It’s been said that a lie told often enough becomes the truth. The quote itself has murky origins, but regardless of where it came from, it has been proven true time and time again. Repetition removes all doubt by chipping away at the truth until it no longer exists.
Salon’s Jenny Kutner penned a hit-piece on Wisconsin Governor and presumed Presidential candidate Scott Walker Wednesday, in which she tells a patent lie. Now, this is not unusual behavior for Salon, as they’ve been known to lie before. However, the lie is so egregious, I had to write about it.
The title of Kutner’s piece is the very subtle “Scott Walker: Women should be forced to have transvaginal ultrasounds because they are ‘a cool thing,’ with the subtitle “The Wisconsin governor said a procedure that involves being probed with a 10-inch rod is ‘lovely.'”
As of this writing, the piece has been shared over 15,000 times on Facebook. At least 15,000 people read this piece, agreed with it, and wanted to make their agreement known via social media. Here’s the thing, as I said before, it’s a patent lie. 15,000 people have actively participated in the spreading of a lie, but the heaviest burden rests on the shoulders of Jenny Kutner–someone who should know better.
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has obviously never had a transvaginal sonogram. This observation is not based entirely on the likely Republican presidential candidate self-identifying as a man or his ostensible lack of a vagina, but also on Walker’s characterization of the procedure — which he agreed to mandate for Wisconsin women seeking abortion care — as ‘lovely.'”
Kutner mentions that while speaking with pundit Dana Loesch, Walker said:
“The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea…Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time that pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”
Kutner finishes her piece by quoting Walker again, nefariously talking about protecting life:
“But Walker also came clean about the real intention of the law, which is to prevent abortion through manipulative means. ‘We just knew if we signed that law,’ the governor added, ‘if we provided the information that more people if they saw that unborn child would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.'”
Gasp! A conservative wants a woman to choose life for her unborn child?! That’s so awful, I totally forgot she never mentions “transvaginal ultrasounds” in her piece!
Huh…she never mentions transvaginal ultrasounds except in the gigantic title. Why is that? Let’s take a look at the actual law. The Wisconsin State Legislature website details SB206 and AB227. The portion regarding ultrasounds reads the same for both (pay special attention to the parts in bold):
“This bill requires, except in a medical emergency and except in the situation where the pregnancy is the result of sexual assault or incest, that before a person may perform or induce an abortion the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or any physician requested by the pregnant woman must do all of the following:
- perform, or arrange for a qualified person to perform, an ultrasound on the pregnant
- woman using whichever transducer the woman chooses; provide a simultaneous oral explanation during the ultrasound including the number of unborn children and
- presence and location of the unborn child; display the ultrasound images so that the
- pregnant woman may view them; provide a medical description of the ultrasound
- images including the dimensions of the unborn child and a description of any
- viewable external features and internal organs of the unborn child; and provide a
- means for the pregnant woman to visualize any fetal heartbeat, in a quality
- consistent with current medical practice, and a simultaneous oral explanation of the
- visual display of the heartbeat in a manner understandable to a layperson
No person may require the pregnant woman to view the ultrasound images or visualize any fetal heartbeat and no person, including the pregnant woman, may be subject to any penalty if the pregnant woman declines to view the images or visualize any heartbeat.”
The law does not mandate a transvaginal ultrasound. It never even mentions the word “transvaginal.” The law says that a woman undergoing the ultrasound—which abortion doctors are now obligated to perform—can choose the transducer, meaning she can choose a normal, gel-on-the-stomach ultrasound.
Additionally, the law states that a woman may choose not to look at the materials provided, such as the ultrasound images, or the fetal heartbeat, only that they be provided for her.
Why would Jenny Kutner headline with: “Scott Walker: Women should be forced to have transvaginal ultrasounds because they are ‘a cool thing,’ with the subtitle “The Wisconsin governor said a procedure that involves being probed with a 10-inch rod is ‘lovely,'” but then never mention the procedure again in her piece, instead choosing to refer simply to “ultrasounds?”
One of two options exist: Kutner got false information, and didn’t bother to check her sources, or she wanted to make Walker look like some kind of evil pervert. Either way, that’s not good.
It took me all of two minutes to find and read the pertinent text of the law. If she couldn’t be bothered to read the text about which she is oh-so outraged, what kind of writer is she? However, I have a feeling she just wanted to make Scott Walker look bad because he supports life, and not abortion-on-demand.
Titles are often remembered, while article content often gets forgotten. In other words, sound-bites get shared.
I’m calling you out, Jenny Kutner. Are you a liar or just a hack?