Thursday, August 06, 2015


Belief--Your Eyes, Me (Part 2)

CNN contributor and journalist Errol Louis steps up to the Planned Parenthood undercover recordings for his three whiffs. Mr. Louis had a short stint at talk radio several years ago. He has a BA in government from Harvard, an MA in poli sci from Yale and a JD from Brooklyn Law School (that last seems like a big step down to me). He seems to toe the Democrat Party line pretty assiduously.

He starts by calling the recordings of the Planned Personnel a hoax, which is beginning to be a kind of poker tell on those who apparently don't know what the word 'hoax' means, and then states (in the headline) that each of the video-recorders "avoids the truth." So he begins with projection and then continues to lie about the recordings. Behold.

...I read about the elaborate media hoax ginned up by the Center for Medical Progress, a right-wing group trying to discredit and defund Planned Parenthood.
A hoax would be if the CMP recorded actors who had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood pretending to be from Planned Parenthood and being awful. But actually recording the real Planned Parenthood personnel being awful and releasing the full tape along with the edited highlights is not a hoax. It's journalism. And Mr. Louis and Mr. Cesca repeating the word hoax will do nothing to change that simple fact. Indeed, the fact the apologists misuse the word is very telling in itself.

Taking a page from the falsehoods and selectively-edited videos that brought about the defunding and bankruptcy of the left-wing advocacy group ACORN, the Center for Medical Progress strategy is to create a narrative, claim that its videos constitute damning evidence, and repeat that story enough times to give politicians the "proof" they need to attack Planned Parenthood.

Were the ACORN recordings selectively edited? Or did ACORN bring itself down because of some of its employees were caught being completely awful and immoral on tape? Is the narrative created by recording people in an organization saying and doing the things the recording accurately shows? Is accurately showing people talking "creating a narrative?" (No, that's not the right word--'exposing the awfulness' would be a more accurate description). The Planned Parenthood apologists default position remains: Who are you going to believe--me or the completely false (and completely accurate) recordings?

The result, according to the hoaxers' website, was "a 30-month-long investigative journalism study by The Center for Medical Progress, documenting how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted babies."

Oh, I see, the video recorders were hoaxers because they really weren't trying to buy fetal tissue for research. Oh, of course. When 60 Minutes lies to people and secretly records them, that's investigative journalism. When pro-life amateurs do exactly the same thing, it's a hoax. Got it. I guess it all depends on who looks bad on film. So it's great journalism when the left records Republicans being awful but it's a hoax when the right records Democrats being awful. All is clear now.

That last part -- the claim that Planned Parenthood "sells the body parts of aborted babies," the centerpiece of the whole multi-year effort -- is flat-out untrue, and the lie is exposed by the Center's own undercover videos.

Has he watched the videos? Keep in mind it's illegal to sell fetal tissue, (42 USC 274e and 289g) but there is a loophole which allows the costs of transferring the fetal tissue from abortion abattoir to research lab to be recouped. But why then were the Planned Parenthood people talking about a bigger price for "prized" parts and whole aborted babies? Does that sound like cost recovery? Wouldn't actual cost recovery be the same for a liver, heart or brain, as a foot, arm or leg? One would think the cost would not depend on the desirability of the body part, but of course each of the people caught on tape is talking about negotiating a price of transfer depending on the body part. Hmmm. Let's go to the non-sequitur.

For that matter, I'd urge anybody who has purchased an insurance policy that covers accidental death and dismemberment to peruse the fine print, which places dollar amounts indicating varying degrees of financial recovery for losing combinations of thumbs, fingers, eyes, legs and limbs. 

Insurance reimbursement has nothing whatsoever to do with the value to researchers of the body parts of babies-to-be. This is not a cash reimbursement to a person for losing by accident a thumb, eye, finger, leg or other limb. And the reason the body parts lost by accident have different cash values in the insurance policy is because loss of a pinky is less onerous on the survivor than loss of a thumb, for example. The body part differential prices discussed in the videos are not reimbursement to the dead baby-to-be, or to the mother-no-longer-to-be, but to the abortion facility. This is reimbursement for putting the dead fetus or parts thereof into a box and slapping a shipping label on it. Mr. Louis went a little moron there for a second.

His big finish is to cherry pick two statements of one of the Planned Parenthood personnel saying that we are a non-profit organization and we can't have a narrative we're selling baby parts (OK I paraphrased the statements). But these ostensibly correct statements were accompanied by discussions about the price being determined by the desirability of the part being transferred for money. So there's that.

Every non-profit organization has to recoup its costs to remain in business. (And for-profit organizations have to recoup costs and something extra, called profit). If the non-profit recoups its costs in part by transferring fetal tissue from the Planned Parenthood to the research facility for a fee, then that's the loophole legal selling of dead baby-to-be body parts. Planned Parenthood apologists can stamp their feet and hold their breath and deny that's a sale but all rational people recognize if for what it is. And in what moral universe is it OK to traffic in dead baby-to-be body parts if no profit is made but it is a federal crime only if one makes a profit on the sale transfer for a fee?

If there had been no negotiations about pricing, no mention of an expensive car, no talk about changing the procedure to produce the good parts, then perhaps these tapes would have been ghoulish but inane. But that's not what the videos show. And we'll save talking about what was on the video released yesterday, about whole dead babies-to-be, and 18 USC 1531, for the future.


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