What Is “News”?
When the massacre in Newtown occurred, it received wall-to-wall coverage, as well it should have. We’d never seen anything like this before — a mentally ill gunman shooting tiny children and their teachers in an elementary school. It shocked the senses and dominated the national conversation — as well it should have.
And aside from opportunistic leftists, such as Michael Moore and Piers Morgan, the original coverage leaned toward what caused the murderer to act and how such mental illness might be addressed in the future. But just as a serious and productive conversation was beginning, the political agenda of those in the mainstream media overtook it.
This was not an opportunity to address mental illness in this country and truly head off such disasters — that’s not all that compelling a story and nobody really has the answer — but it was time to talk gun grabbing. It was time to dust off all the old measures that never worked, all the “solutions” that never could move forward under the democratic process and try to use this tragedy to accomplish them.
It’s hard to blame politicians. They can’t help themselves; they can’t let a good crisis go to waste. But we ought to be able to expect a little more from our media — something a little closer to real life than the political agenda of far-left members of Congress.
So, instead of seriously addressing what makes the Adam Lanzas of the world tick, we put a Band-Aid on cancer in pursuit of decades-old liberal causes. And the media cheerleads as if this were a useful use of leaders’ time. Shame on all of them.
Meanwhile, back at Atrocity Ranch, we have Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the butcher of Philadelphia, charged with eight murders and accused of more than 100. Yet the media — until being publicly shamed into switching course late this week — has been silent.
What was missing from the Gosnell story? Why did it not measure up? The details of Gosnell’s actions are so gruesome, so inhuman, as to defy belief. Were they too horrific? Did we not get pretty into the weeds on the Jeffrey Dahmer story?
And why are babies screaming as their spinal cords are snapped to “finish the job” considered not a story by the same people who bring us every shot, slice and stab of the Jodi Arias trial. The world had never heard of Arias or her boyfriend before his murder and, frankly, never should have after.
But a doctor on trial for eight gruesome murders with the implication of hundreds more approaches a serial killer level of fetish for death. Had Gosnell used a gun, we would know all about what he did. The president, the media and the leftists in Congress would have seen to it.
But the weapon here wasn’t a gun; it was progressive sacred cow — abortion. Think what you will of abortion, but there’s a reason the late-term partial birth abortion is performed the way it is — with the baby being brought out backwards to the neck, then piercing the skull to vacuum out the brain — and it’s because if the baby, so near to natural birth, came out head first it would breathe on its own and, even by the old liberal definition, be considered legally alive. And that would make the next step — the step Gosnell seemed all too willing to take — murder.
Details aside, the fact you had heard literally zero about the Gosnell trial until late in the week tells you all you need to know about how utterly corrupt the media has become.: Politico: economics reporter Ben White tweeted Thursday night, “This Gosnell story which I just began to read up on is unbelievably awful and horrifying.” You wouldn’t expect an economic reporter to write about it, but you’d think a journalist would’ve at least heard about it. But not at: Politico.: To that day, his employer: had not published a single story on the topic.
On Friday, the media began to face the music. Anderson Cooper did the first 15 minutes of his show on these atrocities. But one of his guests, CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin, tried to explain the media’s lack of interest in the case when he said, “It’s a business decision. We are not operating with a political agenda here. We pick stories, by and large, for reasons that we think people will be interested. I don’t think we’re covering this up. So I just think that’s a way of ginning up their (pro-life groups) supporters.”
Somehow the Trayvon Martin case warranted hours of coverage, but an alleged stationary serial killer operating in the political left’s favorite vocation is passé. The media created a new race of human, the “white Hispanic,” in the Martin case to give it a racial spin it could use to stoke racism. But Gosnell is black, as were most of his victims. The media, filled with liberal progressives, doesn’t care about black victims of crime unless they were victims of a white criminal. How else can you explain the relative silence over the murders in Chicago?
The media has devolved human life into a stereotype template — white criminal, minority victim = news; white criminal, multiple adult or child victims = news; female, attractive, large-breasted, white criminal or victim = news; any other configuration of victim or perp, unless they’re famous, isn’t news.
How many stories of busty blondes disappearing have we heard of? Are black women never abducted? Of course they are. But the racist media doesn’t care. This can be applied to any sort of crime. If it doesn’t fit the template, if it doesn’t look like a good “business decision” to cover, then crickets.
There is a genocide happening in the black community. Not only do half of all pregnancies end in abortion, the majority of gang- and drug-related murders in this country are of young black men, by young black men. Yet few politicians bother to address this slaughter because the media doesn’t deem it newsworthy. Or vice versa. The chicken-and-egg argument doesn’t matter here. The result is the same — young people dying unnecessarily.
Toobin is fine with this. It’s a “business decision” to him, and anyone who wants to talk about crimes other than those deemed worthy by him and his ilk, merely want to “gin up supporters.”
So why what Kermit Gosnell is accused of isn’t news to those who decide what warrants news is fairly simple: 1) What he did was committed in the name of abortion, and everyone in the media knows the only gruesome and newsworthy acts involving abortion are committed by those who oppose it; And 2) What he did — killing poor black people in as gruesome a way as is imaginable — leaves the Toobins of the world less “interested.”
It’s that mindset that separates crimes into levels of priority based on the leftist mainstream media’s perceived importance of the victims. In the big scheme of things, that might be the most disgusting part of the whole story.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist.: You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.