Media Matters: How They Deceive & Why It Matters

Yesterday, I did a piece showing how Media Matters used deceptive editing techniques on the Fox / Bill Sammon story. I’m still waiting to hear back from Sammon before I do part two but I wanted to show you a couple of more videos that I’ve done in the meantime.

The first one shows how Media Matters used the ‘straw man’ fallacy to attempt to discredit the piece published by Lila Rose yesterday on the Mammosham story. As I say in the video, your position on the controversial issue of abortion doesn’t really matter here – Media Matters are contemptible news twisters.

But – who cares? So Media Matters lies. You know that so why does it matter? That’s what my second video is about. It matter because they have influence on the media narrative today and through the effective use of SEO techniques, they are also writing tomorrow’s ‘history book’. Watch and see what I mean.

19 Comments

  1. Lee, you may very well be an instrumental figure in saving the republic. I have many many friends who are liberals, and like you, they are sick and tired of this BS, because it poisons the debate. If you want abortion legal or illegal, if you want planned parenthood funded or defunded, if you want paper or plastic, those are legitimate arguments.

    but we all know that if planned parenthood lost it’s funding, there would still be abortions, because planned parenthood is not the only place where an abortion can be acquired. why is it that to be pro-abortion (i’m sorry, we’re all pro-life and pro-choice, and using words like those only invites the bullshit bullshitters to say things like anti-life or anti-choice), you absolutely must back an organization that routinely breaks the law like planned parenthood? i don’t get it. I’m a Christian, but I don’t support pedophile priests. I’m also going to school to become a teacher, but I don’t support pedophile teachers. (I f**kin hate pedophiles.) I’ve voted republican, but I don’t support Palin, Gingrich, or Trump (ha!). I just don’t understand the blind defense of things that would otherwise be indefensible.

    i know it’s a little off topic, but in Portland, OR, the mayor was caught sleeping with an underage boy. Instead of the news being about getting rid of a goddam pedophile (did i mention that i f**kin HATE pedophiles?), it became, “if you don’t support portland’s first openly gay mayor, you’re a homophobe.” no, i’m not. i hate pedophiles. and to me, to excuse a pedophile because he’s gay is to suggest that gay people will have a tendancy to be sexual deviants who target children. which seems to be a little bit more “homo-intolerant” (again, homophobe is a bullshit term. i’ve never met anyone with an irrational fear of gay people) than common sense folk wanting to get rid of the pedophile.

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  2. Ha! You just did in this video exactly what you accused Media Matters of doing. You claim that Cecile Richard’s statement claimed that “millions of women would lose access to mammograms.” Actually her statement said that women would lose access to family planning services, of which mammograms was one example. How hilarious that you can’t even tell the truth in your post lecturing Media Matters! By the way, Cecile Richards statement was true: millions of women would lose access to family planning services. In fact, women at the clinics that Lila Rose called would lose access to family planning services. Rose’s calls were completely irrelevant to the claim Cecile Richards was making, and only though nonstop distortion can the Big Journalism hacks attempt to make these nonsensical arguments.

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  3. Lee, a woman cannot get a mammogram referral “anywhere.” A referral is a prescription for a mammogram, and many diagnostic centers will not do a mammogram at all without a physician’s referral (a recent study found that only three of 86 diagnostic centers in northern California would do a mammogram for a non-referred 40-year-old woman with breast mass: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18537490), or they require a referral for women under a certain age. It is therefore entirely plausible that millions of women who use PP for basic healthcare would lose access to mammograms without PP.

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  4. @Lisa, your argument would only be correct if PP was the only place to obtain a referral for a mammogram. They are not. Saying that millions of women are going to say to themselves “if I can’t get my mammogram referral from PP, then I won’t get a mammogram referral at all” is not plausible. Possible, but not plausible.

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  5. Whether or not millions of women use PP for basic healthcare is an open question, but even if we accept that assertion, insisting that all those women who supposedly cannot get basic healthcare w/o PP would be w/o healthcare if PP were defunded by taxpayer dollars is assuming that PP would disappear if it lost government funding. I don’t believe it. I also do not believe it is acceptable to continue funding an organization that flouts basic mandatory reporter laws, that protects men who abuse women and girls, and that fights laws intended to make their clinics as clean and safe as, say, the place you get your nails done on the basis that they do other good stuff.
    They are on the record as providing cover for child rapists, aiding and abetting incestuous fathers to hide the evidence of their crimes, ignoring the pleas of the girls who have told clinic workers daddy (or the gym coach) raped them- and sending the girls home in the cars of their abusers. I don’t care what other good stuff they allegedly do. A million mammograms aren’t worth it.

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  6. @adam, not the smart one: cecile’s statement would only be true if PP was the only provider of cheap/free services. They’re not. Its not a distortion to say that a lie is a ie, and lee was merely pointing out the bigger lie of providing mammograms. No matter which way you slice it, cecile lied. You don’t have to be prolife to recognize bullshit.

