John on July 9, 2011 at 9:55 am
So yesterday, I suggested that Think Progress had read the Family Leader pledge wrong and then last night I proved they had read it wrong. Today, the hacks at TP have retracted their splashy, but utterly bogus, story about a ban on porn in their own inimical way. Let’s fisk this, shall we?
GOP presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum both signed a candidate pledge by the influential social conservative group THE FAMiLY LEADER which ThinkProgress, ABC, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Slate, and numerous other news outlets read to call for a blanket ban on all pornography.
Yes, all those outlets did run with the porn ban version of the story. One guess where they got that idea!
The pledge’s language lumps “all forms of pornography” in with a list of items that a candidate is asked to oppose. Specifically, here’s what the language commits a candidate to:
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy — our next generation of American children — from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
Apparently TP is hiring only ESL staffers now. Here, let me help you with this sentence by removing all the confusing words: “Humane protection of women and…children…from…all forms of pornography and prostitution…and other types of coercion…” This is about protecting girls from getting caught up into what the Family Leader sees as destructive lifestyles, not about banning porn.
I’m belaboring this because the hacks at Think Progress won’t admit that they can’t read and led everyone who read their story to the wrong conclusion. Instead, TP’s admission of failure contains a brand new lie:
THE FAMiLY LEADER’s head Bob Vander Plaats has reacted to the growing controversy about his pledge by backing away from its plain meaning. Today, he claimed, “We are not calling for a nationwide band [sic] on pornography,” and that the pledge is really intended “to imply opposition to women being forced into pornography or prostitution.”
The Family Leader did not change its story because of the “growing controversy.” How do we know? They gave a press conference in Iowa yesterday–one which had been scheduled for at least a week–at which they were asked about the porn statement. Here is what they said:
So The Family Leader’s story is consistent. They didn’t change in reaction to controversy. But the hacks at TP continue to spin and lie their way through their concluding paragraph:
Although Mr. Vander Plaats’ interpretation of his pledge’s language is not consistent with the text as written,
Yes it is. The problem is you can’t read.
we accept that Vander Plaats now believes…
He always believed it and there’s audio proof above assuming you can figure out how to play a You Tube clip.
that his organization was merely calling for a ban on forced participation in pornography and not a ban on all pornography.
Like a bunch of us were saying yesterday.
It is unclear whether Bachmann and Santorum share Vander Plaats’ idiosyncratic reading of this language, or if they believed they were endorsing a ban on all pornography.
No it’s not at all unclear and no one is interested in your fake but accurate back-stopping. Here is what is perfectly clear, TP: You got it completely wrong because a) you can’t read, b) you didn’t check the facts, and c) you’re so motivated by irrational hate of the right that you didn’t really care if it was true or not. Now you’re lying shamelessly to make it seem as if you altered the debate, when in fact that didn’t happen.
Sorry, TP, there’s no face-saving way out this time. You were either stupid or you were lying or both. You got caught. That’s the truth.
I sincerely hope the rest of the press outlets in that list will offer a more honest correction than this steaming pile of bullpuckey. I also hope reporters will remember this next time TP has a splashy scoop on any topic: THEY. LIE.