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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Graham Prematurely Gloats Over Alleged NPR Errors
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham uses a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post to gloat over NPR purportedly getting things wrong in its coverage of the hoax video pushed by anti-abortion activist Lila Rose conducting a sting against Planned Parenthood clinics. But is NPR really as wrong as Graham claims?

Graham writes:

The headline was "Group Behind ACORN Undercover Videos Sets Up Planned Parenthood 'Sting.'" Yes, "sting" may be what you call it when liberal journalists take a hidden camera to expose malfeasance, but if the videographers are pro-life, the word goes into quotes. Peralta began: "The same group that went undercover at ACORN offices back in 2009 is now going after Planned Parenthood." Wrong.

NPR was forced to correct: "An earlier version of this post stated Live Action was associated with James O'Keefe. They are not, and O'Keefe was not a part of this undercover video."

While it appears that Live Action did not conduct the ACORN stings, NPR overstated its correction. Live Action is very much associated with O'Keefe -- Rose collaborated with O'Keefe to devise the scheme to entrap Planned Parenthood clinics using the same methods O'Keefe used to entrap ACORN and participated in some of those early entrapment efforts, and Live Action's newsletter, the Advocate, lists O'Keefe as an adviser.

Graham then notes that NPR is calling Live Action a "conservative group," which he (and Rose) insists is misleading: "Political reporters may find it natural to assign pro-life activists to the right, but not only are there pro-life Democrats and even pro-life socialists -- there's the problem that political reporters almost never describe 'abortion rights' groups as liberals."

Of course, generally speaking, it is hardly inaccurate to assume that anti-abortion groups like Live Action as "conservative," given that opposition to abortion provisions is a central part of Republican politics. Rose has provided no evidence that she is not conservative in her politics or that her motivation comes from anything other than a right-wing viewpoint, so until she does, the description of her group as "conservative" should stand.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EST

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