Patterico's Pontifications


The Federalist Slams the “Fact-Checkers” on Fiorina and the Planned Parenthood Videos

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:50 pm

The Federalist, which is in my view one of the best Web sites out there today, has an excellent piece debunking some facts offered by the “fact-checkers” questioning Carly Fiorina’s statement about Planned Parenthood:

As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch 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.

This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.

I knew immediately what Fiorina was talking about because I had seen the video. In my mind, I questioned whether the description was entirely accurate, but I remembered the video she was talking about, because it makes an impression on you.

The most disturbing part of the video begins around 4:08. It features an interview with someone talking about a baby that has just been aborted. She describes how the doctor tapped the fetus, whose heart was still beating. She wasn’t sure if the baby was dead. She was told to cut open the baby’s face to “procure a brain” — which she did. At about 5:56, there is stock footage of a baby lying in a metal dish, moving its hands and feet. In the bottom right part of the screen, it reads “Courtesy of Grantham Collection and Center for Bioethical Reform.”

The raging, factually sloppy feminist Amanda Marcotte writes at Slate:

There is nothing in the videos made by CMP, either in the edited or full-length versions, that has anything approaching images of legs kicking or hearts beating.*

Note the asterisk. She had to issue a “clarification” (which, as we will see, is wrong):

*Clarification, Sept. 18, 2015, 1:04 p.m.: Fiorina was evidently referring to a few seconds of footage of what appears to be a stillborn fetus. The provenance of the video is unknown, there is no audio on the video, and there is no indication that the fetus was aborted.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It’s not stillborn, the provenance is known (footage from an abortion clinic), and the fetus was aborted. You see, the folks at the Federalist actually bothered to, you know, do journalism and ask the people who provided it. Here is what Gregg Cunningham, the executive director of The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, which provided the footage for the video, told the Federalist:

The video clip we provided to CMP depicted an intact delivery abortion. It was filmed at an abortion clinic. It was not a miscarriage. Mothers don’t go to abortion clinics to miscarry. Had this case been a miscarriage, the mother would have presented at a hospital and her baby would have been rushed to an Isolette for appropriate neonatal care — not abandoned to writhe and eventually expire in a cold, stainless steel specimen vessel. As regards the organizational affiliation of the abortion facility in which this termination was performed, our access agreements forbid the disclosure of any information which might tend to identify the relevant clinics or personnel with whom we work. Preserving confidentiality is vital to future clinic access. I can, however, assure you that the footage in question is not anomalous. It is representative of the frequent outcomes of many late term intact delivery terminations performed at clinics of all organizational affiliations.

Marcotte may have gotten this the most blatantly wrong, but other “fact-checkers” like the geniuses at Politi[cized]Fact dutifully shrugged their shoulders, failed to do the requisite legwork, and offered up an opinion that, hey, for all we know, this could have been a stillborn fetus:

We don’t know the circumstances behind this video: where it came from, under what conditions it was obtained, or even if this fetus was actually aborted (as opposed to a premature birth or miscarriage).

You don’t know . . . because you didn’t try to find out.

Similarly, know-it-all Sarah Kliff at Vox claimed to have watched all the Planned Parenthood tapes, yet initially wrote this misleading passage:

[T]he things Fiorina describes — the legs kicking, the intact “fully formed fetus,” the heart beating, the remarks about having to “harvest its brain” — are pure fiction.

Uh, nope.

It took Kliff reading a piece by Mollie Hemingway to even figure out which video Fiorina was talking about, even though I’d bet large sums of money that, like me, most of you knew instantly which video she was referring to.

The Federalist piece has other examples of leftists getting it completely wrong.

So: Fiorina may have misstated things a bit, since the relationship between the footage of the kicking baby and the horrific actions described in the interview is more one of video illustration rather than video documentation of the incident itself. But this howling mob rushing to brand Fiorina’s comments as “pure fiction” has collectively erred far worse than Fiorina did.

Which is about par for the course for politicized leftist “fact-checkers.”

Well done by the folks at the Federalist.

No Surprise: Hillary Clinton Was Smearing Candidates Long Before Trump Entered The Picture

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

At a rally yesterday, Trump took questions from the audience. A man discussed Muslims and President Obama:

“We have a problem in this country and it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American–” the man asked Trump.

