Debunking right wing attempts to smear and destroy institutions beneficial to women, minorities and the poor is never difficult to do. The childishness employed by right wing hit groups can be quickly neutered with simple google searches, or in the case of the Planned Parenthood debacle over sold fetus parts, spending 2 minutes looking at the context.
The hidden-camera video was released last week that apparently showed Planned Parenthood executives discussing illegally selling tissue from aborted fetuses. This is of course, utter nonsense when you look at the context of the video (ie watching the whole thing). Here’s how The New York Times ended the so called controversy:
The full video of the lunch meeting, over two hours long and released by the Center for Medical Progress after complaints by Planned Parenthood, shows something very different from what these critics claim. Clearly, edited to eliminate statements by Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donation, which requires the clear consent of the patient. Planned Parenthood affiliates only accept money — between $30 and $100 per specimen, according to Dr. Nucatola — to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue. “This is not something with any revenue stream that affiliates are looking at,” she said. Under federal law, facilities may be reimbursed for costs associated with fetal tissue donation, like transportation and storage.
However, the machinations behind these relentless hit jobs are getting more and more ballsy in their approach, with fake companies being set up years in advance to pull of complicated stings (more about that in the Times piece). These groups also know that prominent Republicans are likely to pick up these stories without doing any research and perpetuate the lies in order to enrage the public and dismantle vital services to those most in need. Like clockwork, GOP politicians ran with the ludicrous Planned Parenthood hit job and have been using it cynically to further their own agendas.
Here are the 6 most prominent Republicans running with the story (and surprise surprise, most of them are running for President):
1. Sarah Palin
No one should expect much when it comes to Palin’s intellectual integrity – the one time Vice Presidential candidate rose to fame because of her ability to connect with illiterate, angry white people so her support for shutting down Planned Parenthood is almost a given. Here she was on twitter fanning the flames of the non-controversy:
Another video of a Planned Parenthood official bartering to sell the bodies of butchered babies for money. And we… http://t.co/5e888zLz5Z
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 21, 2015
"Planned Parenthood" equals quality health care? Nothing could be further from the truth. SHUT IT DOWN…. http://t.co/CH77JFzQ9z
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 22, 2015
Presidential candidates: which of you joined me in calling for this sham organization and it's despicable… http://t.co/6MXGoKYhbE
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 23, 2015
2. Marco Rubio
Almost lazily, Rubio has jumped on the bandwagon with his campaign team creating a ‘petition’ that is actually a front for getting emails for his campaign:
It’s time for Congress to act and defund Planned Parenthood now.
SIGN THIS PETITION if you agree.https://t.co/2qPJbHDa7z
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 23, 2015
Here’s what unwitting petition signers are agreeing to receive after entering their emails:
[Rubio’s campaign will use your address] to administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature. -To send periodic emails following up on the issue or transaction you initiated on our site. -On occasion, we may also share information — that you voluntarily provide us — with like-minded organizations, committees, or candidates committed to our principles. Submitting your e-mail address anywhere on the site may result in your e-mail address being added to the Marco Rubio for President e-mail list. You may receive emails that may include organization news, political updates, issue briefs or action alerts, etc.
3. Ted Cruz
Here was Cruz speaking with Neil Cavuto hamming up his outrage over the fake controversy:
Ever the opportunist, Cruz has also been shamelessly using the fake video to get email addresses on his website:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 23, 2015
4. Donald Trump
No surprises here – the greediest man in the GOP race has shamelessly attached himself to the cause, saying on a recent interview with The Blaze:
“It’s disgusting [the Planned Parent video]. And absolutely they should be defunded. I thought it was socavalier, so horrible.”
5. Rand Paul
Rand Paul bravely announced his plan to defeat and defund Planned Parenthood on his website. Ever the libertarian, Paul is not-so-subtly tying the controversy to ‘government spending’ issues. Here was the statement on his site:
Next week, Sen. Paul will seek to strip Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer funding, which totaled roughly $528.4 million dollars in 2013 – 2014. Sen. Paul will use all legislative vehicles at his disposal in order to ensure there is immediate action on this proposal. “I am more appalled than ever by Planned Parenthood’s complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. The recent revelation that this taxpayer-funded organization is selling body parts of the unborn further proves that this agency deserves our scorn not our tax dollars. I plan to do whatever I can to stop them and will introduce an amendment to pending Senate legislation to immediately strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding,”
6. Bobby Jindal
Presidential no hoper Bobby Jindal knows he needs every advantage possible in his 2016 bid, and is using the Planned Parenthood debacle to get as much attention as possible. With the perfunctory statements about how “horrific” the video was, Jindal has called for Congress to immediately cut all federal support of Planned Parenthood. Oh, and send your email to his campaign team too…:
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) July 21, 2015
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.