The national media (Hollywood, broadcast TV, cable TV, newspapers, magazines) dictate what we see, hear and think. By controlling the flow of news and information, the media sets the national agenda.
Like passive hamsters we consume our daily news pellets, which always reflect the media elite’s politics and values. The mass marketing used to sell us Chevys, Bud and Listerine also sells us Obama, gun control and gay marriage.
Anesthetized by sports events and entertainment gossip, we mindlessly accept the media’s guidance on what’s good, what’s bad and what’s important. Justin Timberlake is sexy; Tori Spelling is beautiful; Kathy Griffin is funny, and Woody Allen is a genius.
Using its alchemistic powers, the media can talk its audience into abandoning traditional values, spending beyond its means and forsaking independent thought. We can even be talked into rehabilitating a lecherous public liar such as Bill Clinton while demonizing a straight arrow family man such as Mitt Romney. How’s that for mind control?
In the old days Church and King controlled the populace, today it’s the media that censors heretical thought. The media gatekeepers allow only the voices, ideas and events that fit the liberal narrative. Whatever conflicts gets the blind eye.
Which brings us to Dr. Kermitt Gosnell, the 72-year-old West Philadelphia abortionist who’s performed 16,000 abortions during his 31-year career. His specialty is performing late-term abortions on low-income patients, which he sometimes performs well after the law’s six-month limit and, in hundreds of cases, requires killing living babies who survive the procedure.
When Dr. Gosnell’s abortion clinic was raided, police found fetuses and body parts clogging toilets, in jars, in boxes and in a freezer. Untrained assistants, including a 15-year-old high school girl, a receptionist and a beautician were administering drugs, applying anesthesia and assisting in abortions. Women were aborting in the waiting room, and fully born babies were crying and struggling before Gosnell cut their spinal cords.
When Gosnell was indicted for murdering seven babies and a mother who died after a Demerol overdose, the grand jury called his clinic, “A House of Horrors, a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments and perforated their wombs and bowls. … Gosnell recklessly cut corners, allowed his patients to choose their medication based on ability to pay, and provided abysmal care, all to maximize profits. … Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise motivated by greed.”
Wow, that’s a hell of a story raising serious questions of insufficient regulation and, more importantly, whether an “after-birth abortion” is permissible as some pro-abortion advocates maintain.
But instead of becoming the focus of national debate, the Gosnell trial got the blind eye. The trial, which began March 16, got zero coverage from NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, PBS and NPR. CNN gave it one brief mention.
Likewise, not one word in the Washington Post or The New York Times (except for a single story when the trial began). After being shamed by conservatives a month after the trial began, the media offered these excuses:
“We weren’t aware of the story.” Bull. The Associated Press has been feeding daily trial reports as have the Philly and Delaware media. Fox News and the Washington Times also carried coverage. You were aware of the story, but you didn’t want the public to be aware of it.
“Other news events were more compelling.” Right. Here are some of the compelling Washington Post stories that over-shadowed Gosnell’s trial: “Could a Government Shutdown Doom The White House Easter Egg Roll?” “Ashley Judd Is Not Running For Senate.” “The Best Cherry Blossom Locations.” “Elephant Walk to Close D.C. Streets.” “White House Didn’t Approve Jay-Z’s Cuba Trip.” “Short Of Graves, China Turns To Sea Burials.”
Actually, the media provided plenty of abortion coverage during the Gosnell Trial, but it was exclusively about attempts in Virginia, Arkansas and North Dakota to limit abortions. Limits on abortion made front page news but an “after-birth” murder trial wasn’t “compelling” to the pro-abortion media.
“We don’t cover local criminal trials.” This is my favorite, trying to pass off the Gosnell trial as a mere local criminal trial not worthy of national coverage.
Gosh, wasn’t the Trayvon Martin killing a mere local criminal trial? As I recall, it got significant national media coverage. And how about Casey Anthony, Chandra Levy or O.J. Simpson? Didn’t the media flock to those “local criminal trials?”
A Washington Times editorial put it well. “Any other murder trial with this level of depravity would have collected a swarm of TV network satellite trucks surrounding the court house. Finely coiffed reports would provide relentless on-the-scene commentary. That’s not happening in this case because the Left can’t handle anything critical of abortion.”
True, but this is about much more than abortion. Regardless of your abortion beliefs, you should worry about our democracy’s survival in a nation where information and thought are controlled by a handful of like-minded censors.
Blair Lee is CEO of the Lee Development Group in Silver Spring and a regular commentator for WBAL radio. His column appears Fridays in Business Gazette. His past columns are available at www.gazette.net/blairlee. His email address is email@example.com.