We've documented how the truth simply no longer matters to CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey -- which you'd think would be a hindrance in his job, which is to run a "news" website. Jeffrey's overlords at the Media Research Center, though, apparently have no problem with Jeffrey abandoning journalism and using CNS as a right-wing propaganda mill.
Jeffrey hones his propaganda skills again in a March 17 article carrying the inflammatory headline "Free Sterilizations Must be Offered to All College Women, Says HHS."
Jeffrey is twisting words here. Nobody is being "offered" sterilizations against their will, as Jeffrey's headline suggests; as the article itself concedes, sterilizations would be covered at no cost in student health care plans, under a plan announced by Department of Health and Human Services. Jeffrey's headline falsely implies coercion -- and a desire to generate traffic to his website put above getting things accurate.
A manufactured controversy -- which CNS likes to do -- is apparently what Jeffrey was going for here, and he appears to have suceeded to a certain extent. CNS pushed the misleading meme in a March 19 article by Elizabeth Harrington in which she apparently intruded on a conference call masquerading as a "reporter" and pushed the idea that Democrats were promoting sterilization, against which Democratic members of Congress caught on and pushed back:
During the conference call, CNSNews.com asked: “Do you support the HHS regulation that requires health insurance companies to provide free sterilizations to college-age women who want them?”
Rep. [Jan] Schakowsky said: “You know, this attack on women’s health care is--I think the compromise that the president has offered and that the rulemaking from HHS, I think, is a good one. This is not about, you know, college-age girls getting sterilization when they want it--no.”
“I mean, there may be situations where for medical reasons and in consultation with the doctor that sterilization procedures are warranted for the health of a young woman,” said Schakowsky.
“Contraception and related procedures, contraception was declared one of the top 10 preventive health services of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control," said Schakowsky, "and the reason for these regulations is to protect the health of women, women of all ages, so that they can afford to get the preventive care that they need.”
“This isn’t about promoting sterilization,” she said of the regulation that guarantees free sterilizations. “No one -- there aren’t college girls lining up to become sterilized because they feel like it. And we’re talking about medical procedures.”
During the conference call, Rep. Xavier Becerra also offered his support for the regulation and responded to CNSNews.com's question by criticizing opponents of the regulation for advancing what he called “stereotypes” and “misinformation” about the president’s health care law.
“Now when they [critics] talk about sterilization, you and I know that they’re trying to build this up into something that it isn’t,” said Becerra. “I think Jan clarified very well what the purpose of the HHS rulemaking is. It’s so a woman can, in consultation with her physician, can make a very serious decision. It’s not one of these fly-by-night activities that a woman would do without thinking long and hard.”
“So, I hope the press will help us avoid these types of stereotypes and this misrepresentation that’s occurring with regard to the actions and the legislation that’s out there,” said Becerra, “because it gives the American public this wrong perception that there, in fact, are death panels, or that the government did take over our health care, or that jobs were killed by the passage of the ACA.”
“That’s the farthest thing from the truth,” he said. “And I hope you all are out there trying to make sure that you’re passing along information -- truthful information -- and probing when folks start to make those kind of statements, which you and I know are intended to misrepresent and to deceive the American public.”
Becerra caught Harrington, Jeffrey and CNS red-handed. Their intent is to misrepresent the policy and deceive people. Because that's what propagandists do.