Utter #FAIL: Kaplan/Amazon Post Hits New Low in Virginia Political “Reporting”

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    You know, there truly are days when I think perhaps there still might be SOME hope for the Washington Kaplan Amazon Post. Then I see “reporting” like this mound of reeking excretory secretions. So, let’s get the story straight:

    a) Ken Cuccinelli for years has supported a “Personhood Amendment;” b) The Washington Post’s own “Fact-Checker” gave Cuccinelli “Three Pinocchios” for claiming that he never tried to make contraception illegal; c) Ken Cuccinelli voted AGAINST legislation aimed at clarifying that birth control is NOT equivalent to abortion; d) it goes on and on, endlessly pretty much (see the “flip” for all the sordid details of Cuccinelli’s “long record of fighting common forms of contraception,” courtesy of American Bridge).

    Now, here’s the way the Washington Kaplan Amazon Post handles the story.

    1. Has a wildly false, misleading headline. In fact, Cuccinelli dodged the question on personhood, lied to the people at the Ashby Ponds retirement community in Ashburn, and lied to reporters afterwards. Hello Post? THAT should be the headline!

    2. Adds an even worse subheading, which tries to claim that it’s Democrats who are “painting” Cooch as an “extremist on such issues,” not the FACT that he really IS an “extremist on such issues” (aka, far outside the mainstream of where the vast majority of Virginians, and Americans, are on contraception).

    3. Waits 9 paragraphs to point out that Cuccinelli’s lying.

    4. Totally BURIES his OWN newspaper’s OWN “fact checker”‘s “Three Pinnochios” conclusion that “while Cuccinelli ‘might not have specifically sought to ban contraception, that likely would have been the practical effect of the bill he co-sponsored.‘”

    In sum, this article basically violates every tenet of good journalism. It buries/destroys the lede, which in this case is Cuccinelli’s breathaking lies. It epitomizes mindless, cowardly “both sides” “reporting.” It refuses to clearly tell the reader what is accurate, what is a blatant lie, etc. It downplays and/or ignores the fact that Cuccinelli has extremely strong views on this issue, which he’s repeated a gazillion times over the years, and also a clear-as-can-be voting record, also of many, many years. (UPDATE: Almost forgot to mention Video: Cuccinelli Again Urges Bishops to Go to Jail Over “contraceptive, abortifacient mandate”)

    And no, this isn’t Jennifer Rubin we’re talking about; we expect this crap from her, as she’s not a real reporter, nor does she have the slightest bit of integrity. But when a serious journalist does it? At that point, you’ve really got to question whether this newspaper’s even worth saving. Are you watching this, Mr. Bezos?!? Can you still take your money and run?!?

    Cuccinelli Has A Long Record Of Fighting Common Forms of Contraception

    The Washington Post Fact-Checker Gave Cuccinelli “Three Pinocchios” For Claiming That He Never Tried To Make Contraception Illegal. According to the Washington Post, during a gubernatorial debate, Cuccinelli was asked “And on contraception, would you again seek to make several forms, common forms, of contraception illegal, as you did several years ago?” Cuccinelli responded, “, I certainly didn’t do that several years ago. My focus in this race is on growing jobs for the middle class, and supporting them and not the well-connected. There are people, like me, who sincerely hold beliefs about protecting life, and I certainly bring those with me into the governor’s race.” The Washington Post gave Cuccinelli “Three Pinocchios.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]

    Cuccinelli Co-Sponsored A Bill That Would Have Added Language To The Virginia Constitution Stating That “Life Begins At The Moment Of Fertilization” And Granting Full Protection Of The Law To “Each Born And Preborn Human Being From The Moment Of Fertilization.” According to the Washington Post, “In 2007, when he was a member of the Virginia Senate, Cuccinelli was co-sponsor of House Bill 2797, which would have added this line to the Virginia constitution: ‘That life begins at the moment of fertilization and the right to enjoyment of life guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization.'” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]

    The Washington Post Fact Checker Wrote That A Ban On Contraception “Likely Would Have Been The Practical Effect Of The Bill” That Cuccinelli Co-Sponsored. According to the Washington Post, “We were told we would receive a response from the Cuccinelli campaign, but never got one. Cuccinelli’s answer was too cute by half, perhaps an effort to soften some of his conservatism. While he might not have specifically sought to ban contraception, that likely would have been the practical effect of the bill he co-sponsored.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]

    PolitiFact Agreed That Personhood Laws “Could Limit Some Forms Of Birth Control.” According to PolitiFact, “Romney supports laws that define life as beginning at conception, but we have not found that these laws bar the use of contraceptives — at least, certainly not the most common forms. Personhood laws could limit some forms of birth control, but Romney has not supported those measures. And Romney has repeatedly said he supports the use of contraceptives.” [Politifact, 11/2/12]

    Cuccinelli Pushed Passage of Radical “Personhood” Bill Which Jeopardized Contraception Access And Risked Criminal Prosecutions For Miscarriages

    Cuccinelli Pushed for Passage of 2012 Fetal Personhood Bill. According to the News Advance, “This personhood bill recognizes a scientific reality. Life begins at conception. Make sure you talk to your senators. Advocate for this issue.” [News Advance, 2/16/12]

