During his Fox News show tonight, Sean Hannity lashed out at Wisconsin protesters for carrying signs that he said were "uncivil." One of the no-good, very bad signs Hannity highlighted to illustrate just how low the protesters had sunk contained the phrase "WTF?"
Fox News' Special Report portrayed legislation that would restrict the collective bargaining rights of public workers in Ohio as "the only way" to balance the state's budget. However, even the State Senator who introduced the bill acknowledges that it will not "solve Ohio's immediate budget problems."
Raymond Ruddy funded Live Action's latest videos maligning Planned Parenthood. Ruddy has previously smeared Obama as an infanticide supporter and promoted fringe views on birth control, sex-education and reproductive rights. He also maintained a cozy and profitable relationship with the Bush administration.
Fox News contributors Michelle Malkin and Sandy Rios have made false claims about the science behind Michelle Obama's promotion of breast-feeding.
Live Action's Lila Rose continues to misrepresent data in a desperate attempt to smear Planned Parenthood as a "friend" to sex traffickers.
Her latest "evidence" is an audio file of a short conversation that Live Action claims is between a woman who describes herself as a "sex worker" and a Planned Parenthood employee in Washington, D.C.
In a statement accompanying the release, Rose claims:
An institutional crisis has consumed Planned Parenthood at the highest levels. The reason their story has changed five times in reaction to our investigation is because they know they're guilty.
Sex trafficking in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years, and the pattern revealed by our investigation shows sex traffickers have no better friend than Planned Parenthood. Untold damage has already been done to countless girls and young women, whose safety and health are clearly at risk because organizations like Planned Parenthood provide confidentiality and safe haven for sex traffickers.
Yet again, she has utterly failed to show anything close to an "institutional crisis" in which Planned Parenthood is a "friend" to sex traffickers.
What this audio -- like all of the videos before it -- can't provide is anything to contradict the fact that Planned Parenthood contacted law enforcement and asked them to investigate potential sex trafficking before Lila Rose released any of her videos. Rose herself has even acknowledged this.
Right-wing media figures are weighing in on the recent rhetorical tussle between Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum - an exchange that Fox & Friends called the "first political kerfuffle of the 2012 Presidential campaign."
The imbroglio started Tuesday when Santorum weighed in on Palin's decision to skip the Conservative Political Action Conference. As reported by Politico, Santorum implied that Palin's "paid speeches" are her "priority." Politico further reported:
Santorum -- the father of seven children -- also said that Palin has "other responsibilities," such as raising her children, that he doesn't.
"I don't live in Alaska and I'm not the mother to all these kids and I don't have other responsibilities that she has," he said.
The next day, Politico reported that those remarks were criticized as sexist.
For her part, Palin spoke through Fox News, taking to Sean Hannity's show, where she responded that she would not call Santorum a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal ... I'll let his wife call him that." Santorum later sought to explain his comments.
And cue the conservative media:
Yesterday, CBS Evening News lent its credibility to the thoroughly discredited hoax that Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood helping to cover up sex trafficking.
CBS reported that "in the past week" Live Action "released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers all too eager to help reported teenage sex workers get abortions and contraception" that are "troubling."
But as CBS's Jan Craword herself reported, Planned Parenthood "reported the incidents to Attorney General Eric Holder." Crawford did not make clear, however, that Planned Parenthood actually contacted law enforcement and asked them to investigate potential sex trafficking before Lila Rose released any of her video accusing them of covering up sexual abuse of minors.
This fact completely undermines Live Action's accusation that Planned Parenthood is helping to cover up sex trafficking.
What's actually troubling is that CBS is all too willing to promote Live Action's discredited videos.
On Tuesday, James O'Keefe protégé Lila Rose released a video taken at a New Jersey Planned Parenthood clinic which she claimed "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws, and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve." On Friday, New Jersey's Star-Ledger called this accusation is "silly," writing that all "the video proves" is that "one Planned Parenthood employee, immediately fired, is a dope." Indeed, Planned Parenthood had already informed law enforcement of the incident, and the (now former) employee made it clear in the video that "questionable" information would have to be hidden from other Planned Parenthood employees.