Trump laughs: “We need this question? This first one?”

The man continued, “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?”

As you can imagine, Trump is being excoriated by the usual suspects for not challenging the man’s comments.

Enter Hillary Clinton, who finds Trump’s passivity in this “disturbing”:

“Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out. -H”

She elaborated at a townhall today:

I was appalled, and as you may know, quickly put out a tweet expressing the — the great disappointment with that kind of rhetoric, and calling on him and anybody else who is seeking the highest office of the land to start behaving like a president, to show respect and to stand up for the truth. He knew or he should have known that what that man was asking was not only way out of bounds, it was untrue, and he should have, from the beginning, repudiated that kind of rhetoric, that level of hatefulness in a questioner in an audience that he was appearing before.

Let’s find out. Let’s see what he does. I think that his taking a time-out to think hard about what happened last night, what he did not call out or repudiate at the time gives him the chance to express his regret about that kind of behavior and those sorts of comments in one of his political events. I hope he does.

Contrary to Hillary’s suggestion that a conscience-stricken Trump was sitting in the corner in his timeout chair, his staff said that he cancelled an appearance at the Heritage Foundation in order to close a business deal. For Hillary, though, it was a convenient opportunity to play her hand, even though it was pretty easy to see her cards:

What they’re trying to do is create a mind-set among everybody, including Trump’s supporters, that he’s hiding. They want Trump to have to come out and respond to them. They want Trump to respond to this. That puts him on the defensive. That’s what they want. They want him to apologize. They’re bullying Trump. That’s exactly what this is right now. This is a giant combination.

Look, Republicans and Democrats joining forces, the club, the establishment, tried to bully the guy. They want him to come out and respond to what they’re saying, which they hope puts him on the defensive here. They don’t think they’re rattling him. What they want is for his supporters, which you claim you’re now a new one, they want you thinking he’s afraid to show his face today.

It’s not automatic that his numbers are gonna go up. He’s got to do what he’s always done if the numbers are gonna go up. What has he always done? He’s always doubled down. Every time one of these things happens where they expect an apology he’s done the exact opposite. He has doubled down. Trump will be finished in a week if he responds to this in an apologetic way or in any way that appears, makes it look like he is behaving in a way demanded by all of these critics: Hillary, Christie, Grahamnesty, media, you name it.

You know, it’s funny how Clinton can put on that mantle of righteous indignation with such ease and familiarity in spite of the putrid stench of hypocrisy wafting from her pores. But that’s what comes from not having a functioning moral compass and conscience:



And, take note: a professional politician always plants a tiny seed of doubt: Eh, maybe he’s not a Muslim, maybe he is, I mean, how can we really know, Steve??….

I’m not a Trump fan or supporter and I do not want him to become our next president, but in this, I wholeheartedly hope he doesn’t apologize, doesn’t fall in line, and that he doubles down. It’s a good feeling to see the MSM, the Democrats and the Republican elites all froth at the mouth as they realize Trump is beyond their control. Frankly, I’d like to see more Republican politicians resistant to these sorts of pressures, and to make their own decisions about whether and when they should apologize or whether they should retract a statement.

(Images via Twitter)


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I am not personally impressed by the contention that Hillary supposedly cast a lot of doubt on Obama’s Christianity in that last clip. I saw Allahpundit raise the issue twice today at Hot Air, watched the clip expecting a “for all I know” inflection — insinuating maybe Obama is a Muslim. What I saw instead was a clip where she repeatedly denounces the idea of Obama as a Muslim, ending with a “for all I know” inflection after being asked the question a second time. I can’t stand this woman and don’t give her the benefit of any doubt, but I am underwhelmed with this argument.

Video: Candidate Mocks Looks of Female Opponent!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

I had forgotten all about this, from Fiorina’s Senate run against Barbara Boxer in 2010, and I was not reminded of it again until last night:

I think women heard very clearly what Carly Fiorina said. Ha.

It’s a Scott-Adams-style linguistic kill shot because it’s what everyone was already thinking about Boxer. (And no: I cannot bring myself to say that Barbara Boxer has a beautiful face, or hair.)

Also . . . did we just see Carly Fiorina smile?

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