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Washington Post Changes Article Praising Seth Meyers Pro-Planned Parenthood Segment to Read More Like Straight News

WaPo piece originally stated liberal comedian 'explains everything you need to know' about controversy

Seth Meyers 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, New York, America - 21 Sep 2014 (Rex Features via AP Images)
• October 1, 2015 11:34 am

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Washington Post article about NBC late-night host Seth Meyers' anti-GOP, pro-Planned Parenthood segment changed almost completely Thursday from openly praising Meyers' explanation of the controversy to reading more like a straight news report.

In the segment called "A Closer Look," Meyers opened by referring to the "heavily edited tapes" about fetal tissue sales that began the controversy, which he said nevertheless have not stopped the organization from being "the most popular political entity in the country." From there, he shredded congressional Republicans for their aggressive questioning Tuesday of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.

The original Washington Post story on the segment, written by Amber Phillips for "The Fix" blog, was headlined "The Planned Parenthood Controversy, Explained By Seth Meyers [Video]," but the new version is entitled "Seth Meyers goes hard at GOP for its Planned Parenthood hearing [Video]," a more accurate depiction of the segment that was unabashedly anti-GOP. It notes there was an update but doesn't say what was changed or when.

Even more striking was the difference in the tone of Phillips' article. The original post praised Meyers for explaining "everything you need to know about the Planned Parenthood controversy" to help any readers who were confused about the issue. Phillips did not note that Meyers failed to show any of the undercover videos that actually jump-started the probe into Planned Parenthood. The article read:

These past few days have been a whirlwind of news about the women's health care nonprofit, Planned Parenthood.

In fact, Planned Parenthood has been in the news for several months now, and the evolving story will probably continue to be part of the national debate this fall and winter. It could even be the sticking point in a potential December government shutdown.

This all started when … well, we've already written about the drama a lot here on The Fix. But if you're understandably still a little confused, we'll let Seth Meyers take it from here.

In seven minutes, the host of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" explains everything you need to know about the Planned Parenthood controversy.

True, he does it with typical late-night snark that pretty clearly conveys his opinion about it all. But as far as the facts go, Meyers does a pretty good job. So grab your headphones and be confused no more.

The new version scrubs the pro-Meyers tone for one that more accurately shows Meyers taking an explicitly liberal angle on the scandal. It now reads:

These past few days have been a whirlwind of news about the women's health-care nonprofit Planned Parenthood.

In fact, Planned Parenthood has been in the news for several months now, and the evolving story will probably continue to be part of the national debate this fall and winter. It could even be the sticking point in a potential December government shutdown.

Meyers spent much of that seven minutes going pretty hard after Republicans — in a way you'd more likely expect from the old "Daily Show" or "Colbert Report."

A sampling of Meyers's take:

  • That Planned Parenthood is the "most popular political entity in the country." (This is probably a stretch.)

  • He hit the GOP for not letting Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards answer questions and interrupting her.

  • He noted a chart used by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) wasn't exactly a fair portrayal of Planned Parenthood's number of breast exams versus abortions. The chart basically had no y-axis and was based on data from an anti-abortion-rights group.

  • He called Rep. John Duncan's (R-Tex.) question about whether Richards expected to be treated more easily because she is a woman "stupid."

  • He said that Republicans "don't believe in funding for affordable health care."

Aaron Blake, managing editor of "The Fix," told the Washington Free Beacon, "We updated the post to more accurately reflect Meyers’s clear point of view on this issue."

Meyers has used his show to do liberal deep dives into the news before. He also once did "A Closer Look" at the book Clinton Cash, where he attacked conservative author Peter Schweizer for having an anti-Clinton bias. Meyers did not disclose in the segment that he previously hosted the Clinton Global Initiative's Global Citizen Awards.