The AP, taking their cue from the new because-she-said-so story offered by the L.A.Times, has run with a short clip on a story that claims Fred Thompson was working as a lobbyist for an abortion agency in 1991, giving the hearsay evidence against him but not offering the meat of his against the claim. The result is that the AP offers more "evidence" against Thompson than it does for him making it too easy to conclude he is "guilty" of the charge of lobbying for an abortion advocacy organization.
The AP did a wonderful job making this story seem more cut and dried than it really is, of course, but the fact is, this claim of Thompson's supposed lobbying for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association is nothing but an unproven (and maybe unprovable) claim against Thompson made by people who are well-known, far left activists and heavy contributors to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Naturally, neither the AP nor the L.A.Times wastes any time to detail the history of those making these claims against Thompson, leaving their relevant backgrounds completely out of the story.
Gee... why do you think they'd forget to let readers know that this story is based solely of the good word of Hillary supporters?
Here is the entire short AP post on the story:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Fred Thompson says he "has no recollection" of lobbying on behalf of a family planning group.
The LA times reports that back in 1991 Thompson lobbied then President George Bush to relax a regulation that prevents federally funded clinics from offering abortion counseling.
Minutes of a 1991 meeting, cited by the Times, said Thompson had been hired to help in discussions with the president's office.
A spokesman for Thompson says it's "not unusual" for lawyers to be asked to give advice to colleagues for clients with whom they personally disagree.
But the former head of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association says she specifically remembers discussing Thompson's lobbying work with him in phone conversations and during meals at Washington restaurants.
The former senator is weighing a Republican presidential bid as a social conservative.
First of all it becomes obvious that the story is "she says" against the Senator's denial of same. Sadly, the AP gives the claims of Judith DeSarno, the former head of the NFPRA, who says that she dealt with him but not the denials of Thompson's spokesman who says in the L.A.Times story referenced by the AP that no billing records exist to prove Thompson's lobbying work. Nor did the AP report the denials of John Sununu, who was the White House Chief of Staff under G.H.W.Bush and the one that Thompson would have lobbied for the NFPRA. Sununu says that he was never lobbied by Thompson on the issue.
Of course, we do get DeSarno's earnest claims that she had "phone conversations" and a few "meals" with Thompson on the issue juxtaposed with his plain and unelaborated upon denial that it ever happened, but no real proof by anyone here. A casual reading easily makes the "evidence" against Thompson seem stronger than that in his favor... even though both are just a she-said/he-said claim.
The last line of the AP's story is also interesting.
The former senator is weighing a Republican presidential bid as a social conservative.
I wonder how many times they have used such language to describe any of the Democrat candidates? Have they ever said that Hillary is running as the "social liberal candidate"? I doubt it. Additionally, how many Republicans are NOT running as a social conservative, anyway? (Even Rudy tried to run as a social conservative at first, until called upon it)
Still, there is more to this story than the AP lets on. Here are the sections in the L.A.Times story that tends to offer a little more exculpatory proof in favor of Thompson's position -- Not that the L.A.Times story is any more than a he-said/she-said story, either, mind you.
Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo adamantly denied that Thompson worked for the family planning group. "Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period," he said in an e-mail.
In a telephone interview, he added: "There's no documents to prove it, there's no billing records, and Thompson says he has no recollection of it, says it didn't happen." In a separate interview, John E. Sununu, the White House official whom the family planning group wanted to contact, said he had no memory of the lobbying and doubted it took place.
Sununu said in a telephone interview: "I don't recall him ever lobbying me on that at all. I don't think that ever happened. In fact, I know that never happened." He added that he had "absolutely no idea" whether Thompson had met with anybody else at the White House, but said it would have been a waste of time, given the president's opposition to abortion rights.
But, even the L.A.Times does not offer the full story of Thompson's side of the issue, hewing almost exclusively to the Abortionist's side of the story. Worse, the Times, like the AP, completely ignores the relevant ties to the Hillary Clinton campaign of the people making the accusations against Thompson.
Why is it that in any other story the backgrounds of those involved in a story would be so interesting to the media until it comes to this one, one has to wonder?
So, the Times offers us the story of Judy DeSarno who claims that Fred Thompson lobbied the White House for a pro abortion cause in 1991. The Times forgets to mention, though, that DeSarno is a well-known left wing activist who has recently been part of the efforts to torpedo John Roberts and Sam Alito's confirmations to the Supreme Court. Though the Times seems to forget to inform us of DeSarno's background it sure doesn't forget to remind us of Thompson's.
Of course, there's more. Nearly every person mentioned in the Times story has a heavy left-wing activist and/or Hillary Campaign connection, yet this is never once mentioned. When one discovers the backgrounds of those making these claims against Thompson, it smells more and more like a pure Hillary dirty trick swallowed whole by the AP and promulgated by the L.A.Times than a purely honest story.
The Times mentions former Representative Michael D. Barnes of Maryland, a man they benignly call Thompson's "colleague" in the law firm, but they don't inform the reader that he is a Democrat and now head of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, an anti-gun group. They also conveniently forget to mention that Barns employed Judy DeSarno as a senior aide -- a very cozy relationship, indeed.
The Times also did not clearly define how Thompson was associated with the Arent Fox law firm. According to the American Spectator, Thompson was not a partner in this firm. "During that time, Thompson, was 'of counsel' at the Arent Fox law firm in Washington, D.C. (meaning he was not a partner, but was provided an office for his use, in part because Thompson's own practice was based in Nashville, TN), and was used by the firm's partners as a 'draw' for clients and potential clients, according to a source at the firm familiar with the arrangements with Thompson and others with the 'of counsel' designation."
Hillary Campaign Contributors
Neither the Times nor the AP seem to mention that Arent Fox, the lawfirm that Thompson had an association with in the early 1990s, is now a heavy contributor to the Hillary Clinton campaign ($4,600.00 for contributions Filed 04/15/2007).
Nor do they let us know that Hunter Carter, a member of the Arent Fox law firm, gave the Clinton campaign several thousand dollars, as well as cash to the Kennedy for Senate campaign and various Gay and Lesbian PACS.
Marc S. Rauch, another Arent Fox law firm attorney, also gave several thousand in campaign donations to the Hillary for President committee and the Friends of Democrat Senator Charles Schumer.
Again, we have a story filled with heavy contributors to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign featured in a story that slams one of her rivals, one that is fast becoming a major threat to her candidacy, yet not once is the link to Hillary made nor are those who are attacking Thompson identified as heavily involved activists against the ideas that Thompson has always voted in favor of.
As the Spectator reminds us...
Thompson was listed as an "enemy" by Planned Parenthood during his time in the Senate. He was twice endorsed by the National Right Life Committee, and had a 100 percent voting record on life issues during his time in the Senate. He has publicly stated his opposition to Roe v. Wade, federal funding for abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
Records are, after all, extremely important for a candidate and with Thompson we have a pretty solid voting record against abortion, for the 2nd Amendment, and positive on most conservative positions in general. (Thompson's voting record is easily researched. Click HERE for Thompson's voting record)
This story ends up being nothing but claims made with no evidence to back them up so far. Additionally, the people making the claims are not identified as activists and Hillary Clinton campaigners which might help the reader better put their claims in context. All in all, this is a very badly reported, partisan story that slams Fred Thompson instead of a fully investigated story, fairly presented, so that readers can make a more informed decision on whether to believe the claims made therein.
Yeah, they have Fred in their cross hairs, for sure.