Brent Bozell: Burying Gosnell All Over Again

By L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham | October 19, 2018 | 5:01am EDT
The movie "Gosnell" debuted in 673 theaters on Oct. 12 and grossed .2 million in its first weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

News is whatever the press wants it to be. When the national media really hate a story, they try to bury it, and if it has the audacity to resurface, they try to bury it all over again.

In 2013, Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of three babies whose necks he snipped after they were born alive. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a refugee from Nepal who was overanesthetized, and faced hundreds of lesser counts. He was sentenced to life without parole.

To read the police report on this man is to understand — and be horrified by — pure evil.

Yet over the 56-day trial, the TV network newscasts ignored it, despite a roiling controversy over their flagrant omissions of this monster's terrible and unsanitary clinic. Only when the convictions were announced did the three networks really acknowledge the story, and only with a yawn. CBS offered 33 bland words.

The networks simply do not want to tell the truth about abortion.

Last year, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney wrote a book called "Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer," and that was also ignored by the national "news" organs. Now they have completed a dramatic movie with a similar name, relying heavily on actual trial transcripts, and the same shameful routine is on display. The pro-abortion media want Kermit Gosnell to just ... go away.

The movie debuted in 673 theaters on Oct. 12 and grossed $1.2 million in its first weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. But the Washington Post offered no review for its debut, even though it was showing in 28 Virginia theaters and 12 in Maryland. The paper carried only a tiny brief in its "Also Opening" section. But it did find space for a 485-word review of a documentary airing in one Washington, D.C., theatre on the late street photographer Garry Winogrand, whoever he was.

The New York Times offered reviews of 15 new movies that day, not counting a "Rewind" review of a remastered 1973 Brian De Palma flick showing at one theater in Manhattan. Did "Gosnell" not show in enough movie theatres? The Times reviewed "The Oath" (debuting in 10 theaters nationwide), "Beautiful Boy" (four theaters) and "Over the Limit" (one solitary screen). Film critic A.O. Scott raved over a four-hour "Watergate" documentary showing at one art house in Greenwich Village and one in Los Angeles (and coming soon to the History Channel).

There was only one "Gosnell" review in a major newspaper, in the Los Angeles Times. Michael Rechtshaffen began: "You can say one thing for 'Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer' — it will never be mistaken for having a liberal bias. ... the film adopts a sanctimonious tone that's anything but subtle."

But when the left makes a "sanctimonious" film, that's good. A month ago, Michael Abele of the same newspaper glowed over "Fahrenheit 11/9," Michael Moore's latest, saying, "Moore's movie may not have the ferocious artistry of (Spike) Lee's — or really, any artistry — but it's a powerfully blunt instrument nonetheless, designed to awaken more than inflict bruises."

Four years ago, when the so-called abortion comedy "Obvious Child" came out, the critics were thrilled. A.O. Scott slammed conservatives in The New York Times, saying, "People with nothing better to do than dream up anti-Lena Dunham think pieces will have a field day with this movie, and also miss the point." Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday called it a "cultural watershed" and obscenely deemed it "the most pro-life movie of the year."

In short, the cultural elites who decry how conservatives live in a "post-truth era" have sought to bury the truth about the abortion industry. Those factories of death are an important part of the liberal base, and for them, protecting abortion on demand is defending the essence of their cultural movement.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog

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