This AP Story on Abortion Opponents Is Ridiculous

Satan

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Here is the opening graf of an AP report on “anti-abortion voters” published Wednesday:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calling their opponents Satan worshippers and savages, anti-abortion lawmakers on Wednesday insisted that Republican contenders keep an intense focus on social issues in the upcoming midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race.

“Calling their opponents Satan worshippers.” That sounds pretty serious. Tell us more, AP:

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is a favorite of the tea party, said supporters of abortion rights chant “Hail, Satan” to silence their enemies. …

“Arm-in-arm, chanting ‘Hail, Satan,’ embracing the right to take the life of a late-term child,” Cruz said of supporters of abortion rights.

He was referencing protests in Austin, Texas, last year over an abortion bill. While anti-abortion activists were giving speeches and singing “Amazing Grace,” others tried to drown them out with chants.

Does this constitute calling your opponent a “Satan worshipper”? Seems like Cruz is simply describing something that happened at a particular protest in Austin last year, where Democratic state senator Wendy Davis elevated her political career by filibustering legislation to ban late-term abortions.

The AP story doesn’t bother to determine if Cruz’s claims are true, simply noting that “chants” were involved. A five-second Google search would have sufficed to confirm that, yes, pro-choice protesters chanted “Hail, Satan” on multiple occasions:

That wasn’t even the creepiest thing that happened at the protest. This was:

The (very) young girl on the left is holding a sign that reads: ”If I Wanted the Government In My Womb I Would F*** A Senator!”

The Wendy Davis saga highlighted how the media has a tough time covering the abortion issue with any semblance of objectivity, and can’t fathom the possibility that there are extremists on both sides. This is just another example:

  1. Pro-choice activists chant “Hail, Satan” at a protest.
  2. GOP Senator says pro-choice activists chanted “Hail, Satan” at a protest.
  3. AP reports: Republicans call opponents “Satan worshippers.”

Cool story.

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UPDATE: AP has changed the story’s lede, making it even more ridiculous [emphasis mine]:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Invoking fiery references to Satan, “savagery” and a “culture of death” to criticize their opponents, anti-abortion lawmakers on Wednesday insisted that Republican contenders keep an intense focus on social issues in the upcoming midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race.

So now we have:

  1. Pro-choice activists chant “Hail, Satan” at a protest.
  2. GOP Senator says pro-choice activists chanted “Hail, Satan” at a protest.
  3. AP reports: Republicans “invoke fiery references to Satan.”

They’ve also, to their credit, updated the graf about Cruz’s comments to note that the “Hail, Satan” chants actually happened, albeit without issuing a formal correction:

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is a favorite of the tea party, reminded the crowd of activists that supporters of abortion rights chanted “Hail, Satan” to silence their enemies during a heated protest at the Texas Capitol.