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CNN Barely Mentioned Gosnell Trial for Weeks; Spent 45 Times More Coverage on Brad Paisley-LL Cool J Song

From the March 18 beginning of the Kermit Gosnell trial until April 12, CNN devoted exactly 24 seconds to the former abortionist's clinic of horrors. In contrast, the network spent over 18 minutes on Tuesday discussing the controversy over Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's song "Accidental Racist."

Despite the horror stories coming out about Gosnell's clinic from witnesses, CNN instead emphasized the controversy over "Accidental Racist." The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley said it "obviously is problematic. It set Twitter ablaze. People were talking about it saying what is going on here? I think part of the problem is, one, it's bad musically. This music is bad. The lyrics are also quite bad. The themes are bad."

CNN's Jake Tapper finally covered the Gosnell abomination for almost five minutes on his Friday 4 p.m. ET show The Lead. His brief 24-second mention of the trial on March 21 was its only coverage on CNN for almost a month. Tapper admitted to the horrific clinic stories in his news brief, but he and the rest of CNN didn't touch the trial again for weeks.

"The evidence in the case is so gruesome, some jurors have been seen covering their mouths," Tapper reported. And indeed, the Gosnell trial has featured unspeakably gruesome testimonies by former clinic workers on his work. Stories include severed spines of babies born alive, a botched abortion that killed a patient, blood on the clinic floors, fetuses discarded in milk jugs, and spreading of venereal disease from unsanitary instruments. 

The MRC has already documented the networks' blackout of the Gosnell trial. And some media have already picked up on the blackout, like Fox News's Kirsten Powers in USAToday.com, Slate's Dave Weigel, and The Atlantic's Connor Friedersdorf.

On Tuesday, April 9, CNN spent over 18 minutes discussing the controversy over the new song by country star Brad Paisley and rapper LL Cool J. "But the greatest sin from this song is that it glosses over the fact that racism is not a relic from the Confederacy. It still impacts society today," insisted CNN contributor LZ Granderson.

"Brad Paisley and L.L. Cool J teamed up to tackle the serious issue of racism," noted The Lead host Jake Tapper. "The song, which is on Paisley's new album is an attempt to use music to confront issues of racism and stereo typing head on. But what we end up with is a duet that in my view makes 'Ebony and Ivory' sound like 'The I Have A Dream' speech," Tapper quipped.

"Rap meets country or should I say country meets rap in a collaboration that's making headlines, but probably not in the way country star Brad Paisley and rap star L.L. Cool J had hoped. The song is called 'Accidental Racist'," reported anchor Carol Costello on Tuesday morning.

"Ahead on Starting Point, country singer, Brad Paisley, rapper, LL Cool J taking heat for their new song about racism. The reaction exactly the opposite of what they intended," Starting Point co-host Christine Romans remarked on Tuesday.

Both Costello and Tapper hosted panel members for a lengthy discussion about the song. Tapper spent almost five minutes on the topic, while Costello aired two segments in excess of six minutes.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center