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Enough media attention for Dr. Kermit Gosnell murder trial?

The trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell offers the latest example of the power of social media to draw attention to an issue and drive coverage. Conservative bloggers claim that mainstream news sources were ignoring the case.


This undated photo released by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office shows Karnamaya Mongar (l.) and her husband, no first name given. Karnamaya Mongar survived 20 years in a refugee camp after fleeing war-torn Bhutan, but died months after arriving in the US in 2009 after seeking an abortion from Dr. Kermit Gosnell, authorities charge. Dr. Gosnell is also charged with killing seven babies allegedly born alive.

Philadelphia District Attorney/AP/File

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The murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell is as grisly as it gets. The Philadelphia abortion doctor is charged with the deaths of seven babies and one woman. But the trial, in its fifth week, is making headlines now because of an ongoing war of words over how the trial itself is being covered in the mainstream media.

Conservative commentators have lambasted liberal news sources for what they call a culture of ignoring unpleasant facts about abortion, while liberal news sources respond that conservatives have done no better and are only drawing attention to the case now in hopes of bolstering anti-abortion sentiment.

Whether the charges are true, The New York Times, as well as Fox, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and other major news outlets have since increased their presence at and coverage of the Gosnell trial. The criticism had been percolating in the blogosphere for weeks before landing full force in traditional media when commentator Kirsten Powers, who often represents the left on Fox News, lashed out last Thursday in a USA Today column at what she dubbed a "media blackout" of the case.


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