The Rumor Mill Churns. . . And I Make a Mistake


Rumors about political candidates and issues are par for the course these days. If you’ve seen the Daily Show this week you will have seen Jon Stewart rail against the all to often inaccurate reporting of FOXNews. Recently, rumors have begun to resurface that Rick Perry may be gay, and I’m sure the closer we get to the election, old and new Obama myths will emerge. I fell prey to one of these rumors this week.

In this post, I was talking about how a “generic Republican” does not have the baggage of any of the real Republican candidates. I listed some of those problems. One that I talked about was Rick Santorum consenting to an abortion to save his wife’s life. That was untrue. I confused a blog post that made the claim with the actual article from the New Yorker that reported the story.

The story is that in 1997 Karen Santorum was pregnant with a fetus who had a fatal heart defect. The fetus would never survive until birth. Her doctors urged her to abort the pregnancy because it could threaten her life. Her doctors wanted to artificially induce labor even though the fetus wasn’t viable. The Santorums refused saying that would be equal to abortion. In the end, she went into premature labor anyway and gave birth to a boy who tragically died a few hours later.

While some people will report that she did have an abortion just to spread lies about Santorum, others may have been confused because in an interview later Karen Santorum said that if she was told she would die in an hour without the procedure she would consent. In her words, “for the sake of her other children.” Whether this rumor is being spread as a mistake or as misinformation to hurt Santorum’s candidacy, I don’t want any part of it.

The part of the post that was incorrect I have removed. Hopefully this will not happen again. I want people who read this blog to think the research is thorough and the facts are correct. I will work harder in the future to make sure this is true.

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2 responses to “The Rumor Mill Churns. . . And I Make a Mistake

  1. Freedom, by the way

    It is difficult sometimes. If I’m not quoting a well-known, legitimate news source or web site, I always try to find at least two sources that at least support what the other claims (or have evidence of other authority), even though I may actually use only one source. There is so much garbage out there. And even then, sometimes we get it wrong. Best is to fix, as you did, and explain, as you did. It gives you credibility.
    Unfortunately, since the Dems don’t have a primary, every news organization, every talk show, every political blogger is zeroed in on the Republican primary. It will get ugly. There will be lies.

    • What annoyed me the most was that it was a simple mistake on my part. The article was clear in what it said. The blog post that linked to it simply misconstrued the facts. There is a lot of garbage out there. I once got in a fight with some people who hated Obama just by simply disagreeing with the claim that it was his fault the deficit rose to over a trillion dollars. I made the point that the fiscal year had started under President Bush, and really more importantly that a sharp drop in tax revenue coupled with a large jump in government spending caused the rise. Trying to convince those people that it wasn’t any one persons fault was impossible. Another thing that bothered me about this issue is that I read an article that said the Rick Perry team was preparing to deal with old rumors that he was gay. There has been extensive investigative reporting in Texas that found no basis for the claim, but they are assuming (rightfully) that if he runs it will come up. These rumors about Obama, Perry, Santorum and the rest are what really keep us from having a genuine discussion.

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