The Gosnell embargo cracks

Liberal journalist Kirsten Powers has been clearing her throat and trying to get the attention of her Big Media colleagues for some time now, as she marveled at the nearly absolute embargo placed by every major network on the Kermit Gosnell abortion horror story.  Informed conservatives who bypass the MSM for information might be surprised at just how completely the story has been erased from  left-wing mediaspace.  The level of iron message discipline required to suppress the Gosnell horror is quite remarkable; it’s even more complete than the embargo on Benghazi news damaging to the Obama Administration during the election, or Operation Fast and Furious.

Powers has had enough.  She blew her stack in the pages of USA Today:

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A childscreaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

Powers recounts some of these hidden horrors – spinal cords snipped on born-alive infants, rampant violations of state law, a rain of “fetuses and blood all over the place,” as one witness put it – and takes note of just how carefully the press has ignored the sort of lurid details that would normally dominate front pages.

A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.

The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial’s first day. They’ve been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.

Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerable NBC Nightly News’ Brian Williams intoned, “A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh,” as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed ??? a major human rights story if there ever was one ??? doesn’t make the cut.

You don’t have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” It’s about basic human rights.

The Men in Black could not have erased this story better with their neuralyzers.  Erick Erickson at RedState perceptively observes that coverage would have been far more extensive, and outraged, if Gosnell’s victims had been animals:

Had Kermit Gosnell killed dogs, HLN would be giving it wall to wall coverage as they do all sorts of sensational trials. Nancy Grace would be in full outrage mode every night through the course of the trial. It???s sad that a man who engaged in horrific acts of barbarism will never be as known to the public as Casey Anthony or George Zimmerman because Gosnell???s crime is viewed as less than a crime by the vast majority of the producers of American news.

That is a key point in politely rebutting one of the points Kirsten Powers made in her commendable column.  She said “it’s not about being pro-choice or pro-life.  It’s about basic human rights.”  But basic human rights are the essence of the pro-life movement.  The pro-choice position becomes untenable, even repulsive, when the question of human rights is introduced.  To put it simply: very few abortion enthusiasts sincerely believe that the target of the procedure is a human being.  That’s where the sacred catcheism of the “unviable tissue mass” comes into play.

For an example, see the chilling column posted by Isabella Dutton in the UK Daily Mail on April 3, 2013 – a column finding a new audience of horrified readers as the Gosnell story finally begins emerging from its media-bias shell:

My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life.

Even now, 33 years on, I can still picture the scene: Stuart was asleep in his crib. He was due to be fed but hadn’t yet woken.

I heard him stir but as I looked at his round face on the brink of wakefulness, I felt no bond. No warm rush of maternal affection.

I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.

I was 22 when I had Stuart, who was a placid and biddable baby. So, no, my feelings were not sparked by tiredness, nor by post-natal depression or even a passing spell of baby blues.

Quite simply, I had always hated the idea of motherhood. In that instant, any lingering hope that becoming a mum would cure me of my antipathy was dispelled.

I remember asking myself, ‘Is he really mine?’ He could, quite literally, have been anyone’s baby. Had a kind stranger offered to adopt him at that moment, I would not have objected.

Still, I wished no harm on Stuart and invested every ounce of my energy in caring for him. Even so, I know my life would have been much happier and more fulfilled without children.

It goes on in that vein for hundreds of words, with Dutton at one point describing her children as “parasites” who ruined her life.  She insists she’s been a good mother, but the level of enthusiasm for motherhood related in the piece is horribly tepid.  She wasn’t terribly excited about becoming a grandma, either.

Dutton is not a monster, not utterly devoid of compassion – she says she would gladly cut off her right arm if her husband Stuart or daughter Jo, who has tragically developed multiple sclerosis, needed it.  But the attitude permeating Dutton’s piece emanates from the very core of the pro-choice movement, particularly the extremists.  Those lumps of tissue aren’t human.  They don’t have the same human rights as existing adults, or children who survive long enough to be rescued from the likes of Kermit Gosnell.

The true spirit of motherhood (and fatherhood) is one of extravagant sacrifice – the children must be protected and nourished above adult needs.  This is both a practical and moral argument, because there’s no denying that children are fragile and require extensive care.

That’s also true when they’re in the womb.  To put children on the exact same human-rights plane as adults is to enroll them in a contest of demands they can never win.  They can’t talk, or survive on their own.  They didn’t even have anything to do with the decision to bring them into the world.  They must be given more human-rights protection than fully-formed adults, or the entire concept of respecting their “human rights” at all collapses into farce.

Political considerations surely play a part in the Gosnell embargo.  Eric Erickson speaks of a “bubble” that leaves big-city reporters incapable of understanding the outrage over a few bungles committed during a routine surgical procedure that was going to prove fatal for the target anyway.  Blogger Ace of Spades speculates that the media is carefully avoiding a “wedge” social issue that could fragment the Democrat Party coalition – the kind of issue they love when it hurts Republicans.

It’s also a way for the left-media to steer around a challenge to the indispensable core belief of the abortion regime, the one that started fraying when ultrasound technology allowed mothers and fathers to see their developing children: that’s not a human being in there.  It’s not even as inherently valuable as a puppy.  

How would all those casual pro-choice soccer moms feel, if they were bombarded with daily stories about the victims in Gosnell’s clinic screaming as they died?  What would happen if they asked about security procedures and inspections at these big-money clinics, and learned the same government that wants to hire 50,000 or 100,000 “navigators” to help us fill out ObamaCare paperwork can’t spare anyone to perform routine inspections of heavily-subsidized abortion clinics?  Their likely response is most definitely the kind of story the media wishes to protect its ideological soul-mates from.

Update: From, here’s what the reserved seats for the media looked like all day at the Gosnell trial.  Still wonder why you’re not hearing any mainstream media news?