There is no question that the story unfolding in Ohio, in the aftermath of the daring escape of three women who had been kidnapped and held captive for nearly a decade, is a compelling one. The media is certainly over-hyping the story, but unlike Jodi Arias, Ohio is more deserving of this national attention.
Murders like the one Arias committed happen all the time. That is just an example of the media bathing in lowest-common-denominator sensationalism. The uniqueness of the actual crime in Ohio is not just what makes Ohio stand out, though. There are also larger questions that need answering — like how in the world could someone get away with holding all those women captive in a residential area for all those years.
Already the media is digging into the bigger questions. Were the police called to the home, and if so, did they do their job properly? The suspect, Ariel Castro, has a documented history of spouse abuse. Did the system fail in that capacity?
On CNN right now, anchor Carol Costello is interviewing an expert on abuse and asking if there are holes in the system that might have rooted Castro out as a menace sooner.
These are all good questions, legitimate lines of inquiry, and examples of the media doing its job.
But what is so damned frustrating is that if the media wanted to, it could lay this very same template over the story of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor on trial for the murder of seven babies and one adult patient. But the media refuse to do so.
One excuse the media make is that there is no place to take the Gosnell story, when that is fundamentally untrue.
Just like in Ohio, Philadelphia also has a “system” that for over a decade failed to stop a man charged with horrific crimes. The grand jury report on the Gosnell case lays out a horrific case against the Department of Health for a politically motivated lack of oversight and an incomprehensible inability follow up and connect the dots when complaints came across their desk.
Moreover, just like in Ohio, along with those precious babies, it was also innocent women (mostly poor minorities) who were systematically abused and exploited by this Philadelphia monster.
But the media don’t care about these women or the system that almost certainly failed them. To the media, abortion is a sacrament that must be protected at all costs — the highest costs. And those in media who might not agree don’t have the moral courage to bolt the Narrative Plantation and do the right thing.
Because of the media spotlight, if Ohio has some systemic flaws, they are more likely to be fixed. But in Philly, with no spotlight, business as usual is a much more likely outcome.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC