Even the 'Los Angeles Times’ Thinks CA Charging Pro-Lifers Is Misguided

In this crazy world we live in, even a broken clock can be right from time to time. 

For this installment, behold a Thursday Los Angeles Times editorial entitled “Felony charges are a disturbing overreach for the duo behind the Planned Parenthood sting videos” that came to the defense of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) after California pressed 15 felony charges against two of the pro-life group's members.

However, the liberal newspaper spent much of the editorial trashing pro-lifers and blasting founder David Daleiden for what they did, such as the opening paragraph:

There’s no question that anti-abortion activist David Daleiden surreptitiously recorded healthcare and biomedical services employees across the state of California with the intent of discrediting the healthcare provider, Planned Parenthood — something his heavily edited videos failed to do. There’s also no question that it’s against state law to record confidential conversations without the consent of all the parties involved.

The Times quickly changed its tone, coming to their defense against California Attorney General and former Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra, writing that Daleiden’s motives don’t mean Becerra should have charged them.

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“It's disturbingly aggressive for Becerra to apply this criminal statute to people who were trying to influence a contested issue of public policy, regardless of how sound or popular that policy may be...The state doesn’t need to threaten the pair with prison time,” the paper wrote, adding that a legal remedy would be a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and Stem Express.

Despite their efforts to present a liberal view of what happened and complain about the “uproar” Daleiden caused wasn’t exactly journalism, The Times tried (as painfully as it probably was for them) to be consistent on the issue of undercover videos:

In similar cases, we have denounced moves to criminalize such behavior, especially in the case of animal welfare investigators who have gone undercover at slaughterhouses and other agricultural businesses to secretly record horrific and illegal abuses of animals. That work, too, is aimed at revealing wrongdoing and changing public policy.

That’s why the state law forbidding recording of conversations should be applied narrowly, and to clear and egregious violations of privacy where the motive is personal gain.

Unfortunately, there was another interlude doing the bidding of the murderous Planned Parenthood and leader Cecile Richards. They shamefully claimed that “we don’t believe the videos revealed any wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood” and that there’s no reason “any public policy...needs to be changed.”

Touting fetal tissue sales in the name of “research,” The Times concluded by again siding with CMP and Daleiden:

There are avenues in civil courts for officials of Planned Parenthood and the biomedical service providers to strike back. And, in fact, Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Daleiden and his organization of fraud, breach of contract, and several other offenses.

But Becerra’s attempt to take this to the level of a criminal felony is misplaced here.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center