The General Assembly is already in full swing, with committees meeting, bills being debated, and daily press conferences being held on every subject under the sun. Of course, how and what the media reports out of Richmond can greatly influence the outcome of legislation, with each side of a particular issue trying to influence the “narrative” being sold to the general public.
Which is why seeing PolitiFact, the media’s self-proclaimed watchdog of truth, slam on back-to-back days absurd claims from the left is so surprising. Yesterday, PolitiFact rated “false” a claim by “Occupy Democrats,”and repeated blogs and others on the left, that legislation protecting the privacy rights of public school students would require officials “check children’s genitals before using the bathroom.” Obviously, such a statement is as bizarre as it is false, but that doesn’t stop such a claim from becoming the narrative. Perhaps those opposed to student privacy recognize that their position is so far outside the mainstream of Virginia they need to frighten people with misleading and “false” claims to have any chance.
Of course, facts and reality won’t stop the attacks on common sense legislation that simply ensures our children aren’t forced to confront someone of the opposite sex in a bathroom or locker room. That’s why it’s important for you to be informed and to be able to educate people you know who may hear such a wild claim and wonder if it might be true.
And today (in the Richmond Times Dispatch but not online as of this writing), PolitiFact found “false” a claim by the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice Virginia that, “research out of Texas revealed that due to the rapidly declining number of women’s health centers in that state, over 100,000 women have attempted self-induced abortion in the past year alone.”
A quick review of the “study” showed it was so unscientific and baseless that even Reuters – not exactly known as being unbiased – printed a correction when it reported the study late last year. More analysis of the pseudo-study can be found here and here. As the $1 billion abortion industry tries to rebound from last year’s scandal involving Planned Parenthood, we can expect more misleading statements and deception.
We haven’t always agreed with PolitiFact’s conclusions, but in these two cases they are correct in their rulings of both claims being “false.” Sadly, these are unlikely to be the only “false” claims made by the secular left during this legislative session.