Turns out all the Planned Parenthood “sting” videos were deceptively edited. Will some mainstream reporters who legitimized the story care?


Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

I Love Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood isn’t taking the bogus “sells baby parts!” attacks on them sitting down, and commissioned an independent expert to analyze the supposed full video footage released by the fake Center for Medical Progress outfit.

Per Sarah Kliff of Vox.com:

Planned Parenthood hired a forensic research firm to analyze about 12 hours of footage that the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) secretly taped when it had actors pose as employees of a fetal tissue procurement company.

“This analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation, but we did identify cuts, skips, missing tape, and changes in camera angle,” the report from Fusion GPS, the firm that Planned Parenthood hired, concludes.

CMP took no steps to hide the fact that it edited its shorter, more widely viewed clips of undercover meetings with Planned Parenthood. The group interspersed news clips and overlaid text on top of the video; there’s clear evidence of production work.

But the group held that these “full footage” tapes were complete, unbiased presentations of its Planned Parenthood meetings. If CMP also edited these “full” tapes — ones that it told viewers were complete footage — then the group is guilty of deceiving the public the exact same way it deceived Planned Parenthood.

It appears CMS altered the transcripts they released in addition to the videos:

CMP has published, alongside its videos, what it has said to be full transcripts of each undercover meeting. It hosts those transcripts here. I relied on these transcripts for an article I wrote last week, particularly to double-check a quote I’d written down while watching the video.

The new report suggests, however, that the transcript has inaccuracies. Fusion GPS had an independent transcription agency make its own transcription. Comparing the two, it found that the CMP transcript had “over 4,000 words of dialog that does not appear in the independent transcript or the video.” In that dialogue, a Planned Parenthood official “allegedly discusses her ‘a la carte’ budget … and engages in a detailed discussion of intact fetuses and the use of medically induced abortions.”

This could suggest a few things. Most innocently it could show that CMP did a sloppy job transcribing the long videos. Or it could show that there is either fabricated dialogue in the transcript, or possibly transcription of dialogue that did indeed happen but was cut from the video labeled as “full footage.”

Per Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times on how it was CMP reps, not those of Planned Parenthood, who were doing the “haggling”:

From the start, CMP’s video campaign against Planned Parenthood depended on its target audience not taking the time to examine the complete videos or transcripts (or supposedly complete versions). That’s because its misrepresentations are evident, sometimes even in the short versions.

Consider the video of a Feb. 6, 2015, meeting between Planned Parenthood official Mary Gatter and two CMP representatives masquerading as reps of a company interested in buying fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood clinics. (One is possibly Daleiden himself.) CMP’s video is here. Its full transcript is here.

CMP’s heading on this video is: “Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods.” In fact, viewing the video and reading the transcript shows that all the “haggling” is done by CMP’s own people, who keep trying to get Gatter to raise her price for fetal tissue.

Contrary to CMP’s assertion that Planned Parenthood is aiming to profit from fetal tissue, which would be illegal, the transcript shows Gatter stating: “We’re not in it for the money, and we don’t want to be in a position of being accused of selling tissue, and stuff like that. On the other hand, there are costs associated with the use of our space.” The law says that providers of fetal tissue can recover their costs.

As for “changing abortion methods,” Gatter reminds them that the rules forbid changing abortion procedures to preserve tissue samples if it would alter the treatment of the mother. She doesn’t agree to do that, despite the wheedling of the CMP plants but says she would ask the clinic’s doctor if one or another technique would be equivalent. It’s a CMP plant who calls the distinction “technicalities.”

I am completely unsurprised at these revelations, as anti-choicers will sometimes freely admit that dishonesty is a perfectly acceptable means to the end of legal abortion. What I would like to see, and sadly probably won’t, is for the mainstream journos and pundits – you know, those who hold themselves out as objective arbiters of truth and reason – who ate up the bogus video “scandal” to take heed of how they were bamboozled by a bunch of misogynistic charlatans.

There is the potential of millions of women being harmed due to the mainstream media legitimizing the Center for Medical Progress the way they did. Not only because of the immediate threat to Planned Parenthood funding but also because of how it laid the groundwork for right wingers to push for ever more grotesque positions on abortion rights in the most widely public forums possible. Would Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee feel so comfortable proposing invoking the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to protect “human life” from the moment of conception at a nationally televised GOP Presidential debate? Would Marco Rubio feel so free to inveigh against rape and incest exceptions and Scott Walker to claim that exceptions for the life of the woman are never necessary at that same debate had so many in the mainstream media not so generously provided the CMP cretins a respectful platform and allowed them to spread ghoulish narratives about abortion? Doubtful.

It is one thing to acknowledge that people of good faith can object to abortion*. It is quite another to ignore how the organized anti-abortion movement has a long history of acting in bad faith and in a menacing manner toward women and their health care providers.

*I have always maintained that such people exist and have always maintained that such people should join with us pro-choice people in supporting sex ed, contraception access, and a safety net and not join with anti-choice people in opposing those things and in supporting criminal bans on abortion. This is not that hard.


  1. EDITOR’S NOTE: John Closterides, who is an All-State agent, and John Jalsevac, who is a writer and managing editor for LifeSiteNews.com, appear to be two entirely different people and everything that Closterides wrote below appears to be lifted directly and without attribution from Jalsevac’s September 8th column in Life Site News. I believe that is known as plagiarism.

    How the heck do you edit dismembered arms and legs into a video? Are they arms and legs, or aren’t they? CMP has also released the full, unedited footage for those who care to take a gander at facing the truth, rather than denying what’s in front of their face in a bid to maintain an unsustainable worldview based upon an easily-verifiable lie.

    Even Planned Parenthood isn’t denying the existence of the dismembered babies. Nobody’s denying that. They’re just denying that they “profit” from the sale of the dismembered babies. The dismembered babies is something everybody should be able to agree on. They’re there, as clear as day.

    I don’t give a damn whether the sale of the dismembered babies is LEGAL or not. I care that the babies are being killed and dismembered at all.

    That’s entirely true, of course. Planned Parenthood, StemExpress, the media: none of them are claiming that the dismembered limbs in those videos aren’t real…because they know that they are real. They can repeat the “heavily edited” claims until they’re blue in the face: they can’t edit those feet, toes, hands, fingers, hearts, livers, intestines, and heads out. David Daleiden of CMP is not a CGI wizard. He can’t whip up bloody limbs at will. Nobody is even bothering to claim that he does. The best they can do is make sure that nobody is talking about those bloody limbs.

    And by and large, they’re being successful. They’re making sure that we’re discussing whether this or that quotation was taken out of context, whether Planned Parenthood’s prices for various “specimens” do or don’t adhere to the spirit of federal law banning trafficking in fetal tissue, about how much or how little the videos were edited, or whether the pro-lifers behind the videos are or aren’t trustworthy.

    But in the end, David Daleiden and the other pro-life activists who created the videos could be just as dishonest and violent as Planned Parenthood’s PR hacks say they are, the videos themselves could be as deceptively edited as Planned Parenthood’s hired research firm claims they are, and the law could be as accepting of Planned Parenthood’s practices as their lawyers insist it is. They’re not, of course. But even if they were, all of that would hardly matter: because the undeniable truth would remain that Planned Parenthood is still ripping apart fully-formed human beings, whilst peddling the discredited lie that they only abort “blobs of tissue.”

    This may well be legal. But it doesn’t make it right.

    By all means, if Planned Parenthood is breaking the law, as they appear to be, let’s make sure they pay the price for their crimes. But let’s not get distracted from the point. If Planned Parenthood is only held accountable for illegally profiting from the sale of aborted fetal tissue, it’s far too little. Because if there were any justice in the world, Planned Parenthood would be held accountable for perpetrating mass murder through the use of mass deception.

    Planned Parenthood wants us talking about anything but those dismembered arms and legs from the 20-week aborted twin, those aborted babies with beating hearts whose brains are to be harvested, those “fully intact” specimens shipped to lab techs who might “freak out” when they open the box and literally come face to face with the full reality of what – or rather “who” – their research “specimen” is. Let’s not play their game.

    • Don’t tell me what to do, John. Also, that was a lot of rambling paragraphs in which I saw no vow from you to refuse to use any medication developed via the fetal research that troubles you so. I’ve actually yet to see a single anti-choicer take that vow.

      • Please tell me ANY medications that were developed from murdered baby parts so I can vow to never use them???

        • Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, Cystic Fibrosis to name just three. Also, if you didn’t get polio as a child you can thank Dr. Salk developing his vaccine using fetal tissue for that.

          Now, will you state your intention to refuse to use any medication developed through fetal research?

          • Matthew 16:25
            Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?…

          • Hmm, I don’t see a specific statement of intent in that Bible verse so I’m going with, no, you are not going to take the vow. You are going to hypocritically benefit from the medication, while continuing to moan about how horrible it is that you can’t punish fornicating women with unwanted pregnancy because Jesus.

      • The paragraphs were not “rambling”, Donna. He stayed right on point all the way thru. As to taking a vow not to use any cures developed from the use of baby parts harvested from abortions, how can that occur? The developers of these, if any have been made, do not advertise the fact they developed them through the use of these baby parts. They are smart enough to realize it would be very bad PR to announce such a thing.

        As I have said before, it isn’t so much that people are in favor of abortion as it is they are willing to look the other way.

        • The information about what medications (and it’s a LOT of them) were developed through fetal research is easily available so that is no excuse.

          “As I have said before, it isn’t so much that people are in favor of abortion as it is they are willing to look the other way.”

          Most people in America probably wouldn’t want to live in the shitholes that most countries where women have no reproductive rights are.

        • They were rambling in the sense that he copy-pasted incompletely them from the Life Site News article written by another guy from which he stole them. They were well-written, since Closterides stole them from an actual professional writer.

          • Yes, I saw where you exposed him as a plagiarist…good for you! I can’t stand plagiarism. It is so easy to give attribution and still make your point. To steal someone else’s intellectual property is so dishonest that it completely takes away from whatever you are trying to say.

    • Hey John,

      Do you also go by the name John Jalsevac or did you simply lift numerous passages of his writing and pass them off as your own? If it’s the latter, that’s called plagiarism.


  2. I believe that a large number of Americans support abortion services but want to remain willfully ignorant about about the whole grisly process. They want to remain ignorant because of they had to see what goes on, many would change their minds.

    These videos forced many Americans to take a peek within the process and it made them very uncomfortable, but they will quickly rationalize it and it will be as if the videos never were. I don’t think they were heavily edited to change what the Planned Parenthood people said and did. Even Donna’s

  3. Donna, get real. The greatest Hollywood editor couldn’t have edited those long videos sufficiently to have made them say things they didn’t say and do things they didn’t do. The truth is that Planned Parenthood was caught engaging in activities that the average person would find repugnant. The fact that it is business as usual makes it all the more appalling.

    • Shame on you for believing this bs, Steve! This is what happens when people think facts don’t matter and lord like his give you permission to believe the lies!

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