Image 01 Image 03 shouts “Look, Squirrel!” to deflect #Gosnell outrage shouts “Look, Squirrel!” to deflect #Gosnell outrage

As noted yesterday, the widespread attention to the mainstream media’s news blackout on the Kermit Gosnell trial evoked a pushback at with the claim that “feminist” writers had written about the horrors, and therefore according to Irin Carmon, There is no Gosnell coverup.

That gave rise to pushback no. 2 by Alex Seitz-Wald  —  On Gosnell, where were conservatives before this week?

Those are straw man arguments and non-sequiturs.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that “feminist” writers did write about Gosnell and that conservatives did not, that would not change the fact that the mainstream media outlets have almost completely ignored the trial.

As documented here, other than a local NBC station and a few passing articles in the national media, the trial and gruesome testimony have not received even a tiny fraction of the national mainstream media coverage that every other mass murder trial gets, or even many single murder trials.  Mainstream media outlets consciously refuse to cover the trial, Detroit Free Press rebuffs reader demand to cover Gosnell butchery.

So even if the writers are right in what they say, they are wrong on the issue of a mainstream media news blackout.

But the writers had another dodge in their writing — the notion that “feminist” writers widely wrote about Gosnell or that conservatives ignored Gosnell.  The links provided in the Carmon article prove only that a small number of “feminist” writers wrote about Gosnell, but primarily out of a concern to protect abortion rights in the face of pro-life criticism of Gosnell.

Here is each link cited in the Carmon article, with a quick synopsis or quote from the linked articles, all of which are from 2011 at or about the time the Grand Jury report was released (please do read the entire articles):

  • Learning the Right Lessons From the Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Disaster (The Reality Check – pro-abortion group):  “Indeed, it was only because authorities  raided the clinic due to suspicion of lax practices involving  prescription drugs that the conditions facing abortion patients came to  law enforcement’s attention.” … “Predictably, in response to the story of Dr. Gosnell’s clinic, the  antiabortion movement has been calling for additional massive oversight  of all clinics, and claiming that all abortion providers resemble this outlier.” … “The right lesson to be drawn from this  tragic story is that there will be more unnecessary deaths among the  most vulnerable women in our society until affordable and accessible  abortion is made part of mainstream medicine.”
  • Philly abortion clinic horror highlights need for more access (The Grio): “We can’t allow the sensationalistic images from Gosnell’s case to distract us from the underlying issues that might otherwise be highlighted by this case; namely, the realities of women’s and children’s health care in poor, urban, and minority-populated areas of the United States, and basic things we can do as a community to improve these realities.” … “We have an opportunity to stand up and speak out to protect the lives of future generations of women- especially low-income women of color who have been given few options for treatment and care — by supporting policies that will ensure increased access to basic and legal health care, starting with repealing the Hyde Amendment and working to thwart Republicans’ recent and ongoing efforts to repeal the health care reform act.”
  • Kermit Gosnell’s Defense: Case Is an “Elitist, Racist Prosecution” (Philadelphia Weekly): Article devoted to exploring defense claims that prosecution is racist.
  • Neglect of West Philly Abortion Victims Was ‘By Design’ (Philadelphia Weekly): Lengthy story devoted to details of Grand Jury report, with conclusions focused on abortion debate and proposed pro-life legislation: “Pennsylvania was ground zero for the abortion debate before the Gosnell case and will continue to be as much in its aftermath. Whatever the specifics of the legislation that will be passed in the near future, what’s clear is that the trend will be to restrict access, not protect it. It’s also clear from the data that more restrictions will result in both delayed abortions and women forced to carry to term simply because they can’t afford it.”
  • Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Horror Show (The Nation): Details horrors in context of pro-life criticism of Gosnell.  “This is what illegal abortion looks like. That’s right. Illegal abortion. A great deal has been written about Dr. Kermit Gosnell and the shocking conditions and practices at his facility …. There have been many calls for further restrictions on abortion, much revulsion expressed at post-viability abortions, much blame cast on prochoicers for supposedly doing nothing to stop him. But it has not been pointed out often enough that what Dr. Gosnell was doing was illegal in Pennsylvania….Now prochoicers are being blamed for this rogue operator.
  • Kermit Gosnell, Phila. Abortion Doctor, Seems Confused by Murder Charges, Shocked by No Bail (CBS News “Crimesider” show website): Short post about arraignment and Gosnell’s apparent lack of understanding as to criminal procedures.
  • Pa. Employees Fired In Wake Of Abortion Scandal (NPR): Focus on state regulatory issues and protecting abortion rights. “There’s disagreement about why the laws were not enforced.  But those who support abortion rights say they should be. They say this case is not about abortion providers; it’s about a demented doctor who didn’t follow the law at all. Abortion-rights activists say Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation already inspect their clinics at least once a year. “They inspect themselves, so there’s no resistance to that,” says Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project.”

There you go, that’s the proof cited to show there is no coverup.

As to the Seitz-Wald criticism of the lack of conservative coverage, that also is a dodge.

