Kirsten Powers in USA Today on media coverage of an abortion trial How much media attention does the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell deserve? "There has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart," argues Kirsten Powers. (The Wire's Philip Bump described the staff's testimony as "horrifying.") Powers goes on to observe the relative quiet surrounding the trial: "The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial's first day. They've been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony. ... You don't have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being 'pro-choice' or 'pro-life.' It's about basic human rights." Dan Gainor at Fox News agreed, saying, "Journalists are quick to worry about 'extreme' ways states are trying to curtail abortion. But clearly, murdering babies is not the news media's definition of 'extreme.'" Gainor and Powers join a long (and important) tradition, suggests a column by Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer: "Political discussions, economic arguments and even sports squabbles frequently turn on a press critique: ... What story is being neglected or hyped?"
Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post on the lessons of Thatcherism Margaret Thatcher's program forever changed Britain — many say for the better, many say for the worse — but the lessons to draw from her reign are scarce, writes Fareed Zakaria. "When Thatcher came to power ... the average Briton’s life was a series of interactions with government: Telephone, gas, electricity and water service, ports, trains and airlines were all owned and run by the state, as were steel companies and even Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. In almost all cases, this led to inefficiency and sclerosis," Zakaria observes, before questioning whether Thatcher's campaign to privatize and de-regulate important, often enormous industries would be necessary today. "Western economies face global competition, with other countries building impressive infrastructure and expanding education and worker training. ... Against this backdrop, would a further round of deregulation do much?" Thatcher, he concludes, "was successful because her convictions addressed the central problems of her time," not those of the 21st century. Thatcher herself would struggle to fit in too, Amity Shlaes at Bloomberg View suggests, in a column comparing the wisdom promulgated by female executives like Sheryl Sandberg to Thatcher's bold, if prickly, manner of governance. "Thatcher paid gloriously little heed to social fashion. She was known as a man’s man, and even one who harassed men she suspected might be vulnerable ... That same rough style might disqualify a rising Thatcher today. Over and again, today's leaders counsel their pupils, especially the female ones, to network and get along."