The drama surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell took another surprising turn on Monday, when Jack McMahon, the lawyer for the Philadelphia “abortion doctor,” charged that the Fox News Channel's hour-long documentary entitled “See No Evil -- The Kermit Gosnell Case” was an example of “irresponsible” journalism.
The attorney unleashed his verbal barrage on Monday morning, when he called the decision to air the program on Friday and Sunday evenings “shameful” and “outrageous” since the jury is still deliberating on the fate of the 72-year-old physician.
McMahon also complained that the documentary -- which was hosted by Brett Baier, anchor of the channel's weekday news program “Special Report” -- was unfair to his client because it contained information from a 2011 grand jury report that harshly criticized the conditions of the Women’s Medical Society clinic on Lancaster Avenue while including little of the defense the lawyer presented during the trial.
“It’s outrageous,” McMahon told reporters who had gathered to await a verdict on Monday morning. “I’ve never seen anything so irresponsible in journalism.”
The Fox News Insider website described the program as an investigation of a physician who has been charged with murdering babies in a clinic that can only be described as a “House of Horrors."
The hour-long special includes shocking interviews with Gosnell's patients. In these clips, hear testimony about the “barbaric practices” the physician used to either perform abortions or kill babies just after birth.
When McMahon took his complaints to Judge Jeffrey Minehart, the judge instructed jurors to notify his staff if any of them had seen or heard details of the show during the weekend. He also told them that it should not factor into making their decisions.
“It has nothing to do with this trial,” Minehart told jurors before sending them back to resume their deliberations, which have now entered a second week.
None of the jurors, who were instructed by the judge at the beginning of the trial to avoid all media coverage of the case -- of which there has been very little -- gave any indication that they had watched “See No Evil.”
However, jurors asked the judge for detailed definitions of the first- and third-degree murder charges Gosnell faces, as well as a definition of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Minehart explained the criteria needed for a conviction on each of those allegations.
In addition to four first-degree murder charges, the doctor also faces allegations that he performed thousands of abortions over the past 40 years and caused the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old woman who died in 2009 after receiving an overdose of drugs during an abortion.
Beyond that, Gosnell faces hundreds of other criminal counts, including numerous allegations of performing third-trimester abortions, racketeering and failing to counsel patients in advance of performing abortions. Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted on the charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies.
Over the past six weeks, prosecutors have called numerous witnesses who testified that Gosnell regularly performed abortions beyond Pennsylvania's 24-week limit, often injured women under his care and repeatedly “snipped” the spinal cords of infants born alive in the clinic.
In addition. the doctor is also being blamed for using untrained and unsupervised staff members who pumped patients full of dangerous medications. Also, Gosnell is accused of showing little regard for the low-income, minority and immigrant women he treated.
A particularly interesting aspect of the trial is the fact that many of the witnesses were past employees who have pleaded guilty to various crimes and agreed to testify against their former boss.
However, McMahon has maintained that no live births took place at the clinic because Gosnell terminated the pregnancies in the womb.
He also argued that Mongar, who had recently immigrated to the United States, died from unforeseen complications rather than from an ill-advised dosage of drugs.
If you missed “See No Evil” during the weekend, it might be a while before you have the chance to catch the documentary. A version of the program was posted on a YouTube video site, but it has since been removed by the user.
However, you can watch a segment of the program by clicking on this link.
One of the most interesting parts of the documentary is when it uses information from NewsBusters to document the broadcast media blackout of the case, including the fact that the seats in the courtroom reserved for members of the press were usually empty.
And as NewsBusters previously reported, the mainstream media came up with several excuses not to cover the trial: the subject is too gruesome, it's a local story, and that other topics, including the basketball player who came out as gay, were more important.
At the time of this posting, the jury had yet to render a verdict on the guilt or innocence of Kermit Gosnell. What that happens, check back on the NewsBusters site to find out not only what happened but also what the mainstream media want you to think happened.