A search at the Associated Press's national web site tonight at 11 p.m. ET on "Gosnell" returned one result: a very early Monday morning story by the wire service's Maryclaire Dale. This would indicate that the self-described Essential Global News Network hasn't carried a subsequent national report on the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania and Delaware abortionist accused of eight murders, one of a patient and seven of babies allegedly born alive, even though there have now been three additional days of trial proceedings and testimony.
The later paragraphs of Ms. Dale's report includes a disturbing one describing Gosnell -- disturbing more because of what it may say about the AP reporter than Gosnell -- and two devoted to an attempted defense of the abortionist which, at least as written, constitute no defense at all (bolds are mine):
Gosnell, an elegant man who appears serene in court, smiled softly as he listened to testimony last week, even that of a young woman who said she was hospitalized for two weeks after a 2009 abortion.
... A neonatologist testified that his gestational age appeared to be about 27 to 30 weeks. But defense lawyer Jack McMahon pointed out the margin of error for prenatal testing is nearly two weeks.
The legal limit for abortions is 24 weeks in Pennsylvania, where that teen mother delivered, and 20 weeks in Delaware, where she was given drugs to start the abortion process.
Here are the choices dictionary.com gives us for the meaning of "elegant" in describing a person:
- gracefully refined and dignified, as in tastes, habits, or literary style: an elegant young gentleman; an elegant prosodist.
- graceful in form or movement: an elegant wave of the hand.
- appropriate to refined taste: a man devoted to elegant pursuits.
Maryclaire Dale really ought to let us know why she considers Gosnell "elegant." Is he "refined and dignified"? Does he move gracefully? Does he demonstrate "refined taste"?
Has anyone ever seen a defendant in a murder trial described as "elegant" in a report describing his or her appearance during a trial? And I'd really like to see a photo of the "soft smile" Ms. Dale identified.
As to the "defense" Ms. Dale relayed relating to the age of the murdered babies, the last time I checked, 27 minus two (the apparent upper limit for the margin of error in estimating how long it has been since a baby was conceived) is 25, which is one week longer than the 24-week legal limit for abortions in Pennsylvania. Is the defense really saying, "Well, that's close enough to 24 weeks that it shouldn't matter"?
Really, the AP needs to put someone else besides Ms. Dale on this trial, and needs to treat it as the genuinely national news story that it is until there's a verdict.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.