Washington Post Reporter Explains Her Gosnell Trial Blackout
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?