Wednesday, August 19, 2015
In a recent column for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik writes about StemExpress, a company which buys fetal parts from Planned Parenthood affiliates in California. Hiltzik bemoans that StemExpress has been “terrorized” and “harassed” into ending their business relationship with Planned Parenthood. StemExpress executives were allegedly caught on undercover video discussing their acquisition of intact aborted children. They’ve sued the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) to prevent the release of the video and been asked by Congress to provide information on their relationship with Planned Parenthood.
Hiltzik’s column is so filled with misinformation and broad assertions about the videos, it made me wonder if he’s even seen the videos he’s discussing. They seem like talking points which come directly from Planned Parenthood and StemExpress. He doesn’t even mention that a former StemExpress employee is featured in 3 of the 7 videos which means he hasn’t seen those videos or he prefers to not let his readers know that. Writing a column about videos he hasn't even watched, didn't seem that out of the blue for a guy caught sock-puppeting.
So I bet $10 that he hadn’t seen the videos on twitter. He retweeted me and said he’d seen all the footage and read all the transcripts and asked if I had.
That led me to a couple of questions. First, if Hiltzik watched the full footage of the videos then why does he claim in his column that “Because the released videos have been heavily edited, CMP's assertions that the officials are acting illegally must be treated with great doubt.”
If he’s seen the full videos and CMP’s assertions are clearly false then why couldn’t he devote a paragraph or two in his long column to demonstrating why they are false?
He could show that Mary Gatter wasn’t really haggling over the price of specimens or that Deborah Nucatola wasn’t really talking about how she changes her technique to get more intact organs, right?
Why would he instead use the “but they’re heavily edited” excuse? Either because he hasn't watched the videos or he's intentionally misleading his readers.
I then asked him what event led Nucatola to become an abortionist. If he watched the full footage of all the videos (heck, if he just watched the full footage of the first one) he would easily be able to answer this question. Instead, he blocked me.