Linguistic Gymnastics on Exhibit in Gosnell Case April 16, 2013Matthew Cochrane
The terms and vocabulary being used to by the media to cover the horrific Gosnell case is a damning lesson in the Orwellian use of language. Take, for example, this lead from a recent Philadelphia Inquirerarticle on the case (emphasis mine):
He is known only as "Baby Boy B," a fetus estimated to be 28 weeks old, found frozen in an altered one-gallon plastic water jug in Dr. Kermit Gosnell's West Philadelphia abortion clinic.
His passing went unnoticed and undocumented, but on Monday, prosecution and defense lawyers struggled to get Philadelphia's chief medical examiner to say whether he was stillborn or killed by Gosnell after being born alive during an abortion.
Understand this is a victim of one of Gosnell’s grisly and brutal murders. The baby is recognized in court as “Baby Boy B”. Yet the reporter (or editor) can only muster enough courage to call him a “fetus”, even though in the next paragraph the victim is referred to as “he” and “his”. Gosnell’s lawyer, Jack McMahon, is guilty of the same linguistic gymnastics in the courtroom, although he has a clear motive of seeing his client set free to do so (again, emphasis mine):
"Based on the totality of the evidence . . . you cannot testify to anyone that this fetus was born alive?" Gosnell lawyer Jack McMahon asked Medical Examiner Sam Gulino.
"No I cannot," replied Gulino.
Then Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron flipped around McMahon's question: "Can you think of any reason why the neck was severed if that baby was not born alive?"
Again, Gulino agreed. McMahon tried to salvage his first answer, only to be interrupted by Cameron.
Again, this baby is recognized as such by the court and our legal system. He is a baby. He was a victim of a heinous crime. Yet the defense attorney shrewdly understands the crime is lessened in the minds of jurors if he can convince them to think of the victim as not a baby, but a fetus. In the same way, the media understands the crime of abortion is lessened if, in the public’s mind, the victims are not babies but fetuses. Blobs of tissues. Nothing more.
This is nothing new. The “pro-choice” side of the abortion debate has been waging a deadly war of semantics and linguistics for decades on the American public. Nine years ago, during the height of the partial birth abortion debate, National Review’s Shannen Coffin wrote about the powerful effect language can have the abortion debate:
More disturbing, however, was the cold manner in which practitioners of partial-birth abortion described how they accomplished their objective of killing the unborn child. Careful to avoid admitting that they crushed the partially born infant’s skull and removed the brain, doctors instead testified that they “reduced” the “fetal calvarium” to allow “completion of delivery.” One doctor testified that in performing the abortion he “separated” the “fetal calvarium” from the body, which, one must admit, does sound less disturbing than “decapitated a partially born child with a pair of scissors.” Doctors, describing the most common mid- to late-term abortion method, in which an unborn child is pulled apart piece by piece, spoke of “disarticulation,” but avoided any mention of “dismemberment,” since that might discomfort middle-of-the-road abortion-rights supporters.
The war of words is important in the struggle over abortion rights. Doctors who have performed thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of abortions among them testified in horrifying detail to the manner in which they bring about “termination of pregnancy.” One said that his objective was to “safely and efficiently empty the uterine cavity, rendering the woman unpregnant.” By using terms like “unpregnant,” “evacuating the uterus,” or “disarticulation of the fetus,” these doctors succeed in concealing the fact that they are in the killing business. But just as sterile, clinical language can protect and preserve abortion, language — plain and simple language — can expose the truth of these abhorrent practices, as one of the Justice Department lawyers eloquently demonstrated in his closing arguments. In answering the charge that having a ban on partial-birth abortion was like having an “elephant in the room” when a doctor is performing an abortion, he responded that there is no “elephant in the room. . . . There is a baby.”
The reason why the media was first so reluctant to cover the Gosnell case and now so guarded with the language it uses to report on the trial, is because people innately understand there is no difference between killing a child a second before they are born or a second after they are born. Or, in the case of partial birth abortions, the second while they are being born. If we, as a society, admit one of these is murder it will not be long before we see the other acts as murder too.
