From the July 28 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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From the July 28 edition of MSNBC's NOW With Alex Wagner:
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A third video deceptively attacking Planned Parenthood has been released, and, like the previous two, the highly-edited video shows no evidence that Planned Parenthood clinics have broken any laws by allowing women to voluntarily and safely donate fetal tissue from abortions. Media should know seven key facts about the video, including that the group behind it may have obtained the footage illegally; that the video features a lab technician who admits PPFA only receives legal reimbursement for actual costs; and that the video is largely about a separate for-profit research tissue supply company.
From the July 27 edition of MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner:
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Media have hailed presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich as a "moderate," ignoring that as governor he oversaw the shuttering of half of the state's abortion clinics and implemented extreme hurdles to legal abortion in the state.
Fox News' dishonest campaign against Planned Parenthood took a new turn when the network promoted its own deeply misleading "Taxpayer Calculator" purporting to show how much an average American taxpayer has contributed to the health care provider over the past decade.
On the July 27 editions of Fox News' America's Newsroom and Happening Now, correspondent Shannon Bream continued her network's smear campaign against Planned Parenthood Federation of America centered around a deceptively-edited video alleging to show PPFA employees negotiating the sale of "fetal body parts for medical research." Bream promoted the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to strip federal funding for the organization before referring viewers to a so-called "Taxpayer Calculator" created by the network to show people how much they have contributed to Planned Parenthood over the past decade. From America's Newsroom:
BREAM: Over the past 10 years, it's estimated Planned Parenthood has received more than $4 million [sic] in federal and state government funding. Here's a look at what you, the taxpayer, have contributed based on your income level. Now, if you want a more specific estimate on just how much you've given to Planned Parenthood, head to FoxNews.com and click on "Taxpayer Calculator." Martha.
MACCALLUM: That's going to get a lot of people's attention.
BREAM: It will.
First, and perhaps most egregiously, the on-screen graphic Fox shows during both segments falsely claims that Planned Parenthood received $4.3 billion-worth of federal funding "over 10 years." According to the "Taxpayer Calculator" Bream referenced during the segment, Fox News does not actually know how much public support comes from either federal or state sources (emphasis added):
Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have received $4.3 billion in government funding over the last ten years, according to the group's annual reports. Their government funding comes from both federal and state governments. We do not know exactly how much of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from the federal government.
According to Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report, the organization received $528.4 million from "Government Health Services Grants & Reimbursements," which amounted to just over 46 percent of its operational revenue as of June 30, 2014. Some of this funding came in the form of federal Medicaid reimbursements for health care services for low-income Americans, while other funds came from various local, state, and federal grants -- the Hyde Amendment "excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid."
After incorrectly assuming that all public money received by Planned Parenthood comes from the federal government, Fox News staff then based their taxpayer contribution calculations on the proportion of federal tax revenue derived from different income tax brackets. Federal income tax rates are higher than state and local income tax rates. In fact, seven states levy no income taxes at all while two others tax only capital gains and dividends, not traditional wages. Fox's sloppily constructed "average taxpayer share" does not reflect reality -- it's simply the highest estimate the network's research team could produce.
Finally, Fox's investigation of Planned Parenthood's revenue and the American taxpayer's contribution to that revenue provides no useful context for the viewer. In 2014, the federal government spent nearly 900 times more than Planned Parenthood collected from all government sources in 10 years; the $4.3 billion price tag Fox highlighted represents a miniscule portion of total government spending over the same period. Likewise, the 10-year burden shouldered by Fox's "average taxpayer" represents a tiny fraction of their total income over that period. According to Fox News, a taxpayer with earnings in excess of $2.5 million over a decade would contribute only about $40 annually. Meanwhile, the average taxpayer, with a median household income of roughly $52,000 per year, would contribute only about $1.50 per year to Planned Parenthood, according to Fox's own calculations.
The deceptive "Taxpayer Calculator" is a continuation of Fox News' long campaign of deceit against Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the work performed by the organization (97 percent) is not related to abortion services. Fox has demonstrated on many occasions that it has no clue what Planned Parenthood does or the vital services it provides for millions of men and women every year; including cancer screening and preventative treatment, contraceptive services, family planning, STI/STD screening, and assorted other women's health services.
