For what seems like the hundredth time, Senate Republicans are being falsely accused of playing politics with Zika-virus research funding. The latest culprit of peddling this claim? Daniel Denvir of Salon, who recently accused the New York Times — yes, the New York Times! — of favoring the GOP in its coverage of the Senate battle over a bill that would fund Zika-virus prevention and treatment. Denvir’s criticism rests on his exceptionally dishonest representation of the bill’s contents and his deceitful claim that Republicans are stymieing the legislation due to their opposition to abortion.
As I reported in early August, contrary to leading Democrats’ continued assertions, the bill contains no “poison pill” to attack access to “reproductive health care.” Denvir accuses Republicans of making “Zika funding the latest hostage to their crusade to defund Planned Parenthood,” but the bill does no such thing. Rather, it was Democrats blocked the bill for the third time on Tuesday because it doesn’t contain an earmark specifically granting extra funding to Planned Parenthood. This fact — evident from a brief scan of the bill itself — hasn’t stopped liberal media outlets from mischaracterizing the issue, but it seems, in this instance, that the New York Times is telling the truth. Denvir’s bogus attack on Senate Republicans merely verifies the Times’ report.