Misinformer Of The Year: The Center For Medical Progress

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Media Matters’ OLIVIA KITTEL compiled a boat-load of data for this extensive report.  I’ve only published a fraction of what the article contains.

However, as the comments suggest at the end of her extensive research, “Right-wing trolls” will not read the article in it’s entirety but will call it disinformation and lies when, according to MMA the right-wing Center for Medical Progress is the one who is not reporting accurate facts. ~ks

MEDIA MATTERS

Conservative media figures and their right-wing political allies thought that this was the year they could finally achieve their decades-long goal of destroying Planned Parenthood’s reputation and ability to provide health care to millions of Americans.

Since July, the previously-unknown anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress has released a series of dishonestly edited videos that falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of illegally selling “baby parts.” Long-standing opponents of the organization’s mission used those deceptive videos to generate congressional hearings, state and federal investigations, and endless media chatter smearing the group over its alleged “illegal” activity and qualifications for federal funding.

Worse, amid this toxic media environment for Planned Parenthood, threats and violence against reproductive health providers spiked — culminating in the deadly November shooting attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood by a man who called himself a “warrior for the babies” trying to ensure that there were “no more baby parts.”

The latest campaign to damage Planned Parenthood has experienced setbacks, with multiple government investigations clearing the group of any wrongdoing and law enforcement agencies reacting to this uptick in anti-choice violence. But the saga is illustrative of the way dishonest activists with shady backers – in this case with ties to violent extremism — can utilize the power of the conservative echo chamber to try to advance their destructive politics.

Center For Medical Progress May Be New, But Its Backers Are Well-Known Anti-Choice Extremists

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began the year entirely unknown. But over the past five months, the anti-choice organization has become a prominent cog in the conservative machine thanks to its series of deceptively-edited smear videos that purported to show Planned Parenthood profiting from the illegal sale of fetal tissue. The videos prompted a Republican legislative attack on the group, drew criticism from major media figures, and inspired virulent anti-choice rhetoric that many have linked to recent violence against reproductive health care providers.

CMP bills itself as a non-profit “group of citizen journalists.” But behind these supposed “citizen journalists” are a variety of disreputable anti-choice actors. CMP founder David Daleiden has a long history with discredited conservative groups, including anti-choice group Live Action, where Daleiden worked as the director of research. Fittingly, Live Action has also deceptively edited undercover footage of reproductive health care clinics in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood.

As the face of CMP, Daleiden has made numerous media appearances in which he baselessly accusedPlanned Parenthood of “harvesting and selling aborted baby parts” and committing an illegal abortion procedure of “partial-birth abortion.” The accusations are inflammatory and false, but have been repeated by various right-wing media figures. In the creation of CMP and its strategy, Daleiden took advice from the perpetrators of an earlier campaign against Planned Parenthood carried out by an older anti-choice group called “Life Dynamics,” which in the late 1990s also made wild allegations of illegal profiteering on fetal tissue in order to whip up anti-choice media coverage. These claims of illegal activity collapsed under closer scrutiny.

Troy Newman, a CMP board member and adviser to Daleiden, is an established figure in the extremist wing of the anti-choice movement. Newman has infamously argued that the killer of an abortion doctor should have been allowed to argue that the murder was a “justifiable defensive action,” and is the president of Operation Rescue – a group that consulted on CMP’s videos and has a violent background of its own. The group’s senior policy adviser, for example, was sentenced in 1988 for conspiring to bomb a San Diego abortion clinic, and was in communication with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, helping the murderer track Tiller’s court dates.

