A physician is charged with first-degree murder of several infants by snipping their spinal cords after a live birth. He and his staff are also charged with lower murder charges due to the death of two women from faultily administered medication. Both the state and the city appear to have been deficient in health inspections that could have closed the practice down before some of the murders occurred. They ignored the practice so much that it took a raid by the FBI to finally arrest the perpetrators. I am sure that you have read or heard about this case on the national media.
Wait, you have not? Are you sure you have not? Yes, you are correct, you have not heard about this case in the major national media. In fact, I had to go to the Atlantic Monthly to read about this case. In part the author of the article said:
The grand jury report in the case of Kermit Gosnell, 72, is among the most horrifying I’ve read. “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” it states. “The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.”
So, why have you not heard about this story? Well, it involves and abortion clinic, and this is a subject that the national media consider to be a radioactive subject. If they cover abortion clinics, they cover them only in the context of the general abortion debate, or of laws being passed by several state legislatures. What they do not tend to do is to cover stories such as the one above because they consider this type of story to be controversial.
So, are you angry now with the “liberal” media? Well, you would be very wrong and showing your particular bias if that was what you thought. Even Fox News is not reporting on this story in the front page of its online edition. In fact, I found a very few comments on this story on the NBC news online page, but only in the context of another story concerning the new state laws that are being passed.
So, is there media bias? Yes, but it is not “liberal” bias. It is national news media bias. It is the bias against any story that might negatively affect their bottom line by losing them some viewers, even if that means not reporting a story that deserves national attention, a story about murder, about false physicians, about local health regulators looking the other way, about malpractice that killed, about corruption of minors. Whether liberal or conservative, the media bias that exists is all about the bottom line more than it is about ideological issues.
[Fr. Orthoduck’s later note: Since the original post was written, two people have commented that there are two articles on Slate that attempt to defend somewhat the non-conservative media, claiming that at least they mentioned the case. One of the articles, found here, points out that this trial has become a conservative cause célèbre among Republican Congressmen only over the last few days despite the raid happening in 2010. No Congressional mention is found of this case before that. If the reader will look above, they will see that I say that I only found a mention of the trial on NBC news online and no mention on Fox News. Thus, I would agree with the article when it says that the Republican Congressmen are doing nothing more than trying to score political points while trying to pretend that they have been concerned all along. They have not been and they did not ever bring up this case before, despite the fact that it was reported in more than one news article at the time.
Nevertheless, my original point still stands. No national media, regardless of purported or perceived political orientation or concern for babies and/or women, has covered this case to the extent that they would cover any other case in which the perpetrator had deliberately killed already fully delivered babies who were breathing on their own, and in which innocent women had died as a result of deliberate malpractice. Neither the traditional defenders of women nor the traditional defenders of babies, among the news media on a national level, have spoken up in a consistent manner about this case or featured this case in their live updates from the trial proceedings, as they would have done with any other case that had such “juicy” death stories plus had a lack of state and local government oversight which permitted those killings. There are no innocents in this story.]