WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker begs to differ. The Republican presidential hopeful found himself on the receiving end of a media feeding frenzy this week, as several leading mainstream media outlets misquoted him and implied that he thought forcing women to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound was “a cool thing.”
Last week, Walker defended his pro-life record in a conversation with Dana Loesch, a talk show host with 97.1 FM in St. Louis. “Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time will get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are. That's a lovely thing,” he said. “My sons are 19 and 20. We still have their ultrasound picture – it's a cool thing out there.”
On Tuesday, Right-Wing Watch posted a story with the headline: “Scott Walker: Ultrasounds Should Be Mandatory Since They're 'A Cool Thing.'” The website, which frequently cherry-picks quotations for maximum outrage, is a project of People for the American Way, a liberal group dedicated to fighting conservative Christians.
Politico, regarded as an authoritative website for campaign issues, picked up the remarks the following day with the headline: “Scott Walker on mandatory ultrasounds: ‘It’s just a cool thing out there.'”
The new account of Walker's remarks soon went viral in both the mainstream media and the left-wing blogosphere. Salon, Mother Jones, The Week, and Blue Nation Review among other outlets reported that Walker had said forcing women to have a transvaginal ultrasound was “cool.”
The meme had been a major part of the Democrats' “War on Women” in 2012 and 2013, as the abortion industry likened mandatory ultrasounds to rape. In fact, transvaginal ultrasounds are standard care before abortions.
Nonetheless, Planned Parenthood tweeted this week:
.ScottWalker forces invasive ultrasounds on women—but it's totally cool, he says #NotTheOnion https://t.co/75elL60Z6T pic.twitter.com/9Ffhdm2pUu
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) May 27, 2015
An outraged Loesch posted the full quotation, as well as audio of the full segment, on her website. (Walker's remarks on ultrasounds begin at 15:49.)
Ironically, his comments came as part of a complaint that the media had distorted his record on abortion.
“Anyone with the reading comprehension of a dolphin knows that Walker was specifically describing ultrasound images, not the legislation itself,” Loesch said.
But Think Progress, a project of the George Soros-funded Campaign for American Progress, dismissed this as “a narrow distinction.”
Politico eventually relented and changed the headline to “Scott Walker defends mandatory ultrasounds.”
The governor, who regularly polls near the top of the 2016 Republican presidential field, came out swinging Thursday.
“I said ultrasounds are pretty cool,” Scott Walker clarified, praising “the wonders of that technology.”
The constant repetition of a media distortion, he said, was “more than biased; it’s just lazy.”
Despite efforts to set the record straight, prestige media outlets continued to churn out headlines misconstruing his remarks, with new stories appearing in New York Magazine and the New York Daily News as the week drew to a close.
“They can’t win on the Left on an issue, [so] they exaggerate things,” he said. “They make things, and they take them out of context.”
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Planned Parenthood has misrepresented political stories numerous times before. It tweeted out a picture that falsely implied that no women took part in a religious freedom hearing before the House of Representatives. In fact, two pro-life women participated.
The Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationally, Roe v. Wade, hinged upon a lie that Norma McCorvey had been raped. McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the decision, now hopes the decision is overturned.