Bozell gets it wrong on Phill Kline, Planned Parenthood, of course October 24, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
I’ve not had much to say about Phill Kline’s most recent attacks of legal medical procedures, because I’ve been busy and because what’s happening is obvious to anyone who is paying attention. Kline, a thuggish enforcer of his own warped values at the expense of the law, is harrassing Planned Parenthood with the same bullshit he was spewing as Kansas AG. But I’m getting ahead of myself–what forced me to talk about this in more detail was this column of lies from Brent Bozell. It’s a long whine about how unfair it is that the media doesn’t spread his lies about Planned Parenthood. As you read, keep in mind that Bozell considers himself a media watchdog. That’s a bit like putting Gonzo in charge of an ethics commission.
Bozell starts with a bang:
As much as liberals decry major corporations that act as if they’re above the law, there’s always quiet when the subject is Planned Parenthood, America’s No. 1 corporate provider of abortions. During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 264,943 abortions, reported a tidy profit of $55.8 million — and received a record high in taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.
Amazing! He can’t get through the first paragraph without blatant dishonesty. Planned Parenthood is a not-for-profit. It isn’t in business to make money, and no shareholders are benefiting if it manages to stay in the black. But champion of accuracy that he is, Bozell omits that information to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is getting rich off abortions.
After complaining about the Aurora, Il clinic, he moves on to defend Phill Kline’s baseless attacks on Planned Parenthood in Johnson County, Kansas:
Down the highway in Kansas, Johnson County District Attorney Phil Kline just filed 107 charges against Planned Parenthood, charging that its clinic in Overland Park performed unlawful late-term abortions. Kansas state law holds that abortion is legal only when a doctor affirms that the baby is not viable to live outside the mother’s womb. If the baby can live, then two doctors must attest the abortion is necessary for the woman’s physical or mental health. That’s why clinic records are an issue.
The 23 felony counts allege that Planned Parenthood submitted false “pregnancy termination reports” to a court on Aug. 21 in response to a subpoena. District Court Judge James S. Vano agreed there was probable cause to think crimes had been committed and set a Nov. 16 court date. Planned Parenthood faces more than $2.5 million in potential fines.
By “probable cause” it appears he means the judge did not immediately throw out the case. But how meritorious is said case likely to be? Well, let’s review. It began when Phill Kline worked desperately to get access to private medical data as part of his anti-woman crusade. Then he leaked–possibly illegally–information to that bastion of responsible journalism, Bill O’Reilly.
Then, when his embarrassing conduct as AG caused him to be overwhelmingly rejected by Kansas voters in 2006, Republicans selected him to be Johnson County DA. His replacement at the state level looked over the years of work Kline had done trying to nail Planned Parenthood or doctor George Tiller for something, anything, and found that Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong, and Tiller had committed a few misdemeanor offenses. He also found that Kline himself was the truly guilty party, being either completely dishonest or completely negligent in his rush to enforce his own will on the population of Kansas.
So Phill Kline’s simply on a vendetta mission against abortion providers as he always has been, and so he won’t let a little thing like being wrong stop him. As the AP reports,
“The real story here doesn’t have anything to do with how Planned Parenthood conducts its business,” said Pamela Sumners, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri in St. Louis. “Everybody knows Planned Parenthood scrupulously adheres to the law. This is obviously just a case of Phill Kline, who was voted out as attorney general, trying to misuse his local prosecutorial discretion to keep grinding this ax that the voters have said they don’t want to hear about anymore.
“He’s doing the same thing, just in a different guise,” she said. “I think everybody’s going to see through him.”
Indeed. But of course Bozell, who avoids mentioning any of the above context, doesn’t see it that way:
But you’ll not see a story virtually anywhere on this budding scandal because the press studiously avoids scrutiny of its liberal sacred cows — or focuses its guns on that person who would dare to get in their way. They’d lionize a state official attacking crisis-pregnancy centers that try to talk women out of abortions. But investigate the abortion industry, and you’re a national disgrace.
One becomes a national disgrace by putting his or her personal agenda ahead of the law, particularly when that job is to enforce the fucking law. Kline’s not getting any sympathetic coverage because everyone who has covered this issue before knows this is more of the same sleazy, dishonest slimebaggery from a petty, lying little shit.
Bozell isn’t content to stop there.
He wants desperately to undercut his opposition, but he fails to take such important steps as providing any evidence:
In 2005, Kline was demonized by glossy national magazines like GQ as the man “who will do anything to stop abortion.” In that GQ article, his local Planned Parenthood adversary, Peter Brownlie, was allowed to make the ridiculous claim that “Planned Parenthood, by its efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies, has prevented more abortions than any anti-abortion group that has ever existed. They talk. We do.”
So pro-lifers should applaud Planned Parenthood — for not killing every baby it encounters.
And why, Mr Bozell, is that claim ridiculous? It’s unquestionably true: providing access to birth control is a great way to stop unwanted pregnancies and so to reduce the need for abortion.* If Bozell and his ilk were honestly interested in reducing abortion rates–rather than controlling women–they would loudly and eagerly support efforts to provide contraceptives to those who need them. Until they do so, they have absolutely no credibility, and their motives are as transparent as they are nefarious. Bozell knows Planned Parenthood reduces abortion by helping women avoid pregnancy, but to admit that would undercut his entire position, so he must dismiss it out of hand.
Fresh out of any actual thought, Bozell concludes with this gem:
Planned Parenthood is a formidable force in national (and state) politics. One major reason is networks like ABC, news outlets that don’t really care whether this corporation plays by the rules, as long as the abortion assembly line keeps running.
Abortion assembly line, Mr. Bozell? Seriously? Are you so stupid to believe that the media wants abortions for all, or are you just that dishonest? Or is your thinking as lazy as your embarrassingly twisted metaphors? And what does an “abortion assembly line” assemble, anyway?
I give you Brent Bozell: media watchdog extraodinare.**
*The data backs this up. Causation is difficult to determine in such cases, but it’s clear that abortion rates continue to fall despite conservative moanings about how sex-obsessed we are. Legal abortions, sex education and contraceptive use are far better tools are reducing abortion rates than all the lies and abstinence-only bullshit of the right.
** Warning: the above claim is only true for non-standard definitions of “watchdog” and “extraordinare.”