Two New Strikes Against the Video-Scammers – Is This Tactic Finally Out?

Ideas and Issues

planned_parenthood_capitol_ap_imgNew Orleans    The anti-abortion fakers with the front organization, Center for Medical Progress, have been the right wing and Republicans’ cat’s paw for months now in their relentless attack on Planned Parenthood. Without a doubt they have cost the organization time and money, and curtailed desperately needed services in one community after another, because of their scurrilous sneak attacks and unsubstantiated allegations that Planned Parenthood was selling fetuses.

Politically, the organization has built up sturdy bulwarks against these smears. The Department of Health and Human Services has forcibly engaged a number of the states who tried to arbitrarily defund the organization. The threats to shut down the government were met with a more serious promise from President Obama to veto any conditions, and deals were made, House Speakers were switched out, and supporters held firm.

More recently the legal front has turned a trickle against these folks into a tidal wave. A female Republican prosecutor for Harris County, Texas, where Houston is located, agreed with the Lieutenant-Governor to investigate Planned Parenthood’s operations, but a funny thing happened after the grand jury “followed the evidence where it took them,” and instead issued indictments against principals with the California-based video-scammers for falsifying government documents and the like. We could hear the hot air escaping from Congressional balloons all over the country.

The beef on misusing government property rested on creating fake drivers’ licenses like they were teen drinkers or something. Their defense had been unusual. They claimed they were journalists and this was the way investigative reporters operate. Needless to say, such a defense was met with guffaws at best.

More seriously a federal judge in California has now issued an injunction that these folks cannot release anymore of the videos they took of Planned Parenthood in this manner. Furthermore the judge indicated that he had based his order on the fact that he had watched hundreds of hours of their videotape and could find no evidence that anyone “admitted to engaging in, agreed to engage in, or expressed interest in engaging in potentially illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit.”

Bam! You can hear misogynists, Presidential candidates, evangelicals, and other self-proclaimed moralists’ jaws flapping wide open when they hear that. Talk about much ado about nothing! They don’t have squat on Planned Parenthood!

After all of the James O’Keefe mess where his editing was malicious and his feet made of clay in recent years it seemed like this gotcha video tactic, begun in the assault against ACORN and continued against various progressive institutions from NPR to NEA and programs, might have finally played out. Now with the latest humiliation in the mayhem caused by the video-scammers and Planned Parenthood, can anyone ever believe any of this balderdash again? Has this tactic finally worn out its unwelcome role in the American political scene?

Let’s hope we don’t need a third strike to finally rule this out and say, lesson learned.