Culture of Death

March 21, 2013

Mark Steyn reflects on “abortion” “doctor” Kermit Gosnell’s grisly murder business, and how differently the mainstream news media treat its death toll from, say, those of the Jared Loughner and Adam Lanza shootings.

Gosnell’s murderous regime in Philadelphia reflects on him. The case’s all but total absence from the public discourse reflects on America . . . .

(Hyperlink in original.)  Read the whole thing.  If you can stand to, read his more detailed coverage at the time (warning: disturbing).

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6 Responses to “Culture of Death”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    These allegations are hideous, and if true, this so called doctor deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    As to Steyn’s nitpicking of the NY Times’ coverage, it’s completely uncalled for. The term “viable fetuses” is the legal terminology at the heart of the case; the Times was using it in that sense, not in the sense of diminishing the fact that “viable fetuses” are in fact babies. As to the Times’ “emphasizing” the defense’s allegations of racism, the Times included two short paragraphs that were, or were based on, direct quotes from the defense attorney, while including at least nine paragraphs dedicated to the prosecution’s arguments before mentioning the defense’s “scienfitic” (I use that term loosely, even if the defense’s scienfitic contentions are true, the facts are still disturbing) arguments. Usually when you report on a court case, you include the arguments from each side of the case.

  2. “The term ‘viable fetuses’ is the legal terminology at the heart of the case . . . .”

    Not sure what you meant by that. As you have presumably gathered by now, the primary crime Dr. Gosnell was charged with (and has now been convicted of) was murdering babies who had been born alive—i.e., “babies”. That’s different from being charged with performing illegally late abortions (i.e., on “fetuses”), though he was charged with that too (which, remarkably, one might not know from reading the New York Times):

    “Gosnell also was found guilty Monday of numerous other crimes, including infanticide and racketeering. He was found guilty on more than 200 charges that he did not observe Pennsylvania’s 24-hour waiting period between first meeting with a patient and performing an abortion. He also was convicted on 21 of 24 charges of performing illegal late-term abortions.”

    Apart from that, I’m sure your arguments about Steyn’s “nitpicking” are excellent, but you’re thinking like a lawyer; you’re missing the forest for the trees. Steyn’s larger point is that the coverage from the mainstream news media was nothing like the tone or carpet-bombing volume that more “politically correct” stories receive. See, e.g., Democrat Kirsten Powers’s column discussing this.

    “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.”

    Or consider what Steyn said in another context, about the liberal culture leaders’ silence about honor killings:

    Yesterday, I was chided by a commentator who thinks Nexis search terms are the bedrock of argument. Okay:

    Number of stories in The New York Times referencing Matthew Shepard: 311

    Number of stories in The New York Times referencing Aasiya Hassan: Just one

    The 311 Matthew Shepard stories include long pieces on the various plays, movies, laws, and other tributes to his memory, and many columnar disquisitions on the significance of his death by A-list Timesmen.

    The sole reference to Mrs Hassan is one brief news item – “Upstate Man Charged With Beheading His Estranged Wife” – barely any longer than the news item announcing Mr Hassan’s new cable network, “Start-Up Television Venture Aiming Its Programming At American Muslims”. In the first story, the Times was happy to promote him as an exemplar of “American Muslims”. When he decapitated his wife, he was just another “upstate man”.

    In other words, it’s not just about using this or that word in a single news item—it’s the fact that we’re arguing about this or that word in a single news item. There will be no plays, movies, etc. about Kermit Gosnell from the liberal leaders of our culture.

    • Snoodickle Says:

      So, to recap. You wait more than two months to respond to my comment, after the case has concluded. Then you say you’re not sure what I meant by viable fetuses, but then go on to say in the same paragraph that you know exactly what I meant. Welcome back sir.

    • As soon as arguing with you pays as well as my job, I’ll prioritize it accordingly.

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