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  7. “Smart” Adam:

    I’m aware that some people believe that PP clinics could be closed without consequence because the services they provide are equally accessible everywhere in the country. Some people also believe in unicorns and fairies, and I don’t really have the energy to engage in the debate. I’d agree that it’s an exaggeration to say that “millions” of women wouldn’t have access to mammograms without PP (since their total annual patient load only numbers about 3 million)–I really just posted because it’s disingenuous to blithely write off referrals as available “anywhere” in a discussion of access to mammograms.

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  8. @lisa,
    Its equally disingenuous to say that they will be left without those services, as there are plenty of wealthy liberals who would be more than happy to donate to PP if they lost their handouts from the taxpayers. But I guess to believe in a charitable liberal is on par with unicorns and fairies? If you don’t have time to debate, then, with all due respect, shut up. Debate is the only way to clear up this mess. Lying and stopping debate is tantamount to an admission of being wrong. (And yes, I believe in charitable liberals, aliens, and bigfoot.) Back up your facts with more than just “I’m right!! Lalalalalalala! I can’t hear you!!!” PP doesn’t offer mammograms, only referrals, the same referral that can be acquired from any urgent care, ER, or any of the other doctor type setting. You want to keep funding planned parenthood, then write a damn check, and keep your hand out of my pocket.

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  9. “By and large…”

    Nice weasel words, Lee.

    Lame, even by your standards.

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  10. @Mark:

    “The same referral that can be acquired from any urgent care, ER, or any of the other doctor type setting. You want to keep funding planned parenthood, then write a damn check, and keep your hand out of my pocket.”

    Nothing in the world could get my hand into your pocket, Mark.

    Women cannot necessarily get the same referral in “any doctor type setting” because they may not have either physical or financial access to such a setting. Planned Parenthood clinics in urban areas may be the most accessible for women without cars, and while PP services are not always free, they do take patients without insurance and work on a sliding scale for low-income patients. Family doctors and urgent care clinics do not necessarily do so. Emergency rooms take anyone regardless of their ability to pay, but the ER is the least cost-efficient way to give health care. It is much cheaper to support clinics.

    “If you don’t have time to debate, then, with all due respect, shut up. Debate is the only way to clear up this mess. Lying and stopping debate is tantamount to an admission of being wrong.”

    The reason I don’t think it’s worth arguing about whether or not women could get the same services from non-PP clinics is that people who oppose Planned Parenthood tend to reject data on its clientele simply because the data comes from Planned Parenthood itself, which makes it pretty much impossible to bring empirical data to bear. My evidence that Planned Parenthood serves women without good medical alternatives comes from Planned Parenthood’s own data (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/NextSteps.pdf); your assertion that women have equally good non-PP options comes from your imagination (url unknown). Each of us thinks that our evidence is equally good, and neither of us is in a position to research all the health care alternatives in all Planned Parenthood locales. At least, I’m not able to do so, and you’ve made jacksquat of an effort to, so I’m assuming you can’t either. Clearly your imagination (which differs from a lie only in intention) is all you need to convince yourself that you’ve won the argument.

    BTW, here are a couple examples of PP clinics serving communities without better alternatives: http://www.adn.com/2011/03/27/1778402/planned-parenthood-fighting-loss.html and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/25/planned-parenthood-low-income-rural_n_840730.html

    The bottom line is that all of our tax monies go to causes that we don’t support. You don’t want your tax money going to an agency that provides abortion; I don’t want my tax money going to an agency that shelters pedophiles. And yet, it does, because the Catholic church receives federal funding through faith-based initiatives. I don’t want my tax money going to agencies that pervert the principle of Christian charity by making earthquake victims listen to a sermon before giving them aid, but my money does go to such an organization, because Samaritan’s Purse gets federal funding (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/08/world/us-cautions-group-on-mixing-religion-and-salvador-quake-aid.html?pagewanted=1). I’ve got no problem with withholding taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood because some taxpayers object to money going to an agency that provides abortion, as long as we also withhold taxpayer funds from religious organizations, on the grounds that some taxpayers believe in the separation of church and state. That doesn’t seem to be an option on the table.

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  11. I enjoyed the videos almost as much as TBogg’s impotent grousing.

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  12. One point — the phone calls I heard didn’t sound like PP was saying ‘Come on in and we’ll help you get a referral to a mammogram place since you need us’ – they were saying “We’ll give you a name.’ Now – there could be an editing issue. I haven’t checked that, but it didn’t sound like PP was doing anything more than telling women the name of places they could go.

    And PP is far from either the only or the only affordable option.

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  13. But, lee! Its planned parenthood! If we take away their funding, women will be forced into back alley mammograms!

