in the company of her grandmother, sought an abortion from Gosnell's clinic. Once in the clinic, Reid, an 87 pound teenager, changed her mind. Gosnell ripped off her clothes and restrained the girl. When she regained consciousness 12 hours later at her aunt's home, she discovered that an abortion had been performed against her will.

According to the Media Research Center, there has been no network coverage of the Gosnell trial on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC or PBS and only one brief mention on CNN. "It's unbelievable that Dr. Gosnell's trial for his actions inside his 'house of horrors' haven't drawn one network story," said the Media Research Center president Brent Bozell.

FORBES columnist Mike Ozanian said that the controversy surrounding Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice, who was shown in a video abusing players and using vulgar language during practice, had received far more attention than the Gosnell trial.

"What troubles me is why Rice and Rutgers deserve more attention from the media than the trial of doctor Kermit Gosnell," he said. "How much of the story have you seen on the evening news? I bet not nearly as much as you have seen about Rice. Gosnell apparently made a fortune running a slaughterhouse."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES notes that, "Not every murder trial receives prominent national coverage, but the Gosnell case would seem to contain all the ingredients of must-see television: a formerly respected community leader accused if unspeakable acts; the death of a young immigrant woman; a parade of former employees offering graphic testimony on the gruesome deaths of more than 100 just-born infants; and even the implication by the doctor's lawyers that the charges have been motivated by racism."

Perhaps a strange form of political correctness is at work here. Is there fear that publicizing this story would paint pro-choice advocates in a poor light? Is there a level of indifference to a story when both the victims and the perpetrator are black?

The trial is being covered by the Associated Press, and AP wire stories have appeared on network websites. The proceedings are also being covered by some religious websites such as LifeNews, as well as newspapers and television in the Philadelphia and Delaware markets. Yet the story has been totally ignored by the national media.

Are Jodi Arias and Mike Rice really more interesting----and compelling----than the trial of Kermit Gosnell? Or is a strange manifestation of political correctness---and media bias---the real reason? The public is ill-served if this is the case, as it certainly seems to be.

_________________________________________ contributor Allan C. Brownfeld received his B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary, his J.D. degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary and his M.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. He has served on the faculties of St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Alexandria, Virginia, and the University College of the University of Maryland.

The recipient of a Wall Street Journal Foundation Award, Mr. Brownfeld has written for such newspapers as THE HOUSTON PRESS, THE RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH, THE WASHINGTON EVENING STAR and THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. For many years he wrote three columns a week for such newspapers as THE PHOENIX GAZETTE, THE MANCHESTER UNION LEADER, and THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. His weekly column appeared for more than a decade in ROLL CALL, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. His articles have appeared in such journals as THE YALE REVIEW, THE TEXAS QUARTERLY, THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, ORBIS and MODERN AGE.

Mr. Brownfeld served as a member of the staff of the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and was the author of that committee's 250-page study of the New Left. He has also served as Assistant to the Research Director of the House Republican Conference and as a consultant to such members of Congress as Reps. Phil Crane (R-Il) and Jack Kemp (R-NY) and to the Vice President of the United States.

He is a former editor of THE NEW GUARD and PRIVATE PRACTICE, the journal of the Congress of County Medical Societies and has served as a Contributing Editor AMERICA'S FUTURE and HUMAN EVENTS. He served as Washington correspondent for the London-based publications, JANE'S ISLAMIC AFFAIRS ANALYST and JANE'S TERRORISM REPORT. His articles regularly appear in newspapers and magazines in England, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and other countries. You can write to Allan at


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