Media bias in the Kermit Gosnell case? Perhaps…

These screenshots taken the morning of Friday, April 12, 2013.

All Gosnell searches from phrase “Kermit Gosnell.” Casey Anthony searches from phrase “Casey Anthony.” Tiger Woods search from “‘Tiger Woods’ divorce,” and Mike Rice (Rutgers coach who verbally berated his players) search from “Mike Rice.”

Tiger Woods was used to demonstrate attention given to an celeb story. Casey Anthony to demonstrate attention given to a local crime story. Mike Rice was used because the timeframe with the Gosnell trial overlaps.

It is true that the Anthony trial is in the books and has been for a while. It should be expected more would be written by a later date. However, the attention before, during and since her trial is Everest in comparison to the anthill of coverage given Gosnell. And, Gosnell’s story is not new; only the trial is. His clinic was busted in 2010.

Remember: bias is not only about covering news wrongly. It is also about covering news or not covering it based on what is deemed “newsworthy.” Such a bias is more arguably more dangerous because it is more subtle.

Media bias Kermit Gosnell

media bias in Kermit Gosnell trial

media bias kermit gosnell

Gosnell MSNBC

Tiger CBS


Mike Rice CNN

Gosnell CNN


Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Art Rogers

    Hard to argue with numbers.

  • Blake

    Another number: Google News search of “Kermit Gosnell” 8,920 results as of 12:15 PM CST today. This includes an article published yesterday by that “liberal media bastion” Huffington Post. I’d say it’s being covered.

    • martyduren

      Pro-life groups have been talking about this for a week or more. HuffPo finally figured it out.

      I’m glad it’s being covered, nonetheless.

      • Blake

        Huffington Post has articles on this going back to 2011. Why are all the Johnny-come-latelies turning this into a conspiracy theory?

        • martyduren

          My mistake, then. Kudos to HuffPo for coverage. It still stand that, as a whole, the major media have not covered this story with the same intensity they have covered lesser stories. This is not only the opinion of a bunch of right-wingnuts. Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic and Kirsten Powers in USA Today have both asked the exact same question.

          My illustration of Casey Anthony was in direct response to a WaPo reporter who covered Sandra Fluke with a vengeance but refused to mention Gosnell because it was a “local crime story.” Sure.

        • Blake

          Marty, I think there is a right way and wrong way to bring attention to a story and changing the story from “blatant disrespect for life” to “media blackout conspiracy” is definitely the wrong kind of attention. The issue changes from “ethics of human life” to “why don’t more people (especially the big bad media) care about my pet issue?” Proving a media blackout conspiracy is not a debate that can be won (especially when a Google News search on “Kermit Gosnell” returns almost 9000 items, why weren’t pro-lifers paying attention when the stories broke two years ago?). Who was paying attention to Steubenville before Anonymous threw their hat into the ring? Notice, however, that Anonymous got the real issues noticed and didn’t turn it into blame the media frenzy. If Christians can only bring attention to an issue by changing the issue into one that preys on people’s biases and paranoia they only make themselves look ridiculous and undercut their own message.

        • martyduren

          I’m in agreement on your concerns about Christians twisting stories. Search this blog for “Starbucks” or “pedophilia” to see my writing. That Christians undercut our credibility by massively spreading false “news” is a concern we share.

          I’m not in agreement on your assertion in this case. Why no outcry earlier? I have no idea. Personally, I did not know about Gosnell in 2010 or 2011.

          If you will note, I did not charge a “media blackout conspiracy.” I posted searches on major media websites. If you consider those graphics to represent substantial reporting on the Gosnell case, you’ll get no argument on your satisfaction.

          However, what I have seen is concern over a lack of coverage of Gosnell’s trial by the major media. I, too, did a google search. A significant portion of the returns going back 15 pages or so are from pro-life sites, others from major media in the last couple of days–even the last few hours–and still others from the original shutdown. The coverage from blogs and pro-life sites outnumbers the rest substantially. When I first searched 2 or 3 days ago, I found mentions from 2011 and then nothing–literally–since.

          I don’t know how you can argue Gosnell’s trial has been given anything remotely close to the coverage it deserves, if that is what you are arguing. Even Anderson Cooper this afternoon tweeted he was just reading the grand jury transcripts. Well, those have been around a while. The admission of the WaPo reporter is here:

          Ask yourself this question: If this had been about a pro-lifer gunning down an abortionist, how much coverage would it have received by now?

        • Blake

          Marty, I was not charging you with suggesting it was a “media blackout conspiracy” those are the words and attitudes of many of my facebook friends that have suddenly latched on to the story. I wouldn’t suggest that there has been substantial reporting on the case or issue either, I just don’t think what level of reporting exists counts as the conspiracy I see so many already trying to turn it into. I think most media does insubstantial reporting on nearly every issue of importance, but there is a time and place for media critique and the society that has allowed their media to become so awful. In the middle of the scandal is not one of those times. At this time the public is best served by demanding coverage and confronting this terrible reality and its implications, let the media critique come later. We need to allow ourselves to be brought low by the travesty before we rise up indignant against the reporters and editors.