Thursday, September 17, 2015

Is Carly Fiorina confusing stock footage with reality in Planned Parenthood attack?

Laura Clawson, DailyKos

Carly Fiorina pulled off an amazing rhetorical feat during Wednesday night's debate, turning a question about defunding Planned Parenthood into a quick rant on Iran—a handy excuse to work in her standard reference to "my good friend Bibi Netanyahu"—and then back to some rank lies about Planned Parenthood:
As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it's heart beating, it's legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.
Sarah Kliff, who has watched all of the available footage from which the "Center for Medical Progress" edited its Planned Parenthood attack videos, writes that:
there is no moment where Planned Parenthood discusses procuring fetal tissue for profit, nor is there the scene that Fiorina describes. [...] the things Fiorina describes — the legs kicking, the intact "fully formed fetus," the heart beating, the remarks about having to "harvest its brain" — are pure fiction.
After Fiorina went on Good Morning America Thursday morning and insisted her description was accurate, Kliff went looking for other possible sources of the footage Fiorina claimed to describe. The most likely possibility is another video from the same anti-Planned Parenthood group:
The third Human Capitol video has stock footage of a fetus kicking on a table — though that footage isn't from inside a Planned Parenthood. It also has an interview with Holly O'Donnell, the former technician, who claims to have seen a fetus with a beating heart. O'Donnell says that, in her former job, she was once instructed to procure the brain tissue from the remains of an aborted fetus. There is no video of the images that O'Donnell describes seeing, nor is there any mention of instructions to "keep it alive so we can harvest its brain," so it's still not the footage Fiorina describes having watched.
Stock footage! And no talk of harvesting brains! If Fiorina thinks she's accurately reporting what she saw, voters have to wonder, do we want a president who can't tell stock footage from documentary evidence?

(Original here.)

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