The story of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped to get an abortion for almost two weeks and crossed the borders of the state sparked a national debate about abortion. President Biden and other Democrats alleged that the Supreme Court had shown harm by overturning the Roe v. Wade case.
However, the facts were sparse, and reporters had a hard time seeing reports that depended on a single named source in the Indianapolis Star.
Conservative media questioned the existence of the girl. FoxNews host Jesse Waters suggested that the story could be a “hoax” intended to strengthen the position of abortion rights. The Wall Street Journal editorial On Tuesday, it was titled “Cancellation Story Too Good to Confirm”.
The people on the left quickly jumped in and criticized media reports pointing out that little was known about the girl and the crime situation. On Saturday, the Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler wrote that he couldn’t confirm any of the details. “This is a very difficult story to check,” he wrote, a conclusion that led to a surge in angry comments on the post’s website. This case was a very partisan issue and gave an example of how a single article could be the focus of a heated debate.
The facts were revealed on Wednesday. Columbus Dispatch reported A man in Ohio was charged with rape.
But by that time, the debate over the case had put mainstream publications in an unpleasant shackle. The politicized story evolved faster than reporters accumulated information, fueling a unique news cycle outside the facts.
Kelly McBride, a media ethics expert at the Poynter Institute, said: But she added that journalists need to report to answer the question, “not just to give more opinion without additional facts.”
A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment on statements from Waters and other hosts, but on network reports. Tuesday It confirmed the case. A spokeswoman for The Wall Street Journal did not respond to requests for comment.
The Indianapolis Star first caught the public’s attention in the incident paper July 1st, following a Supreme Court ruling, considering restrictions on abortion. This article refers to the case of Dr. Kaitlyn Bernard. Dr. Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician and gynecologist, described a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who traveled to India to treat an abortion after having passed the new six-week abortion limit imposed in his hometown. I was treated.
The horrifying story has attracted international attention. A week later, Mr. Biden quoted it in a White House speech, criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision as “totally wrong.”
But conservative politicians questioned whether the victims were genuine. They pointed out that the report relied on a single source, the doctor who treated the patient. They said Dr. Bernard had not answered questions from other media outlets about the case, and that there seemed to be no official record to confirm it. Some have declared it “fake news.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was skeptical of the case, saying in an interview with Fox News this week that no evidence of such a victim was found. Said USA Today Network Ohio Branch: “Clearly the shame of the Indianapolis newspaper that did this with a single source of ax grind.”
Steve Cracauer, who writes a media newsletter called Force Watch, owned by First, a conservative media outlet that hosts former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, among those who tweeted their skepticism. , “When the story of a 10-year-old miscarriage turned out to be Jussie Smollett this year,” is a reference to an actor who was a media reflection and convicted of a hate crime fraud.
In an interview, Mr. Kurakawa said he regrets the wording of the tweet. He said everyone would benefit from slowing down rather than jumping to a conclusion.
“Especially in this post-Trump world, where the media is now a cultural conversation as well as those who report the news, rush to the right to show that this is just another example of the wrong media. I’m out, “he said.
He added that leftist media often displayed in a similar hurry to find and amplify a particular story.
In an article about the case on Wednesday, Columbus Dispatch reported that 27-year-old Garson Fentes was arrested and charged in the Franklin County District Court in Columbus for the rape of a child under the age of 13 after confessing to police. Mr. Fuentes has not yet entered a plea.
At a court hearing, police detectives said Columbus police had noticed the crime in late June and confirmed that the victim had been aborted in Indianapolis on June 30.
In an interview, Amarinash, who oversees local news for USA Today Network, which operates both the Indianapolis Star and The Columbus Dispatch, said newsrooms in both states worked together to confirm the details of the incident. Publicly reported.
“I don’t think it’s a big surprise that such a thing happens when a story of its nature comes out that can be used to advance its cause on either side of the political spectrum. “Mr. Nash said.
Nash said Wednesday’s scoop has received about 1.5 million views from readers so far. This is very common for local newspapers.
“Our reporter was the only person in court during the arrangement, who was in the community, procured, and able to get there much faster than anyone could do on a national scale.” She says. she said.
Several publications that participated in the case updated the article with new information. Kessler of the Washington Post wrote on Twitter: He receives a lot of angry emails, but journalism is an accumulation of facts. “
The Wall Street Journal pointed out new facts in an editorial on Thursday. However, he argued that the way to help the country find consensus on abortion is to “make sure that the story about abortion is readily available from either side of the debate.”
The conservative news media focused on Mr. Fentes’ position as an undocumented immigrant and did not look down too much. Fox News host Watters, who asked questions about the incident, said Wednesday night that his television show was “happy to be under pressure and now justice is being offered.”
Ohio Attorney General Yost, who suggested that the story was forged, released a statement on Wednesday saying, “The pain that this little child is suffering is heartbreaking.”
Others focused on Dr. Bernard. Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said in Fox News Wednesday night that he would investigate whether doctors reported assaults and abortions, suggesting that Dr. Bernard did not report otherwise.
A document obtained by the New York Times on Thursday showed that Dr. Bernard had made the necessary reports. The Indianapolis Star was the first person to report this document. In her statement, Dr. Bernard’s lawyer, Kathleen Delaney, said Dr. Bernard was considering legal action against those who “dirty” her, including Mr. Rokita. Mr. Rokita replied as follows. “As we said, we are collecting evidence from multiple sources and agencies related to these claims. Our legal review of it remains open.”