As noted yesterday, the widespread attention to the mainstream media’s news blackout on the Kermit Gosnell trial evoked a pushback at Salon.com 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 Salon.com writers are right in what they say, they are wrong on the issue of a mainstream media news blackout.
But the Salon.com 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 Salon.com 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 Salon.com 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.DONATE
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