Leaked NPR Emails: Ad for Gosnell Film Can’t Call Him an ‘Abortion Doctor’

Craig Bannister | September 18, 2018 | 3:44pm EDT
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Abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. (Screenshot)

Leaked emails show that National Public Radio (NPR) refused to allow a potential sponsor to use the words “abortion doctor” in an ad referring to notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell – even though NPR had used the term several times in the past in its own stories about him.

In August, John Sullivan, the executive producer of the upcoming film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer tried to purchase a sponsorship for NPR’s Fresh Air program. The ad copy initially referred to Gosnell as an “abortionist.”

But, NPR told Sullivan that the ad could not refer to Gosnell as an “abortionist,” The Daily Beast reports:

“The proposed ad was as follows, ‘Support for this NPR program comes from the film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. The film is the true story of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. A story the mainstream media tried to cover up because it reveals the truth about abortion.’

“According to e-mails provided to The Daily Beast, NPR’s representative ran it up the legal flagpole and came back with a disappointing answer. In addition to other minor tweaks to the wording, their response stated, “The word ‘abortionist’ will also need to be changed to the neutral word ‘doctor.’”

Sullivan offered to change the description of Gosnell from “abortionist” to “abortion doctor,” but NPR still refused to accept the ad, saying that it must simply refer to Gosnell as a “doctor.”

Yet, as The Daily Beast notes, NPR has used “abortion doctor” in its own coverage, in headlines, such as:

Ironically, when asked to comment on its censorship of the ad, an NPR spokesperson told The Daily Beast that ads must be “value neutral” in order “to avoid suggesting bias in NPR’s journalism.”

Sullivan’s film on convicted murderer Gosnell will open in theaters on Oct. 12, 2018.

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