Should the media have covered Kermit Gosnell's trial more?

No, and here's why. Photo: No photo submitted with story

FLORIDA, May 3, 2013 — In Philadelphia, a jury is now deciding the fate of Kermit Gosnell.

Over the last few years, Gosnell’s story has captivated America’s right-leaning media outlets. The longtime abortion doctor is accused of, among many other things, murdering a patient and fetuses which were born alive.

He is also facing charges for essentially operating a pill mill. These have not yet been brought to trial.

Considering the dire state of narcotic dependency in Philadelphia, one might imagine that Gosnell possibly being a drug dealer would have generated more attention. However, the rightish press seems mainly interested in the allegations that he carried out illegal late-term abortions.

As for the left-leaning media, a description that surely fits most news organizations in this country, relatively little attention has been paid to Gosnell. Commentators on the right chalk this up to sheer bias. It seems difficult to prove them wrong.

Casting that aside, though, does anyone honestly miss the sensationalism associated with high-profile trials? From O.J. Simpson to Casey Anthony, far more views than news are often reported; especially in our age of cable television, talk radio, and blogging.

Even if leftist bias is to blame for Gosnell not being sensationalized in the front page from coast to coast, is this really so bad? Isn’t it better for the defense and prosecution to do their jobs without ten different pundits pretending to know what they’re talking about?

Irrespective of our views on abortion rights, we should all be glad that the Gosnell trial did not devolve into a media circus. Having the courtroom packed with journalists eager to write a lurid, headline-grabbing story is a bad idea if there ever was one.

So, controversial as this may be, I do think it is a plus that Gosnell’s time in court never became the stuff of daily news for the alphabet networks or most national publications. There is already far more than enough anguish and misery peddled in the media; of what societal benefit would it have been to publicize Gosnell?

Sometimes, leaving a local story at the local level is not such a bad idea.

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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