NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., July 27, 2016. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
NARAL, as I pointed out yesterday, is in the business of trafficking in lies. The lies they have published about me are, in the larger scheme of things, a great deal less consequential than the lies they tell about abortion, but I take a personal interest in them. NARAL has now published a “correction”— a correction which also contains a lie — and an “apology” (to no one in particular) for spreading misinformation.
Apparently, we are meant to believe this was an honest error. I am deeply curious about what scenario might have led to the honest mistake of thinking that a writer had gone on a national television show and made outrageous remarks x, y, or z when, in fact, nothing of the sort happened, and neither x, y, nor z was a subject of discussion.
Strange stuff. But I have been here before. I have, in fact, made a little study of it, and of the ways in which people justify such lies to themselves.
E.g.: Erin Gloria Ryan, writing in the Daily Beast, has willfully and plainly lied about what I have said and written. She knows this and the editors of the Daily Beast know this, inasmuch as I wrote to them at the time to complain about the lie. But the lie stands, because the Daily Beast lacks sufficient intellectual standards and institutional self-respect to correct the record.
I am by this point more or less used to being lied about. Perhaps you have read some quotations from me on Twitter in which I defend the racist antics of Donald Sterling. These were pure fabrications created by Matt Bruenig, an occasional contributor to The Atlantic. To be clear: These were not exaggerations or distortions, or remarks taken out of context; I’d never written or said one word about Donald Sterling, of whom I never had heard until I read quotations defending him purporting to be from me. Bruenig just made them up in an attempt to paint me as a racist, because he believes that doing so will advance his political and professional interests, in the same way Erin Gloria Ryan invented a tale about my wanting to engage in the “mass lynching of women.”
These liars, and the low-minded people who publish them, are more comfortable with the lie than they are with the truth. They fear the lies — and the liars — more than they cherish the truth. Editors make editorial decisions based on lies, knowing they are lies, because they fear the liars. They fear the liars because they fear the mob. This is why they ultimately lack credibility and, consequently, lack enduring interest. People know mush when they taste it.
And these people — these liars — believe that they are, among other things, the natural arbiters of journalism.
In the case of NARAL, a number of people (including a number of progressives who presumably are like-minded on the question of abortion) corrected their lie and chastised them for it on Twitter, but there it stood, repeated and amplified thousands of times, for days. I do wonder what inspired them to finally publish their non-correction non-apology; I suspect it was a conversation with a lawyer.
I suppose it is time for me to have one of those, too.