MSNBC Feminists Roll Out Plush Carpet for Planned Parenthood

November 30th, 2015 4:31 PM

Planned Parenthood executives appeared twice on MSNBC on Monday with female interviewers who acted more like facilitators than journalists. Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Mitchell noted that Republican responses to the violence were “slow in coming,” and suggested that “they were taking their time for a variety of reasons, whether it's Second Amendment or abortion issues. Certainly there's been a lot of campaign rhetoric and a lot of false claims as well, and the Democrats for the most part came out right away trying to make that connection.”

Richards would go on and criticize Republican members of Congress for discussing the defunding of Planned Parenthood during this past weekend, something that was scheduled prior to the shooting in Colorado. Later, Mitchell would insist that “this is not a new development, I should say, as you know very well that before Planned Parenthood was targeted in this particular way, there have been events, terrorist events over the years, over the decades, against doctors, individual doctors and clinics.”

Mitchell also supportively asked “Where do we stand with the defunding issue in Congress, because of the undercover videos, the fetal tissue issue which became so toxic?” Richards replied, “Planned Parenthood is fully cooperating with Congress. We have provided tens of thousands of pages of documents. I spent five hours in front of a congressional committee. We are fully cooperative. They have found zero evidence of any wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood.”

Finally, as for the “rhetoric” on whether or not Planned Parenthood is engaging in the selling of baby parts? Richards replied that “There are only a handful of centers in the country that allow women to donate fetal tissue. There is no profit involved. There is nothing like that. In fact, at this point, not a single clinic in this country is receiving even reimbursement for costs. This is an issue that has been, I think that has created a lot of hysteria by these incredibly highly edited videos.” Well, Mitchell must have thought that was enough to put away the controversy on those “toxic” videos by the never-mentioned on MSNBC, but always alluded to, Center for Medical Progress.

Earlier on Monday, Tamron Hall tossed softballs at Planned Parenthood’s Executive Vice President, Dawn Laguens. Hall introduced a clip of Carly Fiorina on Fox News Sunday, by pointing out that “to your point, the videos in question, at least those that many people can find online, have been heavily edited and Planned Parenthood was legally permitted to get reimbursements for organs that were donated for research.” 

The claim that the videos are edited has been pushed by the media before, on CNN, on NBC Nightly News, and on Good Morning America.

Hall then asked Laguens about Carly Fiorina, but not without setting the table for the Planned Parenthood crowd. “Carly Fiorina, as you pointed out, we now know in that debate she claimed to see video, that she described in great detail but video that never surfaced. To your point, the videos in question, at least those that many people can find online, have been heavily edited and Planned Parenthood was legally permitted to get reimbursements for organs that were donated for research.

Then she asked Laguens about Fiorina accusing the left of “demonizing a messenger.” Laguens retorted, “Well, extreme disappointment that anyone in this moment in the days after a tragedy like this could be politicizing, raising arguments and lies that she knows have been disproven and trying to make political points at a time when the focus should be on the families, the injured, and trying to get healthcare back for those women in Colorado Springs who have now lost access to care.”

Laguens wasn’t finished though, she moved onto criticizing Ben Carson’s statement on the shooting as well, declaring that “the hateful rhetoric” he stated we need to reduce has “come from the anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood group who also know that most Americans, proven in every poll, support Planned Parenthood.” That anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood group in question, the originator of the Planned Parenthood videos, is the Center for Medical Progress.

Finally, Hall asked Laguens to speculate on the motive in the shooting, despite the fact that no evidence has been released by the investigators on it. Laguens graciously took the time to politicize the situation. “The more that people are out there demonizing, saying offensive and untrue things about an organization, calling us outlandish names and making really obscene charges that are not true, the more people, even if they are mentally unstable, can then decide that they're being asked to take action.”

Transcripts are below.

