If you want a good idea of how much water the media is willing to carry for Planned Parenthood, go ahead and check out this Politico story. It seems Planned Parenthood commissioned a "forensic report" to analyze the undercover videos that have got the organization in trouble for harvesting and selling fetal organs, and leaked it to Politico. This is an obvious PR move and should be a non-story but naturally, headline at Politico is "Report for Planned Parenthood finds sting videos manipulated." But despite that favorable headline, the results of the study -- which given the circumstances that brought it about -- seem somewhat mixed [emphasis added]:
A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood has found that the sting videos targeting its tissue donation practices contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations. But there is no evidence that the anti-abortion group behind the attack made up dialogue. ...
But the firm also wrote that it is impossible to characterize the extent to which the edits and cuts distort the meaning of the conversations depicted and that there was no “widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
But one other detail caught my eye that bears mentioning: "The report by research firm Fusion GPS, which was obtained by POLITICO, attempts to undermine the videos’ political, legal, and journalistic value."
As Ms. Strassel has reported in recent columns, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney. President Obama's campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight "less than reputable" Romney donors and a "bitter foe of the gay rights movement." One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign, of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states.
Now we learn that little more than a week after that Presidential posting, a former Democratic Senate staffer called the courthouse in Mr. VanderSloot's home town of Idaho Falls seeking his divorce records. Ms. Strassel traced the operative, Michael Wolf, to a Washington, D.C. outfit called Fusion GPS that says it is "a commercial research firm."
Fusion GPS is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, who wouldn't say who is paying him for this high-minded slumming but said in an email that Mr. VanderSloot was a "legitimate" target because of "his record on gay issues."
Politico should have mentioned this. But the pro-life movement has never gotten a fair shake from the media, and it seems that's not about to change.
UPDATE -- A fellow journalist alerts me to the New York Times's favorable write-up of the same report. The Times only identifies Fusion GPS in the following way, and doesn't mention any details that might undermine the report's credibility:
The analysis was by Fusion GPS, a Washington-based research and corporate intelligence company, and its co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
For several years now, PolitiFact has been waging war on anyone who points out that America has the smallest Navy it's had in nearly a century. Mitt Romney pointed out this fact in a presidential debate in 2012 and PolitiFact rated his statement "pants on fire" even though the number of ships in the U.S. Navy dropped below 300 in 2003 and the last time the U.S. Navy had fewer than 300 ships was 1916.
The New York Times recently reported -- wrongly, as it turns out -- that Hillary Clinton was the subject of a "criminal" investigation for conducting official State Department business on her private email system.
The Washington Post appears to be struggling a bit to cover today's blockbuster story about the undercover video of Planned Parenthood harvesting and selling organs from aborted fetuses. First, they changed the headline to something that's far more friendly to Planned Parenthood without noting the change.
Hillary Clinton finally made herself available this afternoon for her first press conference of the 2016 presidential campaign, and the crowd cheered. The cheers came after Clinton wrapped up her quick press conference.
Clinton has come under fire for avoiding the press. This afternoon she took a few questions, mainly about the trade deal in Congress, today in New Hampshire.
Over the weekend, Lally Weymouth, a senior associate editor at The Washington Post, interviewed Naftali Bennett, Israel's new education minister and a notable tech entrepreneur. Bennett wants to annex the part if the West Bank known as Area C and, in the words of the Post, "offer full Israeli citizenship to those Palestinians who live in Area C.
Florida press is knocking Hillary Clinton for hiding during her visit to the Sunshine State.
"South Florida's also getting a visit from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today. She'll attend fundraisers in Coconut Grove and in Carol Gables as well. Tomorrow, off to Parkland for similar events. But you're not going to have a chance to see her because all these fundraisers, at least as we understand, they are all completely private," Miami's NBC affiliate reports.