We’re so used to Republican operatives going on cable news shows and lying with impunity that it has become newsworthy when a news host exposes one of them in a lie in real time during a broadcast.
This happened recently on CNN when Soledad O’Brien challenged disgraced former Bush I chief of staff John Sununu, a Mitt Romney surrogate, during an interview after he trotted out the Romney campaign’s lie that Pres. Obama had “gutted Medicare.”
Similarly, Anderson Cooper challenged Republican operative/pollster Kellyanne Conway when she attempted to distort a conversation about Missouri tea party candidate Todd Akin’s claim that women’s ovaries naturally repel the sperm of rapists by interjecting a false claim (at about 03:30 in the video above) that there has been a rise in sex-selection abortions in the United States:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: The “Washington Post” reported on August 10th that there are Democrats who are going to the convention in Charlotte who want their plank expanded. They feel that it’s too draconian. It doesn’t allow for partial birth abortion bans. It doesn’t ban sex selection. You’ve got all these little baby girls being killed just because they’re girls in this country —
COOPER: Wait, wait.
CONWAY: I mean, Paul, under what —
COOPER: Excuse me, where is that happening?
CONWAY: Excuse me?
COOPER: Where, as you say, we have all these baby girls being killed in this country because — on sex selections, on abortions? Where —
COOPER: Where is the evidence on that?
CONWAY: The Guttmacher Institute which is the research on Planned Parenthood has data on sex selective abortions. And actually Congress — the House just passed a bill to ban that. I’m not sure it ever went to the Senate. And I’m sure President Obama would veto it if it was put on his desk —
COOPER: But statistically, there’s not really much evidence that that is actually occurring in the United States. Amongst some immigrant groups in small numbers it may be occurring but in no statistical measure is it significant.
CONWAY: Well, we should look at Guttmacher Institute’s statistics to really illuminate us on that. But it does — it does occur because there’s so much science now people can — they can know the gender of their baby and they make their choices accordingly. COOPER: It occurs overseas a lot but again I don’t think the evidence is here in the United States. I’ll double-check it. But I just read earlier.
CONWAY: Thank you.
Later, after a commercial break, Cooper came back on the air (at minute 06:46) with the actual text of the Guttmacher Institute report and essentially called Conway a liar to her face:
COOPER: Before the break, Kellyanne, you mentioned the Guttmacher Institute information on sex, selective abortion in the United States. Here’s what they actually say in a May 30th press release titled “Sex Selective Abortion Bans: A Disingenuous New Strategy to Limit Women’s Access to Abortion.” The study acknowledges the practice does go on overseas as we mentioned and perhaps in certain Asian-American communities in the United States in small numbers. But, quote, “In the United States, meanwhile, there is limited data indicating that sex-selective abortion may be occurring in some Asian communities. Although the U.S. sex ratio at 1.05 males for every female is squarely within biologically normal parameters.”
So I just wanted to put that out there.
If Kellyanne Conway looks familiar, it’s because she was one of chorus of media types and GOP activists — all of whom happened to have blond hair — who turned their daily spittle-spewing bile about the Clintons in the 1990s into lucrative careers up through today. In addition to Conway, whose name was Kellyanne Fitzpatrick then, the other Clinton-hating blonds were MSNBC host Chris Matthews (who has since had a change of heart), Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Barbara Olson.
Barbara Olson, who wrote two anti-Clinton books, died in the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Her husband Ted Olson was the lawyer for George W. Bush in the landmark Bush v. Gore case in 2000 in which the Supreme Court selected Bush over Vice Pres. Al Gore to be president. Ted Olson is is best known now as the conservative lawyer on the legal team fighting to overturn Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage amendment to the California Constitution.
Partial transcript of “AC 360″ segment with Paul Begala and Kellyanne Conway follows on the next page.