New reporting from WANE 15 News, Fort Wayne’s CBS affiliate, helps explain an important point about the national media’s coverage of mass abortionist Ulrich Klopfer. The network aired a lengthy segment this week on what anchor Terra Brantley described as “a discovery so disturbing, it left us all speechless.”
That discovery, of course, was more the than 2,000 fetal remains found in Klopfer’s home after his passing in September. “This story is neither pro-life nor pro choice,” Brantley said in introducing the segment. “It’s an investigation of how a doctor broke the law by taking home fetal remains and how to make sure something like that never happens again.”
Reporter Kaitor Kay’s in-depth feature on Klopfer’s legacy of horror is nothing short of harrowing. Victims interviewed share deeply unsettling accounts of their experiences with Klopfer. It’s a remarkable piece of reporting. So remarkable it’s a wonder the national media hasn’t produced something similar.
The Media Research Center reported in September that news about Klopfer “[drew] just scant coverage on the cable channels and nothing on the networks. The New York Times reported on the grisly finding, but relegated Dr. Ulrich Klopfer to page A-22 of the paper.”
“Only Fox News cared about this revolting story,” wrote Brent Bozell and Tim Graham. “CNN gave it 30 seconds on a weekend, and The New York Times offered one story deep inside the paper on page A-22. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS? The same networks that wailed for hours about the inhumanity of illegal migrant ‘kids in cages’ had no interest in something a thousandfold more horrific.”
Snopes sought to factcheck MRC’s claim, noting that ABC, NBC, PBS, and local affiliates published online articles about Klopfer. (MRC was referring to on-air coverage.) But that’s the point. Of course the national media covered Klopfer, but the amount of coverage dedicated to his massive and grisly collection of fetal remains was wildly disproportionate to its news value.
That brings us back to WANE 15’s report. The news about Klopfer isn’t exactly dry and boring. It’s shocking, dramatic, and highly compelling—all qualities television networks look for in their programming. What, then, explains their lack of interest?
It’s ideology, it’s culture, it’s newsrooms where generally pro-choice reporters and producers don’t see the big deal. Maybe they’ll eventually get around to reporting like WANE 15’s. But for now at least, Klopfer mostly remains just another one of those local crime stories.
Emily Jashinsky is culture editor at The Federalist. You can follow her on Twitter @emilyjashinsky .