Seven counts of murder. Medical malpractice. Racism. Failure of governmental agencies to protect the health of citizens.
THIS IS A BIG STORY, RIGHT?
But a full month into the sensational trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, there was little or no coverage in the mainstream media. ABC, NBC and CBS had never told the story. CNN had done just one short report about the “house of horrors” abortionist who murdered newborn infants by snipping their spinal cords with a scissors and endangering the lives of his patients by providing substandard care.
That is, until Friday, April 12. That’s the day of the first Gosnell TweetFest, when the social media platform Twitter was filled with 600,000 tweets using the hashtag #gosnell.
WHAT’S A TWEETFEST?
Catholic radio host Al Kresta talked on April 16 with Bryan Kemper, who initiated the TweetFest. Kemper, youth director of Priests For Life, told Kresta how the Tweetfest had originated: “We commented 10 days ago,” Kemper explained. “At that point, ABC, CBS and NBC had not covered it at all. CNN had done one story.”
Frustrated by the lack of media coverage, Kemper called his friend Andy Moore, son-in-law of pro-life activist Jill Stanek. Together they came up with the idea of a TweetFest to draw media attention to the case.
The results were dramatic: “It spread so fast,” said Kemper. When he woke on Friday morning, Patricia Heaton had tweeted about it. Later in the morning, over 23,000 tweets with the #gosnell hashtag had been posted in a single hour. CNN’s Anderson Cooper saw the Twitter storm, read the grand jury indictment, and did a hard-hitting, 16-minute story on CNN that evening, calling Gosnell’s clinic a “house of horrors.” Jeb Bush tweeted the story. The Huffington Post, the Washington Post and the Washington Times reported on it.
Kresta noted that the resultant media coverage—the first many had heard of the charges against the abortionist—caused readers to wonder whether the whole thing was merely a rumor. On Friday, snopes.com was compelled to publish a page confirming that the Kermit Gosnell story is real, not an urban legend.
SECOND TWEETFEST TO SHARE INFORMATION ON GOSNELLFollowing on the success of the April 12 TweetFest, Bryan Kemper has organized a second TweetFest for April 17, again calling on people to tweet using the hashtag #gosnell. While the first focused on the media blackout, today’s TweetFest is intended to point readers to the website whoisgosnell.com. There, readers can learn more about the infamous abortion practitioner who stands trial in Philadelphia.
Listeners of “Kresta in the Afternoon” were quick to post their thanks for the coverage of this important issue.
One listener by the name of “John” wrote:
“For me, when I heard about the Gosnell trial, it made me think of Obama’s voting against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. There is a YouTube video with the Senate testimony and his opposition to it.
Jennifer, who describes herself as an “avid listener”, commented on the abortuary’s racism:
“There was a “clean” waiting area for non-minorities… women of few means were drugged and unknowingly made to wait for hours, etc. People should be outraged at his racism, and perhaps be reminded about the high incidence of abortion among African-Americans and Latinos.”
Listen to the original interview with Bryan Kemper by going to the Ave Maria Radio website, then clicking on Audio Archives. Select the second hour on April 15.