Ethics Hero: Marc Lamont Hill

Marc Lamont Hill---biased journalist, honest man.

Marc Lamont Hill—biased journalist, honest man.

While much of the mainstream news media has been floating rationalizations and excuses for its failure to cover the Gosnell trial, a cynical process nicely dissected by James Taranto here, at least one liberal commentator has the integrity to admit the obvious. He is the Huffington Post’s Marc Lamont Hill, and on a live webcast, he said this:

“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.” Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: David Drumm

“Gosnell is on trial for 7 counts of first-degree murder regarding the deaths of seven babies, and one count of third-degree murder for the death of a female patient. Many conservatives pundits think there should be greater media coverage. Be careful what you wish for.”

David Drumm, guest blogger on Jonathan Turley’s “Res Ipsa Loquitur,” arguing that scrutiny of the facts behind the Gosnell late-term abortion murder trial will show that pro-life protestors at Planned Parenthood clinics forced some women to enter Dr. Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” so conservatives should be eager to suppress the ugly story, just as the main stream media has done to avoid sparking an emotional national debate over the realities of abortion.

I'll put up a more flattering photo, Professor Turley, when you stop letting unethical people write on your blog.

I’ll put up a more flattering photo, Professor Turley, when you stop letting unethical people write on your blog.

A statement like Drumm’s above is signature significance. I don’t need to read another word to know that this is a commentator driven by politics and tactics rather than principle. Why is someone like this guest blogging on Jonathan Turley’s website? Turley is a legal scholar, an ethics expert, and everything Drumm is clearly not. He does not take knee-jerk ideological positions; his commentary is not partisan, and he is a civil libertarian. Civil libertarians do not endorse media manipulation of the news in the pursuit of partisan agendas, which is exactly what Drumm does here. Continue reading

Wikipedia Ethics And The Gosnell Trial

Ah, sunlight! When all the machinations are revealed, it's a lot harder to be unethical.

Ah, sunlight! When all the machinations are revealed, it’s a lot harder to get away with  being unethical.

Apparently Wikipedia almost joined the media outlets operating a cover-up of the Gosnell baby-killing trial. For a while a debate raged on the site, with an editor advocating that the article about the abortion doctor at the center of the horrific allegations and testimony be deleted entirely, because Gosnell’s trial is only a “local multiple-murder story in Pennsylvania.”  Yes, and the Newtown murders are just a multiple-murder story in Connecticut. Outright hoaxes stay on the site for years, puff piece entries on virtual non-entities and insignificant organizations clog it, but a case with major policy implications bearing on a contentious national, bioethics  and human rights issue of long-standing isn’t worthy of a page? The editor in this case, whoever he is, is too biased and incompetent to hold the position. Had his argument prevailed, Wikipedia’s credibility and perceived trustworthiness would have been severely diminished, for an encyclopedia cannot have an ideological agenda, and the desire to marginalize the Gosnell story is smoking-gun proof of one.

Luckily, Wikipedia got it right in the end, and the article survived. What saved Wiki was transparency. The argument about the Gosnell article was open and public, and ethics always benefits when transparency reigns. You would think that would be one of the news media’s mottos…but not, apparently, when it means letting the public know how it is that certain stories get buried, marginalized and ignored.

(The mainstream media, not surprisingly, didn’t cover the Wikipedia debate, either.)


Sources: Daily Caller1, Daily Caller2, Newsbusters



Hiding Sandy Hook: The Gosnell Trial, Double Standards, Abortion, And Journalistic Malpractice

Have you heard about the Gosnell trial?

The reserved press section at the Gosnell trial, because baby-killing is no longer news in America.

The reserved press section at the Gosnell trial, because, apparently, baby-killing is no longer news in America.

Neither had I until recently, and there’s a reason for that: the news media doesn’t want you to hear about it. Not just the news media, however; elected public officials, advocacy organizations, bloggers and social media-users apparently don’t want you to know about the trial either, because it graphically and sickeningly exposes the ugly and brutal side of abortion, which owes its continuing legal status  and public support to the avoidance of inconvenient truths.

Imagine, if you will, a Sandy Hook massacre that the national media and politicians decided to ignore as a “local story,” because they knew it would spark a national debate over gun control. Imagine Piers Morgan, CNN, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Fox News and the rest scrupulously concentrating on other news stories so what they believed would pose a possible threat to Second Amendment rights would “blow over” without leaving any mark on public opinion. Imagine all of these and more concluding that the incident would be hyped and shamelessly exploited by anti-gun advocates, perhaps leading to a tipping point in societal attitudes toward gun violence, so in order to prevent this possibility, the story, and the deaths of the children, were deliberately marginalized and kept out of the public eye. Would that trouble you? Anger you? Frighten you? Would it cause you to worry that our democracy is becoming a sham, with fact and truth being manipulated so that our Constitutional rights of self-government were a sham and an illusion?

I am angry, troubled and frightened, because this is exactly what is occurring regarding the Gosnell trial. The only difference is that it is abortion, rather than guns, that unethical journalists and unethical public officials are protecting by employing a blatant double standard. Continue reading