Politico's Thrush stumbles on victory lap

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Glenn Thrush seems to think his post yesterday about Nancy Pelosi & family planning funds is vindicated by reports that House Democrats may strip those funds from their stimulus package.

It isn't.

Here's Thrush today:

We took some heat yesterday for suggesting Nancy Pelosi needed to do something to stem political damage from GOP attacks on the inclusion of contraceptive cash in the stimulus.

Apparently she has -- at the behest of President Obama.

Actually, Thrush "took some heat" for baselessly repeating bogus GOP spin, and falsely suggesting that public support for contraception funding is unpopular.

Most notably, Thrush suggested supporting funding for contraceptives would make Pelosi look like a "Bay area liberal" with a "far left agenda." In fact, backing public funding for contraceptives isn't a "far-left" position, as Thrush later acknowledged. It is a position that enjoys overwhelming public support. So overwhelming that opposing such funding could probably be described as a "far-right" position.

Thrush's post yesterday was reminiscent of the first media reports during the Terry Schiavo controversy - the ones that contained the baseless speculation that the "wedge issue" would play to the GOP's benefit. But it didn't: the American public isn't where the conservatives think they are - or where reporters think they are. That's been true for quite some time.

The fact that House Democrats may drop funding for contraceptives from their bill doesn't vindicate Thrush's lazy reporting. If it says anything at all about that reporting, it is that the credulous repetition of false right-wing spin can have an effect on public policy debates. That shouldn't be something to be proud of; it should be a reminder that reporters have a responsibility to carefully and factually assess spin - and their own assumptions - before they write their articles.

Posted In
Economy, Health Care, Reproductive Rights
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