Leaked emails reveal that National Public Radio refused to allow advertisements on their airwaves referring to Kermit Gosnell as an “abortion doctor.”
John Sullivan, the executive producer of the new film “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” says he tried to purchase six-figure advertisements for his movie on NPR last month. But according to emails provided to The Daily Beast, NPR would not allow Sullivan to call Gosnell an “abortionist” or an “abortion doctor” in his ads.
Gosnell was sentenced in 2013 to three life terms in jail after an investigation into his Philadelphia abortion clinic revealed that he murdered at least three children with scissors after they were born. Gosnell was also found to be complicit in the death of a female patient.
Sullivan’s first proposed advertisement for his movie read, “Support for this NPR program comes from the film ‘Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer’. The film is the true story of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. A story the mainstream media tried to cover up because it reveals the truth about abortion.”
NPR told Sullivan that “The word ‘abortionist’ will … need to be changed to the neutral word ‘doctor.’”
Sullivan proposed calling Gosnell an “abortion doctor,” but NPR insisted the ads say “Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell” or they would not be allowed to run on air.
NPR’s Senior Director of Media Relations Isabel Lara claimed in a statement that the phrase “abortion doctor” is not “value neutral.”
“Sponsor credits that run on NPR are required to be value neutral to comply with FCC requirements and to avoid suggesting bias in NPR’s journalism,” Lara explained.
NPR’s refusal to allow “abortion doctor” in the advertisements is odd, The Daily Beast notes, because they have used the term themselves in multiple stories about Gosnell.
“There was even an NPR news story about Kermit Gosnell himself, and it was headlined, “Convicted Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Gets Life in Prison,’‘ Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis asserted.
“Gosnell: The Trial Of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” producer Ann McElhinney slammed NPR for refusing the advertisements, noting, “NPR receives taxpayer funds.”
“They have a duty to push aside their own prejudices and opinions and apply fair and consistent standards and allow paid advertising even if the ads are promoting something they would rather remain hidden from their listeners,” McElhinney said.