April 13, 2013

More About Gosnell Tags: At AP, Serial Murder Trial Is About ‘Abortion Controversy’ and ‘Reproductive Rights’

April 16, 6 p.m.: Comments were inadvertently turned off at this post due to an error between the operator and the keyboard.

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Following up on two previous posts (here and here at NewsBusters; here and here at BizzyBlog) — The Associated Press has, as of early this evening, failed to use its “abortion” tag in all but one of its 23 “Big Story” items (14 articles and 9 photos) relating to Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia late term abortionist who “faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants.”

In the over 50 other instances where it has used the “abortion” tag, the topics involved were the 2012 presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, state and worldwide efforts to either restrict or expand the practice, and, in one stunning example, a positive story about how “A new clinic offering abortions and other women’s medical services saw its first patient Thursday in the Wichita building where a slain Kansas abortion provider had practiced.” The slain abortionist, George Tiller, was murdered by a disturbed man who had no involvement with the prolife movement. The AP does have two other abortion-related tags that it has inconsistently applied to Gosnell’s “Big Story” articles.

Those tags are “abortion controversy” and (I’m not kidding) “reproductive rights.”

“Abortion controversy” has been applied to 10 of the 14 stories about Gosnell, with no apparent logic as to why it was or wasn’t used.

The “reproductive rights” tag has been used in the following Gosnell “Big Story” articles:

April 10 — “RECEPTIONIST: UNLICENSED DOC FLED PA. CLINIC RAID”

April 4 — “STAFFER DESCRIBES CHAOS AT PA. ABORTION CLINIC”

March 25 — “‘DESPERATE’ WORKERS TO TESTIFY IN ABORTION TRIAL”

March 20 — “DOC FIGHTS CHARGE THAT ABORTED BABIES BORN ALIVE”

March 18 — “DEFENSE: PHILLY ABORTION DOC’S CASE ‘A LYNCHING’”

March 18 — “MURDER TRIAL OF PHILLY ABORTION DOCTOR LOOMS”

March 12 — “12 JURORS SEATED FOR PHILLY ABORTION DOC’S TRIAL”

March 5 — “6 JURORS CHOSEN FOR PHILLY ABORTION CLINIC CASE”

March 4 — “3 JURORS PICKED IN PA. ABORTION DOC’S MURDER TRIAL”

(the first Gosnell-related “Big Story” listing) August 13, 2012 — “OFFICIALS: PA. ABORTION CLINIC DEATHS NO ACCIDENT”

What in the world does the trial of an alleged serial murderer of perhaps 100 born alive infants (according to courtroom testimony) have to do with “reproductive rights”? The use of the tag shows that, in AP-Land, any attempt to do anything about anyone engaging in any abortion-related practices — no matter how heinous, unlawful, and medically usafe — is somehow dangerous to alleged “reproductive rights.”

This mindset may explain how Maryclaire Dale, the AP’s correspondent for this trial who seems to be working very hard to prove to everyone that she really doesn’t have a conscience, has been able to write the following:

March 25 — described Gosnell as “an elegant man who appears serene in court, smiled softly as he listened to testimony last week.”

On March 4, she reported that “In court Monday, Gosnell defied that crude image, appearing poised, elegantly dressed and oddly relaxed. He warmly greeted a local TV reporter by name, as he has done in the past.”

On March 5, she seemed pleased that potential jurors “who expressed religious, ethical or moral qualms about abortion or the death penalty were promptly dismissed.” So only a “prochoice” jury is allowed to judge Gosnell about infanticide?

On March 18, after calling Gosnell a “pioneering physician,” she tried to claim that the grand jury report serving as the trial’s foundation said “that Gosnell’s patients received the equivalent of the back-alley abortions that advocates of legalized abortion had hoped to eradicate.” The supposedly high incidence of “back-alley abortions” is an urban legend (i.e., a lie) which was used to promote abortion’s legalization in the 1970s (it fooled almost everyone). More crucially, it’s highly unlikely that more than a tiny number of the back-alley abortions which did take place before Roe v. Wade opened the abortion-on-demand floodgates involved late-term births followed by infanticide.

She has described Gosnell as a practitioner of “unorthodox methods” (e.g., here) at an “unorthodox facility“ performing “unorthodox abortions.” Well, at least she relayed that the prosecution has called those methods “barbaric techniques.”

Glenn Reynolds relayed an email from one of his readers which appears to perfectly describe the press’s mindset: “The legacy media won’t cover the Kermit Gosnell case because they understand it could be utilized by anti-abortion activists in the way anti-Second Amendment activists utilized the Sandy Hook murders.” Except for one thing: There are examples of legislation designed to restrict abortions which really can and does reduce their number, while even gun-control proponents admit that background checks won’t do anything to prevent another Sandy Hook. But they will be a step towards disarming the law-abiding populace.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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