Dana Milbank Is So Dishonest, Interviewees Have To Post Their Email Correspondence To Correct Record

Dana Milbank Is So Dishonest, Interviewees Have To Post Their Email Correspondence To Correct Record

Washington Post journalist Dana Milbank serially distorts and exaggerates. You can read a good example of how this works in “Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Dana Milbank,” which compares the reality of a panel Milbank covered with his mischaracterization of same. You might also be interested in “Dana Milbank Is Incoherent On Marriage,” which looks at how he misunderstood another panel discussion, thereby contradicting his own writings.

The Washington Post continues to publish Milbank prominently, even though he routinely tells tall tales about conservative women. Yes, Milbank has a particular problem with women. Which brings us to the latest example of Milbank’s trouble with accurate reporting.

His latest piece attempts to argue that pro-lifers have a logic problem. He cites a study that shows abortion rates declining, notes that some states where they declined have more liberal abortion laws than states with some health protections for unborn children and their mothers:

Broadening the use of contraceptives would seriously reduce abortions, but it would be poisonous to the GOP primary electorate.

That’s our Milbank!

He claims that a Democrat woman wants to allow birth control pills to be sold over the counter but that mean ol’ Republicans won’t let her. He forgets to mention that Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO, won his campaign against Mark “Uterus” Udall after making that proposal. Or that right-winger Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-LA, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal all the way back in 2012 headlined “The End of Birth-Control Politics: Over-the-counter sales of oral contraceptives will cut off a disingenuous attack line.

And Milbank also forgot to mention that it is Planned Parenthood, one of the Democratic Party’s most ardent supporters, that has opposed over-the-counter birth control. Why? Well, birth control is sort of a loss-leader for the billion-dollar company. Their business model depends on keeping poor women away from cheap birth control, which means more and higher abortion revenue.

That’s our Milbank!

Anyway, the other interesting thing about Milbank’s piece is that he talked to a pro-choice buddy to make the case that birth control is an unalloyed good and then he only pretended to quote a pro-life woman. He didn’t accurately quote her. He mentions a pro-abortion research firm’s findings that long-term sterilization of women would be dandy and then notes:

But antiabortion groups question this conclusion. Charmaine Yoest, who runs Americans United for Life, told me that “I haven’t seen anything” to convince her that more contraceptive use reduces abortion. She pointed to Guttmacher’s 2011 findings that between 2001 and 2008, a reduction in the proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion “could represent increased difficulty in accessing abortion services.”

In theory, that could contribute to the recent decline. But as the AP survey finds, there’s little correlation. Denying the more obvious contribution made by broader access to cheap, long-acting birth control requires some self-deception.

Well, wait ’til you hear what Yoest says about her interaction with Milbank. But first let’s note that this AP survey is notoriously flawed. It doesn’t include several jurisdictions, including a tiny little state called California (which only has 39 million people), New Jersey and Maryland. States themselves don’t report abortion statistics uniformly. Not even close. Some might include non-surgical abortions. Others definitely don’t. So a state like Illinois, which registered a slight decline in abortion, might actually have seen an increase if one included RU-486 abortions.

But setting all that — and more problems with the survey — aside, I thought this from Yoest was interesting:

— Charmaine (@CharmaineYoest) June 13, 2015

— Charmaine (@CharmaineYoest) June 13, 2015

— Political Math (@politicalmath) June 15, 2015

I’m not sure if Milbank didn’t understand Yoest’s point or if he just realized his clumsy point-scoring was obliterated by its inclusion. Either way, why is the Washington Post enabling him?

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway
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