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News & Politics News & Politics

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Uses False Abortion Story to Smear Conservatives

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Leave it to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to attempt to smear the pro-life movement on the day of the March for Life with a misleading story about a law introduced in New Mexico regarding abortion. Roberts erroneously reported on a New Mexico state legislator named Cathrynn Brown, who, “introduced a bill that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial… Under the bill, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence.”

Roberts brought on Pat Davis, the Executive Director of Progress Now in New Mexico to bash the bill, which, by the way, Roberts completely mischaracterized. What the bill actually would do is make it a crime for a rapist to pressure his victim into undergoing an abortion. 

Davis railed against “a growing caucus of these Tea Party and crazy conservatives on the right" who are "doing what they can with some of these sleeper bills they hope nobody would notice.”

Roberts clearly showed his pro-abortion sentiments in misreporting this story by asking Davis to:

Explain to us the new normal for a state legislature, you know, state legislator in New Mexico is to actually have a woman come forward to say, you know, admit that she's been raped, she's impregnated and then they’re going to make her carry that baby to term?

Had Roberts done some basic research, however, he would have realized the law is designed to do no such thing. In fact, as the bill itself says, the crime (emphasis mine), “shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." 

State Representative Cathrynn Brown said the purpose of the bill was to target perpetrators of rape of incest who try to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to have abortions.  Brown does say that she will clarify the language in the bill to remove any ambiguity that victims of rape would be charged, which she in no way desires to do.

Roberts’ disgusting attempts at smearing pro-life individuals and failing to show any semblance of journalism is shameful.  Had he done his homework, Roberts could have gotten the story straight, but that would have ruined the fun of bringing on a liberal guest to smear pro-lifers as radicals.

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 1:45 AM
Replies (21-24):
Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting SallyMJ:
Quoting Clairwil:

given that the Republicans are now changing the wording of the bill to make the intent clearer, perhaps part of the fault does lie with the original wording being somewhat unclear to non-pedants.

I think what you're saying is that you do not believe in editing things you write - even emails at work - when they are not clear, and can be interpreted as other than you intended. Wow, that must cause problems at work - it certainly would for me. And it would cause problems for authors and sign-makers. I guess it takes all kinds. Some know they are not perfect, and are thus more self-evaluative in order to communicate clearly. Some think they are perfect, with no need to evaluate their writing and statements.

Legislation isn't the equivalent of a hastily written email.

Legislation is the equivalent of a published contract.   If badly worded legislation gets passed, you can't says "Whoops, that's not what we intended" once someone has already been prosecuted under a low.

And as you know, a bill is not a law, and bills are edited all the time.

BTW, I would not call a law a "published contract" - as it does not meet the legal definition of a contract.

"equivalent" as in "equal seriousness to"

I'm probably not aware of the distinction in America.   I'm from Britain, where Bills are generally written by a professional civil service, and where amendments are made for reasons of poltical substance, rather than because someone screwed up the wording.   Perhaps I'm biased, because it pretty much elliminates pork stuffing, but I think it is a better system.

Megan1118
by Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM
Criminal law is not ambiguous. Something is usually illegal or isn't - most laws will have exceptions. The bill is not ambiguous - it states very clearly that procuring an abortion is tampering with evidence. If she meant something different she should've left out the procuring or facilitating an abortion. Since the compelling or coercing part covers what she says is her bills intention.

Either the way the article was incorrect in saying MSNBC was reporting false information with the intention of smearing pro-lifers. It was reported as the bill was written. Criminal laws do not usually need someone to interpret the meaning.

Plus it's kind of obvious that this bill was aimed at the women who may choose abortion. Look at the republicans national campaign to circumvent roe vs wade through creative state legislation. Mississippi is a prime example. They can't make abortion illegal but they can make it impossible.




Quoting SallyMJ:

Everyone writes ambiguously at times, and sometimes what they intend to say is not clear from what they write - and needs to be edited, as is the case here.

You're not saying that only liberal statements and bills are perfect and never require editing, are you?

If so, please let me disabuse you of that misunderstanding.


Quoting Megan1118:

Also the emphasis is wrong in the above post. Tampering with evidence (as states in the bill) is procuring or facilitating an abortion, OR compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion.



So no the liberal media did not try to smear pro-life individuals - the read the bill as is. Bills shouldn't be written with "ambiguous" language. Maybe her intentions are as she is saying now but if so, she needs to learn how to write bills better.





Quoting SallyMJ:


Leave it to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to attempt to smear the pro-life movement on the day of the March for Life with a misleading story about a law introduced in New Mexico regarding abortion. Roberts erroneously reported on a New Mexico state legislator named Cathrynn Brown, who, “introduced a bill that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial… Under the bill, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence.”

Roberts brought on Pat Davis, the Executive Director of Progress Now in New Mexico to bash the bill, which, by the way, Roberts completely mischaracterized. What the bill actually would do is make it a crime for a rapist to pressure his victim into undergoing an abortion. 


Davis railed against “a growing caucus of these Tea Party and crazy conservatives on the right" who are "doing what they can with some of these sleeper bills they hope nobody would notice.”

Roberts clearly showed his pro-abortion sentiments in misreporting this story by asking Davis to:

Explain to us the new normal for a state legislature, you know, state legislator in New Mexico is to actually have a woman come forward to say, you know, admit that she's been raped, she's impregnated and then they’re going to make her carry that baby to term?

Had Roberts done some basic research, however, he would have realized the law is designed to do no such thing. In fact, as the bill itself says, the crime (emphasis mine), “shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." 

