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Trial Balloons

The Ongoing Gosnell Blackout

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Six years ago, a deeply disturbing story emerged from a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia. In a horrific 261-page report, prosecutors accused abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell of delivering seven babies alive and then killing them by snipping their spinal chords with scissors, as well as allowing a woman who had survived 20 years as a refugee in Nepal to be incompetently overmedicated. She died.

Documentary filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have written a new book titled "Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer." Journalists will sneer, since they somehow suggest abortion is a choice, not murder.

This monster chose to kill. He is the face of the abortion doctor. His story peels back the onion on this ghastly practice.

Back in 2011, the Philadelphia Inquirer published the story on Gosnell's workplace, and it was chilling. It said: "Semiconscious, moaning women sat in dirty recliners and on bloodstained blankets. The air reeked of urine from the flea-infested cats permitted to roam the clinic. There was blood on the floor and cat feces on the stairs."

How could this happen? The national media were barely curious. "CBS Evening News" offered one story; NBC's "Today" show managed 50 vague words; and ABC was AWOL. Rachel Maddow anchored an hourlong special on the shooting death of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, but a Nexis search at that time found that neither she nor anyone else at MSNBC could locate the name Kermit Gosnell.

This wasn't the first national news outbreak. NPR -- to give credit where it's due -- first offered national media coverage on Gosnell on March 30, 2010, when his medical license was revoked. Marie Smith told the story of her abortion at Gosnell's clinic at age 19, which was followed by a week of fever and vomiting. X-rays conducted at the hospital revealed that parts of Smith's fetus were still lodged in her uterus.

When Dr. Gosnell went to trial in 2013, again the national media couldn't be budged to cover the outrage. With any other mass murder, the press box would be standing room only. Not here. There were empty chairs. When the Associated Press managed a story, reporter Maryclaire Dale described the killer winsomely, saying, "Gosnell, an elegant man who appears serene in court, smiled softly as he listened to testimony last week, even that of a young woman who said she was hospitalized for two weeks after a 2009 abortion."

"NBC Nightly News" was the first network evening news show to discover the trial, but it took a guilty verdict after 56 days for all three network evening news shows to report the story, for less than two minutes each. CBS anchor Scott Pelley announced: "In Philadelphia, today, there was a verdict in a murder trial that got national attention. A doctor who ran an abortion clinic was convicted of murdering three babies who had been born alive." Over and done.

The networks spent years turning their "national attention" to everything else. In the last two years, the big three networks devoted more than 75 minutes to the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. He killed no one.

As the authors note, this same attention deficit was repeated when The Center for Medical Progress revealed that Planned Parenthood clinics were allegedly trafficking in dead baby parts. It continued when House Republicans created the Select Panel of Infant Lives to investigate further. Its findings were issued several times in 2016. Take, for just one example, the story out of the University of New Mexico, where students not only procured aborted fetal body parts from a nearby abortion clinic but also dissected fetal brains at summer camps. Network coverage? Zilch.

These nightmarish abortion stories underline just how hollow the media sound when they proclaim in the age of President Donald Trump how boldly they will act as fierce truth-telling watchdogs. When the ugly truth collides with their leftist ideology, truth gets snipped in the neck.

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