Erik Wemple, a media-focused columnist at WaPo, notes a frank assessment from Marc Lamont Hill:

In a HuffPost Live segment today on the issue, host Marc Lamont Hill made clear where his theoretical thinking lay:

“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.”

Strong words from a host on a left-leaning outlet.

Strong words, but true.

The fear of how knowledge of abortion procedures would play on the larger issue of abortion rights explains, in part, the Gosnell mainstream news blackout, despite attempts to obfuscate.  Defenses that feminists led the way in reporting about Gosnell or pro-lifers drove women to Gosnell are unfounded.

Carl Cannon writing at Real Clear Politics, Abortion: Journalism’s Most Sacred Cow:

Gosnell’s actions pull back the curtain on this procedure and allow Americans to  contemplate a disquieting prospect: that abortion itself is an inherently  violent act, the grisly details of which remain hidden even from the patients in  the operating room — and that if those specifics were truly understood, public  support for it would wane.

Those grisly details were acknowledged on a conference call organized by pro-abortion groups ostensibly to deflect criticism based on Gosnell’s conduct.  From Tim Carney:

When the pro-choice group RH Reality Check hosted a conference call today on abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the speakers focussed entirely on the substandard care Gosnell provided the mothers. But violating sanitation regulations is not really why Gosnell is on trial. He’s been charged with killing people — mostly babies.

So I asked the call participants, “What is the distinction between what he did, and what a late-term abortionist like, say, LeRoy Carhart does?”

Tracy Weitz, associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, explained: “When a procedure that usually involves the collapsing of the skull is done, it’s usually done when the fetus is still in the uterus, not when the fetus has been delivered.”

You see, headlines like this don’t play well, Gosnell Worker: Toilets Backed Up With Body Parts From Abortions (h/t Hot Air):

Former abortion clinic worker James Johnson testified today during the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell and provided jurors with a nauseating account of the horrific conditions at the abortion facility.

Johnson worked as a janitor, maintenance man and plumber of sorts and he was the common-law husband of 51-year-old Elizabeth Hampton, who is Gosnell’s wife’s sister. He told jurors some of the morbid details that appear in the grand jury report — including how he threatened to quit working at the abortion clinic because he refused to pull any more flesh from aborted babies out of the plumbing.

His job was to collect abortion remains and take them to basement — but he eventually refused to participate and bags began piling up.

He told the jury toilets backed up one-two times a week and said he opened the outside clean out pipe and fetal parts such as babies’ arms came spilling out.

Johnson said he scooped up body parts with shovel and put them in a bag that was taken to rat infested basement. Johnson said a cat kept at the Gosnell clinic was there to deal with rat infestations that kept happening. He said the at pooped in plants all over clinic.

Doesn’t play well, at all.