2015-11-30-MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall

TAMRON HALL: One of those presidential candidates is Carly Fiorina, as you pointed out, we now know in that debate she claimed to see video, that she described in great detail but video that never surfaced. To your point, the videos in question, at least those that many people can find online, have been heavily edited and Planned Parenthood was legally permitted to get reimbursements for organs that were donated for research. With all of that said, I do want to play what Carly Fiorina said just this Sunday, yesterday, regarding the attacks on that Planned Parenthood center.

[clip of Carly Fiorina on Fox News Sunday]

CARLY FIORINA: So typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don't agree with the message. The vast majority of Americans agree, what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong. What I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts is this is typical left wing tactics.

HALL: What is your response to that?

DAWN LAGUENS: Well, extreme disappointment that anyone in this moment in the days after a tragedy like this could be politicizing, raising arguments and lies that she knows have been disproven and try to make political points at a time when the focus should be on the families, the injured, and trying to get healthcare back for those women in Colorado Springs who have now lost access to care. And even her compatriot, if you will, Ben Carson, this morning saying we need to dial back the hateful rhetoric, all of which I would suggest has come from the anti-abortion, anti-planned parenthood group who also know that most Americans, proven in every poll, support Planned Parenthood, 1 in 5 American women having gone to Planned Parenthood for healthcare some time in her life.

HALL: Carly Fiorina, in that remark, said the media is demonizing the messenger. Here again you've had some of the other candidates, Donald Trump, refer to this suspect as someone mentally ill. We do know that sources have indicated that he mentioned baby parts here. There's been a great amount of caution from I think the media, as well as the investigators not to immediately tie this to the rhetoric on the political campaign and the conversation around these edited videos. With that said, what do you believe was the motive here?

LAGUENS: Well, again, I'm going to defer to the authors and let them conclude their investigation. But I think it's unrealistic and most people would say that the more that people are out there demonizing, saying offensive and untrue things about an organization, calling us outlandish names and making really obscene charges that are not true, the more people, even if they are mentally unstable, can then decide that they're being asked to take action. Of course we need to be asking why people have mental illness are being allowed access to ak-47s to terrorize not just health centers but theaters and schools and not asking why those groups and organizations and places have to be significantly fortified.

HALL: As was this facility, as I understand the security had been, to your word, fortified in many ways with extra cameras and security to protect the staff and the patients. Dawn, thank you so much for your time, we greatly appreciate it.

2015-11-30-MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports

MITCHELL: The political parties have been pretty well divided by wedge issues, social issues, including abortion rights, for many years now. We have seen this in so many cycles. But it does seem now as though the divide is even more pronounced than in the past. 

RICHARDS: I have never seen the kind of rhetoric that we are seeing from presidential candidates that are demeaning not only Planned Parenthood but women who go to Planned Parenthood, doctors at Planned Parenthood, even the fact that there is safe and legal abortion in America. I do think that this political season, it's as toxic as I have ever seen. Again, the extraordinary thing and what we have seen over the last few months is as these attacks have escalated on health centers and on Planned Parenthood, the support of Planned Parenthood has only grown. Hundreds of thousands of new supporters have joined Planned Parenthood because they are now realizing that access to basic healthcare, not only safe and legal abortion, but other preventive care that we provide is actually at risk in America.

MITCHELL: Where do we stand with the defunding issue in Congress, because of the undercover videos, the fetal tissue issue which became so toxic? 

RICHARDS: As I think you know, Planned Parenthood is fully cooperating with congress. We have provided tens of thousands of pages of documents. I spent five hours in front of a congressional committee. We are fully cooperative. They have found zero evidence of any wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood. We now have a record five committees by this U.S. House of representatives trying to investigate Planned Parenthood. I frankly think that what I wish Congress would spend their time on is thinking about how to get more women in this country healthcare that's affordable and accessible, the kind that we provide to nearly three million people every single year. 

MITCHELL: Can you respond to the continuing rhetoric about selling baby parts? 

RICHARDS: Absolutely, Andrea. We have been very clear, there are only a handful of centers in the country that allow women to donate fetal tissue. There is no profit involved. There is nothing like that.