This week’s Surfin’ Safari tracks how online social media last week built up so much pressure directed at the AWOL “traditional” media, those news organizations were forced – or shamed – into covering, albeit reluctantly, the ongoing trial of a notorious Pennsylvania abortion doctor.
The prosecution of Kermit Gosnell, accused of murdering six infants and an adult in his Philadelphia abortion factory, began almost a month ago on March 18, but with the exception of a handful of local news outlets, the networks and cable news outfits turned a blind eye on the abortion horror.
Social media users and pro-life organizations on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online publications pointed at the hypocrisy of network and cable news operations and print publications, creating a critical mass of finger pointing that the liberal media could no longer ignore.
Prompted by Operation Rescue on Facebook and Twitter, Priests for Life, Stand True and AbortionWiki, social media users organized a Tweetfest last Friday, forcing the hashtag #Gosnell into Twitter’s top 10 trending topic category: “TweetFest: #Gosnell trends as Twitterers demand an end to the media blackout.” Social media users also were encouraged to contact their local media to ask why they were not covering the case.
The Heritage Foundation Foundry pointed to the media’s collective liberal pro-abortion agenda. Jim DeMint, former U.S. senator now president of the Heritage Foundation, urged online users to do the job “traditional” media refused to, and featured this graphic on its Facebook page:
Online Christian Post reported: “There have been no mentions of the Gosnell trial since it began on NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS or ‘PBS Newshour.’ CNN and National Public Radio have each mentioned it once. Exceptions to this media blackout are the more conservative Fox News and local media in Philadelphia, where the trial is taking place. The Philadelphia Enquirer has run hundreds of articles about the trial.”
Twitter trend-spotter Twitchy devoted considerable space on its webpage to the new media trial coverage and the pressure it placed on mainstream news outlets.
Twitchy reported, “The silence from President Obama has also been deafening,” and included a tweet that read, “If Obama’s role as father has inspired his gun-control advocacy, why is he then silent on Kermit Gosnell’s infanticide?”
President Obama, as a senator in Illinois, voted to allow babies born alive in abortion attempts to be treated like medical waste and tossed aside, to allow them to be left to die. Alone.
“Yes, he did. Four times,” Twitchy affirmed.
Members of Congress jumped in, several of them speaking on the record from the House floor. Among those whose remarks were uploaded to YouTube: Reps. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., Chris Smith, R-N.J., Andy Harris, R-Md., and John Fleming, R-La.
Freshman Rep. Scott Perry’s, R-Pa., comments were sharpest, as he castigated both President Obama and the media: “Mr. President, your silence is deafening. Are you so blind, are you so intractable, are you so extreme that you yourself can’t even call this out for what it is, something that is reprehensible? Pro-life or pro-choice, this is reprehensible.
“It gives me great pain and sorrow to have this entered and read into the record,” Perry continued. “But since the media outlets refuse to cover this because it’s uncomfortable, because it might not meet with their agenda and because many of the leaders of this country refuse to discuss it, I think it’s important that we have it read into the record, so that this history and their stories don’t remain untold.”
Blast from the past: President Obama was quick to condemn the killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller.
Many political personalities and celebs added heft to Twitter and Facebook pages. Among them, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who chimed in, as did Fox News contributor Brit Hume.
Newsbusters tracked the coverage by networks.
The website “Who Is Gosnell?” was posted with horrific photos as well as the grand jury report.
Tweeted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, “Bravo to the pro-lifers who made #Gosnell a national story. Your work is desperately needed to ensure such a horror never happens again.”
One tweet reminded the media in under 140 characters: “Your silence was deafening in Germany while the Holocaust happened. You have a job to do. Do it.”