Newly released video investigations which seem to show associates of Planned Parenthood offering abortion advice to admitted sex traffickers have caused a PR nightmare for the abortion provider. In response, Media Matters for America, a left-leaning "media watchdog" group funded and supported by billionaire George Soros, held a conference call with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and other liberal activists to strategize how best to counter the videos.
Instead of implementing a plan to fire staff responsible and train personnel to properly report such illegal activity to authorities, Planned Parenthood’s president and Vice President Stewart Schear joined the liberal activists on a conference call designed to strategize a response. Most of the discussion on the call reportedly centered on how to discredit the group that conducted the undercover operation, Live Action, and its president Lila Rose.
A blogger from the liberal web site AlterNet appeared on the call and asked a question about where Live Action gets its funding and complained that the group has ties to conservative organizations and leaders.
The blogger, Adele Stan, said Richards told the callers that the strategy to diffuse the criticism is essentially to ignore it and focus on rebuilding Planned Parenthood’s reputation as a provider of non-abortion services for women — even though its own figures shows abortion comprises a large total of its funding and abortions are essentially the only service offered to pregnant women.
“Cecile Richards urged progressive bloggers to spread the word that Planned Parenthood’s clients desperately need the health care provided to them by Planned Parenthood clinics, explaining that for many of the women who come in for basic gynecological services, Planned Parenthood provides the only health care they receive,” Stan wrote.
In addition, Media Matters' executive vice president Ari Rabin-Havt reportedly announced his organization's plans to continue targeting Live Action, "debunking the organization's claims, and focusing on its methods."
Media Matters decried the Live Action investigative videos as "seven minutes of nothing" and a "bogus smear." The group continued its assault Friday, accusing Live Action of doctoring the videos -- the same claim the group made when ACORN workers were caught covering up a purported prostitution ring in undercover videos last year.
“Instead of focusing on the fact that there is an organization who turned a blind eye to child sex-trafficking, an organization that receives forced federal funding, the group of senior fellows ostensibly chose the route which affords zero defense of women, born or unborn, thereby saving them from compromising their female-hostile ideologies: attack Lila Rose. These outlets don’t see the insanity in feigning disgust that the racket was exposed, not that it occurred at all,” conservative blogger Dana Loesch wrote Friday.
“The majority of the call was spent discussing ways to discredit Rose because of her funding. They surmise that some group which donates to her pro-life magazine is a group donated to by a group given money by the Koch Brothers. So says people who just cashed a $1 million-dollar check from George Soros,” Loesch added. “Apparently some in this country think that sex trafficking is a sin inherent to all other countries but the United States, as evidenced by their refusal to condemn what actually occurred on the Planned Parenthood videos. It’s a snotty, elitist view by people who make careers of condemning snooty, elitist views. Another contradiction which, alone, would preclude further criticism.”
She concluded: “Cecile Richards and Stewart Schear respectively, sounded the alarm for the Journolist 2.0 conference call. Perhaps the mainstream media wasn’t doing enough to reconcile what Planned Parenthood says about women’s rights to what their workers are seen on tape doing: talking to a pimp about underage girls as though the girls’s bodies were commodities. A cattle auction, but in an office.”
Additionally, liberal activist group MoveOn.org is also stepping forward to defend Planned Parenthood in the wake of the videos, demanding that various media outlets not air the footage.
“Tell The Hill to take down the article unless they update it to include this source’s history of lying, doctoring video and using illegal means to obtain information,” the group wrote in an e-mail to its supporters.
“We weren’t thinking of it strictly as a defense of Planned Parenthood,” MoveOn spokeswoman Ilyse Hogue said. “Our members have definitely expressed a need for years and years for media to report the background and do some investigations.”