It's a tough time to be a journalist. And not just because you completely fail to spot a historic election result coming or get shouted down at a rally. No, it's a tough time because in the good old days so-called journalists could smear and lie about people and their victims had no voice and couldn't respond in a timely manner or in a similar venue. The journalist was able to misrepresent someone with no fear of being called out on their lies. All of that has changed thanks to the internet and the free flow of information.
Which brings me to NBC’s attack on the facts in our film "Gosnell - The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," which is currently in theaters.
It was written by Robin Marty. NBC forgot to mention it but in her Twitter bio the author of the NBC article describes herself as an "abortion access fanatic," so before you read the first line you can guess what we'll be in for.
I'm the producer/writer of the film and trust me, I'm not precious about my work. I've screened it for thousands of people and I've welcomed all the honest feedback, but NBC's piece is a purely ad hominem attack, lacking facts and needs to be responded to in real time before their attempt at audience suppression takes hold.
First, the author argues that because Gosnell was only convicted of three murders he cannot be compared to “real serial killers," and attempts to debunk our moniker that Kermit Gosnell may be America's greatest serial killer. What NBC doesn't understand is that the Grand Jury wanted to indict Gosnell, an abortion doctor, on 100 counts of murder but this was vetoed at the highest levels in the Philadelphia police department who were proud of their falling violent crime figures and did not want a spike in the homicide rate. Gosnell killed babies born alive and several women patients.
Steve Massof who was convicted of murder along with Gosnell said there were nights when there were so many living babies born it was almost impossible to keep up with the pace of killing.
“Literally. . .it would rain fetuses,” he said. “Some days I would come up, I’d be called—a scream, and I would go running, and fetuses all over the place and blood,” he told the jury. Dr. Gosnell was an abortion doctor since the 1970s - his clinic had not been inspected by the Department of Health for 17 years. The Grand Jury did not investigate his behavior back several decades but they were clear that in recent years he was a ruthless killer.
"Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff," the Grand Jury report stated.
Gosnell's death toll in that time, never mind the previous decades, dwarfed every other American serial killer put together.
NBC also claims the film goes after a "pro-choice governor (who they falsely claim wouldn’t allow abortion clinics to be inspected for decades as a gift to the “abortion industry”).
The NBC writer maintains that: "In reality, Gosnell couldn’t have operated except in the landscape created by anti-abortion activists themselves."
You'd think a news organization like NBC would have checked the facts. If they had, they would have realized that the Grand Jury found after a year-long investigation that it was the election of Tom Ridge - a pro-choice Republican governor- that signed the death warrant for a lot of Gosnell's victims.
"With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay," the Grand Jury Report stated.
Almost every point raised by NBC's attack is incorrect, like when they accuse us of inventing scenes that actually happened. Scenes such as Dr. Gosnell comparing himself to George Tiller, the late-term abortionist who was assassinated. Ms. Marty writes that this "isn’t just disingenuous, it’s disrespectful (and potentially slanderous)".
However this is exactly what Gosnell said during the only police interview he gave on the night his clinic was raided in 2011. It was Gosnell who compared himself to Tiller, not us. We can send NBC a copy of the police interview notes if they would like.
I could go on but you get the idea. Our movie has been attacked by pro-choice activists ever since we proposed making it. They hate it because it shines a light of truth on abortion and reveals the murky hands-off approach to the industry that kills women and babies. Kickstarter refused to let us crowdfund for the film, NPR wouldn’t let us advertise the launch, Facebook continues blocking our ads and The New York Times fudged our numbers to keep our book off the bestseller list.
And now a once great news organization like NBC seeks to spread disinformation in the hopes of keeping people away from our movie. In politics this is known as voter suppression, something NBC rails against most of the time. And in a previous generation it might have worked. But we're in a different age when it takes far less time for truth to catch up to lies and I’ve learned that the American people can be trusted to do the right thing as long as they have all of the information.
Mr. McAleer is the writer/producer of Gosnell: The Trial of America's Greatest Serial Killer in theaters now. www.GosnellMovie.com