Saturday Morning Videos: MSM Embargo on Gosnell Case Beginning to Crack April 13, 2013Matthew Cochrane
Just a day after Wikipedia considered deleting Kermit Gosnell’s page due to lack of national attention (yes, that is the lamest excuse ever – Wikipedia sports a page for every mundane D-List celebrity and cancelled television show) there are signs the story is beginning to break into the national consciousness. Last night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper both aired long segments reviewing the grisly details of the Philadelphia abortionist’s case:
Excuses for not covering this shocking trial are getting lamer and lamer. For instance, Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff claimed she couldn’t be bothered with a mere “local crime story”. Patheos’ M.Z. Hemingway responds with scathing criticism:
So when a private foundation privately decides to stop giving money to the country’s largest abortion provider, that is somehow a policy issue deserving of three dozen breathless hits. When a yahoo political candidate says something stupid about rape, that is a policy issue of such import that we got another three dozen hits about it from this reporter. It was so important that journalists found it fitting to ask every pro-lifer in their path to discuss it. And when someone says something mean to a birth control activist, that’s good for months of puffy profiles.
But gosh darn it, can you think of any policy implications to this, uh, “local crime” story? And that’s all it is. Just like a bunch of other local stories theWashington Postalso refuses to cover — local crimes such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the killing of Matthew Shepard and the killing of students at an elementary school in Connecticut. Did theWashington Posteven think of covering those local crime stories? No! Oh wait, they did? Like, all the time? Hmm. That’s weird. But did they cover them in terms of policy implications? Asking politicians for their views and such? Oh they did that, too? Hmm. So weird. Oh, andSarah Kliff herselfwrote one of those stories? Well, gosh, I’m so confused.
If the media won’t do their job, we need to shame them. It appears to be working. Let’s keep it up.
Are All Options on the Table? Then Let's Nuke North Korea April 12, 2013Matthew Cochrane
Why not just nuke North Korea? I don’t mean to ask such a serious question flippantly, but doesn’t that seem like the best option at this point? A few points: First, we now know North Korea has nuclear weapon capabilities thanks to an errantly-released top secret Pentagon report:
The analysis, disclosed Thursday at a hearing on Capitol Hill, says the Pentagon's intelligence wing has "moderate confidence" that North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles but that the weapon was unreliable.
The revelation was significant, because it has not been previously reported or believed that the country had the ability to miniaturize and deliver a nuclear weapon.
Second, North Korea is now threatening Tokyo, one of the world’s economic powerhouses and a long-standing U.S. ally, with nuclear attack:
In a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the communist country lashed out at Tokyo's standing orders to destroy any missile heading toward Japan, threatening such actions will result in a nuclear attack against the island nation.
If Japan executes its threat to shoot down any North Korean missile, such a “provocative” intervention would see Tokyo — an enormous conurbation of 30 million people — “consumed in nuclear flames”, KCNA warned.
“Japan is always in the cross-hairs of our revolutionary army and if Japan makes a slightest move, the spark of war will touch Japan first,” the report added.
I believe a few quick thought exercises can be helpful here. Let’s consider what would happen if North Korea did successfully carry out a nuclear attack on Tokyo (or Seoul or Guam et al)? At that point, a war would be unavoidable and we would probably carry out a nuclear attack on Pyongyang anyway. The human loss in Japan would be incalculable but, if one wants solely to think of national interests, our economy here at home would be absolutely savaged. How many car factories producing Japanese cars exist across the U.S.? How many electronic companies would be gone forever? The economic toll on our country would be unspeakable. Plus, there would be a huge power vacuum in Asia that would almost certainly be filled by even more Chinese influence and power.
On the other hand, what would be the costs of a nuclear attack on North Korea? First and foremost, North Korea would be relegated to a desolate wasteland for years to come. Which is to say it would almost be exactly like it is now.
Second, there would be huge waves of refugees which would need to be cared for. This would be an enormous cost but I have a sneaking suspicion we could convince Japan and South Korea to bear much of this cost (if we got them to agree to it beforehand in exchange for us taking these crazy lunatics out for them).
Third, we would then have a shining example of what we do when countries cross us on getting nuclear weapons and start acting all crazy. The ramifications would be felt around the world. Iran and the Middle East would all of sudden want to play nice.
I just don’t see too much downside to any of this. Yes, innocent life would be lost in North Korea. However, I hold to the Jacksonian view of war, which basically means it’s better to fight wars as intensely and ferociously as possible with the understanding this type of fighting will end a war sooner thus saving more lives in the long run. I think a strong case could be made that dropping a few well-placed nuclear bombs on North Korea now would do just that: Save more innocent lives in the long run.
Finally, we haven’t even mentioned the possibility of an attack on U.S. soil. Whether it’s Hawaii, Guam or the west coast of the U.S. mainland, the possibility exists.
