Accuracy in Media


As far as Vox was concerned, CPAC amounted to a bunch of crazy conservative speakers who insist, falsely, that Democrats have gone off the deep end.

But the facts do not support Vox’s key assertions.

In “CPAC speakers keep saying Democrats want to ban cows and legalize infanticide. They don’t” – subhead: “If it sounds beyond parody, that’s because it is” – Vox’s Aaron Rupar makes the case the speakers were taking advantage of obvious mistakes.

“A Green New Deal fact sheet accidentally released by the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., last month mentioned carbon emitted by ‘farting cows’ in the context of long-term climate goals,” Rupar began. “Comments Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., made during a recent interview were misinterpreted by some as an endorsement of infanticide.

“These gaffes might not seem like huge events in a vacuum. But they ended up spawning perhaps the two central themes of the first days of the Conservative Political Action Committee conference – a conference that’s been far more concerned with demonizing Democrats than it has been with articulating any sort of positive Republican vision for the country.”

Rupar went on to say: “Speaker after speaker twisted the aforementioned Green New Deal fact sheet – which had several inaccuracies of its own – to falsely accuse Democrats of wanting to ban cows altogether.”

The fact sheet states the goal of the Green New Deal is to get to zero net-emissions rather than zero emissions within 10 years “because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.” The only way to get rid of the emissions of cows is to get rid of cows.

The fact sheet was not released accidentally. It was withdrawn hastily after opponents ridiculed it for calling for the end of cows and air travel, rebuilding or retrofitting every structure in America – residential or commercial – to meet green specifications, and promising an income to “those unable or unwilling to work.”

And Northam’s comments were not in any way misinterpreted.

His quote on WTOP radio in Washington: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Northam was talking about legislation proposed in the Virginia General Assembly that would have allowed women – with the approval of just one doctor – to abort their children even after they had gone into labor or beyond. What he contemplated in the radio interview was how to handle instances where the abortion could not be performed soon enough and a second chance, of sorts, was needed.

The response of the governor – who himself is a doctor focused on treating children – was that his response on the radio show “focused on the tragic and extremely rare cases in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor.”

Rupar wrote: “Despite Northam’s clarification, a parade of CPAC speakers misinterpreted what he said to smear Democrats as aspiring baby murderers.” This ignores the controversy that prompted the governor’s remarks – testimony from a sponsor of the bill mentioned above that confirmed women in labor could still access abortion in Virginia under her proposed law.

Vice President Mike Pence said that “with Democrats standing for late-term abortion and infanticide and a culture of death, I promise you this president, this party and this movement will always stand for the unborn. We will always defend the unalienable right to life,” Ruger cited, and a speech by Donald Trump Jr., in which he discussed “post-term abortion” and said, “That’s called murder. This isn’t women’s health care. If the baby is born, and it’s alive, the woman is no longer at risk.”

These comments, Rupar wrote, “are both false and dangerous. They represent the types of beliefs about abortion that have motivated people who have committed acts of violence against abortion providers in the past.”




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