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KUDOS UPDATE *** Itskevin provided us with a link to a Slate article -- -- that may have been printed without the writer's awareness of the of ABC World News spot. If that's the case, then Timothy Noah deserves our kudos for his due diligence as well:

UPDATE: Being on the rec list means that people are reading this. If people are reading this then people can take action. If people take action, then we can stop Stupak’s distortions. So thank you for reading and if you take action, thank you even more!

On Wednesday evening I posted a diary about Rep. Stupak’s distortion of the abortion language in the Senate bill on Hardball with Tweety. At the time, the story was under the radar. By the time I woke up Thursday morning, he was all over the place making the same distortions and going unchallenged. The story made its way to the front page top headline at the Huff Po. I reposted my diary, desperate for readers to help get the CORRECT language out there. I sent my diary to Rachel Maddow and NARAL and NOW and Emily’s List. I made calls to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Diana DeGette’s offices. A friend posted my diary at his blog.

I watched Rachel last night HOPING she would address what I pointed out. Although she didn’t talk about the facts, she did mention Stupak and his relationship with C Street. I was disappointed. I was bothered that Rachel would miss the obvious and gift of an opportunity to point out that the bill does not do what Rep. Stupak does and that in fact, it does the opposite.

I got 30-something recs on my diary and enthusiastic support in the comments. I was hoping that someone, somewhere would make the breakthrough. I pimped the hell out of my diary and was disappointed that Kossacks like to say they are for action but only seem willing to take action when a headliner writes the diary.

Well Jonathan Karl and Diane Sawyer did take action at ABC World News. They covered Rep. Stupak’s lies in their truth squad segment last night.

I do not know why Jonathan Karl was on the same path I was yesterday. I don’t know who at ABC News decided to actually READ the pages of the bill that Bart Stupak cited. But I am so grateful that SOMEONE in the press did the work they should do. I was so relieved that SOMEONE in the press read the bill rather than taking someone’s word for it. But mostly, I am relieved the message is out there that Bart Stupak is WRONG.

Let me add this nugget: on Wednesday, before I read the language myself and before I wrote my diary, I watched Rep. Stupak tell Speaker Pelosi via Hardball with Tweety, that the language he said was in the bill was found on pages 33-44; but when I looked at pages 33-44 that wasn’t correct. So I called Rep. Stupak’s office trying to find the correct pages. They were terribly rude and not knowledgeable. At the end of my "chat" with one of his staffers I said that if Stupak is willing to throw himself on the sword over this then he better get the page numbers right. That if he wants any credibility that he and his staffers better know the correct page numbers off the top of their heads or they appear to be wrong, evasive and/or deceptive. I got a phone message later that evening with the correct page numbers. And the next morning, Rep. Stupak was citing the correct page numbers.

This means two things: we can get through to them if we are smarter than them and if we find the things they can’t argue against. I didn’t argue about the language with them, because at the time I hadn’t read it. But I convinced them that they wouldn’t be taken seriously if they gave out incorrect resources. But this also means that the best way to counter lies is to READ THE BILL. The only way Rep. Stupak was called out was because someone READ THE BILL. We can’t rely on people telling us what is and isn’t in there. We have to do the work.

If you are curious about my diary, here’s one last pimp.


If you couldn’t watch the embedded video or read my other diary, the quick recap of THE ISSUE is this: Stupak says that the Senate bill requires insurance companies in the exchange to provide abortion coverage – NOT TRUE. He says that every single enrollee in the exchange must pay $1/month into an abortion fund – NOT TRUE.

States are allowed to exclude abortion coverage from the exchange plans. Insurance companies are allowed to exclude abortion coverage from their plans. There is INDIVIDUAL CHOICE in choosing a plan, if one is offered, that has an abortion coverage rider that a person then must pay a separate premium for to keep regular premiums COMPLETELY SEGREGATED from abortion coverage premiums.  The language of the bill honors federal funding laws as they exist and it’s written to honor the law if it ever changes. The language of pages 2069-2078 is ALL ABOUT KEEPING FEDERAL FUNDS (including subsidies and tax credits) FAR FROM abortion funding. The ONLY exceptions are the exceptions allowed by law in the Hyde Amendment.

Simply put: if one CHOOSES to purchase Plan Q with an abortion Rider through Company A, then one pays a separate rider premium. If one buys Plan R without an abortion Rider through Company A, then one DOES NOT pay anything toward an abortion coverage fund.

And I want to thank Catskill Julie, one more time, for motivating me to write the initial diary in the first place.

UPDATED to add Tomsank's suggestion that we give some positive re-enforcement to ABC News by sending them our thanks for doing their job when no one else was doing it.

Perhaps we should also bombard all the networks with the kind suggestion to do the same due diligence. ;)


Here is contact information for the major news sites (minus FOX News because, well, you know). Please email or send a message through the organizations web-based contact pages. (I have created an email list below if you want to send a group email rather than one-offs).
I do think we should encourage ABC by thanking them and encourage the others to rise to the bar ABC set on this issue. It is their job to being facts to light but it doesn’t mean we can’t support them when they do and remind others that we’re expecting it from them.

ABC contact info:

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer:

ABC News:

ABC News
7 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Jonathan Dube, Vice President ABC News

NBC/MSNBC contact info:

Nightly News with Brian Williams:
Dateline NBC:
The Rachel Maddow Show:
Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
Hardball with Chris Matthews:
The Ed Show:

Morning Joe
Meet the Press

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112


Charlie Rose:

PBS News Hour:

All email addresses separated by comma for quick copy and paste:,,,,,,,,

UPDATE #3 with even MORE resources. Hey, tomorrow is Saturday, you have all day to write letters to editors and send Twitters and post on Facebook. ;) Again, thanks to all who are doing something to get the correct language out there! And thanks for all the help gathering ideas and contact info.

Send Twitters (or whatever they’re called) to:

David Shuster: DavidShuster
Contessa Brewer: contessabrewer
Tamron Hall: tamronhall
Ezra Klein: ezraklein

CNN (duh, how did I forget The Great Wolf Lodge?):

Melissa Harris Lacewell:
Joan Walsh:

Papers in Stupak’s area:

USA Today:  
The New York Times LTE:
The NY Times News Tips:
Los Angeles Times:
Washington Post:
Reuter’s: (please reference David Morgan’s article found here:


And don’t forget your Facebook page!


With the Sunday morning shows around the corner and Sunday papers going to hit the presses, please continue taking action. I am so excited by the amount of people who are doing something to get the correct language out.

Face the Nation:
Meet the Press: (posted again for timeliness):
Donna Brazile (she’ll be on This Week tomorrow):


OK, so if we're going to contact FOX, let's at least contact someone who may actually use the information correctly:

Shepard Smith @ Fox News:

The ATC story about Stupak’s comments section:

News comments:

3/22: March for Health Reform/ Stop Stupak in DC ---  (thanks Bronx Family Doctor!)

A great diary by KVoimakas from last year that deserves another reading:


A great suggestion from soundfreak: email Politifact and ask them to challenge Stupak's claims.

Also, a correction to Donna Brazile's email from my partner-in-crime, tomsank:

Thanks again, Tomsank, for the assist in getting media contact info.

Originally posted to jhw22 on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:57 PM PST.

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