Home 2019 Elections PolitiFact #FAILs Yet Again, This Time on Ed Gillespie and “Personhood”

PolitiFact #FAILs Yet Again, This Time on Ed Gillespie and “Personhood”


I’ve criticized PolitiFact repeatedly on this blog – see here and here – for its many failings in fact-finding. The latest example: their wildly NON-factual (albeit highly creative) attempt at claiming that Ed Gillespie really does NOT support an extreme, anti-women “personhood” amendment.

That’s right, according to PolitiFactFiction, Mark Warner’s statement during their debate the other day, that Gillespie “supports a personhood amendment that is so far out of the mainstream that it would ban certain common forms of contraception,” is “false” according to PolitiFactFiction. How so? According to PolitiFactFiction, even though Gillespie “was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2004 when the party adopted a national platform calling for a personhood amendment,” and even though he was endorsed in 2014 by the anti-abortion group “National Right to Life” (which praised Gillespie for having “worked closely with pro-life leaders to ensure the platform remained resolute in seeking to restore legal protection to unborn children threatened by abortion”), somehow they conclude that Gillespie really doesn’t support a “personhood” amendment. Got that?

Again, what on earth is this crazy “ruling” based on? Uhhhh…well, PolitiFactFiction argues that on Gillespie’s website, he “doesn’t mention a personhood amendment.” Well, there you have it, he didn’t mention it! Actually, you really don’t have it, as the absence of a positive assertion on a particular issue doesn’t prove anything at all. So much for that “reasoning.”

But wait, there’s more! That’s right, PolitiFactFiction also emailed Gillespie’s campaign — an unbiased source if there ever was one (snark) — who denied (shocker!) that Gillespie supports a “personhood amendment,” at least during the few seconds it took them to answer the question, presumably. Got that?

Meanwhile, let’s review a few actual, real, political facts – PolitiFacts, you might call ’em. 😉

*The 2004 Republican platform said: “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

*Gillespie was chair of the Republican National Committee at the time, even listed first on the platform committee that drafted the above “personhood” language.

*The 2004 GOP platform was anything but a meaningless document, in Gillespie’s opinion. To the contrary, Gillespie stated at the time, “I do think that platforms matter, I think that you know political parties are based on principles.” That’s right: principles like making embryos and fetuses equivalent to full-fledged persons under the U.S. constitution, which would effectively outlaw all abortions – including in the cases of rape, incest, or the life/health of the mother, as well as in-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, and several widely-used forms of contraceptives.

*In endorsing Gillespie earlier this year, National Right to Life wrote that Gillespie “worked closely with pro-life leaders to ensure the platform remained resolute in seeking to restore legal protection to unborn children.”

*At the 2014 Virginia Republican convention, Gillespie asserted, “I will stand up for innocent human life, which begins at conception and ends at natural death” (see 12 minutes into this video). If that’s not “personhood,” what is?

*Given that National Right to Life did not respond to PolitiFactFiction’s requests for comment, can we assume that National Right to Life now regrets its endorsement of flip-floppin’ Ed? Or, has Gillespie really NOT flip flopped? Has he “etch-a-sketched,” like his former boss (and pathological liar) Willard “Mitt” Romney? What on earth is going on here?

Anyway, the bottom line is this: despite overwhelming evidence that Gillespie has supported “personhood” at least since 2004, up to and including this year’s convention which nominated him for U.S. Senate, PolitiFactFiction somehow concludes that Gillespie does NOT support “personhood.” Certainly, PolitiFactFiction deserves major points for creativity in “pretzel logic” on that one. But “fact?” Not so much.

Speaking of this organization’s struggle with its core mission, I hear that in upcoming findings, PolitiFactFiction will conclude that:

*”Up” is actually “down”

*”Right” is actually “wrong”

*”Black” is actually “white”

*”Hot” is actually “cold”

*”Wet” is actually “dry”

*”War” is actually “peace”

*”True” is actually “false”

And last but not least:

*”Fact” is actually “fiction”

Yes, that was “snark,” but seriously, after this ruling, nothing PolitiFactFiction does will ever surprise me again. Perhaps they should just change their name to PolitiWhatever or PolitiCowards? Seems like those names would at least be more accurate, not that they appear to care about accuracy over there.


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