- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2013

During the week that found America coping with the Boston Marathon terrorist attack and a deadly factory explosion, the broadcast networks remained in biased business-as-usual mode. The networks still found time for “superficial and inconsequential coverage while continuing to censor the horrific details of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial in Philadelphia,” says an analysis from the Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute.

ABC, which has not covered the Gosnell trial, instead revealed trivia about Superman’s 75th birthday. NBC broadcast information on comedic Internet cats while CBS showed footage of a mayor bumping into a TV camera.

“The American people made it clear that the Gosnell trial is a major, national story, but the broadcast networks have plugged their ears. With the exception of CBS ‘This Morning’s‘ reporting last Monday, the three broadcast networks are still putting their personal pro-abortion politics ahead of the national interest and censoring this story,” says Brent Bozell, director of the research center.

“The horror in Boston is worthy of extensive, in-depth coverage, but so is the maiming, mutilation and murder allegedly committed by Gosnell. Testimony that a baby who survived an abortion was ‘swimming’ in a toilet and ‘trying to get out’ is as gruesome as anything that happened in Boston, but the broadcast networks censor it because they want to protect abortion at all costs,” Mr. Bozell continues.

“NBC asked one question. That is not coverage. CBS ran stories for one morning. That is not coverage. And most shamefully, Disney-owned ABC refuses to cover Gosnell at all. If any organization should be condemning the butchering of children, surely it’s the Walt Disney Co.,” he adds.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

Critics of health care reform have long warned of hidden complications and higher premiums, once the practical applications of the federal law are up and running. One lawmaker wants to remedy the problem.

Sen. John Cornyn has introduced the Patients’ Right to Know Act, legislation that would require the disclosure of all Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act fees and taxes that could affect premium costs.

“Despite the promises made by President Obama when this law was passed, Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to rise,” says the Texas Republican. “This bill would bring much-needed transparency to the onslaught of higher costs families will be facing.”

Among other things, the legislation would require insurance issuers to disclose information about annual fees, Patient Centers Outcome Research Institute tax, re-insurance contributions, risk corridor payments and risk adjustment charges.

WEINER, PART 2

“Fighting to keep New York City the Capital of the Middle Class.” And so reads the motto for former congressman and possible mayoral hopeful Anthony D. Weiner’s Twitter account, which drew 3,500 followers during its first hour of operation Monday. Are they waiting for a repeat performance? Dubious tweets ultimately caused Mr. Weiner’s downfall once upon a time. In the past month, however, he has emerged on the public radar, offering a frank interview to The New York Times, hinting that he might run for New York City mayor.

A Quinnipiac University poll suggests this is not a far-fetched idea, placing Mr. Weiner in second place with 15 percent of the vote, bested only by City Council speaker Christine Quinn, who garnered 28 percent.

“With his better name recognition, Anthony Weiner jumps into the mix at 15 percent. With his negatives, however, the question is whether he can get much higher,” observes poll director Maurice Carroll.

There are woes, though. Mr. Weiner has an unintentional cameo role in “Hating Breitbart,” the boisterous documentary based on the life of the late media provocateur Andrew Breitbart, due in the nation’s theaters in mid-May. Using news clips, the movie recounts “Weinergate” his sexually explicit tweet scandal and showcases Mr. Weiner complaining about Mr. Breitbart.

“Even though Weiner’s appearances are relatively few, the folks behind the film intend on making Weiner a large part of their marketing campaign,” notes Hollywood Reporter analyst Paul Bond.

CULTURAL MOMENT

“Should the Obama administration designate 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev an ‘enemy combatant’ bent on waging war against the U.S.?” asks The Washington Times online poll conducted Monday. The answer: 70 percent of some 1,700 respondents said “yes” 27 percent disagreed.

HIGH-TECH IMMIGRATION

Immigration reform is a flexible forum for one and all, apparently. An interesting quintet gathers in California on Tuesday to discuss the implications for what’s this? High-tech industries? Indeed. On the dais in Menlo Park: Condoleezza Rice, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and former Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania.

They gather in the name of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s immigration task force, hoping to “identify ways to engage with high-tech industries in building bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform and its implications for the tech community.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 63 percent of Americans say that airline passengers should be required “buy a second seat” if they can’t fit into a standard seat because of personal weight issues.

• 59 percent do not support passengers being charged and ticketed according to their personal weight and luggage combined; 25 percent say it’s a good idea.

• 42 percent would feel “humiliated” if they had to be weighed publicly; 40 percent would not mind.

• 25 percent of “small”-sized people would not mind being weighed publicly; 19 percent would mind.

• 23 percent of “large”-sized people would feel humiliated by a weigh-in; 15 percent would not.

Source: A YouGov Omnibus poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted April 12 to 14.

• Small asides and weighty words to jharper@washingtontimes.com.