We have to remember North Korea is a country run by a mad and bloodthirsty dictator with nuclear weapon capabilities. This mad dictator is currently threatening peaceful and civilized countries with these weapons. It’s time to shut him up…forever. History shows the world has regretted not heeding the threats of mad dictators in the past.
Of course, if you prefer, we could just rely on the diplomatic acumen and savvy of John Kerry. A comforting thought, eh?
More Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Horror: "Fetuses and blood all over the place"; Update 1: Abortion Lobby Groups Prevent Clinic Regulation April 12, 2013Matthew Cochrane
More and more shocking testimony is being heard in Kermit Gosnell’s case. For those who don’t know, Gosnell is the baby butcher abortionist in Philadelphia who is on trial for eight counts of murder, seven of which are for babies that were brutally murdered after they were born.
This is rough stuff but it’s absolutely imperative for the pro-life community to expose the dark secrets of the abortion industry and show it for what it really is:
A Delaware woman who worked for Kermit Gosnell testified Tuesday that she was called back to a room at his abortion clinic in Philadelphia where the bodies of aborted babies were kept on a shelf to hear one screaming amid the bodies of aborted babies kept on a shelf.
Sherry West said she was loyal to Gosnell, the doctor facing multiple counts of murder for allegedly killing children after they were delivered alive at his clinic during abortion procedures. The 53-year-old Bear resident testified that the incident of the screaming baby “really freaked me out.”
When Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore pressed for specifics about the incident, West struggled to answer, clearly uncomfortable with the memory.
“I can’t describe it. It sounded like a little alien,” West said, telling the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge and jury that the body of the child was about 18 to 24 inches long and was one of the largest babies she had seen delivered during abortion procedures at the Women's Medical Society clinic.
Like a little alien? Uh, no, that was an innocent baby screaming during his/her first and last few moments of life while being murdered by an abortionist psychopath and his morally complicit staff. More testimony from another worker:
A second Delaware woman, who worked at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic, testified today that it was “standard procedure” to snip the necks of any babies that were delivered by patients before the abortion due to labor-inducing drugs.
And Lynda Williams, 44, of Wilmington, said Gosnell taught her how to flip the body of the baby over and snip its neck with a pair of scissors to ensure “fetal demise.”
Williams also testified that she followed Gosnell’s orders one time, when Gosnell was away either running, swimming or working at a clinic in Delaware, and took a baby that was delivered in a toilet and snipped its neck.
“It jumped, the arm,” she said, showing the jury by raising her arm.
What’s even creepier? Williams’ moral reasoning for carrying out the act:
“I only do what I’m told to do,” she told the jury. “What I was told to do was snip their neck.”
Exact same excuse the German military personnel used when called to account for their actions during the Holocaust. “I was only doing what I was told.”
USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, herself a liberal and pro-choice, is amazed at the lack of media coverage given to the event:
It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnellbegan March 18,there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.
A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is whenWall Street Journalcolumnist Peggy Noonanhijacked a segmentonMeet the Pressmeant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.
TheWashington Posthas not published original reporting on this during the trial andThe New York Timessaw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial's first day. They've been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.
Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerableNBC Nightly News'Brian Williamsintoned,"A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh," as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed — a major human rights story if there ever was one — doesn't make the cut.
Sadly, the lack of media coverage of this grisly and horrific trial is hardly surprising to most conservatives. Why would the media want to cover a trial that threatens to expose the dark and dirty secrets of the abortion industry. It was not for nothing that the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called these types of procedures “infanticide”.
It’s also important to remember it was just last week when a Planned Parenthood official was arguing for these exact same procedures to be legalized and ultimately left up to the baby’s mother. I guess no compassion for the crying baby on the shelf can be found in that organization.
Update: Of course, the only coverage this trial is getting comes from Fox. All of the opinions expressed on this panel are excellent. Kirsten Powers, a gain a pro-choice liberal, wonders why no one’s asking about how abortion lobby groups have routinely kept abortion clinics from being regulated. Jonah Goldberg notes Obama’s position on the Born Alive Act while in the Illinois legislature basically means he’s okay with everything that went on in this clinic. Krauthammer states this shines a startlingly revealing light on the nature of late term abortions.
Another comment on Krauthammer’s take: He believes the details of this case would bring near unanimity on opinion of late term abortions and some sensible regulations into place. Of course, this would eventually butt up against the rights granted in Roe v. Wade, which is considered sacrosanct by liberals. Ultimately, this is probably why the media will never cover this trial. That and embarrassingly reveals Obama’s radical position on this matter which, again, would basically mean he was okay with everything that went on in this shop of horrors.