By Dave Andrusko
It’s a question that is asked more and more and more these days: who fact checks the Factcheckers?
Talk about assuming the high moral ground. We are assured that Politifact, Snopes, and the Washington Post’s Factchecker (to name just three prominent examples) are unbiased investigators, titans of non-partisanship, who merely match the “facts” up against what someone (often a politician) says. Or, as Glenn Kessler modestly tells us, the Post’s “ Fact Checker” represents “The Truth Behind The Rhetoric.”
What if—just asking—your newspaper has been on a journalistic jihad against one man, not only for the entirety of his administration, but before? What if you run an endless stream of attack stories, opinion pieces, and editorials accusing President Trump of everything but kidnapping the Lindberg baby?
What if your media columnist, in a pity-party explanation of how you bungled the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, concluded, “News organizations failed to understand the tear-it-all-down mood of large segments of the voting public, or the racism and sexism that often fueled it.” Just guessing, but I think Margaret Sullivan is talking about us deplorables who voted for Donald Trump.
Given all that—and much, much more—should anyone really believe, when it comes to anything President Trump (or Vice President Mike Pence) says, your fact checking is worth a hill of beans?
The bone-in-the-throat for most of these Factcheckers is captured in this Washington Post headline: “Fact Checker: Pence falsely claims Biden wants abortion up to ‘moment of birth.’” Heads up, there is nothing original in Salvador Rizzo’s critique of this statement from Mr. Pence at last night’s debate: “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.”
Channeling the Biden/Harris/Media consensus, Rizzo tells us flatly in his opening paragraph, “Neither Biden nor Harris supports ‘late-term abortion and infanticide.’ They do not support funding abortion ‘up to the moment of birth.’”
Here’s how Rizzo comes to this conclusion. (He’s has practice. He’s written about this before]:
Biden supports abortion rights and says he would codify in statute the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade and related precedents, which generally limit abortions to the first 20 to 24 weeks of gestation.
What “precedents” is Rizzo alluding to? Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, defined Roe’s “health exception” as including “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”
Even PBS’s Frontline acknowledged this was “an expansive definition.”
Rizzo immediately turns to the classic (and I do mean classic) dodge:
Most abortions are performed in the earlier stages of pregnancy. About 1 percent happen after the fetus reaches the point of viability. Trump and antiabortion advocates have claimed for months that Biden supports abortion “up until the moment of birth,” a claim we have awarded Three Pinocchios.
They argue that some laws and court decisions have opened loopholes that allow abortions to the very end of a pregnancy. Experts have told us abortions up to the moment of birth, what could be described as infanticide, are not happening in the United States.
“One percent” would in the range of 9,000 abortions. As NRLC has explained repeatedly, the number is much more likely to be in the 11,000 to 13,000 range. And that is without knowing what is taking place in California.
Contrary to Rizzo, there are a handful of abortionists who annihilate unborn babies late into the third trimester. There aren’t more, because you have to certain kind of human being to do that to a huge baby who months previously had reached viability. But no Supreme Court decision prevents them from taking the child’s life.
A 2015 story in the Daily Camera talked about how infamous abortionist Warren Hern aborted a 35-week-old unborn baby. We read that Hern “rarely speaks of individual cases, but Hern has said he also performs late abortions for women who are not facing any grave medical outcome.”
Next [and this is recycled from earlier “Fact Checks”]
Some Democrats support abortion rights, but that doesn’t mean they support “extreme late-term abortions,” experts told us. “That’s like saying everyone who ‘supports’ the Second Amendment ‘supports’ school shootings,” said Katie L. Watson, a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Did Rizzo not blush when he wrote “Some Democrats support abortion rights”? You can count the exceptions on the fingers of one hand. As for the idiotic school shooting comparison, Newsbusters’ Tim Graham wrote
This is a “fact check”? People can support the Second Amendment and still oppose school shootings as a violent crime. Abortion supporters believe in killing the unborn as the precious right for women.
Then there is this from our friendly WaPo Factchecker:
The Supreme Court’s rulings in Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey say states may ban abortion after the fetus reaches viability, the point at which it can sustain life, which happens at or near the end of the second trimester. States with such bans must allow an exception “to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
These rulings don’t force states to ban abortions. Some states don’t have gestational-age restrictions, though most do. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 43 states have laws restricting abortion after the fetus reaches a certain gestational age.
The end of the second trimester is 26 weeks. There is precious little public support for late term abortions in general, and certainly not at 26 weeks. Note also that Rizzo (in an oh-by-the-way fashion] sneaks in the exception “to preserve the life or health of the mother” without explaining that represents virtual carte blanche to abortion on demand.
Guttmacher is correct. There are seven states with no restrictions. One of them is Colorado. The abortion industry and the media are furiously fighting against a ballot initiative that , if passed, would ban abortions at 22 weeks, without the input of the state’s Democrat governor or legislature.
“You’re entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts,” Mr. Pence said during last night’s debate. Would that Mr. Rizzo only agreed.