Fox News' Greta van Susteren last night became the sixth journalist to interview Mitt Romney without asking him about the conservative conspiracy theory alleging that the Muslim Brotherhood is using supposed ties to an aide for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to infiltrate the U.S. government. Two surrogates for Romney's campaign have defended that conspiracy during the past week, while Republican leaders like John Boehner and John McCain have condemned it.
Yesterday, CBS Evening News lent its credibility to the thoroughly discredited hoax that Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood helping to cover up sex trafficking.
CBS reported that "in the past week" Live Action "released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers all too eager to help reported teenage sex workers get abortions and contraception" that are "troubling."
But as CBS's Jan Craword herself reported, Planned Parenthood "reported the incidents to Attorney General Eric Holder." Crawford did not make clear, however, that Planned Parenthood actually contacted law enforcement and asked them to investigate potential sex trafficking before Lila Rose released any of her video accusing them of covering up sexual abuse of minors.
This fact completely undermines Live Action's accusation that Planned Parenthood is helping to cover up sex trafficking.
What's actually troubling is that CBS is all too willing to promote Live Action's discredited videos.
From the November 21 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:
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CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford reported on this morning's edition of CBS' The Early Show that Senate Republicans will attack Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a "liberal activist" based on memos she wrote while clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall. But Crawford's predicted GOP attack on the Marshall memos largely echoed falsehoods and distortions that Crawford herself promulgated.
We've noted that, on June 3, Jan Crawford distorted Kagan's memos to Marshall to suggest that she is outside the mainstream of legal thought on abortion, guns, and gay rights. The day after her initial report aired, Crawford wrote a post about Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, calling the memos "troubling." And conservatives have since echoed her reporting.
However, none of Crawford's reporting was accurate, even down to Crawford's suggestion that the Marshall memos had just become available and that they necessarily represented Kagan's own views.
Nevertheless, Crawford has pronounced herself "baffled" as to why her inaccurate reporting generated criticism.
And Crawford is still at it. On today's edition of CBS' The Early Show, Crawford reported on what to expect when Kagan's hearings begin this afternoon, and she put the Marshall memos front and center. Crawford reported that Republicans "will try to paint her as a liberal activist, pointing to memos she wrote as a clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall and while an advisor to President Clinton."
This morning on Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer and CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford talked up the effects of Crawford's report last week on memos Elena Kagan wrote while clerking for Thurgood Marshall. Schieffer seemed to suggest that Crawford's report was so significant that it might cause problems for Kagan's Supreme Court nomination. Schieffer said to Crawford that the White House had "thought she would be easily confirmed, I think. But you unearthed these documents that show that maybe she is not exactly how the White House had pictured her, that in fact, she might be a lot more liberal than people realized."
Indeed, in her report last week, Crawford said that the memos showed that "Kagan stood shoulder to shoulder with the liberal left." But the evidence Crawford relied on to reach this conclusion was missing context and misleading. For instance, Crawford reported that "Kagan also wrote a memo Republicans will use to say she would find a constitutional right to gay marriage." Well, they could do that, but it would be pretty shameless.
On the CBS Evening News, Jan Crawford distorted memos Elena Kagan wrote as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, falsely painting Kagan as outside the mainstream.