Media Matters misses the point again but helps prove ours


Fresh off of rewriting the history of Planned Parenthood’s scaremongering about its defunding in Indiana into an embarrassing tautology, Media Matters had the audacity to accuse Lila of rewriting the history of Planned Parenthood’s aiding and abetting of response to the sex-trafficking investigation in January and February. During Lila’s appearance on The O’Reilly Factor last night, the topic of the sex trafficking stings came up again, and Planned Parenthood supporter Sally Kohn tried to use the false “Planned Parenthood reported the abuse to the FBI” meme that Media Matters helped to popularize. Lila smacked it down:

Sally, that’s not a fact. In fact, they could not come up with the cases where they called the police. A letter from Cecile Richards, after they found out that it was Live Action doing the investigation, alerting authorities that Live Action might be involved, is not the same as actually calling the police like you should.

It’s true–Planned Parenthood has not produced a single police report showing them reporting sex trafficking to law enforcement. And as far as “reporting to the FBI” goes, Media Matters thinks Planned Parenthood only realized Live Action was involved after they contacted the FBI:

As we’ve noted repeatedly, Planned Parenthood alerted the Justice Department to the visits before they learned they were being pranked by Live Action.

But Planned Parenthood’s own letter shows that they only wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder after they suspected that Live Action was involved. And that was on January 18, several days after the entire sting had been completed and almost a week after some of the most damning footage of Planned Parenthood clinics aiding and abetting the purported sex trafficking ring had been recorded. Cecile Richards wrote in the letter to Holder:

In the past, Planned Parenthood affiliates have been approached by a small, organized group of people, opposed to our mission, who have misrepresented their circumstances to gain access to our health centers. Once inside, these people have recorded “undercover” videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos in an attempt to cast Planned Parenthood in a negative light. This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be condemned.

Media Matters tacitly admits that Planned Parenthood suspected a sting when writing to Attorney General Holder, but does their best to play it down:

The letter to Holder — which you can read here — does raise the possibility that these visits might be a hoax, but draws no conclusions and never once mentions Live Action.

True, the letter doesn’t mention Live Action by name–in keeping with Planned Parenthood’s practice when the story first broke of referring to Live Action only as “anti choice extremists, who have been attacking Planned Parenthood for five years” and Lila Rose as “Anti-abortion extremist” rather than by name. But the paragraph quoted above mentions Live Action in everything but name–we are the only group that fits Cecile Richard’s description.

So, props to Media Matters for drawing attention to this issue again and, like Sally Kohn on O’Reilly last night, giving us a chance to set the record straight. Let’s lay out the timeline and see who’s really been rewriting history all along.

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