Right-Wing Media Catnip: CMP’s “Investigative Journalism” Consists Of Deceptively Edited Videos

CMP’s videos used undercover footage of actors’ conversations with Planned Parenthood officials and with staff members of private, for-profit biomedical procurement companies. The videos were heavily edited to cut out crucial parts of conversations to make it appear that Planned Parenthood officials were “sell[ing] the body parts of aborted fetuses,” and agreeing to alter abortion procedures to profit from the illegal sale of fetal tissue. But the more extensive footage released on CMP’s website routinely undermined the sensationalist claims of the edited versions, showing that Planned Parenthood officials were discussing routine and long-legal reimbursement for costs associated with tissue donation, not selling “baby parts.” The longer footage also featured officials reiterating that everything done is “for the safety of the patient,” and stating that they could not and would not modify or delay the procedure for the sake of fetal tissue donation, per Planned Parenthood and tissue donation guidelines. Some videos also relied on comments from third party sources that never worked for Planned Parenthood, and similarly did not implicate Planned Parenthood in any illegal activity.

In fact, while Planned Parenthood has been shown to have done nothing illegal, CMP currently finds itself in court unsuccessfully trying to hide its anonymous backers because it may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy to produce the videos in the first place.

Despite the flimsy nature of the allegations, right-wing media quickly seized on the videos, and Fox News led the charge. Fox host Bill O’Reilly called for an FBI investigation into Planned Parenthood, Megyn Kelly accused the organization of “celebrating its practice of harvesting the organs of aborted fetuses for money,” and network correspondent Peter Doocy asserted that he searched the organization’s website for “fetal baby part prices” but did not get results because the sale is a “well-kept secret.”

Other conservative media figures used CMP’s videos to compare Planned Parenthood to Nazis, likening abortion to genocide, and used the videos to call for completely defunding the women’s health care provider – even going so far as to support a government shutdown to do so.

While CMP’s smear campaign found a receptive audience among conservative figures, more responsible outlets condemned CMP after reviewing their claims, saying the videos took Planned Parenthood personnel’s words “grossly out of context” and showed “nothing illegal.” The New York Times editorial board called the videos a “campaign of deception” and said those who use the videos for political purposes care “nothing about the truth.”

Fetal Tissue Donation Was A Bipartisan Initiative That Is Now A Political Weapon Against Planned Parenthood

Fetal tissue donation and reimbursement for “reasonable expenses occasioned by the actual retrieval, storage, preparation, and transportation of the tissues” are both legal with informed consent, and were created in response to the advice of medical experts. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly explained that its clinics “help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research” with “the highest ethical and legal standards,” and receive “no financial benefit” from the arrangement aside from reimbursement of “actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue” — consistent with industry standards.

Legal fetal tissue donations support critical medical research and help cure diseases, and Planned Parenthood is only one of many groups that support this initiative (other groups that provide tissue donations include clinics associated with universities). Scientists have already noted the ramifications of CMP’s smears, explaining that they’ve seen a dramatic drop in the availability of tissue donations, threatening the “life-saving research” the donations enable. Planned Parenthood announced in October that it would no longer accept any reimbursement for expenses associated with its fetal tissue donation program.

Despite the fact that CMP’s fabrications have been thoroughly condemned and debunked, their false smears have nonetheless fueled Republican lawmakers’ latest attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, fundraise off the outrage, and bolster their presidential campaigns by proving their “anti-abortion bona fides,” as Salon’s Heather Digby Parton wrote.

Following the release of CMP’s first video, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) along with then-House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood, which was launched by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. After the release of the second video, congressional Republicans introduced legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Sen. Rand Paul introduced “an amendment to the tax code that would strip Planned Parenthood of the federal dollars it receives annually for a range of women’s health services.” Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which called for “an immediate one-year moratorium on support” for the organization while it was being investigated by Congress. (The House Oversight Committee even used the heavily-edited footage to promote its hearing on Planned Parenthood.)  Remarkably, after House Republicans voted to create a special committee solely to investigate Planned Parenthood, chair of the hearing, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), admitted the committee had not uncovered any evidence that Planned Parenthood broke the law.

But that did not stop Republican presidential candidates from adopting CMP’s language into their own platforms. During the first Republican presidential primary debate, Carly Fiorina falsely claimed (and later repeated) that video taken inside a Planned Parenthood clinic showed a “fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Numerous media outlets quickly called Fiorina out for citing something that “does not exist.”

