Monday, April 15, 2013

The Atlantic on the media's Gosnell cover-up.

A photo of an aborted baby girl from Gosnell's clinic, from the Grand Jury report. 

Even Conor Friedersdorf at lefty The Atlantic magazine can't take it anymore.


Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story 

The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy.
... The grand jury report summarizes a more typical late-term abortion, as conducted at the clinic, concluding with the following passage: 
When you perform late-term "abortions" by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women's Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn't call it that. He called it "ensuring fetal demise." The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that "snipping."

Over the years, there were hundreds of "snippings." Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the "snipping" was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.

But all the employees of the Women's Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn't murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant -- seven and a half months -- when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could "walk me to the bus stop." Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times. And these were not even the worst cases.

Says Kirsten Powers in her USA Today op-ed, "Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerable NBC Nightly News' Brian Williamsintoned, 'A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh,' as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed -- a major human rights story if there ever was one -- doesn't make the cut." 
Inducing live births and subsequently severing the heads of the babies is indeed a horrific story that merits significant attention. Strange as it seems to say it, however, that understates the case.

For this isn't solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn't make national headlines? 
But it isn't even solely a story of a rogue clinic that's awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn't have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.

There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work...
There's just no end to it. 
To sum up, this story has numerous elements any one of which would normally make it a major story. And setting aside conventions, which are flawed, thisought to be a big story on the merits. 
The news value is undeniable.

Why isn't it being covered more? I've got my theories. But rather than offer them at the end of an already lengthy item, I'd like to survey some of the editors and writers making coverage decisions.
Please read the whole thing, if you can stomach it.

Friedersdorf has his "theories" about the cover-up. "Why isn't it being covered more?"

Gee-- I wonder...


How about this theory: the media is populated by cowardly amoral left-wing bastards who are not journalists in any sense. They are advocates for abortion, and they don't believe that killing babies is a crime. But they understand that the P.R. fallout from the Gosnell trial is devastating to the abortion cause. So their approach to the Gosnell trial is not investigative journalism, but damage-control.

A few of the vermin in the media have enough of conscience left to raise questions-- hence this article in Atlantic. It will come to nothing. They will engage in damage-control about their cover-up of this crime, just like they engaged in damage-control about the crime itself.

The mainstream media is corrupt beyond redemption, and beyond shame.

But they no longer control the flow of information. This truth about abortion is being told.


  1. Replies
    1. I can guarantee you that if someone had killed Gosnell it wouldn't have been a "local crime story."

      Reminds me of what Dan Rather said of rape allegations against Bill Clinton: ""Juanita Broaddrick, to be perfectly honest, I don't remember all the details of Juanita Broaddrick. But I will say that and you can castigate me if you like. When the charge has something to do with somebody's private sex life, I would prefer not to run any of it."


  2. I think it should also be noted that a number of news outlets refuse to refer to the victims as children, or babies, but rather as viable fetuses.

    I can understand the confusion. The difference between a "fetus" and a child is pretty inconsequential. Location is the defining factor. It's like saying a person is not a person when he's in a car, in a box, or in a boat. Then he's something else. And we can kill him.

    Does anybody remember that local crime story involving the abortionist from Florida a few years ago? The abortionist walked out of the room right before he was about to murder the child, the child came falling out, and a nurse snipped the child's spinal cord and stuffed her in a plastic bag?

    Found it.
    He lost his license, nothing more. So now I guess he's not a "doctor" anymore; not that he ever was.


  3. Sadly, the US has degenerated into a pathetic joke of a 3rd world nation, thanks to free market fundamentalism and deregulation.

    1. I see. The problem is free market capitalism, not abortion.

      Nice save, Troy!


    2. That's right - abortion is not the problem.

      Consider this (I hope hypothetical) scenario: Egnor operated for years without anesthesia using rusty bread knives while being drunk and getting blow jobs from the nurses, killing numerous patients. Would you conclude that brain surgery is the problem? Or would you question the lack of oversight that allowed Egnor to get away with his crimes for so long?

    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      And the correlation between your scenario and capitalism is.... ?

    4. Brain surgery actually saves lives. Abortion is always killing. This guy is just a sloppy killer; sloppier than most. This guy didn't happen to kill a few patients by accident, due to his own negligence. He got up and went to work every morning, knowing full well that he was a killer.I can't believe you don't understand that.

