‘World News’ Leads With Hillary’s Uninsured Pregnant Woman Fib

April 6th, 2008 1:34 PM

On Saturday, NewsBusters asked, "Will Media Pounce on Hillary's Lie About Dead 'Uninsured' Pregnant Woman?

Hours later, ABC's "World News" certainly did, actually leading the program with yet another example of how candidate Clinton loves to play fast and loose with the facts when delivering stump speeches.

Anchor David Muir began the program:

Good evening. They are the stories told on the stump. More than a year into this Democratic fight for the nomination, it would be impossible to tally jus how many times Senators Clinton and Obama have shared a story of someone they met or a hardship they heard about while campaigning. But what happens when that story doesn't add up? There are new questions tonight about Hillary Clinton's tale of a pregnant woman who lost her life because she was denied health care. Now the hospital says that's not what happened. And we begin with ABC's John Hendren tonight.

JOHN HENDREN: Hillary Clinton often tells the story of the pregnant Ohio woman turned away from the hospital because she lacks $100 for a checkup, she returns in an ambulance. In a tragedy with a moral, first the baby dies, then the mother. Or so the story goes.

HILLARY CLINTON: A young woman and her baby would die because she didn't have health insurance or $100 to get examined.

HENDREN: The lesson? Universal health care would have saved her life. The subtext? Only Clinton supports universal health care. There's just one problem with that story -- the hospital now says it's not true. O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio, says the woman was insured and she was never denied treatment. After hospital officials demanded Clinton stop telling the gruesome tale she did not repeat it today. The Clinton campaign says she was just repeating the story she was told by this deputy sheriff.

DEPUTY SHERIFF: I'd like to tell you the story about a young woman I know that didn't have health insurance.

HENDREN: It is the latest story questioned after Clinton acknowledged she wrongly claimed she had dodged sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia. She made light of those comments this week on "The Tonight Show."

CLINTON: I was worried I wasn't going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire.

HENDREN: Clinton and Obama are due to meet for a Democratic dinner in Butte, Montana, a state that wasn't supposed to matter in the primary contest. It's the last state to vote on June 3 and in this nail biter of an election, every state counts. And David, it's not yet clear how much this could hurt Hillary Clinton but party officials say she needs to win big to keep her campaign alive and this was another day when she could ill-afford to be off message.

Nice report. Readers are also encouraged to watch the segment immediately following which featured Jake Tapper discussing in some detail both of Clinton and Obama's tall stories told during this campaign.