Later, Mike Huckabee falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood collaborates in “the selling of body parts.” Donald Trump said the videos showed “these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you’re selling parts to a car.” Ted Cruz asserted “Planned Parenthood officials [participate in] callously, heartlessly bartering and selling the body parts of human beings.” Marco Rubio even suggested Planned Parenthood “pushe[s women] into abortions so that those [fetal] tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit.” And Chris Christie suggested that Planned Parenthood supports “”the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts in a way that maximizes their value for sale for profit.”

Continue reading here>>>

 

Wednesday Blog Roundup – 7-10-2013

America’s Secret Spy Court Has Been Radically Expanding The Powers Of The NSA

NY Times Editorial: The Laws We Can’t See

Pro-Hillary super PAC signs up top Obama aides

Snowden Asylum Applications Reveal More Stupidity

Insurer Refuses To Cover Gun-Carrying Kansas Schools

Perry decides not to seek another term as Texas governor

Defense in Zimmerman trial expects to rest its case Wednesday

Obama Calls On Congress To Help Streamline Government Services

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Joining Fox News, will Co-Host ‘Fox & Friends’

Dems to GOP: Your new anti-abortion push is dead on arrival in Senate

Media Matters staff: Limbaugh Walks Back His Criticism Of Fox, Declares “We’re On The Same Team”

 

Fox News host tells listeners to punch Obama voters ‘in the face’

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros

The Raw Story

A host of the Fox News show The Five was so angry that the Justice Department had investigated one of the network’s reporters that she told her viewers on Thursday to find anyone who voted for President Barack Obama and “punch them in the face.”

“Fox said, we’re targets, clearly Media Matters and others have put us on a target list,” Fox News host Andrea Tantaros explained on the Thursday edition of her radio show. “And they said, ‘Oh, Fox is just crazy! They’re just paranoid!’ Really? Are we?”

“This is what is happening to our press! This is Obama’s America! It’s like the Soviet Union,” she continued. “He said he would change the country. He said it. And a lot of people voted for him.”

“And if you see any of those people today, do me a favor, punch them in the face.”

After a commercial break, a caller from South Carolina told Tantaros that he hated Obama, but worried that telling people to punch Obama voters in the face was sending the wrong message.

“To be clear, I didn’t say punch Obama in the face,” the Fox News host pointed out. “You’re going to get me arrested with this type of government.”

“If someone voted for him!” she insisted to the caller. “If anyone that you know who voted for President Obama, smack ‘em down.”

Obama, smack ‘em down.”

Listen to the audio from Talk Radio Network’s The Andrea Tantaros Show, broadcast May 23, 2013.

Alex Jones Explains How Government “Weather Weapon” Could Have Been Behind Oklahoma Tornado

Where do these people come from?  Instead of admitting that “climate change” is happening before our eyes, people like Alex Jones prefer to make money off of tragedy by perpetuating conspiracy theories…dang!

Media Matters

The Government “Can Create And Steer Groups Of Tornadoes,” But Jones Isn’t Sure That Happened In Oklahoma

Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones explained to his audience today how the government could have been behind the devastating May 20 tornado in Oklahoma.

On the May 21 edition of The Alex Jones Show, a caller asked Jones whether he was planning to cover how government technology may be behind a recent spate of sinkholes. After laying out how insurance companies use weather modification to avoid having to pay ski resorts for lack of snow, Jones said that “of course there’s weather weapon stuff going on — we had floods in Texas like fifteen years ago, killed thirty-something people in one night. Turned out it was the Air Force.”

Following a long tangent, Jones returned to the caller’s subject. While he explained that “natural tornadoes” do exist and that he’s not sure if a government “weather weapon” was involved in the Oklahoma disaster, Jones warned nonetheless that the government “can create and steer groups of tornadoes.”

According to Jones, this possibility hinges on whether people spotted helicopters and small aircraft “in and around the clouds, spraying and doing things.” He added, “if you saw that, you better bet your bottom dollar they did this, but who knows if they did. You know, that’s the thing, we don’t know.”

