Why Are Media Not Covering Gosnell “House of Horrors” Abortion Case?


The trial of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell has the elements of a spectacular news story: shocking allegations, horrifying visuals, sympathetic victims, says the Washington Post. Yet until late last week, much of the national media was silent as testimony about Gosnell's alleged “house of horrors” abortion clinic rolled out. Conservative bloggers have charged since the trial began March 18 that the media had taken a pass because Gosnell — who stands accused of killing seven newborn infants and one mother — is an abortion doctor whose alleged crimes run counter to the mainstream media's support for abortion rights. That's the way the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, has framed it. Media representatives offer several rationales for their inaction: that other stories commanded their resources, that the lack of cameras in the courtroom diminished TV interest, or that the Gosnell trial was simply overlooked. The big trial for cable news isn’t Gosnell's but that of Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman accused of killing her boyfriend. The Arias story has been a tabloid favorite, with numerous sexual and romantic angles. A key difference between the Arias and Gosnell trials is that courtroom cameras are permitted in the former but not in the latter. Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor, offers a more mundane rationale for the newspaper's lack of coverage: He wasn't aware of the story until Thursday night, when readers began e-mailing him about it. “I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can't be,” he said. “Nor can any of us.”

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