By Madeline Osburn – The Federalist
As the second week of preliminary criminal hearings against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt continue to reveal gruesome admissions of baby body part trafficking in a San Francisco court, mainstream media outlets remain uncharacteristically silent about an important First Amendment case.
Daleiden and Merritt, citizen journalists with the Center for Medical Progress, are charged with 15 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential information, in which they exposed the illegal activity of Planned Parenthood and the human tissue procurement company, StemExpress. Four days into the hearings, significant and graphic details about StemExpress’ business steadily emerge, such as their supplying of beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers. Yet a quick search for Daleiden’s name across national and local news sites (The New York Times, CNN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The L.A. Times) turns up zero stories on the hearings.
Why would reporters find no interest in a case’s outcome that could result in serious implications on their own First Amendment rights as journalists? And a case with click-grabbing, alarmingly graphic details to boot? The answer it is two-fold.
First, is the inconvenient fact that this case exists, not because there is a consensus that Daleiden’s videos were actually illegal, but because former California attorney general Kamala Harris sought to prosecute Daleiden at the behest of her political donors at Planned Parenthood. Even though Daledien’s unreleased footage should have been protected by the California Shield Law, Harris ordered a search warrant against Daleiden in 2016 and a raid of his apartment, seizing his computer, camera equipment, and footage.
Email records show correspondence between Harris’ office and Planned Parenthood officials, orchestrating public responses, filing police reports, and even drafting legislation targeting Daleiden. Harris has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities, so the nature of her behavior is no mystery.
The illegitimacy of this orchestrated cover for Planned Parenthood bore out in the courtroom over the last four days. On Day 1, the attorney general office’s primary witness, Melissa Fowler, vice president of external affairs for the National Abortion Federation, admitted to meeting with the AG’s office in April to discuss questions the prosecutors would ask in the preliminary hearing. On Friday, it came as Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron introduced what she claimed was evidence of threats and harassment that some of the subjects of the videos, including employees of Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, supposedly received.
“These proceedings are about whether or not the conversations that took place in public places were legally or illegally recorded,” said defense attorney Horatio Mihet to LifeSiteNews. “The attorney general is unable to show that the videos were illegally recorded, so instead what she wants to focus on is supposed evidence of threats and harassment that follow these legally recorded, First Amendment protected videos.”
Mihet said he objected to this “evidence” and the judge agreed, throwing it out.
The second reason mainstream media outlets might ignore such a case is because of their well-established habit of ignoring stories that illuminate the violence of abortion. Reporters had to be shamed into covering the trial of homicidal abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and when Daledien’s first undercover videos were released in 2015, it did not take long for journalists and cable news to adopt Planned Parenthood’s talking point that the videos were “deceptively edited.”
Instead, the admissions coming from the witnesses this week, including from a self-proclaimed “celebrity” abortionist and a Planned Parenthood medical director, confirm the videos’ content. The testimony is unpleasant, but certainly worth reporting. Thanks to the The Center for Medical Progress’s live-tweeting (which Planned Parenthood also tried to hide) and LifeSiteNews Reporter Lianne Laurence’s reporting from the courtroom, the truth about aborted baby body part trafficking is being disseminated.
You can read more here.