So Ohio passed a heinous law making it illegal for a 10-year-old girl to get an abortion. An actual 10-year-old rape victim had to be driven to Indiana to obtain one, and two good reporters for an excellent newspaper wrote a story about it. Then the Republican media-industrial complex, which considers accurate descriptions of the effects of their policies the ultimate act of incivility, began baselessly smearing the reporters, the doctor, and the victim based on literally noting. The nation’s most prominent mainstream media fact-chucker then wrote a piece implicitly validating the false claims of a hoax while (in marked contrast with the reporters he was attacking) providing readers with literally no information of any value about anything. The story turned out to be correct in every detail. The Republican media-industrial complex then quickly shifted to OOOGA BOOGA BROWN PEOPLE CRITICAL RACE THEORY CARAVANS PRONOUNS.
What is the moral of this story? By press convention, it must be that both sides have a point:
These are not good reasons to call something a hoax! Both the doctor and the reporter were credible and had VERY OBVIOUS REASONS for not revealing detailed information about the victim.
This is a straightforward story of conservative media and politicians acting in bad faith. pic.twitter.com/T2RpuVqqUm— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) July 15, 2022
Meanwhile, the right-wing Defenders of Journalism Ethics haven’t owned up to their mistakes and are still using the case to gin up reactionary backlash. There was no reason to take these people seriously in the first place and even less now. pic.twitter.com/ox2XdbjQQP— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) July 15, 2022
A doctor spoke to a journalist about the case and the journalist published the story.
Then A BUNCH OF PEOPLE LIED ABOUT IT for weeks. Pundits with no discernable journalistic ethics cast doubt on the account for thin, weak reasons. A fact-checker laundered those lies.— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) July 15, 2022
This is what I can’t get over! Even if this specific anecdote WAS debunked the law does not allow minor rape victims to get abortions! This should be the primary message journalists convey to the public about this barbaric new legal regime. https://t.co/gI8BKgQENY— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) July 15, 2022
And so no lessons have been learned.
UPDATE: What the hell is in the water over there.