What on earth is wrong with people? Instead of celebrating an adoptive couple’s touching story, highlighted at the State of the Union, some media began a rumor that the parents coerced one mother to hand them her child. And, as they bashed the president for not saying more, they themselves left out key details.
The fact is, because Donald Trump liked the story, a whole swath of the left automatically hate it. Add in some liberals' passionate lectures about identity, privilege and power, and they’re doing their best to make a compassionate human act into yet another oppressive outrage.
On Tuesday night, Albuquerque policeman Ryan Holets, and his wife, Rebecca, attended the State of the Union as guests of the president and first lady. During his address, President Trump told the parents of five that they “embody the goodness of our Nation.” That’s because last year the two adopted a little girl named Hope, whose mother was addicted to drugs.
The President told the story:
Last year, Holets was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Holets told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
“In that moment, Holets said he felt God speak to him: ‘You will do it – because you can.’ He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt.
Both conservative and most liberal media praised the “powerful” story. But others, like Splinter and Slate, baselessly accused Holets of pressuring the birth mother, Cyrstal Champ, to give up Hope.
Beginning with its headline, Univision-owned Splinter (formerly Fusion), mocked the Holets Tuesday evening as a “nice white couple taking a homeless addict’s baby.” Then Editor and writer Katherine Krueger charged Holets of showing Champ a photo of his own family in order to “guilt her into giving up her baby.”
Rather than support her claim, she went on to cherry-pick a December CNN story of the adoption. “Cherry-pick,” meaning she ignored the part where CNN reported that Crystal “emotionally told Holets that she desperately hoped someone would adopt her baby” before he offered to do just that.
Instead, Krueger cited Champ’s reaction when Holets warned her she could harm or kill her unborn baby with heroin.
“I was like, how dare you judge me. You have no idea how hard this is,” Krueger cited Champ telling CNN. Krueger again left out that, in the same report, Champ also called the Holets a "light in this world" and added that "there needs to be more people like Holets and his wife and their family.”
Turning her attention to Trump, Krueger called it “jarring” that the president didn’t mention Champ “who remains on the streets without a lifeline” while “journalists and politicians praise the selflessness of the couple.”
But Krueger participated in the very thing she accused President Trump of: not telling the full story – easily accessible online. In particular, she left out that Hope’s birth parents, Crystal Champ and Tom Key, are at a rehabilitation center in Florida. And that the Americans can help the couple via a GoFundMe page set up by Holets.
“While they have a full scholarship for the live-in rehabilitation center they are currently at; we need to provide them with housing after they graduate the program,” Holets wrote.
And, in a video on the crowdfunding site, Holets added that he has “kind of adopted Tom and Crystal” as his “brother and sister” and speaks with Tom regularly.
Tom “calls me every day to tell me how blessed he’s been,” Holets revealed. “But I’m the one that really feels blessed – by Tom, by Crystal, by Hope.”
But others, like Slate, followed in Splinter’s footsteps. “Trump Didn’t Bother to Say What Happened to the Biological Mother in His Cop Adoption Anecdote,” its Wednesday headline bashed.
Inside, writer Christina Cauterucci covered the “very bizarre story that, if you happened to be only half-listening, kind of sounded like it glorified a police officer for stealing somebody’s baby.”
Like Krueger, she accused Holets of showing Champ a family photo before he “convinced her to allow him and Rebecca to adopt her fetus.”
But Cauterucci continued to suggest that Champ didn’t willingly let Hope go.
“[T]he power dynamics of the Holets’ situation are cause for concern,” she continued. “A woman in dire poverty who’s just been caught by a cop with illegal drugs is not in a position, free from undue pressure, to willingly surrender custody to her fetus.”
And, she added, “without any more details than what Trump offered, it’s hard to imagine a cop asking a pregnant woman with a needle in her hand for the rights to her forthcoming child without some degree of coercion.”
Hard for her to imagine, that is. Yes, that’s Cauterucci’s interpretation of the president’s speech, where he said Champ told Holets “she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.”
Then again, Cauterucci expected nothing less than the “slippery ethics” embedded in the GOP “which treats women as mere tools of reproduction.”
“We don’t know if Ryan Holets helped connect her with programs that could get her housing or treatment for addiction if she wanted it,” she complained. “She didn’t even get a name in Trump’s story.”
But that’s something Cauterucci (and all Americans) can easily solve with a simple Google search. Something it appears she didn't do.
She even suggested that Hope’s story could have been used to show how Americans need “better access to contraception,” among other things. Presumably so that babies like Hope don’t happen.
“Trump offered no policy implications alongside the anecdote,” she concluded. “To Republicans, Hope Holets’ biological mother is merely the villain in the story of a heroic cop.”
And to her, it would seem, Holets is the villain.
But others in the media appreciated the story for what it was: a sign of hope. David French of the National Review called it “one of the most powerful pro-life moments I’ve seen in a presidential address.”
Even feminist Bustle agreed.
“Regardless of party affiliation, everyone should agree that their decision to open their arms to a baby shows the goodness in humankind,” editor Hillary E. Crawford added. “And right now, it seems like people need every glimpse of hope they can get.”
That includes Krueger and Cauterucci. If only they could see it.