As many of you know, the latest right-wing faux scandal has been the allegation that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit by a group that isn’t interest in non-profit fetal tissue transfers but is instead using it as a tool to defund Planned Parenthood, a move which Congressional Republicans are backing.
It should come as no surprise that such an overtly political attack by an overtly biased groups has heavily edited the videos to make them sound far more damaging. The more surprising thing is why this has not been a weapon of choice for more such groups before, considering the fact that video editing is not a recently acquired skill.
Enter The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision of United States v. Alvarez which held that the First Amendment protects political speech, even if that speech is false, and even if the person who said it knew it to be false. In other words, if you are intentionally lying in the course of a campaign, or to make a political point, you enjoy constitutional protection.
In essence, people have every incentive now to run campaigns which, in the immortalized words of Mitt Romney’s campaign managers refuse to “be dictated by fact checkers.” What follows as a natural result of that of course, is a less informed polarized electorate, and a situation where the Republicans are now seeking to defund abortion performing Planned Parenthood, even though the Federal government by law does not fund abortions for them or any other institution since 1976.