From the July 25 edition of Washington's NewsChannel 8's Hispanic Agenda:
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From the July 27 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From the July 24 edition of Fox News' Your World:
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Congressional Republicans are capitalizing on right-wing media's phony outrage over the deceptively edited videos released by anti-choice conservative group Center for Medical Progress to push legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called on companies to cease donations to Planned Parenthood, accusing donors of having "subsidized the brutal killing of animals."
Right-wing media and the GOP have pounced on deceptively cut videos released by the anti-choice conservative group The Center For Medical Progress (CMP), which claim to have caught Planned Parenthood officials "haggling over" prices for fetal tissue and discussing "the selling [of] aborted baby parts" for profit. Although fact checkers and mainstream media quickly and roundly denounced the "shady" videos" for "show[ing] nothing illegal" and fabricating the myth that the reproductive health provider profits from the sale of fetal tissue, conservatives have exploited the videos to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Erickson, editor-in chief of RedState.com, took the right-wing drumbeat a step further in a July 23 post. He equated pregnant women seeking reproductive health care to "pregnant female animals," going on to write that companies that support Planned Parenthood "subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals." Companies who support these practices "should be ashamed," Erickson said, calling on a list of 39 companies that support Planned Parenthood to cease their donations:
Coca-Cola has not only ruined its signature product with that idiotic Freestyle machine that makes all its drinks taste terrible, it also has subsidized the brutal killing of animals. It is horrific news that should unite the left and the right. Coca-Cola has been joined by Verizon in subsidizing this.
Both companies have contributed to an organization that takes pregnant female animals and pulls their unborn from them and crushes them. In numerous cases, the barbarians who do this procedure then take the organs from the small, crushed animals and give them to others for scientific research.
PETA and other organizations have long protested the use of animals for scientific research, yet Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals. In some cases, a procedure is done on the pregnant females where their unborn are vacuumed out. In other cases, the unborn baby animals have their heads slit open and their brains sucked out before the rest of the animal is ripped apart and extracted from its mother via the animal's birth canal.
Coca-Cola has subsidized this organization. Verizon has subsidized this organization. The have contributed money that is used to make this happen. Even worse, scientific evidence strongly suggests that the baby animals in many cases can feel themselves being ripped apart. In fact, they have to let the animals grow to an advanced stage to be able to harvest the organs -- a stage advanced enough for brain function and nerve function and pain sensors to develop.
Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized this. They should be ashamed.
There are thirty-seven other companies that have subsidized the brutal extraction of small animals from their mothers to harvest their organs. The Homo sapiens need to be protected and cared for against this brutal torture.
Fox hosts Bill O'Reilly and Andrea Tantaros advocated for entirely eliminating Planned Parenthood's federal funding, which helps provide critical women's health services across the U.S., by wildly misrepresenting what the organization spends on abortion and the services they provide.
Congress long ago barred Planned Parenthood from using federal funds for abortion, but the release of two deceptively edited videos -- which attempt to smear the organization's legal practice of allowing women to choose to donate fetal tissues from their abortions to biomedical research -- has nevertheless reanimated anti-choice activists' campaign to defund the nonprofit.
Jumping off of the controversy, O'Reilly stated unequivocally on his July 22 show that "Planned Parenthood should be defunded, period. I don't want my tax dollars going to them."
Fox contributor Juan Williams attempted to push back, explaining that by defunding all of Planned Parenthood, "you're talking about taking away medical access to millions of women." But O'Reilly insisted "It wouldn't take away anything," and Fox host Tantaros agreed:
TANTAROS: I want to jump in on the women's health point because that's actually a crock. Look, you don't have to be pro-life to be horrified by these videos. A number of my pro-choice friends are horrified by these videos, the same way they were horrified by Kermit Gosnell. And look, here's my view on Planned Parenthood. It provides services now, those services are provided under Obamacare. So, we don't really need Planned Parenthood.
O'REILLY: 90 percent of their services are abortion-related.
TANTAROS: But here's my deal, I don't want to pay for it. It's a business, let private funding go to Planned Parenthood, taxpayer dollars should not have to go to crazy towns like San Francisco and to places like Planned Parenthood.
In fact, Obamacare does not guarantee women access to the critical health services Planned Parenthood's 817 clinics across the country provide, nor are "90 percent of their services" abortion related.
The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies cover preventative women's health care services and prenatal care, and has already saved women over $1 billion dollars on birth control by reducing co-pays and deductibles. The law also established funding to construct health centers to increase access to health care.