      And to think that the whole reason we keep abortion legal is so that women can kill their children in hygenic conditions. If not, they might be relegated to the proverbial "back-alley" that never existed. The back alley can't be much worse than Dr. Gosnell's office.

      There was, however, very little oversight of this particular clinic, but not because of some spirit of laissez-faire capitalism. The very "pro-choice" Gov. Tom Ridge banned abortion clinic inspections because he considered them "putting up a barrier" to women seeking abortions.

      Planned Parenthood opposes abortion mill inspections as well. Gee, I wonder why?

      They want to keep abortion safe, legal, and rare, right? Wouldn't a little oversight help with the "safe" part?

      Also, the American economy is regulated to the gills.

      We are looking a lot like a third world country, but I think it's because we have third world corruption in the halls of power, from Obama on down.


    5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      You probably did, given the social circles you haunt.

    6. The back alley can't be much worse than Dr. Gosnell's office.

      Gosnell's office was the back alley. Anti-choicers who are clamoring for greater media coverage of Gosnell should be careful what they wish for. His clinic is a perfect argument in favor of making abortion legal.

  4. Slate covered the Gosnell story fairly closely. Kermit Gosnell: The Alleged Mass-Murderer and the Bored Media

    An excerpt:

    "Let's just state the obvious: National political reporters are, by and large, socially liberal. We are more likely to know a gay couple than to know someone who owns an "assault weapon." We are, generally, pro-choice. Twice, in D.C., I've caused a friend to literally leave a conversation and freeze me out for a day or so because I suggested that the Stupak Amendment and the Hyde Amendment made sense. There is a bubble. Horror stories of abortionists are less likely to permeate that bubble than, say, a story about a right-wing pundit attacking an abortionist who then claims to have gotten death threats.

    Slate is an exception to this rule. Two years and two months ago, my colleagues Will Saletan and Amanda Marcotte—who've covered abortion issues for years, and in Will's case earned real ire from some liberal readers—wrote about the grand jury report that detailed Gosnell's possible crimes. I read Will's piece at the time but didn't see a political story to chase. Only when Hemingway started on that tear of tweets did I read the report, and I'm glad she forced the issue, because the report is a catalogue of unspeakable horrors."

    That coverage was more in-depth than the sensationalistic and shallow stuff from FOX News.


    1. So that's your lame-ass defense? Fox News didn't cover it thoroughly either?

      Are you willing to admit at this point that there is a very real bias in American media?

      I don't think reporters report, actually. What they're doing might resemble reporting in some vague, theoretical sense, but it is not journalism. Their job is to shape public opinion, issue by issue, and swing elections. That's it. They do a great job of that.


    2. A right-wing nut holding forth on journalism? LOL


    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      That's a very powerful argument, hoo. Right up there with "Yo' momma wears army boots!"

    4. That wasn't an argument, admiral. It was the sound of coffee ruining my keyboard.


    5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Sorry! I wasn't able to distinguish it from your usual stylistic homage to Keith Olbermann.

    6. No surprise here. Getting old is no fun. Do you do crosswords?


    7. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Not getting old is less fun.

  5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyApril 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    The bootlicking press is doing the best they can, ignoring Gosnell and attacking Ben Carson.

    Maybe it's a case of "birds of a feather"... Remember the ghoulette from the East Village who killed two of her triplets so she wouldn't need to buy big jars of mayo at Costco?

  6. If dentists where under the same kind of public pressure and terrorist threat that abortion doctors are, we would be reading rouge dentist horror stories. If you make abortion illegal, you won’t stop abortion, you’ll just make them all much more like this.


    1. @KW:

      [If you make abortion illegal, you won’t stop abortion, you’ll just make them all much more like this.]

      Abortion was illegal in many states prior to Roe. According to your reasoning, there should have been many Gosnells in those states pre 1973-- serial killers of newborn babies.

      Could you please name them. Provide links as well.

      Let's see the facts to support your assertion.

    2. under public pressure, huh? i think the whole point of this story is that they aren't under public pressure. they can run medieval dungeons and the state won't bother them. they can kill indiscriminately and the media won't cover it. how exactly would more public pressure have caused more of these incidents?