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Liar


Carly Fiorina made "pro-lifers" across America all tingly in their privates during last week's Republican presidential debate, when she insisted she had seen, in the debunked and manipulated "sting" videos of Planned Parenthood, "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." America's favorite born-again-knocked-up-again virgin Bristol Palin orgasmed so hard, she's going to have to toss out those panties.

Here's the thing: Carly Fiorina is lying. And no, we're not going to play that clever Traditional Journalism game, where we substitute gentler euphemisms, by saying she misspoke, or was not entirely accurate. Carly Fiorina lied. And when she was fact-checked by every fact-checker who fact-checks supposed facts that need checking, and everyone said it was impossible for Carly Fiorina to have watched the video she described because no such video exists, she did not back down or apologize for her error. She doubled down, then she doubled down again, and again some more. By lying. Because Carly Fiorina is a liar.

On Sunday, Fiorina appeared on Chris Wallace's show on Fox News -- yes, the same Fox News that has promoted these sting videos by the Center for Medical Progress, even running a special on the "facts" of Planned Parenthood's supposed wrongdoing. And yet even Wallace pointed out that Carly Fiorina could not possibly have seen this video she claims she saw because of how it doesn't exist:

WALLACE: First of all, do you acknowledge what every fact-checker has found? That as horrific as that scene is, it was only described on the video by someone who claimed to have seen it? There is no actual footage of the incident that you just mentioned.

FIORINA: No, I don't accept that at all. I've seen the footage. And I find it amazing, actually, that all these supposed fact-checkers in the mainstream media claim this doesn't exist. They're trying to attack the authenticity of the videotape. I haven't found a lot of people in the mainstream media who've ever watched these things. I mean, they will claim somebody watched it for them. I will continue to dare anyone who wants to continue to fund Planned Parenthood: watch the video tapes. And anyone who wants to challenge me, first is going to have to prove to me that they watched it.

Well, Sarah Kliff at Vox suffered through all 12 hours of the footage released by the Center for Medical Progress. And she not only wrote that no such scene exists in those 12 hours, but when she contacted the Fiorina campaign to clarify where exactly Carly thinks she saw this non-existent footage, the campaign referred her to another video, not released by CMP, not filmed at Planned Parenthood, and still not containing any such scene. Here's a video of a fetus, the campaign said. Good enough? No.

But you needn't rely only on the reporting from the liberal splainers at Vox. The Federalist, a supposedly smart conservative website that is rabidly anti-choice, insists that Fiorina is right, and this Planned Parenthood footage does TOO exist. Except even The Federalist admits no, not really. It explains that the video of a live fetus at "Planned Parenthood" is actually stock imagery provided by another anti-choice organization, supposedly of "a baby who survived an abortion and was left in a metal bowl to die." We actually know nothing about the circumstances of the fetus -- whether it resulted from an abortion or a miscarriage or a premature birth, for example -- but we do know that it was not filmed at Planned Parenthood, and we also know that nobody is discussing keeping it alive to extract its brain. Instead, according to The Federalist:

While it is obviously not the same baby as the one she harvested the brain of, the footage helps viewers to understand what a 19-week old baby looks like when hearing the testimony of an ex-employee who harvested brains from babies of the same age. Illustrating stories with appropriate images is a common journalistic technique, one used by all media outlets.

So, OK, technically there is no clip in the series of Planned Parenthood sting videos in which the stingers actually capture footage of a Planned Parenthood doctor leaving a live fetus on a table to die, right before harvesting the brain. But this other, unrelated, non-Planned Parenthood footage suggests what that might look like, if it had happened, which it didn't, but it could have, because Planned Parenthood. That's just basic journalism! Everybody does it.

Except no, that's not journalism. "Here is a video that proves something, even though it's not really video of that, but just imagine that it is." Nope, that's not journalism. It's a lie. Just like Carly Fiorina's claim, which is also a lie, because she is a liar.

[Vox / The Federalist]

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