The media has entered a golden age of “fact checking” its political opponents while operating in a fact-free environment of smears and lies.
While the media is quite enthusiastic about fact-checking political opponents and demanding that they be banned from the marketplace of ideas via social media censorship, it rarely bothers fact-checking the clickbait smears that its own side spreads.
Case in point, “Republicans Confirm Lifetime Federal Judge Opposed To Fertility Treatments” Huffington Post
Subheader: Sarah Pitlyk has claimed that IVF and surrogacy have “grave effects on society” and lead to “diminished respect for motherhood.”
Really? Opposed to IVF? No.
Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post falsely claims that Judge Pitlyk is opposed to fertility treatments. Pitlyk did file an amicus brief for the Thomas More Society in a surrogacy case. That’s a complicated issue, and one that goes well beyond fertility treatments.
“Pitlyk, who is special counsel to the Thomas More Society, a conservative, anti-abortion law firm based in Chicago, argued in a 2017 amicus brief that in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and surrogacy lead to “diminished respect for motherhood and the unique mother-child bond; exploitation of women; commodification of gestation and of children themselves; and weakening of appropriate social mores against eugenic abortion,” Bendery claims.
That’s a decided distortion.
The brief is not critical of IVF. It points out that surrogates take on greater risk of complications because of IVF because it’s defending the rights of a surrogate.
Bendery never gets around to mentioning what the actual case in question was about. That would risk informing readers and providing context.
“M.C.” is Melissa Cook, a 47-year-old surrogate who made national news last year when she went public with her feud with C.M., the biological father of the children she bore, whose name is Chester Moore Jr. Cook was pregnant with triplets following a round of invitro treatment in which doctors implanted into her womb three embryos created with Moore’s sperm and donor eggs from a 20-year-old woman. After all three embryos survived, Moore demanded Cook abort one of the babies pursuant to the terms of the surrogacy contract.
Cook refused, declaring “I am pro-life and I’m not having an abortion.” And she didn’t. But she also wanted to ensure the “extra” baby didn’t go to Moore and that before Moore obtained custody of any of the babies, the government would ensure he was a fit father. Accordingly, Cook filed suit challenging the constitutionality of California’s surrogacy laws, arguing the statutes violate her and the then-unborn babies’ federal due process and equal protection rights.
Again, a complicated and challenging case dishonestly reduced and then distorted into an attack on IVF.
And no fact-checking, no bans of this clickbait garbage from the social media walled garden will take place, but the media will go on lecturing us about the importance of facts even as it lies, smears and distorts for political gain.