CNN’s Chris Cuomo Interviews David Daleiden, Confuses Everyone

CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress on Wednesday, and the result was a train wreck of confusion that continues to confuse people just hearing about it a day later.

Chris Cuomo started the interview by claiming to have personal knowledge of the topic. “I’ve had the pleasure or the mispleasure, whatever the displeasure… whatever you want to call it—I’ve watched a lot of the raw, I’ve watched what you put out there,” he bumbled. And that set the stage for the discussion to follow.

A few minutes in, Cuomo turns the controversy to Carly Fiorina. “Here’s what really created a flash point I want you to speak to. Carly Fiorina, very passionately in the debate, very cogently brings across this image of an aborted baby on the table, the heart beating, the legs moving. Look at that video and then tell me what you think. Let me ask you about that image. Is that an aborted fetus that is on that—in that image?” Cuomo asks.

The way the question is phrased, ending with the challenge: “Is than an aborted fetus… in that image?,” leads David Daleiden to believe Cuomo is showing viewers an image and asking him to identify it. Actually, Chris Cuomo did not show an image, but Daleiden doesn’t know that because he is at a remote location with no video feed. Daleiden replies, “You know, I’m actually in the studio, I don’t have a visual of what you’re showing me.”

Instead of clarifying, Cuomo acts as if Daleiden is playing coy and pounces, “You know what I’m talking about, David. It’s a miscarriage. You know the mother was interviewed. You know you didn’t ask her for permission for it, but that is beside the point.”

And now things are really confused because the image of the miscarriage Cuomo is referring to is not the same as the video that Carly Fiorina was talking about in the GOP debate. Daleiden tries to set Cuomo straight, saying, “That’s not what Carly Fiorina was referencing. Carly Fiorina was referencing the sequence in our video that shows footage of a born-alive infant from a late-term abortion actually moving in a specimen pan, while Holly O’Donnell—who used to work at stem express—is talking about the harvesting of a brain of an infant of the exactly same gestational age.”

“So you think it’s a different image than the one that was pointed out by the mother?” Chris Cuomo asks. Again, Daleiden is left wondering what CNN viewers are being shown on their screens. He tries to clarify, “Yeah, if you’re showing the image of Walter Fretz right now, that is not the image.”

To briefly clarify who Walter Fretz is, there is a still photo which appears 9 minutes in on a documentary clip produced by David Daleiden’s group. The photo was taken by a Pennsylvania woman named Lexi Fretz. Fretz is pro-life and also a photographer, so she took pictures of her baby, named Walter Fretz, who was born prematurely and died moments later. She published the photos on her blog, and they went viral (the Daily Mail did a story on Fretz and her photos last year). Fretz did not know one of her photos had been used in the documentary until after it was released, but after finding out, she gave Daleiden permission.

So, Daleiden has just clarified that the image of Fretz is not the thing Carly Fiorina was talking about. At this point, Cuomo finally admits he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, “I don’t know now the names. I don’t own the material the way you do. I just know what I’ve seen.” If he had stopped there, Cuomo might have turned the ship away from the iceberg. Instead, he plows ahead adding, “I know it comported with what Carly Fiorina was describing and that it seems like something that was certainly taken out of context by whoever put the video together.”

Again, the image Cuomo is talking about does not comport with the video Carly Fiorina was talking about. Fiorina was talking about a video clip which appears earlier in the same documentary. According to the group that filmed that video, it shows a 17 1/2 week aborted fetus. The group released the full video of the abortion this week (WARNING: extremely graphic).

Chris Cuomo keeps asking about the image of Fretz and why Daleiden used a photo from a miscarriage in a documentary about abortion. Daleiden says it was used to “illustrate exactly—exactly the kind of late second trimester baby, fetus, that we’re talking about in these cases of organ harvesting.” He goes on to say, “that’s an example of an 18- to 19-week fetus, which is the exact same gestational age that Planned Parenthood routinely aborts and harvests the organs from.” Cuomo suggests it is misleading and the interview trails off.

Cuomo’s confusion over the two different images—the one of Walter Fretz and the other one Carly Fiorina was actually talking about—got other people confused. Yesterday an ABC reporter tweeted this:

David Daleident corrected her Wednesday night:

Finally, many hours later she issued this correction:

She was not the only person confused by Chris Cuomo’s interview. Raw Story put up a post yesterday headlined, “CNN forces anti-Planned Parenthood group to admit Fiorina was wrong.” Just like the ABC reporter, Raw Story is confusing what Daleiden said about two very different images. The video of the exchange posted by Raw Story on YouTube under the same headline has been viewed nearly 47,000 times. So, the error is really getting around.

For Cuomo’s part, he continues to defend himself and even claim the interview vindicates him:

Having offered no support for his position and no evidence he is even aware he made an obvious mistake, Cuomo has now moved on to commenting on the Oregon shooting.


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