But the law does not guarantee that there are clinics accessible to provide women these health services. Some local pharmacies may stock prescription birth control, for example, but they aren't equipped to perform pap smears, conduct exams for breast cancer, or provide treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
That kind of critical women's health care is provided at the hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics. According to their most recent annual report, from October 2012 to September 2013 their clinics performed almost 900,000 pap tests and breast exams, over 3.5 million birth control information and service requests, and nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for STIs.
The same report (once again) confirmed that only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services were abortion-related.
As Vox's Sarah Kliff recently explained, Planned Parenthood receives "more than $500 million annually in government funding, mostly through Medicaid and grants," and that money is crucial to helping them provide this health care to millions of American women. "Because Planned Parenthood is such a large provider in this space," Kliff writes, "it's hard to see other clinics stepping in to fill the gap that [defunding] would leave."
Anti-choice attempts to shutter women's health clinics -- including Planned Parenthood centers -- around the country have already created a massive health crisis in states like Texas, where 13 million women live but currently only have access to a handful of clinics.
Fox has repeatedly hyped this most recent deceptive campaign against Planned Parenthood, with the network devoting 10 full segments in just one day to hyping the video's false claims.
Fox News devoted 10 segments on seven separate programs in one day to hyping a deceptively edited video purporting to show Planned Parenthood "haggling" over the price of "baby parts, while mainstream media and fact checkers roundly discredited the video and its smears.
Right-wing media are seizing on deceptively edited videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood profits from the illegal sale of fetal tissue to justify comparing the organization to Nazis, invoking the deadly human experimentation of notorious Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele. In reality, the full, unedited versions of the videos debunk the allegations. Many groups, including Planned Parenthood, donate fetal tissue to support medical research such as the development of treatments for diseases, and such donations are legal with consent from the donor. It's also legal for providers to accept payment "for reasonable expenses" with "informed consent," but Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donations -- Legal reimbursement helps offset the costs associated with donations.
Iowa radio host Steve Deace hosted Troy Newman, a radical anti-abortion activist and president of anti-choice group Operation Rescue, to hype the deceptively edited Planned Parenthood videos Newman helped produce and release. Newman has a history of violent speech and actions directed at abortion service providers, including systematically harassing clinic workers and defending the murder of an abortion clinic doctor.
Following the July 21 release of a second deceptively edited video purportedly showing a Planned Parenthood staff member engaging in a discussion about "selling" fetal tissue for medical science, Deace hosted Newman to discuss the videos he admitted helping create:
Although not discussed by Deace, who also has some extreme thoughts of his own about women's reproductive rights, Newman and Operation Rescue have a track record of aggressive anti-choice rhetoric and actions. According to a 2003 Operation Rescue West press release, Newman defended Paul Jennings Hill, an anti-abortion activist who murdered a Florida abortion doctor and his security guard in 1994. In the release Newman said Hill's conviction was unfair because Hill was unable to present "the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action" to "save the lives of pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day."
For his part, Newman has engaged in personal harassment of clinic staff. As the Los Angeles Times reported in a February 17, 2004 article, he planned to stalk clinic workers -- who he compared to infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele -- to "make it clear they're not welcome in Wichita":
Newman will pick through clinic workers' trash to figure out where they do business; he'll trail them at a distance to learn their routines.
His goal is not just to make their lives uncomfortable. He wants to unsettle and disgust their friends and associates, so their hairstylists and their pharmacists, even their neighbors, make it clear they're not welcome in Wichita.
"If Josef Mengele came into a bank saying, 'Here are a few gold teeth I ripped out of the Jews before I gassed them,' the bank would be horrified. They'd say, 'I'm not taking your blood money.' That's the picture of abortionists that we have to paint," Newman said.
The videos Newman's organization consulted on and took credit for on Deace's show are full of deceptive edits and do not show any illegal activity. As the New York Times explained in an editorial discussing the videos, the full first video, which was edited down from over two hours to less than 10 minutes, "shows something very different from what these critics claim" by "eliminat[ing] statements made by Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donation." The editorial continued:
The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal. Lawmakers responding by promoting their own anti-choice agenda are rewarding deception and putting women's health and their constitutionally protected rights at risk.
Factcheck.org agreed, saying the deceptively edited videos did not show Planned Parenthood violating any laws and highlighting experts who said that the money discussed in the video "represents a reasonable fee" for tissue donation.