Are You Proud Now, America?


There was nothing there.

Not only was there nothing there, but there was something less than nothing there, because people actually got themselves INDICTED for making out like there was something there.

Not only was there something less than nothing there, but anybody with two brain cells to rub together looked at the sterling credentials of the people making out like there was something there and said, there’s nothing there.

They were, of course, the exact kind of carnival barkers they seemed to be, and this news only surprises the people who make a living being surprised when the curtain gets pulled back and, instead of an alien life form, the freak show’s just one sad goat with a weird mark on its neck.

I don’t really blame the barkers. They’re doing their jobs, and people will do the same job after them just as people have done the same job before them.

No, I blame everybody else, who should KNOW BETTER BY NOW.

Are you proud of yourselves, CNN? Most Trusted Name in News? Are you proud that you ran your first story on this mess like this? 

An anti-abortion group has released an online video that it says documents how Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs for a profit, a felony, while violating medical ethics by altering normal abortion procedures so as to preserve the organs.

Are you proud that the very next day you ran a commentary calling the video “a horror movie?”

But, frankly, the detail is up for lawyers to debate. What matters about this video is what it appears to reveal about the reality behind America’s sanitized image of abortion; the reality of what an abortion is and how it morally compromises us all.

Are you proud that during YOUR SPONSORED DEBATE, you let a presidential candidate describe those videos, and that your after the fact “fact check” called it “true, but misleading?”

The clip does show what appears to be a fully formed fetus on an operating table with its legs twitching. But the clip Fiorina references is not part of the CMP sting video but was instead taken by another anti-abortion group and was added to the sting video. The Center for Medical Progress, however, doesn’t explain where the fetus video was shot, so it’s not clear whether it was taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic. For its part, the women’s health organization has flatly denied the accusations.

VERDICT: True, but misleading

Are you proud that when someone did what everybody thought someone would do when presented with the kind of foaming nonsense you put on TV hour after hour after hour, your coverage conveniently forgot that he not only admitted to a motive when captured, he was fucking thrilled about it?

Are you even going to have a meeting? Are you going to sit down with anyone involved in any of that coverage and say, how did we manage to get snowed by these assholes again? After ACORN, after the NPR video, after everything? Are you going to say while it is their job to play us, we should at least try not to be played OR ACT SORRY WHEN IT HAPPENS? Do cable networks even run corrections? Would you, if you could?

Or is it going to be bygones, nobody could have known, truth on both sides, problem was how it looked not what it was, and on and on until the next thing, when they take us by surprise again?

Are you proud, all you people who followed in cable news’s wake? All you two-bit pundits and columnists who gleefully tweeted along with #DefundPP because OMG BABY PARTS, everybody who said okay, look, cancer screening can’t happen unless everybody denounces every woman who’s ever had an abortion, one by one?

Are you proud, Congress? I don’t mean you tea freaks, I mean you people who are lauded as Serious Republican Thinkers and Conservative Democratic Stalwarts and shit. Are you proud you got taken in by something this transparent? Are you happy you spent months, months, of company time screeching in hearings at poor women and their representatives, saying they were whores and sinners, thanking God someone finally exposed their perfidy?

Are you proud, everybody who stayed quiet? Who hedged your bets, kept your powder dry, and waited to see who turned out to be right when you knew goddamn well who was right and who was going to hell? Are you proud now that the world’s most predictable result is here, and everybody who is saying I TOLD YOU SO is being derided as mean, when you should be forced to wear signs that say I WAS COWARDLY?

Are you proud this is how it happens now? Yeah, the guys who are going to jail should be ashamed of themselves, but everybody who joined their idiot chorus and everybody who stayed quiet because OMG CONTROVERSIAL and everybody who would rather some people get killed than some women get health care and everybody whose job it is to make sense of all the competing forces at work in modern politics should be even more ashamed.

The carnival barker’s gonna bark. That’s his job. He sells the freak show tickets. It’s right there on the sign. You shouldn’t be proud that you read it and walked right into the tent.


4 thoughts on “Are You Proud Now, America?

  1. Sadly, this has meant nothing to the administration in Texas–they’ve already announced that this won’t affect ongoing investigations of Planned Parenthood–because they’re determined to get the outcome they desire.

    Similarly, it’s had no effect in Florida, where Republicans are still trying to push through a bill making abortion a felony, even though there’s a SC ruling of long standing that says, no, abortion is not a crime, it’s a private medical matter. I suspect their intent is to force a new, very clearly delineated SC case in which the now-conservative court can ignore stare decisis.

    As for CNN, as long as they believe that their mission is to regain ground lost to Fox by imitating Fox, this sort of bad journalism will go on–and will probably get worse (consider the outright insanity of their coverage of the missing Malaysian plane). IIRC, they hired consultants a while back that told them they had to be more like Fox to achieve Fox’s viewership and ad revenue, that their operating costs were higher than Fox’s and that they would have to close overseas bureaus and depend upon more studio-based programming (which they have been doing), which will certainly mean that they, too, will drift toward manufacturing conflict instead of reporting the news. When they put attracting eyeballs above solid reporting, journalism is inevitably going to suffer. They’re idiots for doing so, and there’s no question that their brand has suffered over the decades for it, but when the only measuring stick is money, journalism, never mind good journalism, gets kicked to the curb.

  2. “When the only measuring stick is money” is a far-too-often problem. I fear because far-too-many believe it is “objective” (well, it sure is EASY to measure and compare!) and that it represents true market-valuation. My God I hate how many times that has a reason for many bad conclusions.

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