Faux-documentary takes vulgar, cheap shots at pro-life State Senator and Pregnancy Care Centers

By Dave Andrusko

Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee

Elsewhere today, we’ve reposted a story from Pregnancy Help News about what the author with great restraint called a “ridiculous, tasteless attack on pregnancy centers.”

I’d like to add a few thoughts about Monday night’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in which Ms. Bee tore into pregnancy help centers in general, Georgia state Sen. Renee Unterman, in particular. Sen. Unterman helped lead the charge to establish the Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program, which “clears the way for Georgia to fund up to $2 million per year in the 2017 fiscal year, which begins in July of 2016,” according to Jay Hobbs.

Let me make four points about the segment beyond its childish vulgarity.

#1. Okay, it was exceedingly vulgar, which I concede bothered me. (It was a long 7 minutes, 19 seconds.) I’m assuming the laughter had to be canned because no actual human being sounds that robotic “spontaneously” laughing at what was–honestly–not remotely amusing.

#2. As Jason Guerrasio, an unabashed admirer, explained, the skit was a takeoff on

The 1973 faux-documentary that [Orson] Welles directed, wrote, and starred in [that] looks back on history’s greatest frauds, from notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory to novelist Clifford Irving’s fake autobiography of Howard Hughes.

[Actor Patton] Owsalt, wearing a black cape and fedora as Welles does in the movie, plays our guide as the segment (titled “F For Abortion!”) delves into the very serious subject of the unethical, false tactics anti-abortion centers use on pregnant women.

You don’t have to be a television or theatre critic to notice the obvious. This faux-documentary makes its points by the violence of its profanity, the ham-fisted treatment of what Owsalt insists is said and done at pregnancy care centers, and the testimony of that unbiased source, Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, who affirmed that PCCs are (like God, we’re told by Owsalt) examples of “The best cons,” meaning, “the lies that hide in plain sight.”

My point is not that Ms. Bee is required to be balanced, or even that she should be just the tiniest bit skeptical that PCCs are “toxic [expletive]” which “are just plain [expletive].” It’s that the segment is neither funny nor persuasive unless you were already predisposed to believe a foul-mouth comedian best known (ironically) for being a faux-correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Third, the skit is built around Owsalt and a woman who said she went to a deceptive PCC and, instead of having a “procedure,” continued her pregnancy. She tells the interview that she watched a video:

“For the animation they show a doctor going in with clamps to latch on to the baby’s head and pull the baby out. It was the scariest loony tune cartoon I had ever seen in my life.”

Consider: It was not a “cartoon,” at all, loony or otherwise. It was an animation because showing a flesh and blood abortion is extremely tough on anyone. The video showed a representation of the incredible violence that is abortion.

Fourth, the woman ends by calling the PCC “a complete hustle,” not exactly an unexpected comment. Prior to that, however, she said

“I love my son, absolutely, but I’ll be very honest with you. If I could do this all over again, I would have an abortion.”

That was not expected. And it was very sad.

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