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  14. @Lee:

    Apparently my comments are being screened so this may or may not get through, but LiveAction allegedly called 30 places (or whatever) and the tape they released is less than 3 minutes long. Obviously there are editing issues: the only question is what was edited out.

    If you just do a google search of “mammograms” and “referrals” you’ll see how much variation there is in what clinics do or don’t require to get a mammogram (it varies by city, state, and clinic operator). If PP is doing nothing but providing a name of a clinic in the area that doesn’t require a physician’s referral then they’re still doing something useful; if they’re giving physician’s referrals necessary to get a mammogram, then they’re doing something extremely important. Again, it probably varies based on location. It should be noted as well that even in areas where there are alternate places to get referrals, going through a primary care physician can add a lot of time to the process: the study I quoted above found that needing to go to a primary care physician for a referral could delay the mammogram by several months, with a mean time of a little over one month.

    One can debate whether or not there are affordable alternatives to PP in all eight hundred locations where clinics currently exist (with the caveat that not all PP clinics do mammogram referrals either); I believe reports that say that some areas are served only by PP clinics, and other people do not believe those reports. Regardless, no matter how much one hates PP, it’s really an odd quibble to attack them on the meaning of “provide access to mammograms.” And all I’m really asking is that people who weigh in on the subject actually understand what is involved in getting a mammogram.

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  15. @lisa
    the point of Lee’s post, which seems to be lost on your apparent “defend any and all attacks against planned parenthood” mindset, is that this woman is LYING about what PP offers. If all they’re doing is saying, “ok, go down the road, third building on the left, you can’t miss it,” well, then they don’t need federal funds for that. Two lies were spewed forth by this woman, and it’s really important you understand them: 1) if this bill becomes law (cutting federal funds out of PP), MILLIONS of women will lose their healthcare access, 2) not just abortion, but family planning, mammograms…

    those are lies. if the bill becomes law, Planned Parenthood will have to function as every other private business functions: through payments for services rendered or through donations. no one is pushing a law to stop either of those, so this, again, is a big fat effing lie. also, this woman claimed that women would lose access to mammograms, which, by the way, is another big fat effing lie, even by your standards. providing the same services as a gas station attendant (“yeah, you’re gonna go down this road, hang a left, and it’ll be the third building on your right. can’t miss it,”) isn’t doing something useful. not now in the age of google, not in the past in the age of Yellow Pages.

    seriously, this isn’t a tough debate. did Cecile lie about the services PP provides? yes.
    if your position is that planned parenthood provides the only affordable access to these services, well, if those services aren’t being provided, then your position is flawed. maybe YOU should understand what is involved in Planned Parenthood before automatically defending them.

    for the record, I’m as pro-life as a libertarian can be (i only oppose abortion as a means of birth control), but i’m also ANTI-PEDOPHILE, and Planned Parenthood has a very nasty history of aiding and abetting child rapists. if that doesn’t bother you, lying about providing mammograms won’t bother you, either.

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  16. Does your mother know what you write for a living, Stranahan? You know you are lying — Planned Parenthood helps women get breast cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood never, ever claimed to do mammograms in their offices. You lie about this, so what other lies do you write.

    Readers, if you are conservative, anti-abortion/pro-life or whatever, don’t let those beliefs get in the way of understanding what is really true. There are plenty of good, substantive reasons to make your case for your political, social and moral convictions — don’t demean them with lies such as Rose and Stranahan tell you.

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  17. No comments are screened unless they are pure insult, in which case I remove them.

    If you have more than 2 links, you get put in moderation…that’s to avoid spam

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  18. morris,
    The president of PP claimed that if they lose federal funding, millions of women would be without basic health care, including mammograms. according to PP, they don’t provide mammograms, merely directions to the nearest mammogram office. besides PP’s lie of what they actually do concerning mammograms, she is lying by saying that without FEDERAL funding, PP goes away. it’s simply not true.

    don’t let your pro-abortion beliefs get in the way of understanding what is really true. if PP lost our tax dollars, you could still donate to them. Hell, apparently when you make a donation, you can even specify which race you would like to have aborted (if you’re into that kinda thing). And if you rape your daughter, PP won’t turn YOU in. they’ll just send the child home to the rapist, and hope for a repeat customer. are those enough moral reasons to be against funding PP? more importantly, what the hell do these pigf**kers have to do to get people to stop defending them? do they actually have to start selling videos of teen girls being raped before you stop defending them?

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  19. @Mark:

    You’re not demonstrating comprehension of my posts. I’ve said several times that my goal in participating here is to dispel the idea that a referral is the equivalent of giving directions to another clinic, and I’ve explained that point at length and supported it with independent evidence. As for your suppositions about my “mindset” and whether or not other allegations about Planned Parenthood “bother” me–you’re arguing with the voices in *your* head, not mine. I have not and will not engage in anything other than the referral issue.

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