Our shameful dereliction of duty…

In the last few months an issue has come to my attention that, as a journalist, has cut me to the very core of my being.

A “doctor” from an abortion clinic in Philadelphia stands trial for third-degree murder in the death of one female patient and multiple first-degree murder charges in the death of seven live-born infants.

In just typing that above sentence, a chill runs up my spine and my eyes start to mist over. It is an atrocity of the highest order. A physician, sworn by the sacred Hippocratic oath of “do no harm” would dare to sever the tenuous life of those most innocent and vulnerable.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said in an interview that the media is, by and large, ignoring the trial of 71-year-old abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell because it puts the issue of late-term abortion “starkly into relief.”

“If it bleeds it leads,” is an axiom in the news industry, but the collective yawn from major media outlets over these crimes and the resulting criminal trial has been met with curious silence.

Liberal commentator Kirsten Powers wrote a scathing column earlier this week in USA Today saying if you haven’t yet heard of the trial, “It’s not your fault.”

“Since the murder trial began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.”

But a groundswell has started, albeit mostly from Catholic, Evangelical, and other religious-based news outlets.Lifenews.com did a study and determined there was virtually “zero coverage” of the trial.

“Zero on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR and PBS. CNN’s entire coverage seems to be one sentence from Jake Tapper on March 21.” Life News also noted that large newspapers with coast-to-coast readerships, such as The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and USA Today, have been “AWOL on covering the trial.”

Even the “old gray lady,” The New York Times, one of the oldest and most venerable news sources our country has, only wrote a single brief. One little story, and buried 17 pages back at the bottom of Section A.

On Wednesday, the prosecution wrapped up its case with testimony from Lynda Williams, a clinic employee who has already pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the case.

The dispute on Wednesday centered on “whether the child whose neck Lynda Williams said she ‘snipped’ at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic was alive or dead at the time,” Delaware’s News Journal reported. The death of the woman occurred, prosecutors argue, when she was fatally anesthetized. The other charges center on the clinic’s alleged common practice of inducing birth of live babies before they were aborted.

“And the standard procedure at Gosnell’s clinic when a patient delivered like that was to ‘snip’ the neck of the fetus, Williams said, according to the News Journal report.

On Thursday, The Washington Post did run an Associated Press story on the last day of the trial, and earlier carried a similar AP story. But when the AP finally did get around to covering it, Powers said, it went out of its way to neutralize the story’s impact. Here’s the headline: “Staffer describes chaos at abortion clinic.”

Chaos? Chaos?!! Uh, okay… my five children getting dressed for school in the morning is “chaos.” This is a full-blown catastrophe! But this avoidance, Powers suggests, is driven in part by discomfort with the underlying logic of the trial, where killing a baby born outside the womb is a crime, but killing it moments earlier inside the womb is not.

“Regardless of such quibbles about whether Gosnell was killing the infants one second after they left the womb instead of partially inside or completely inside the womb — as in a routine late-term abortion — is merely a matter of geography,” Powers wrote. “That one is murder and the other is a legal procedure is morally irreconcilable.”

In other words, pro-choicers believe abortion rights to be so sacrosanct that they cannot acknowledge Gosnell’s crimes because it might lead to a curtailing of those rights. In short, preserving a woman’s right not to be pregnant is more important to them than preventing infanticide. Permit me to dispense with any posture of objectivity, but that’s always been the corrupt moral calculus on the pro-abortion side, and it is no different now — not even when the doctor is killing live-born human babies.

For those of us who live in Rusk County, and still remain scarred from the shared trauma of the heinous murder of little Amora Bain Carson, a crime of this nature cannot help but scrape against our still sore sensibilities. Our consciences cry out at such a travesty, and we demand justice with a steely resolve.

The brutal murder of 13-month-old Amora, who should be a sweet-faced kindergartner now, sent shockwaves through our quiet community. Shockwaves that rolled outward across East Texas and the rest of our state. That someone so innocent could be the victim of such a crime is a horror. I’m still not over it, though the story has long since dropped off our ravenous news cycle.

Most who work in media consider it a worthy calling, a vocation of ideals as much as ideas. We who write the “first draft of history” should understand our Constitutionally-mandated role to speak truth to power. This issue is bigger than Trayvon Martin. Bigger than Obamacare. Bigger than the Second Amendment. Bigger than gay marriage. Bigger than North Korea’s sabre-rattling. This is our slavery, this is our Holocaust. As a nation we should all be screaming.

But there has been naught but silence, a deafening silence. A cruel silence, cruel as a mother who covers her ears while her dying child wails in pain and confusion.

It is a shameful dereliction of duty. In failing to do our due diligence, and shine a powerful light on this story, we have become accomplices.

May God have mercy on our souls.

 

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