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.
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.