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Hannity, O’Reilly And Malkin Attack Planned Parenthood With Blatantly Bogus Lila Rose Video

Reported by Ellen - April 3, 2011 -

Last week, on March 30th and March 31st, Fox News trumpeted another hoax video from anti-abortion activist Lila Rose’s LiveAction.org. What a coincidence that it happened just as the Senate is weighing a bill passed by the GOP-controlled House defunding the organization. This time, Rose – the former colleague of the discredited and thoroughly disreputable video scamster James O’Keefe – misrepresented what services Planned Parenthood says it provides and then released a video purporting to expose Planned Parenthood over a lie they never told. But even though the truth was apparent in the very clip that Fox News used for two different discussions on Live Action's phony exposé, neither Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly or Michelle Malkin paid any attention. In fact, O'Reilly insisted otherwise. Kudos to Fox News’ Margaret Hoover and Gretchen Carlson for setting O’Reilly straight on The Factor.

In introducing his March 30, 2011 discussion with Malkin, Hannity announced that “a mammogram sham” had been “exposed” at Planned Parenthood that may have cheated taxpayers out of “millions of dollars.” In concert with Hannity (and Live Action), a banner on the screen read, “SECRET CALLS REVEAL PLANNED PARENTHOOD MAMMOGRAM SHAM.”

Hannity played a clip of what he described as Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards saying, “Planned Parenthood gives mammograms.”

Except that Richards never said that. She said, “If this (defunding) bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access (my emphasis), not to abortion services, to basic family planning, you know, mammograms.” (It’s worth noting that Hannity edited the clip to end there but after "mammograms," Richards also cited “cancer screenings, cervical cancer” in that quote). Like my doctor does, Planned Parenthood gives its patients referrals for mammograms. But when it's time for me to get one, I go to my doctor for the referral. As Hoover later noted, it's a similar procedure for pap smears. My doctor provides access and then the smear gets sent to a lab or other facility.

But Hannity and the ever-sanctimonious sourpuss Malkin didn’t seem to know or care about that, so eager were they to jump to attacking Planned Parenthood. Hannity played the Live Action video of a woman being told by various Planned Parenthood offices that they don’t provide mammograms. During the video and as Hannity continued the discussion with Malkin, a graphic of the Planned Parenthood logo next to the words “SHAM EXPOSED” was displayed on the screen.

“No mammograms,” Hannity said gleefully.

A rare smile crossed Malkin’s face as she sneered that there are so many reasons Planned Parenthood should be defunded, “This is really just more fuel for the fire.”

Of course, nobody on Hannity bothered to find out or report on what services Planned Parenthood does or does not provide. Nobody even said that Planned Parenthood does not offer health care access and basic family planning – the obvious thrust of Richards’ comments. Even if Richards had misspoken about mammograms, that hardly suggests a sham – especially since, as Media Matters noted – there are Planned Parenthood centers that provide them.

Malkin continued contemptuously with unintended irony, “It’s about time that they be held accountable for their lies.”

The next night, on The O’Reilly Factor, in the Culture Warrior segment, Bill O’Reilly played the same clip of Richards, though he included the entire statement, followed by the LiveAction clip. Like Hannity and Malkin, O’Reilly was so intent on suggesting some kind of sham was taking place, he made no attempt to report what services Planned Parenthood does provide. After predicting that it’s only a matter of time until Planned Parenthood gets defunded, O’Reilly added, “It’s insane, and for the president (Richards) to go on and tell people, ‘Hey, you can’t defund us because we do all of these good things, including mammograms, when they don’t give mammograms.'" He then asked his two guests, Carlson and Hoover, "What do you say?”

As both Carlson and Hoover argued against O’Reilly, he insisted sullenly - and without offering any kind of evidence - “That was an intentional attempt to mislead.”

He was referring, of course, to Planned Parenthood. But the evidence is clear that the real misleading was done by Fox.

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