State Representative Cathrynn Brown said the purpose of the bill was to target perpetrators of rape of incest who try to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to have abortions.  Brown does say that she will clarify the language in the bill to remove any ambiguity that victims of rape would be charged, which she in no way desires to do.

Roberts’ disgusting attempts at smearing pro-life individuals and failing to show any semblance of journalism is shameful.  Had he done his homework, Roberts could have gotten the story straight, but that would have ruined the fun of bringing on a liberal guest to smear pro-lifers as radicals.







Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Negative. Do you work with your corporate legal counsel in writing legal language for contracts or other legal documents? I do.

Most intelligent people, including English majors like myself, agree legal language is often convoluted and wordy. Our attorneys not only write the agreement templates and more specific, complicated language, but also help interpret it. And many, MANY drafts go into the final product - which still sometimes has mistakes that need to be corrected.

Welcome to my world and graduate Business Law class.  :)

Quoting Megan1118:

Criminal law is not ambiguous. Something is usually illegal or isn't - most laws will have exceptions. The bill is not ambiguous - it states very clearly that procuring an abortion is tampering with evidence. If she meant something different she should've left out the procuring or facilitating an abortion. Since the compelling or coercing part covers what she says is her bills intention.

Either the way the article was incorrect in saying MSNBC was reporting false information with the intention of smearing pro-lifers. It was reported as the bill was written. Criminal laws do not usually need someone to interpret the meaning.

Plus it's kind of obvious that this bill was aimed at the women who may choose abortion. Look at the republicans national campaign to circumvent roe vs wade through creative state legislation. Mississippi is a prime example. They can't make abortion illegal but they can make it impossible.




Quoting SallyMJ:

Everyone writes ambiguously at times, and sometimes what they intend to say is not clear from what they write - and needs to be edited, as is the case here.

You're not saying that only liberal statements and bills are perfect and never require editing, are you?

If so, please let me disabuse you of that misunderstanding.


Quoting Megan1118:

Also the emphasis is wrong in the above post. Tampering with evidence (as states in the bill) is procuring or facilitating an abortion, OR compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion.



So no the liberal media did not try to smear pro-life individuals - the read the bill as is. Bills shouldn't be written with "ambiguous" language. Maybe her intentions are as she is saying now but if so, she needs to learn how to write bills better.





Quoting SallyMJ:


Leave it to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to attempt to smear the pro-life movement on the day of the March for Life with a misleading story about a law introduced in New Mexico regarding abortion. Roberts erroneously reported on a New Mexico state legislator named Cathrynn Brown, who, “introduced a bill that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial… Under the bill, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence.”

Roberts brought on Pat Davis, the Executive Director of Progress Now in New Mexico to bash the bill, which, by the way, Roberts completely mischaracterized. What the bill actually would do is make it a crime for a rapist to pressure his victim into undergoing an abortion. 


Davis railed against “a growing caucus of these Tea Party and crazy conservatives on the right" who are "doing what they can with some of these sleeper bills they hope nobody would notice.”

Roberts clearly showed his pro-abortion sentiments in misreporting this story by asking Davis to:

Explain to us the new normal for a state legislature, you know, state legislator in New Mexico is to actually have a woman come forward to say, you know, admit that she's been raped, she's impregnated and then they’re going to make her carry that baby to term?

Had Roberts done some basic research, however, he would have realized the law is designed to do no such thing. In fact, as the bill itself says, the crime (emphasis mine), “shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." 

State Representative Cathrynn Brown said the purpose of the bill was to target perpetrators of rape of incest who try to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to have abortions.  Brown does say that she will clarify the language in the bill to remove any ambiguity that victims of rape would be charged, which she in no way desires to do.

Roberts’ disgusting attempts at smearing pro-life individuals and failing to show any semblance of journalism is shameful.  Had he done his homework, Roberts could have gotten the story straight, but that would have ruined the fun of bringing on a liberal guest to smear pro-lifers as radicals.









PamR
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM


Thanks

Quoting PTmomma3:

Had you done your homework, you'd realize that MSNBC and every other news networks reported the accurate story on a bill that Ms Brown has now changed so that she doesn't send rape and incest victims to prison. She blamed it on whoever typed it up for her, although she, too, missed the offensive wording when she proofread it. Yeah, sure.

NM bill classifies post-rape abortion as 'evidence tampering'
Posted by Breann Bierman, Elizabeth Erwin
Jan 25, 2013 8:27 p.m.

Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad (Source: cathrynnbrown.com)
SANTA FE, NM (CBS5, KRQE, AP) - A New Mexico lawmaker says the intent of her bill that classifies babies of rapes as evidence is to stop rapists and people who are committing incest, but her proposal is drawing controversy.

Critics claim Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, of trying to criminalize abortions.

The bill states "tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime."

The bill could put rape victims behind bars for up to three years if they got an abortion to cover up rape or incest.

"I was shocked in reading it but then as an attorney, I started looking at it and thought that's not how we gather evidence in a rape anyway, so it doesn't even make sense logically," Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuqeurque, said.

Brown later told KRQE that a mistake was made. She blamed the bill's drafter for an error that somehow got past her final review.

"When he fixed some of the tampering language in the bill, somehow it just kind of missed the emphasis I thought I'd made clear in the beginning," Brown told KRQE.

Late Friday night Brown updated the bill on her website. The changes prohibited prosecution of the mother of the fetus. However, the bill still indicated abortion in the case of rape and incest would tamper with evidence.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. KRQE and the Associated Press contributed to this report.




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