Psst, Governor Hickenlooper. They’re talking about you. The editorial board for the Denver Post did what the Washington Post’s news department apparently wouldn’t — stuck up for free speech. In an editorial this morning that attempts a Solomonic split on several issues raised in the wake of the Colorado Springs shooting that killed two and wounded several others, the Colorado capital’s hometown broadsheet comes down foursquare on defending political discourse.
As noted, it starts off assuming much, considering the lack of information on the motivation of the suspect and even precise location of the victims. They agree that the “violent attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic sends an intimidating message,” but the editors then insist that other messages are not the problem:
Some commentators are blaming the harsh rhetoric of anti-abortion activists and right-wing media in the wake of undercover videos released this year by the Center for Medical Progress for inflaming the unstable. And while some rhetoric has indeed been vitriolic, the fact remains that vehement political language is a reality in a society that always has had, and always will have, deep and passionate disagreements over issues of conscience. Strong rhetoric is a far cry from threats or attempted coercion, let alone violence with a gun.
Too bad CBS News doesn’t have this kind of editorial integrity. In a long piece that profiles the victims of this shooting, their news division managed to sneak in a bizarre claim about the undercover videos from CMP (via Hugh Hewitt):
On Sunday, Planned Parenthood said Dear’s words matched the “hateful rhetoric” GOP presidential candidates and many conservative leaders have been using since now-discredited,secretly taped videos discussing the procurement of fetal body parts for medical research.
When exactly were these videos “discredited”? Even the report produced on behalf of Planned Parenthood admitted that “these analysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff,” and only objected that “they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict.” That is a claim that can be made about any edited video, including every single one aired by CBS News, including its non-live interviews. Another analysis produced on behalf of the Alliance Defending Freedom found that “the video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing.”
So where exactly did CBS News find that the videos “discredited,” and why did they bury that finding in a news report on the shooting? A real news agency would explain it.