It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail, and probably this year’s fail (we’ll revisit this in December but I can’t imagine that anyone will do anything more heinous than this), was brought to you by whoever let Kermit Gosnell perform abortion procedures – or, his deranged version of them – and whichever media outlets didn’t report it until everyone started pointing out that it was going unreported. Philadelphia’s NBC affiliate broke the story on April 5; USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers took it national; then Slate, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and the Washington Times all started asking why there weren’t more headlines. Now there are plenty, and they all introduce allegations so disgusting that I will not repeat them here; that’s what the links are for. Brace yourself for an unpleasant read.
How to explain the media’s neglect? According to Megan McArdle, also of The Daily Beast, it was because she was too grossed out. This may be why other writers she cites in her piece made up all manner of flimsy excuses to avoid covering it. It’s a likelier story than some notion that all journalists want to keep public opinion on abortion on the side of choice; I have no doubt some active pro-lifers have made that accusation. But pro-life vs. pro-choice is immaterial to this story. No pro-choicer could conscionably defend Gosnell. But if they do, give me their names.
But the media’s neglect is nothing compared to that of any of the multiple health authorities who could have cracked down on Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society.” The above Atlantic link supplies the best information on this; he mentions the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the medical examiner of Delaware County, the Board of Medicine operated by the Pennsylvania Department of State, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the National Abortion Federation (yes, they exist) as potential sources of accountability. All failed, for their own reasons, none of them acceptable.
The grand jury suggests it all comes down to racism (Gosnell’s victims – let’s not call them patients – were by and large poor and black) and politics. I chalk it up to fear. Politics may certainly turn out to be an element of that fear. But mostly it’s because we can’t imagine something like this happening post-Roe v. Wade, and when it does happen, we don’t know how to deal with it – so we choose not to deal with it at all.
How can we trust any health authority to stand up for the public’s health when they’re too chickenshit around its worst violators? They’ve hurt their reputations immeasurably by refusing to hurt their digestive systems for more than a few minutes.