Video Link (Media Matters)

You Tube:

In April, Jones garnered attention for labeling the Boston Marathon bombings a “false flag” event staged by the U.S. government. Over the years, Jones has endorsed a wide array of paranoid conspiracies, including alleging that the U.S. government carried out or was somehow involved in the 9-11 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, and recent mass shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary school and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Despite his well-publicized career of pushing conspiracies, Jones is regularly validated by media figures and conservative politicians. Jones’ biggest ally has been Matt Drudge, whose heavily trafficked Drudge Report website has linked to at least 244 different articles at Jones’ Infowars website since April 2011.

In the midst of the controversy over Jones’ comments about the Boston bombings, Drudge announced that he had “privately told friends” that 2013 would be the “year of Alex Jones.”

Hypocrisy Alert! Rush Limbaugh Claims Lesbians are Obese Substance Abusers (Audio)

Oh, the hypocrisy coming out of Republicans’ mouths lately…simply astonishing.

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While discussing two unverified “academic, scholarly studies” supposedly researching why lesbians are obese alcoholics, Rush Limbaugh said:

You know, we had stories last week. I’m sure you’ll recall.  There are studies — there are actually academic, scholarly studies — being undertaken and the focus of the stories last week was the money being spent on this research, even though we find ourselves in a sequester. What was it, there was $2.5 million dollars spent to study why 75% of lesbians are obese and gay males aren’t. Homosexual men aren’t; lesbians are obese, 75%.  Why?  That cost two and a half mill.  There’s another survey, or another project, spent, I think, $1.5 million to find out why lesbians are alcoholics.

And, of course, the answers to the first case is they don’t have to deal with men, so they don’t have to worry about their appearance.  They’re not trying to please men. So they can be obese.  It’s no big deal.  Alcohol, who knows?  They’re having to deal with women so they’re drunk.  Who knows?

A tad ironic considering that Rush, who is obviously overweight, got caught after purchasing more than 30,000 hydrocodone, Lorcet and OxyContin pills illegally from his housekeeper.  It’s certainly not the first completely asinine and hateful thing to spew out of Limbaugh’s mouth and we’re sure it won’t be the last; we just don’t understand why anyone listens to this vile hypocritical idiot!

Listen to the audio, courtesy of Media Matters

Geography and History According to Fox News

I’m one of those people who believe that everything Fox News does is calculated and calibrated.  Nothing is by accident with those folks, Roger Ailes is too much of a perfectionist to have that many faux pas at Fox News….

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Does Fox make ‘mistakes’ deliberately or are they just very sloppy? Or perhaps the sloppiness is also deliberate, an attempt to give plausible deniability for their intentional misinformation.

Media matters has this and a long list of similar ‘mistakes’.

This sort of thing is the reason I try not to visit Media Matters without protective headgear. There is always the risk that the temptation to hit my head against a wall will prove too strong. The latest Fox News atrocities they document:

Funny how the ‘mistakes’ made by Fox News always tell a certain story.

And just as I thought this post might be finished they do this:

Think Progress

No wonder Roger Ailes is trying to change Fox News’ image from ultra conservative to moderate. Looks like Fox and Friends didn’t get the memo.

Think Progress

Despite the fact that the Obama administration succeeded in killing one of the most dangerous and wanted men on the planet, conservatives have been reluctant to give him credit.

Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson used the moment to both suggest that the president is too soft on terror and to make an implicit plug for the Bush administration’s use of torture:

CARLSON: Let me ask you this, would you be in the camp of having rather captured him…to try to get more information? But then I brought up the fact that under this administration it seems that we don’t prosecute or ask the same questions that we might have under the Bush administration, so would we get anything out of him anyway if we captured him?

Watch it, via Media Matters:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Think Progress, posted with vodpod

Glenn Beck suggests Americans need to get a gun to deal with Obama and Sunstein

All of today’s posts will deal soley on sorting out the “crazies”.  It’s been a helluva week for the “crazies”.

