"We now live in a country where, thanks to the the Republican party, and the six far-right justices, we now force rape victims, even children aged ten, to give birth unless they are lucky enough to flee to another state," the furious MSNBC host said.
July 14, 2022

Chris Hayes pointed out last night that for decades, the question of whether or not abortion in the case of rape or incest should be legal has mostly been a thought experiment, a test of the most extreme limits of opposition to abortion.

"The polling continues to show that overwhelming majorities of people, either women or girls, who are the victims of rape or incest, should be able to secure an abortion," he said.

"On June 24th, the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, that stopped being a thought experiment or a polling question, and it became a reality. And it became a question of when. Because it was always going to happen."

He talked about the story of the Ohio 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to Indiana for an abortion, and the skepticism some expressed.

"It also illuminated the very real world consequences of the legal regime produced by this Supreme Court, which is a world where ten-year-olds are forced to carry their rapist's child to term unless they can get out of state. The story was also the centerpiece of President Biden's remarks on Friday, announcing an executive order to help protect reproductive rights."

Imagine being that little girl. I'm serious, just imagine being that little girl! Ten years old! Does anyone believe it's Ohio's majority view that that should not be able to be dealt with? Or in any other state in the nation?

"There then came a sustained effort from the right to discredit this story. Monday, on Fox News, Jesse Waters did a lengthy segment questioning the accuracy of the story, the truthfulness of the doctor, and the motives of the people drawing attention to it."

Primetime decided to investigate this alleged child rape. But we quickly found out that authorities in Ohio haven't even begun a criminal investigation into the rape. This doesn't make any sense. No one reported this child rape to law enforcement? But what if this horrific story isn't accurate, and the abortion doctor and the Indianapolis Star are misleading us? And the mainstream media and the president of the United States are seizing on another hoax? That is absolutely shameful. So we decided to investigate.

"Yeah, they investigated real good. Waters also interviewed a House Republican attorney general, David Yost, a sitting attorney general, that came on the program, like many on the right, to attempt to escape the implications of his own stated policy preferences."

WATERS: Have you had anybody come to you in your state to say, we are looking into this? Police report was filed?

YOST: Not a whisper. And we work closely with the decentralized law enforcement system in Ohio, but we have regular contact with prosecutors and the local police and sheriffs, not a whisper anywhere.

He described how the story triggered a right wing feeding frenzy.

"A lot of people criticized the Indianapolis Star reporting but it does not seem like many spent a lot of resources trying to confirm it. You will never guess what the Star reported today.

"Quote, 'a man has been charged with raping a ten-year-old girl Ohio girl, whose travel to Indiana to seek an abortion attracted international attention, following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The man was arrested Tuesday after police say he admitted to raping the child on at least two occasions. Police arrested the person confessed to this monstrous crime. Of course it was hard to get anyone on the record because the victim is a ten-year-old girl whose privacy must be protected at all costs. and the story was exactly what it looked like," Hayes chided.

He said there is an "enormous, unfathomable human tragedy at the center of the story, thank God this ten-year-old girl did not have to carry this pregnancy to term."

"And let's be clear-eyed, it's about what the antiabortion Republican party wants. They want a world in which that child would be forced to carry her rapist's baby. And that is the world, and the country, they are making."

Some thoughts: First, the Indianapolis Star Tribune is a good, solid regional paper. I'd be a lot more likely to believe them than Fox TV or any of the other half-assed bloviators who checked in, and my reaction has much to do with the obscene hybrid bastard that is politicized infortainment. We had the right wing attacking the story, and the "liberal" media fell into line, because balance!

They simply can't bring themselves to stay neutral and say, "We just don't know, but you shouldn't read anything nefarious into that."

Part of the problem is, many voices in the land of infotainment (including some on the left-ish side of the spectrum) have no actual journalism experience -- and by that, I mean reporters who worked a police beat, covered court hearings, and are familiar with the way things work. Instead, we have many young reporters who have only covered political beats, and thus see everything through that lens.

Since I was an actual reporter, I knew how unlikely it was that this story would be easily confirmed. I also knew it didn't mean it wasn't true -- only that it couldn't yet be confirmed. But when you're dealing with a sex crime against a child, you have substantial privacy barriers in place -- which is as it should be.

Next, notice the lack of full-throated apologies from the press. They are truly the children of Arthur Fonzarelli.

The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler seems to have never covered a non-political beat, and that's probably why he embarrassed himself and his paper with his kneejerk coverage.

In a journalism career spanning nearly four decades, Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post’s chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three secretaries of state. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper’s national business editor.

We have a lot of reporters out there who simply have no experience with how things work on the local, granular level, and when there's breaking news, attempt to fill in the cracks of their own shortcomings with politicized sources. I mean, a Republican DA? What did you think they would say? And all these "journalists" hopped right on those comments as meaningful. How freaking lazy.

Seems to me that democracy is also dying right out in the sunlight, from political-football coverage like this. Support your local and regional newspapers, we need them.

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