Yellow Journalism is Alive and Well

Democrats are getting desperate. Or perhaps I should say, Democrats are getting even more desperate. Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate has put big-government liberals into panic-mode. They are clamoring for anything and everything to throw at the duo. Their latest low blow would be downright humorous if they weren’t actually serious. But they are serious, which makes it rather sad and pathetic.

In an article on the Mother Jones website, Stephanie Mencimer makes the claim that Paul Ryan supports legislation that would make some of Mitt Romney’s own children criminals. And what precisely is this legislation? The Sanctity of Human Life Act (SHLA), which Paul Ryan co-sponsored. The official summary of the act is as follows:

Sanctity of Human Life Act – Declares that: (1) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human and is the person’s paramount and most fundamental right; (2) each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, at which time every human has all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and (3) Congress, each state, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have the authority to protect all human lives.

So where exactly is the “criminal activity”? According to Mencimer, it is in the phrase “each human life begins with fertilization.” Apparently, three of Romney’s sons have used in vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves the process of joining the sperm and the egg in a lab and then inserting the fertilized zygote back into the mother. In Mencimer’s mind, this puts Ryan and Romney at odds, because, as she states, IVF requires multiple eggs and multiple sperm. Mencimer believes that this means that “the Sanctity of Human Life Act, if passed, would make all those embryos ‘people’ in the legal sense, so if they aren’t used or don’t become babies after being implanted, they would essentially become murder victims under the law.” While this may or may be true (the SHLA is not law and according to GovTrack has only a 1% chance of being enacted), this doesn’t stop Mencimer from making wild connections about what Paul Ryan believes about IVF.

Notice first of all that IVF isn’t even mentioned in the wording of the SHLA, nor is the word “criminal.” IVF is currently legal; what Romney’s three sons did to begin pregnancy is not a criminal act, despite what Paul Ryan does or does not believe. It is Ryan’s conviction—as a strong advocate of the pro-life position—that human life does indeed begin at conception. This means that whether life is started outside of the womb or inside of it, it should still be understood as being human life. This is the consistent pro-life view. It is certainly true that procedures like IVF complicate this view, but this does not mean that men like Mitt Romney’s sons would be viewed as “criminals,” even by such “rabid pro-lifers” as Paul Ryan. Using this as a wedge between Romney and Ryan is as dishonest as it is illogical.

However, honesty or logic has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Mencimer shows her true agenda in the second to last paragraph of her illogical ramblings:

Ryan’s position on IVF might give President Obama an opening for attack: While Romney’s running mate has advocated criminalizing a procedure that has brought untold joy to about 3 million families over the past three decades, Democrats might be able to claim credit for making advanced infertility treatments available to the vast majority of Americans who can’t afford them. Currently, most health insurance plans don’t cover infertility treatment, so IVF and other advanced baby-making technology is mostly available to rich people—like the Romney boys.

Ahhh, there it is: Emotional pleas and class warfare. That’s the real motivation behind Mencimer’s article. Democrats know that few of their readers can actually follow a train of logic (even when it is liberal illogic), so they feel always compelled to always color in the whole picture for their readers. Notice words and phrases like “attack,” “untold joy,” “credit,” “baby-making technology,” “rich people,” and “the Romney boys.” This isn’t “news;” this is yellow journalism. This is class warfare masquerading as “current events.”

Mencimer cares little about what Ryan or Romney actually believe about the pro-life issue. She only cares that they lose, and she is willing to use any tactic possible to ensure this happens. This should be encouraging. When journalists are running scared and resorting to guerilla reporting to further their cause, we can be assured that they are just about spent.