More to come…

Crooks & Liars

[H/t Media Matters.]

Apparently Glenn Beck is planning on going out the door at Fox News with a deep, lingering slime trail behind him. He reached a new low on his show yesterday:

BECK: By the way, the U.N. is also working on a small-arms treaty — which purports to fight terrorism, but if implemented, Second Amendment proponents like me believe that it will only enforce rougher licensing requirements, create more red tape, and possibly an international gun registry. As if terrorists give a flying crap about registering their gun or their machete before they kill you.

This will do nothing but make it harder for you to get a gun. Why would you get a gun? [Points to picture of President Obama and adviser Cass Sunstein.] To prepare for tough times. That’s why.

He then went on to explain that Sunstein and Obama were apparently destroying America’s energy infrastructure by regulating coal-fired power plants out of existence — while referencing Dan Froomkin’s HuffPo piece on Sunstein … a piece that actually is all about how Sunstein has hardly been a slash-and-burn environmental regulator.

Naturally, Beck will laugh this off as just a coincidental timing thing. But given his track record, that deniability is simply no longer plausible.

Fox’s Bolling Issues Brief, Dishonest Apology For “Hoodlum[s]” In “The Hizzouse” Segment

Eric Bolling’s short apology comes way too late and didn’t cover a similar statement by him when the POTUS was on his trip to Europe. 

Media Matters

Eric Bolling apologized Monday night on Fox Business for his story saying that President Obama is hosting “hoodlum[s]” in “the hizzouse”:

BOLLING: One editorial note. On Friday, we did a story about the president meeting with the president of Gabon. We got a little fast and loose with the language, and we know it’s been interpreted as being disrespectful, and for that, I’m sorry. We did go a bit too far. More Follow the Money coming up in just a minute.

This is a dishonest apology for several reasons.

First, it’s simply not true that the problems on his Friday show consisted of him and his guests getting “a little fast and loose with the language.” Some of the most racially inflammatory language Bolling used on his Friday show was in the two teases for the segment, both of which were apparently scripted and accompanied by equally inflammatory images.

In the tease at the top of the show, he said, “Guess who’s coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa’s kleptocrats. It’s not the first time he’s had a hoodlum in the hizzouse.”

[…]

The intro to the segment itself, which lasted more than five minutes, also appeared to be scripted. In it, Bolling said this: “So what’s with all the hoods in the hizzy? A month after the White House hosted the rapper Common, who glorifies violence on cops, the president opened his doors to one of Africa’s most evil dictators. Here’s Ali Bongo, the Gabonese president, who’s been accused of human rights violations and plundering billions of his country’s dollars.”

Putting together multiple pieces of script that contain racially inflammatory language, two of which were accompanied by fairly elaborate graphics, is not “fast and loose.” The instance in which he goaded Fox Business reporter Sandra Smith into referring to the “White Hizzy” could perhaps be covered by that explanation, but that, too, seemed fairly considered.

Continue to images…

H/t Gilligan

Related Media Matters Links:

Neal Boortz: “We Got Too Damn Many Urban Thugs, Yo … We Need More Dead Thugs” In Atlanta

On ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg Responds To Bolling’s “Hizzouse” Segment: “Not All Of Us Speak Like That”

 

Follow The Leader: Beck’s Rhetoric Has Infected Fox News

Media Matters has done some thorough research on this issue…

Media Matters

In the wake of Glenn Beck announcing he will end his Fox News show, Media Matters demonstrates how throughout Beck’s tenure at Fox News the false, incendiary, and even violent rhetoric he pushed on his television and radio shows spread throughout the network. Where Beck leads Fox follows … but who will they follow now?

Suggesting Obama Has A Problem With “The White Culture”

Spreading Violent Rhetoric

Smearing Acorn

Smearing Then-Green Jobs Adviser Van Jones

Smearing OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein

Smearing Assistant To The President For Science And Technology John Holdren

Smearing Then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn

Smearing George Soros