HuffPo Fail: Makes Up Nonsensical Accusation Against Rick Santorum

That darned Byron York. If it hadn’t been for his meddling, the Huffington Post and its allies on the left would have really created quite a mess for themselves spreading a false story that former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum somehow thinks that liberals are out to make pro-lifers feel uncomfortable taking a shower in public places.

While it is true that Santorum did mention the subject very briefly in a speech recently to the group Students for Life, the context in which he did was completely left out by the rabidly left-wing website. Eager to smear Christian conservatives, the Post ran with this breathless headline: “Rick Santorum: Liberals ‘Make It Uncomfortable For Students’ To Shower At The Gym.”

One wonders where the HuffPo writer, one Nick Wing, came up with the basis for his article since the website he pulled the video of Santorum from did not actually make the strange accusation.

The context of Santorum’s discussion about pro-lifers being intimidated at a YMCA facility, which Wing or his editors could easily have obtained, referred to an incident which happened last month in Austin, Texas where pro-choice activists managed to get a group of Students for Life members blocked from showering at a local YMCA facility.

In other words, the Huffington Post reported the literal opposite of the truth. For the reality, see this local news report from last month which York linked to in a Tweet:

The mix of high school and college students put together a 30-hour, cross country bus tour, traveling to Austin to show their support of the Texas anti-abortion bill. [...]

For one week the students planned to rally during the day, shower at the Town Lake YMCA, and then head to a church to sleep. [...]

But Tuesday morning, Coombs [the group’s coordinator] got an unexpected call from the Town Lake YMCA.

“Said, again, ‘You guys were respectful. We have no problems with you, in particular, however there were some people that support abortion who talked to our staff, intimidated them.’ They actually said that they felt threatened, and they asked us not to come back,” Coombs said.

As of this writing, the Post has posted a summary of the description of the context of Santorum’s speech above its original incorrect story although it has not issued a formal correction and retraction.

If you have time, reading through some of the outraged comments at the false accusation is mildly amusing. Many of the readers appear not to realize that the story and headline they are reacting to isn’t true at all. Currently it is the ninth most-popular story on the left-leaning news aggregator.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013