I, for one, was not really aware of Gosnell until recently precisely because of the lack of national media coverage.  The virtual news blackout since 2011 had the effect of keeping the problem relatively quiet until the trial testimony was revealed and spread by pro-life bloggers and twitterers.  But once the facts became know, we reacted as we should have in demanding more mainstream news coverage — unlike and the rest of the left-blogosphere.

Compare national media coverage to OJ, Dahmer, Newtown, etc.  No one claims that there has been no coverage whatsoever, but the contrast is stark.  So stark that The Washington Post has issued an apology, or sorts: Washington Post pledges Gosnell coverage.

Why did engage in this dodge, this attempt to shout “Look, Squirrel!” in the midst of growing Twitter outrage over the lack of mainstream media coverage of the Gosnell trial and the testimony?

For the same reason a few “feminist” writers wrote about the case back in 2011 — to protect abortion rights and to present Gosnell as an outlier, the exception which proves the pro-choice rule.

Why did and do pro-life writers, as well as Kirsten Powers and some others, write about the Gosnell trial and demand news coverage? To protect the babies… and the women.


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The lefties in the media wanted pictures of the bodies publicized in the Iraq War and in Newtown, but they didn’t want them publicized after 9/11 or in the Gosnell case. Why, it’s almost as if they have an agenda… /sarc

TrooperJohnSmith | April 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

They say this case is not about abortion providers; it’s about a demented doctor who didn’t follow the law at all. Abortion-rights activists say Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation already inspect their clinics at least once a year. “They inspect themselves, so there’s no resistance to that,” says Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project.”

Oh, so Gosnell is to be considered some kind of rogue, ‘off-the-reservation’ kind of abortionist. In the Left worldview, there is some kind of humane killing standard to which he failed to adhere? This would lead one to believe that even abortion proponents understand that a living thing is being injured unto death.

And all this time they told us it was painless removal of ’tissue’.

    David Yotham in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | April 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

    re: ” In the Left worldview, there is some kind of humane killing standard to which he failed to adhere?”

    I found the phrase ‘humane killing standard’ interesting. The liberal (and the lapdog media/propagandists) consistently grind on this issue. When they kill, everything is ‘hunky-dory’, but when death comes at the hands of a conservative paradigm then civilization is facing a meltdown.

    Two cases in point – drone missile attacks in America’s illegal wars (wars not approved by Congress). With Pres. Bush in charge the news was splashed in the headlines daily. With Obama people barely know – little outcry or offense. The second case in point is PETA’s dealing with unwanted animals. They just kill them, sending the corpse’s to the landfill – of course hiding their use of common sense.

    The socialist progressives seem really good at taking over an argument by 1st defining parameters, 2nd defining language, 3rd defining presentation of the argument to the general public. Baby becomes fetal tissue, etc. – it seems almost like building a road, then making sure all traffic stays on that road using the proper speed limits. All this is done while the conservative masses are sending the kids to public school or headed to work.

    re: “This would lead one to believe that even abortion proponents understand that a living thing is being injured unto death.”

    Just like in our general elections, there is a ‘base’ for each issue and then there are the ‘undecided’ masses. The undecided flip-floppers are the ones that the shuck and jive bojangle lefty’s try to entertain with their half-truths and deceptions – one of the reasons a black Republican conservative scares them to death! Col West is supposed to be a member of the liberal base because of his skin color.

David Yotham | April 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

I’m sorry for being so dense – but wasn’t there a similar case with a Dr. Tiller? How did the MSM cover that person’s trial and subsequent assassination? The only thing I recall is his assassination, and then very little about that.

Meanwhile, at some aggregators sites on the web, there’s some fool posting two-year-old links from blogs i’d never heard of before as “proof” there is no “blackout.”

Keep up the good work, Professor. I guess I have to go join Twitter, now.

“On Gosnell, where were conservatives before this week?”

Actually, Prof. that is ad hominem toqucue (spelling dubious), in the form of…

This thing you did was wrong.

“Oh, yeah…well one of your guys did it, too.”

It is fallacious because it never deals with the wrong done.

[…] shouts “Look, Squirrel!” to deflect #Gosnell outrage. Well, that’s their function. It’s why they’ve been subsidized by rich lefties all […]

Steyn drills down in the past, finding the truth.

Well, here’s where I was:

This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.

That was February 10th 2011 – or, in pro-choice terms, nine trimesters ago.

Mr Seitz-Wald adds:

A search of the National Review’s website shows it’s written little on Gosnell.

Here’s what I wrote here almost a month ago, on March 20th:

Gosnell’s murderous regime in Philadelphia reflects on him. The case’s all but total absence from the public discourse reflects on America.

There are over 800 comments on that post…

The pro-life advocates are, not surprisingly, facing the same obstacles as the anti-slavery and anti-discrimination advocates did in the past. It is also not surprising that it would be the Left who is most adamant at preserving this “right”. It could happen on the Right, especially the far Right (i.e. libertarian), but only in the exception. Their disrespect for the individual and human life is a feature of their ideology — involuntary exploitation before and after birth.

