It tells you just how degraded our national discourse has become -- how utterly corrupted by the Fox Propaganda Channel it has been -- that two of its leading anchors can run an entire segment legitimizing a hoax video tape, even though its contents were exposed as a hoax even before they were released. And no one even so much as raises an eyebrow.
That's what happened last night on The O'Reilly Factor, when Bill O'Reilly and Fox's John Stossel devoted an entire segment to attacking Planned Parenthood as "disgusting" for the supposed behavior revealed in another Breitbartesque attack by video hoax on another liberal institution.
O'Reilly and Stossel, however, then use the affair to launch into attacking Planned Parenthood for receiving taxpayer subsidies -- and that really is what they're on about. Interestingly, Stossel uses the logic that because some people see abortion as murder, they are being forced to underwrite murder in their views -- a position O'Reilly ardently adopts as well.
Peculiar that neither of them apply the same logic elsewhere: Many people see killing innocent civilians in the course of a war as murder too -- something our tax dollars likewise heavily underwrite. But you'll never see an O'Reilly segment attacking taxpayer funding for the DoD.
But what's truly disgraceful that they then dismiss the overwhelming fact that Planned Parenthood had already reported these "sex traffickers" to authorities -- thereby exposing the hoax in progress. Here's their release of last week:
Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring. Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.
Media Matters has the full details of the hoax.
Yet, in spite of all this, when Lila Rose and Co. published the video yesterday, it was widely treated through Unsurprisingly, the wingnutosphere ran whole-hog in embracing the video as legitimate, including the fine folks at National Review, RedState and Malkin's Hot Air.
Moreover, as Ned Resnikoff at Media Matters explored in some detail, Rose's video actually pretty clearly demonstrates the falsity of what she claims it shows:
In a so-called "sting" video professional hit artist Lila Rose claims to have uncovered evidence of systemic corruption within Planned Parenthood to cover up "child sex trafficking." Not only do Planned Parenthoods recent actions flatly contradict that claim -- so does the content of the video itself.
In fact, even if we were to assume that Rose's heavily edited smear job is accurate - and there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical - the video very clearly establishes that the alleged wrongdoing is counter to Planned Parenthood policy: the employee on Rose's tape makes it clear that the actions in question would have to be concealed from others at the organization.
You can judge for yourself. Here's the video:
People for the American Way also has a terrific rundown of the facts:
Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, a photogenic young activist who Religious Right leaders hope to make the new face of the anti-abortion movement, claims that the video Religious Right groups are circulating “proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.” False. In fact, far from proving a pattern of illegal activity, the Live Action project demonstrated that Planned Parenthood has strong institutional procedures in place to protect young women. When Live Action activists appeared at numerous facilities presenting themselves as seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring, Planned Parenthood wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting an FBI investigation. Live Action attempted its “sting” across the country; the one Planned Parenthood staffer who violated those procedures and is featured in Live Action’s video was fired.
There's a lot more on Rose's background there as well.