Upated at 6 p.m. Eastern time to include video and expand quotations.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2013 ( – Pro-life activists on new media have forced the hand of the mainstream media, as CNN has agreed to cover the Kermit Gosnell trial on at least two of its news programs.

CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper devoted one segment – the program's last before the weekend – on the trial, beginning at approximately 4:45 p.m. Eastern time.

The coverage lasted less than five minutes.


Tapper's only guest, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Joseph Slobodzian, has attended the daily testimony for the newspaper.

Tapper referred to the Gosnell trial as “a buried lede,” before telling the audience he had covered the story last month.

Tapper, long known for asking some of the hardest questions while with the White House press corps, referred to the Grand Jury report and played a clip of the documentary 3801 Lancaster.

After quoting the district attorney's classification that Gosnell preyed on poor women and murdered viable babies after delivering them, he asked Slobodzian if the prosecution was making its case. “The evidence is certainly compelling,” Slobodzian replied.

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Employees testified that “they saw fetuses, babies, that were moving after the procedure, and that those babies were killed,” he said.

Slobodzian omitted Gosnell's habit of keeping jars of severed feet, something the prosecutors allege he retained as a macabre “trophy” of his actions. Tapper said many of the details were “too graphic to share.”

When asked what kind of person Gosnell was, Slobodzian showed a softer side.

“Kermit Gosnell comes from a very well-established family in West Philadelphia,” he said. He added that Gosnell enjoyed “a pretty good reputation” before being arrested for murder.

“From everything we've heard, he served the community,” Slobodzian said. “If you couldn't pay, you got your medical care for free.”

Gosnell faces the death penalty for seven murders of newborns, but he stands accused of murdering hundreds more. His untrained medical staff also induced the death of 41-year-old immigrant Karnamaya Mongar.

“I certainly don't hope I cover a trial like this again,” Slobodzian concluded.

The coverage is a triumph for pro-lifers, who organized a tweetfest with the hashtag #Gosnell to break through the media blackout. The term was included in 23,600 tweets in one hour Friday alone.  As of this writing, the tag has pegged more than 10,000 tweets per hour every hour since 9 a.m.

Anderson Cooper announced on Twitter he will also cover the story on his CNN program, 360.


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