    Legislation That Defines A Fertilized Egg As A Human Being Would Ban All Abortions, Including Those Resulting From Rape And Incest, And Would Declare Common Forms Of Birth Control, Like The IUD, As Murder. According to New York Times, “A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder. […]The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and ‘morning-after pills,’ which prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.” [New York Times, 10/26/11]

    Virginia Bill Would Open Families and Doctors to Lawsuits over Miscarriages. According to the Washington Post, “‘This bill requires every single code section in Virginia that uses the word ‘person’ to apply to a fetus,’ Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) said. ‘That opens families and doctors to a wide variety of criminal and civil lawsuits for health-care decisions not only in cases of unwanted pregnancies, but every pregnancy and even miscarriage.'” [Washington Post, 2/13/12]

    Cuccinelli Cosponsored Personhood Legislation That Would Criminalize Common Forms Of Birth Control As Well As Abortions Resulting From Rape Or Incest

    In 2007 Cuccinelli Cosponsored A So-Called “Personhood” Bill. On January 10, 2007, Sen. Cuccinelli cosponsored legislation that would expand “the right to enjoyment of life” protected by Article 1, § 1 of the Virginia Constitution to “preborn human beings from the moment of fertilization.” The bill was rejected by a 43-53 vote in the Virginia House of Delegates on February 2, 2007. [HB 2797, 2/5/07]

    Legislation That Defines A Fertilized Egg As A Human Being Would Ban All Abortions, Including Those Resulting From Rape And Incest, And Would Declare Common Forms Of Birth Control, Like The IUD, As Murder. According to New York Times, “A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder. […]The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and ‘morning-after pills,’ which prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.” [New York Times, 10/26/11]

    American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: So Called “Personhood” Legislation Would Abolish Regular Forms Of Birth Control Like The IUD And The Common, Everyday Birth Control Pill. According to a statement from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Although the individual wording in these proposed measures varies from state to state, they all attempt to give full legal rights to a fertilized egg by defining ‘personhood’ from the moment of fertilization, before conception (ie, pregnancy/ implantation) has occurred. This would have wide-reaching harmful implications for the practice of medicine and on women’s access to contraception, fertility treatments, pregnancy termination, and other essential medical procedures. These ‘personhood’ proposals, as acknowledged by proponents, would make condoms, natural family planning, and spermicides the only legally allowed forms of birth control. Thus, some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives could be banned in states that adopt ‘personhood’ measures. Women’s very lives would be jeopardized if physicians were prohibited from terminating life-threatening ectopic and molar pregnancies. Women who experience pregnancy loss or other negative pregnancy outcomes could be prosecuted in some cases.” [ACOG, 2/10/12]

    Personhood Amendments, Which Aimed To Define A Fertilized Embryo As A Person, Would Make Forms Of Birth Control, Like The Common, Everyday Birth Control Pill, Illegal Because They Prevent Implantation Of A Fertilized Egg. According to Salon, “But [Mississippi’s] Initiative 26, which would change the definition of ‘person’ in the Mississippi state Constitution to ‘include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof,’ is more than just an absolute ban on abortion and a barely veiled shot at Roe v. Wade – although it is both. By its own logic, the initiative would almost certainly ban common forms of birth control like the IUD and the morning-after pill, call into question the legality of the common birth-control pill, and even open the door to investigating women who have suffered miscarriages. … [T]he Personhood movement hopes to do nothing less than reclassify everyday, routine birth control as abortion. The medical definition of pregnancy is when a fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterine wall. If this initiative passes, and fertilized eggs on their own have full legal rights, anything that could potentially block that implantation – something a woman’s body does naturally all the time – could be considered murder. Scientists say hormonal birth-control pills and the morning-after pill work primarily by preventing fertilization in the first place, but the outside possibility, never documented, that an egg could be fertilized anyway and blocked is enough for some pro-lifers.” [Salon, 10/26/11]

    Cuccinelli Voted Against Legislation To Clarify Birth Control Is Not Abortion



    Cuccinelli Voted Against Senate Bill 1104, Which Established That “Contraception Is Not A Form Of Abortion.”
    According to the Virginian-Pilot, “A bill stating that contraception is not a form of abortion may be in trouble in the House of Delegates. The House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions declined to vote on SB1104. Instead, it sent the measure to the Courts of Justice Committee. The author of the legislation – Sen. Mary M. Whipple, D-Arlington – said it will be hard to win approval from the Courts panel. Whipple said she has been concerned by the avalanche of bills that have sought to restrict abortion. She said she was especially troubled by HB1741, which is pending in the Senate. It would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense any prescription they believe would cause an abortion. Birth control could fall under that category, Whipple said.” [Virginian-Pilot, 2/12/03; Senate Bill 1104, 2003]

    Cuccinelli Voted To Send Senate Bill 456, Which Established That “Contraception Is Not Abortion,” Back To Committee. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “The Senate rejected a ‘contraception is not abortion’ bill by voting 24-14-1 to send the measure back to committee to consider next session.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/04; Senate Bill 456, 2004]

    • libra

      Even if we didn’t have Cucinelli’s record — both of being an extremist on the issue of contraception and of lying about it — we have a warning in our next door neighbor, North Carolina, where the R guy ran as an apparent moderate, who wasn’t gonna do anything drastic, oh no, nay, never. And then signed, with undue speed, every radical new law that his right-wing buddies presented him with. Including the ones he hadn’t even fully read or comprehended.

      No mistake: this year’s elections are truly vital. On every level, not just the gubernatorial one.