Watch and wonder:
Here’s the transcript of the exchange between ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Carly Fiorina:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Another powerful moment last night was when you talked about those Planned Parenthood tapes. But analysts who’ve watched all 12-plus hours say the scene you’ve described, that harrowing scene you described, actually isn’t in those tapes. Did you misspeak?
FIORINA: No, I didn’t misspeak and I don’t know who you’re speaking about in terms of watching the tapes, but I have seen those images. I don’t know whether you’ve watched the tapes, George. Most people haven’t. Certainly none of the Democrats who are still defending Planned Parenthood have watched those tapes, Planned Parenthood needs to be defended [sic]. This kind of butchery erodes at the character of our nation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Sarah Kliff, actually, writing in Vox, watched all 12 hours and she concluded, “Either Fiorina hasn’t watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage, because what she says happens in the Planned Parenthood videos simply does not exist.”
FIORINA: Well, you know, there’s a lot of commentary about these tapes being doctored. In fact, that’s what the mainstream media keeps talking about is the tapes and their origins. Rest assured, I have seen the images that I talked about last night. Rest assured that human lives are being aborted, fully formed, in order to harvest body parts. Rest assured that this erodes at the character of our nation. And once again I will say I dare Mrs. Clinton and President Obama, two defenders of Planned Parenthood, to watch these videotapes.
Evidently there are no fact-checkers — or persons with eyeballs — at the American Broadcasting Company. Because as I wrote yesterday, Sarah Kliff was wrong. In fact, Sarah Kliff — whom you might remember as the Washington Post reporter who dismissed Kermit Gosnell’s slaughterhouse as a “local crime” story — did not watch “all 12 hours” of the Planned Parenthood tapes. In the updated version of her piece from yesterday, she was astonished to report that there were more videos — for instance, one in which, just as Fiorina said onstage, a fully-formed fetus’s leg is kicking. Yet Kliff still maintains that that could not be what Fiorina was talking about.
On one hand, this is extraordinary; on the other, it’s positively typical. In today’s NY Post, Andrea Peyser writes: “A video showing a fully formed fetus on a table may have been a figment of Fiorina’s fevered imagination. Each video made by an anti-abortion group, The Center for Medical Progress, merely shows people talking.” She accuses Fiorina of “pushing” a “fabricated” “tale.” These are the sorts of things you say only if you haven’t watched the videos — which, as Carly rightly suspects, Stephanopoulos, the rest of the mainstream media, and most Democratic lawmakers obviously haven’t. Their ignorant comments about the videos prove it.
Fiorina’s Planned Parenthood statement at the debate is a huge coup. She has forced the mainstream media to cover videos that they have tried desperately to ignore for months, and made them look like fools in the process. Carly, rightly, is not backing down. Republicans should not, either.