Today’s must-read comes from Patheos.
It’s a fact that the national media treated the Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh contretemps as if it merited dozens of stories across week after week. It’s a fact that the national media treated Akin’s and Mourdock’s ridiculous rape comments as if they merited dozens of stories across week after week. It’s a fact that the national media have treated horrific local crimes in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT, as if they merit massive coverage for months on end. It’s a fact that the national media often cover local crimes either because they are so horrible they grab our attention, or because they bear some relevance to national policy discussions.
It’s also a fact that the national media are not covering the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is currently on trial and facing the death penalty for serial murders committed in Pennsylvania. The nature of the defendant (a medical doctor who performed abortions), the nature of his crimes (murdering babies, keeping their feet in jars and their bodies in freezers), and the fact that he faces the possibility of execution all, one would think, merit national media coverage. Gosnell’s trial is one of the most gruesome in American history. Yet other than Fox, no networks and no national newspapers are covering the trial at all.
Patheos asked the Washington Post’s health policy reporter, Sarah Kliff, why she has not devoted a single pixel to covering the Gosnell trial.
Hi Molly – I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.
Here’s her tweet:
@mzhemingway Hi Molly – I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 11, 2013
But check this tweet out, from April 8.
Will be on the Diane Rehm Show this morning, 10-11 am, talking state abortion restrictions. Tune in!
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 8, 2013
How about talking about states that put politics ahead of inspecting and regulating abortion clinics?
The same reporter devoted more than 80 stories to covering Todd Akin (a local politician who said something dumb and not representative of anyone other than himself), Richard Mourdock (a local politician who said something dumb and not representative of anyone other than himself) and the Komen-Planned Parenthood story (which was really about the policy of the Komen Foundation, not national health policy), yet has not written a single story about the state of Pennsylvania’s failure to protect women and Dr. Gosnell’s alleged crimes, and the politics behind the state’s willful neglect, and the national policy implications of unregulated abortion clinics. There is now a second case of alleged horrors at an abortion clinic, in Delaware.
Now that this is a multi-state story, should Congress step in? Why or why not? Are more states failing to protect women from predators in medical garb? Click over to Sarah Kliff to find out nothing at all!
Sarah Kliff’s claim that Gosnell is a mere “local crime” story reveals that she is a liar with a byline.
By the way, I’ve asked alleged media critic Howard Kurtz on Twitter what’s his opinion of the media’s failure to report on the Gosnell trial. Kurtz never even responded. Then again, the alleged media critic hardly ever actually levels any serious criticism at the media.