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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reporting the white ashes would have been gauche

Tony Woodlief: White ashes
Last I checked there were 36,000 mentions of Jimmy Fallon in the news, and 8,820 of Kermit Gosnell.

It’s understandable if you haven’t heard of Gosnell. He’s a Philadelphia abortionist on trial for, among other things, murdering newborns by snipping their spines with scissors. He did this after failing to murder them while some portion of their bodies remained in the birth canal—that practice, of course, being considered humane by organizations like Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the National Organization for Women.

Gosnell ran a slaughterhouse, and sometimes he kept the severed feet of his tiny victims in jars. At least one woman died under his ministrations. His defense alleges that his prosecution is motivated by race.

Not the sight of severed baby feet floating in jars, mind you, but race. How wonderful it would be, were Dr. King still alive, to give him five minutes alone in a room with this man.

There are four times more mentions of Jimmy Fallon not simply because Americans prefer entertainment to real-life horror. Had Gosnell been, say, a self-professed evangelical who murdered seven abortion doctors, instead of a profiteering abortionist who murdered seven babies, then I promise you, there is no way you would avoid hearing about it. There is no question about the morality of abortion for most journalists, only questions about the morality of people who oppose it.

It’s easy to blame journalists, and in this case they deserve blame. But I remember that in his heyday George Tiller, a late-term abortionist operating in Wichita, Kansas, secured from the city council a permit to expand his operations and add an incinerator to his facility. Tiller’s abortuary was located next to a car dealership, and if you talked to the guys working there, they would explain to you how every week they had to get out the hoses and wash white ash off the cars.

One day, a man walked into Tiller’s church and shot him in the head. That made the news, and it should have. But those white ashes? Reporting them would have been gauche. A journalist might get mistaken for some kind of religious nut, talking about those ashes.

History scorns the people who lived outside Auschwitz and Treblinka, with their weak protests of ignorance. How will history treat us, I wonder?