On Wednesday, NBC Nightly News covered the Dr. Kermit Gosnell case for the very first time, a whopping 44 days after the opening of the trial, and only after the jury had finished its first full day of deliberations. Stephanie Gosk wasted little time before emphasizing that Gosnell's clinic was "one of the only places in this low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia where pregnant woman could afford to go for abortions" [audio available here; video below].
Gosk's report was also the first time that Big Three aired a report on
the trial on its evening newscasts, even as ABC and CBS's evening
newscasts continued their blackout. Previously, the only time that a NBC
journalist mentioned the murder case on-air was when Savannah Guthrie asked President Obama
if he had been "watching the Gosnell trial....and do you think it
animates a larger debate about abortion in this country" on the April17,
2013 edition of Today.
Host Brian Williams warned of the "grisly subject matter" of the abortionist's trial, and noted that "there have been six weeks of testimony, much of it difficult to hear." Gosk picked up where Williams left off, pointing out that "what Doctor Kermit Gosnell allegedly did behind the walls of this clinic for years is too gruesome to describe in detail", and continued by spotlighting the "low-income" location of Gosnell's run-down clinic.
After outlining the charges against the Philadelphia physician, the NBC correspondent turned to local journalist Larry Miller, who underlined how "that particular part of the city feels as though they've been left behind – that they've been ignored by the government." Gosk replied, "Is that because they're poor?" Miller answered, "That's because they're poor."
The journalist didn't mention how the Gosnell trial "has received little national coverage", as CBS's Jan Crawford did in her April 15, 2013 report for CBS This Morning,
nor how pro-lifers have "accused the media of ignoring the story
because what it called a bias in favor of abortion rights". Instead,
Gosk merely stated in passing at the end of the segment that "abortion activists on both sides" have used the "horrifying case...as a rallying cry for change".
Besides Guthrie's question to the President, the only time that the murder case received any air time on NBC was when conservative columnist Peggy Noonan delivered the first-ever mention of the trial on the Big Three networks on the March 31, 2013 edition of Meet the Press. Gosk's report, which lasted 2 minutes and 22 seconds, trails behind CBS's coverage of the Gosnell case, which has aired two full segments and two news briefs on the story. But the two networks put ABC to shame, who still hasn't covered the case on their morning and evening newscasts.
The full transcript of Stephanie Gosk's report on the May 1 NBC Nightly News: