SIGN UP FOR THE BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

AP Correction Shows Carly Fiorina Is Right About Planned Parenthood and the Media

Over the weekend, the AP published a story attacking Carly Fiorina for “repeating an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists.” As the correction to the revised story demonstrates, the AP also repeated an erroneous description of the same videos.

The story published late Friday night was intended to hammer Fiorina on the accuracy of her claims about a video clip she described in the 2nd GOP debate. “Watch 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,” Fiorina said.

Reporting from South Carolina, the AP’s story notes Fiorina is sticking to her guns and accusing Planned Parenthood of putting out “propaganda” against her. Fiorina also said the abortion provider was “aided and abetted by the media.”

As if to prove her point, the AP initially published this description of the videos, according to Business Insider:

That detailed scene does not occur in the videos, produced by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress. One of the videos, still posted on the center’s YouTube channel as of Friday, shows a woman identified as an “ex-procurement technician” from a firm other than Planned Parenthood discussing harvesting the brain of an aborted fetus.

As the woman talks, the video cuts away to show an image that producers have confirmed is stock footage of a stillborn baby miscarried in a hospital after 19 weeks of gestation.

After being questioned multiple times about her claims, Fiorina’s campaign released an online ad that again includes the image, with the claim that “Carly Fiorina won the debate. Now come the false attacks.”

This, despite the fact that the baby was miscarried, not aborted, and that the image comes from a hospital procedure unconnected with Planned Parenthood.

There’s no way to read this except that Fiorina is flat-out lying. The “producers have confirmed” it was a “stillborn baby,” not an aborted fetus. It’s absolutely clear she’s got no leg to stand on.

Except there are three or four serious errors in this story, including that central claim about the stillborn baby. In fact, the AP has done exactly what it faults Fiorina for doing, not understanding the content of the videos it is discussing on the public stage. So Saturday morning, Breitbart News sent a detailed email to the author of the AP piece, pointing out the errors and asking for a correction. The author was polite and promised to review the material.

A correction appeared along with a revised version of the story Saturday evening. It reads, “This story has been corrected to show that one image in the video is purported to be an aborted fetus; a separate image is that of a miscarried fetus, not the same one. Neither is tied to Planned Parenthood. The story also corrects that a pro-Fiorina video was released by a super PAC backing her campaign, not her campaign committee.”

That’s a pretty big shift. The core of the revised story now reads:

That detailed scene does not occur in the videos, produced by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress. One of the videos, still posted on the center’s YouTube channel as of Friday, shows a woman identified as an “ex-procurement technician” from a firm other than Planned Parenthood discussing harvesting the brain of an aborted fetus.

As the woman talks, the video cuts away to show a fetus that producers say came from an older anti-abortion video. They say the fetus was aborted, though there is no proof of that or that the scene was filmed at a Planned Parenthood facility. There are no other persons shown in the clip discussing collecting any tissue.

A separate image shown later in the video is that of a stillborn baby miscarried in a hospital after 19 weeks of gestation.

After Fiorina was questioned multiple times about her claims, a pro-Fiorina super PAC released an online ad that again included the image, with the claim that “Carly Fiorina won the debate. Now come the false attacks.”

It’s better, though there’s still some confusion here. The “ex-procurement technician” did not work for Planned Parenthood but she did do her work at Planned Parenthood. I don’t think anyone reading the story or the correction would guess that. It seems the AP is trying a little too hard to create distance between Planned Parenthood and talk of harvesting brains.

Also, in the revised version, the line about the “stillborn baby,” which used to be the main point, is no longer necessary. It’s also still incorrect. The image in question is of miscarried baby Walter Fretz who was born alive, not stillborn. This information was sent to the author. It’s not clear why that line was not corrected in the rewrite.

Those readers who’ve been following this story about Fiorina and the videos closely know this isn’t the first time a major media outlet has made these errors. Last week, CNN’s Chris Cuomo made the same erroneous claims in an interview with the head of the group that produced the documentary in question. Cuomo’s confusing interview led to other reporters writing stories suggesting Fiorina’s claims had been completely undercut or even shown to be lies. Some individuals who were confused later corrected themselves, others did not.

The cosmic irony here is that the AP wrote a piece attacking Carly Fiorina for an error in her description of a video and, in the process, made that error themselves. The AP confused a still image of a miscarriage for a video of an aborted baby, claimed the former was “stillborn” and didn’t seem aware the latter video even existed. In short, they completely bungled the facts. And they did so in a way that is much harder to explain than what Fiorina did, i.e. incorrectly conflating the video and the story as being about the same fetus.

It’s worth pointing out that Fiorina was speaking live in front of a large television audience. That’s no excuse for being wrong, ultimately, but it does help explain why she might have made a simple mistake. The AP, which presumably had time to sort out the facts before publishing, still managed to repeat “an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists.” And yes, that quote is the very accusation the AP hurled at Fiorina in its lede.

P.S. DO YOU WANT MORE ARTICLES
LIKE THIS ONE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX?
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY BREITBART NEWSLETTER.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.

SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICIAL
BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

GET TODAY'S TOP NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

I don't want to get today's top news.

x