A new conservative activist hidden-camera video dropped on the internet Tuesday as part of a multi-state effort to catch Planned Parenthood staff on tape offering assistance to men running a child prostitution ring. The immediate aim of the video and its wide distribution is to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding. The larger aim is to blow wind into the sails of the dramatic anti-abortion legislation the new Republican-controlled Congress has introduced that seeks to radically limit funding for abortions in cases of rape, end private insurance policies that provide abortion coverage and defund organizations that provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation but also one of the largest non-abortion reproductive and sexual health care providers coast to coast.
The rough edited video of an apparently criminally floundering New Jersey Planned Parenthood staffer posted today on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment right-wing politics blogsite. The video is the work of Live Action Films led by pro-life activist Lila Rose. The video closely follows the pattern set by Breitbart and James O’Keefe in their debunked and illegal ACORN-sting videos, where the heavily edited footage appears to show a prostitute and pimp receiving advice on how to run their business from the low-income housing and voter-registration group staffers.
Live Action reportedly sent activists posing as sex traffickers into 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in six states this month– Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. When the pretend sex-traffickers began arriving at the clinics this month, Planned Parenthood filed a report with Attorney General Eric Holder and the FBI, which launched an investigation. The FBI found no multi-state child prostitution ring. In its own dogging around, Planned Parenthood likewise found no sex ring but only links to Rose and Live Action.
As in the ACORN case, the video caught by Live Action would appear to be fairly damning and has already provided pro-life groups with plenty of ammunition against Planned Parenthood. Yet the country has learned much in the years since Breitbart pushed the hoax ACORN video into the mainstream mediasphere to such great effect.
After lawmakers and members of the media tried and convicted ACORN of grave wrongdoing according to the lightning-fast cable news schedule, evidence related to the ACORN videos was presented to judges working according to schedules and rules of evidence established by the law. Judges presented with the unedited footage came to a conclusion opposite the one rushed into by politicians and cable commentators. ACORN did nothing illegal. The tapes backed by Breitbart and edited by disgraced activist James O’Keefe, they said, were videotape patchworks sewed together into lies. Indeed, judges on the east coast and the west coast suggested that, if there were any criminal wrongdoing captured in the tapes, it was on the part of O’Keefe, who had likely at least violated wiretapping laws.
O’Keefe was subsequently arrested for breaking into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in New Orleans, where he was again attempting to produce a hoax video. Breitbart was condemned for pushing the phony ACORN story and also for pushing an egregiously edited and defamatory video of U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, a black woman who Breitbart made to seem an anti-white racist and who was fired as a result. Sherrod was no racist, a fact the full footage of the video Breitbart cut up and patched together to condemn her proved beyond a doubt.
In the Sherrod case, Breitbart was targeting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, making the argument that the NAACP is racist.
This latest video targeting Planned Parenthood, underlines a pattern: Breitbart-promoted undercover video “exposés” target organizations established to provide service to minority groups and the poor.
Live Action and Lila Rose have tried repeatedly to discredit Planned Parenthood, its videos thus far lauded by pro-life activists and dismissed by the larger public and media.
Planned Parenthood spokespeople told the AP that its management is investigating whether the New Jersey clinic employee in the latest video may have violated Planned Parenthood policies. The group will certainly have to ask for the full unedited video footage to make that decision.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.