We instinctively rely on the media to keep us informed. Whether we read the paper, surf websites or watch news programs, we presume these outlets will apprise us of newsworthy stories. But our reliance is misplaced.
Bias infects virtually all major news outlets, shaping not only how a story is reported, but whether it is reported at all. Should we ever doubt this lack of objectivity in America’s newsrooms, we need look no further than the coverage, or more aptly put, the non-coverage, of the Kermit Gosnell trial.
In case you haven’t heard – and you probably haven’t – on March 18th, prosecutors opened the trial of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor in Philadelphia charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of seven infants, all born alive after abortion procedures, as well as third-degree murder in the death of a woman who was given a fatal overdose of anesthesia before an abortion procedure. Gosnell, 72, pled not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.
The details of the case are scandalous, the kind that typically garner the attention of those wanting to sell or gain advertisers for news-related products. Seven babies (and most likely many more) were allegedly killed by snipping their spinal cords after they were born. Gosnell routinely aborted children delivered at twenty-six weeks or later, children who were viable – had a fighting chance at life – had they been born at a hospital and given proper care. Exhibiting little concern for those undergoing these procedures, Gosnell harmed and killed women in addition to the babies.
The grand jury report about Gosnell’s gruesome practice is rich with intrigue, “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. 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.”
While the notorious nature of the trial for Gosnell begged for publicity, the mainstream media was silent on the subject, choosing instead to fill up space and airtime with reports on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voicing public support for homosexual marriage. World Magazine, a Christian publication, has provided regular coverage of this event for its readership, but if you subscribe to major publications like the Washington Post or New York Times, or read major websites like Politico or the Atlantic, for your news, you probably missed it. No network news shows covered it; neither did CNN.
The omission is no accident. When infants are brutally murdered, when women are treated with such little care as they were by Gosnell’s clinic, the pro-choice position favored by most of the media falls apart. Rhetoric meets reality and rhetoric loses.
But despite the media’s best efforts, the word is getting out about Gosnell and his despicable acts, thanks in large part to social media. Hundreds of thousands of tweets and Facebook posts were made about the Gosnell trial last week, as interested people sought to make their own friends and family aware of the situation, even if the media refused to do so. And, as the trial has worn on, many have begun to openly question the media for avoiding coverage.
Last Friday, ten members of the House of Representatives joined the chorus from the floor of Congress, with a sign declaring “The National Media Cover-up” as their backdrop, so as to inform their colleagues of this important trial.
The mounting pressure on the media is having an effect. The story has gained more traction over the last several days and even liberal media outlets are issuing apologies for ignoring the trial in the first place. Through honest reporting, people are finally learning about Kermit Gosnell and more about the evils of abortion.
If left to their own devices, many members of the media will only report on what they want to you know. As evidenced with the Gosnell trial, we must require more from our news-bearers; we must demand truth. For nothing is more significant, more impactful, more newsworthy, than truth.
Posted by Nate Kellum