CNN Finds Time for Airport Delays and Mark Sanford's 'Soap Opera,' But Not Gosnell Trial

CNN's blackout on the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell resumed after three reports on April 12 broke a three-week silence on the story. Aside from a brief 90-second mention on April 14, the network didn't touch the trial for 11 days until host Jake Tapper reported it on the afternoon of April 24.

While the vast majority of that air time was spent on live coverage of the Boston bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, CNN still managed to report on stories like airport traffic and Mark Sanford's "soap opera," just not the Gosnell trial.

On Friday, April 12, CNN covered the Gosnell trial for the first time since March 21, airing three stories on The Lead, Erin Burnett OutFront, and Anderson Cooper 360.  After that, however, CNN made one mention of the trial in 11 days -- a brief discussion by media critic Howard Kurtz on the media coverage of Gosnell. In that 90 seconds on the April 14 edition of Reliable Sources. Kurtz lamely offered that CNN aired a "half dozen segments" on the trial --  the actual number was four -- and added that "the conservative media didn't do much either."

Even MSNBC picked up the story four times between the CNN mentions. Morning Joe reported it on April 15 and April 24. Anchor Tamron Hall reported new developments in the trial on the afternoon of Tuesday April 23, and shortly afterward Chris Matthews led a segment about it on Tuesday's Hardball.

But despite producing three stories on the trial since April 12, the network remained silent until the 4 p.m. ET hour on Wednesday, April 24. And even though the disasters in Boston and Texas took over the news beginning with the afternoon of April 15, CNN still spent a mere 90 seconds on the story from April 13 until the Boston bombing.

While CNN continues to report live from Boston, the network has now begun touting other stories like "long delays" at airports and the "juicy political story" of Mark Sanford's "soap opera." Gosnell has barely resurfaced on the network -- Tapper gave the trial all of 30 seconds.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center