From the February 4 Star-Ledger editorial (emphasis added):
Lila Rose, president of Live Action -- a Los Angeles-based group that sent the actors and shot the hidden video -- said the video "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws, and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve."
That's silly. Here's what the video proves: One Planned Parenthood employee, immediately fired, is a dope. She fell for the ol' pimp-and-prostitute gotcha-video sting, inappropriately coached Willie Dynamite and his woman on how to lie to obtain services and, by the end of the video, appears to be looking for a bribe.
Phyllis Kinsler, chief of Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, called the behavior "repugnant." She was being kind.
Planned Parenthood officials say Live Action has tried unsuccessfully for years to catch employees with sting operations. They say on Jan. 13, Live Action also visited the Shrewsbury clinic, and the managers at Perth Amboy and Shrewsbury contacted the national office immediately about concerns over illegal activity.
At least a dozen clinics in six states were visited in January by men claiming to be involved in sex trafficking, Planned Parenthood officials said. Each time, employees notified authorities. Planned Parenthood also said it sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Jan. 18 with concerns about sex trafficking and a possible hoax.
Subsequently released videos have revealed no wrongdoing, featured an employee who repeatedly informs the actors that she is mandated to report statutory rape and that minors must receive parental consent in order to get an abortion in Virginia, and employed doctored audio.
You've got to hand it to Fox Nation: they really know how to do a hatchet job.
The Fox web site edited an ABCNews.com article detailing hoax artist Lila Rose's latest video falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of facilitating sex trafficking, excising out the part where Planned Parenthood responds to the charge by pointing out that it contacted law enforcement and fired an employee.
What was said in the ellipses? Oh, only Planned Parenthood's response, which completely undermines Live Action's claim that the video reveals an "endemic problem":
Planned Parenthood fired the employee Tuesday night, hours after viewing the tape, and said that supervisors had immediately notified law enforcement of the alleged sex trafficking ring weeks earlier, after the encounter occurred.
ABCNews.com further reported that, in the latest video, "the Richmond clinic worker appears to act professionally and appropriately, informing the couple of their legal rights to privacy under the law" and "the legal guidelines for a minor seeking an abortion."
Fox Nation has since taken down the hatchet job on the ABC article, and replaced it with a quote from Reuters. Fox Nation still can't bring themselves to include Planned Parenthood's response on its page, ending right before Reuters writes:
A Planned Parenthood spokesman said in a written statement that the organization had notified local and federal authorities of the Virginia visit and that a counselor at the clinic "reacted professionally to the highly unusual person posing as a patient."
Is excluding Planned Parenthood's response an endemic problem?
ABC reported on the latest video released by Lila Rose's anti-abortion activist group Live Action, saying that "the Richmond clinic worker appears to act professionally and appropriately, informing the couple of their legal rights to privacy under the law" and "the legal guidelines for a minor seeking an abortion."
From an article titled "Abortion Activists Attempt to Discredit Planned Parenthood with Second Video: Latest 'Live Action' Undercover Film Lacks Bombshell Quality of Earlier Release":
The new video was shot Jan. 12 and features the same staged scenario involving a man and woman posing as sex workers and inquiring about sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing, birth control options and abortions for underage girls.
But unlike the first video, the Richmond clinic worker appears to act professionally and appropriately, informing the couple of their legal rights to privacy under the law, regardless of their backgrounds.
"We see people from, um, every walk of life," said the clinic worker. "So, no judgment, no sharing of information, like, uh, nothing here."
The worker also laid out legal guidelines for a minor seeking an abortion, including the requirement of parental consent or permission from a judge before one can be performed.
"Our new video shows their Richmond clinic willing to aid and abet the sexual exploitation of minors and coaching a pimp about how girls as young as 14 -- 15 could circumvent parental consent laws for secret abortions," said Live Action founder Lila Rose, a former associate of controversial conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe.
Rose has asked state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to investigate the centers to make sure they are compliant with state law. Cuccinelli's office said it had not yet received the letter.
Many states, including Virginia, require medical professionals to report evidence of alleged sex crimes involving minors. Planned Parenthood said its Virginia clinic employee immediately did so in this case.