As for “squirrel”, elective abortion is an elective genocide where the mother takes the life of her child for the most capricious of reasons: wealth and welfare. This “right” is claimed by women and men who reject responsibility for the predictable outcome of their behavior. It is a behavior exhibited by a dysfunctional species or subgroups. It’s worth noting that evolutionary fitness is not necessarily a requirement of the species, but minority classes.

Liberty is only suitable for decent men and women who are able to self-moderate their behavior. Men and women who on principle reject involuntary exploitation before and after birth.

There is another issue in the horrific Gosnell trial that I suggest is the one that the pro-abortion progressive community wants to hide. It is this issue that I think drives the news blackout.

That issue is not Dr. Gosnell or his horrific butchery. If indeed he was the outlier, the rogue, the one and only abortion doctor who was behaving like this, the progressives would have tossed him under the bus — publicly — a long time back, and use that fact today as evidence of how ‘fair-minded’ they are.

No, the other issue is this one: because of political pressure by the progressive, pro-abortion community in Pennsylvania, the Democratic governor and his administration directed the public health and medical regulators in that state to stop inspections of abortion clinics.

And in turn, that allowed Dr. Gosnell to operate.

That’s what they want to hide.

As regular commenters know, I’m a doctor. I do invasive outpatient procedures (not abortion, but more standard lung procedures). I am governed by an extensive set of rules and regulations from the federal and state governments that include requirements on the training of staff, cleanliness and hygiene of our facility, ability to handle emergencies, equipment on hand and so on.

Whatever your beliefs are on abortion, if the procedure is going to be done it has to be done in a safe facility with all due regard for the health and safety of the woman. That means that the doctor, nurses, staff and facilities all have to be inspected and approved.


By design.

Because of the political pressure from the pro-abortion community.

And women died as a result.

THAT is what the media wants to hide.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I read that there was aRepublican Governor mid 90swhen. The inspections were wound back.

    Not a criticism but one has to be careful or it will be thrown back with interest.

    Leave the D & the R out of it would be my suggestion.

SoCA Conservative Mom | April 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Megan McArdle’s article is a real hoot… “To start, it makes me ill. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the grand jury inquiry. I am someone who cringes when I hear a description of a sprained ankle.”

Hmm… the description of a sprained ankle makes her ill, but she’s pro-choice, riiiight, because we all know, abortion isn’t any more distressing than a mani/pedi, at least not to the baby.

The real reason she is not telling you, the secret abortion warriors don’t want told, the evidence campaigners against pre-abortion ultra-sounds are hiding, is that she wants to think of aborted babies as clumps of cells. Every person who is pro-choice deludes themselves into thinking the baby is nothing more than a tumor to be excised, regardless of gestational age.

Moe Lane takes a good shot at the “where were the conservatives/pro-lifers when this was going on” crowd.

[…] shouts “Look, Squirrel!” to deflect #Gosnell outrage ( […]

The case really is perfectly timed, though. It draws a nice parallel to the ongoing panic on the left regarding gun rights. How can a person who decries the 2d Amendment as being the decision of a bunch of old white dudes and extending only to muskets really defend abortion rights? A bunch of old white guys who… what? Didn’t want cops going into houses without warrants? Didn’t want laws that treated newly freed slaves differently from other free persons?

And don’t tell me that this fellow was somehow doing it wrong! That’s the same tired right-wing shtick used to write off lone gunmen who kill kids and politicians and what-not. What we need here is common-sense abortion control. A national registry of every doctor performing abortions, along with mandatory background checks of each doctor every time a woman comes to the doctor to have an abortion. Oh–and we obviously need an outright ban on late-term abortions. But by “late term,” I mean we look at what was the earliest abortion botched by this dude, and that will constitute the earliest point of “late term”–and so we can match the–ahem–exaggerations of the left (the Newtown killer used “automatic rifles;” assault weapons are “weapons of war”), we’ll refer to all late-term abortions as “killing the baby after it has been born alive.” IT’S WORTH IT IF IT ONLY SAVES ONE LIFE! [At this point you can imagine tears rolling down my face because I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE CHILDREN.]

Ya know what I took away from the below statement …. they are pretty much admitting they are not going to do their job unless we make them do it

That gave rise to pushback no. 2 by Alex Seitz-Wald – On Gosnell, where were conservatives before this week?

    Aggie95 in reply to Aggie95. | April 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    oh and one more thing as well these liberal media squirrels are hiding the nuts and expect us conservatives to know they are hiding nuts …. and where they are hiding them

My own blog, from Jan., 2011 on Gosnell and his victims.

    I liked your blog post there, but I can’t leave a comment because OpenID is a NIGHTMARE! I can’t imagine why anyone uses it.

They’re like people who’ve been committing murders in a dark room; the Gosnell case flipped the lights on, and now they’ve got their eyes tightly shut so they won’t see what they’ve been doing all this time.

Gosnell did what EVERY abortionist does; he just did it out on the table under full light, instead of poking his instruments up into the womb and keeping it an “out of sight, out of mind” procedure.

It’s hell when you need so much denial to maintain your worldview and the light of day shows up.

[…] On April 13, William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection dissected the sources cited in Salon’s Irin Carmon’s post about how there supposedly isn’t a media blackout on Gosnell. […]