The Corner

The Mass Murderer Who Didn’t Make the Mass Media

At Salon, Alex Seitz-Wald demands to know:

On Gosnell “blackout,” where were conservatives before this week?

Well, here’s where I was:

This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.

That was February 10th 2011 – or, in pro-choice terms, nine trimesters ago.

Mr Seitz-Wald adds:

A search of the National Review’s website shows it’s written little on Gosnell.

Here’s what I wrote here almost a month ago, on March 20th:

Gosnell’s murderous regime in Philadelphia reflects on him. The case’s all but total absence from the public discourse reflects on America.

There are over 800 comments on that post, so, even if Seitz-Wald was flummoxed by the whimsies of the NR search engine, evidently plenty of others weren’t. I will grant his silly argument this – that no doubt there are many so-called conservatives who reflexively shy away from stories like these because they’re cowed by the broader culture into feeling it’s somehow uptight, provincial and problematic in image terms to be seen to make a fuss about a mountain of dead babies. As Andy’s powerful column reminds us this weekend, the left is brilliant at framing the debate in language that demoralizes too much of the right into pre-emptive surrender.

But some of us have argued a consistent position on this case for over two years now: Relatively few people wish to commit mass murder on the scale of Gosnell – that’s the good news. The bad news is that the vast ranks of newspaper publishers, TV executives, editors, news producers, radio assignment editors, and reporters somehow reached an instant, near universal consensus that a man who may well be America’s all-time champion mass murderer isn’t a story at all, never mind one to hold the front page for – because they didn’t see him as a murderer; they saw him as a “choice-provider” who got a little out of hand.

That’s a dark, disturbing stain on our culture and our morality. It says nothing good about where we’re headed as a society – and all the dreary misdirection from the likes of Salon can’t change that.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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