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Right-Wing Media Blasts Politico For Accurately Quoting Scott Walker

Right-wing media personality Dana Loesch led a crusade against Politico (and others) over Scott Walker's remarks about mandatory ultrasounds, and Politico caved.

Wisconsin Governor and Republican presidential co-frontrunner Scott Walker caused a viral stir this week when comments he made to conservative media star Dana Loesch went viral. Walker was defending the mandatory ultrasound law he signed in 2013 on the basis that ultrasounds are "lovely" and "a cool thing":(transcript via Dana Loesch, video via Digitas Daily)

"I've passed prolife legislation, we defunded Planned Parentiood signed a law that requires an ultrasound, um, which, think about that, the media tried to make that sound like it's a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they're prolife or not, I find people all the time will get out their iphone and show me a picture of their grandkids's ultrasound and how excited they are. That's a lovely thing. My sons are 19 and 20, we still have theur ultrasound picture, it's a cool thing out there."

Now, Loesch is leading a conservative media campaign against Politico, and other outlets, over their coverage of Walker's remarks. At issue are headlines like Politico's "Scott Walker on Mandatory Ultrasounds: 'It's just a cool thing out there," or TPM's "Scott Walker: Mandatory Ultrasounds Are 'Just A Cool Thing' For Women."

What's the problem, you ask? Walker's basis for defending mandatory ultrasounds is clearly that they are "lovely" and "a cool thing," so how are these headlines "smears?" Here's Loesch's explanation:

"Anyone with the reading comprehension of a dolphin knows that Walker was specifically describing ultrasound images, not the legislation itself -- which yes, it is cool that women seeking an abortion as a form of birth control must think and see the life they are ending before ending it."

Dolphins were unavailable for comment, but a senior dolphin official pointed out that the headlines Loesch objected to were clearly not referring to the mandatory ultrasound law, but to the mandatory ultrasounds themselves. That's true of every one of the headlines and tweets that gathered to illustrate Loesch's point: they all reference "mandatory ultrasounds," not the mandatory ultrasound law. In reality, though, this is a distinction without a difference, since Walker was explicitly marshaling the coolness and lovelitude of mandatory ultrasounds in defense of his ultrasound mandate.

Walker begins his remarks speaking about mandatory ultrasounds, and never segues to voluntary ultrasounds. In fact, if you review the entire audio recording of Walker's interview, the guv never says anything to indicate that the ultrasounds that he routinely views on iPhones were taken on a voluntary basis, which means that the quotes these right-wingers are objecting to are 100% accurate. Of course, the distinction that Walker failed to make is the entire point: there are lots of things that are cool and lovely when done voluntarily, and are less so when forced onto (or into) someone. That's probably why he didn't make it, and why Loesch didn't try to, either.

Loesch's campaign worked on at least one person, though, as Politicochanged its headline shortly after Loesch complained on her website. I guess all of Politico's dolphins took that day off.