Reading almost directly from Democrat talking points, the so-called "news" network MSNBC spent most of its prime time programming Friday claiming that if the federal government was shut down as a result of a budget impasse, it was because Republicans wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lawrence O'Donnell dutifully did his part in advancing this hysterical nonsense Friday, so much so that after reading a lengthy e-mail message from a poor friend of his that uses this organization's services, "The Last Word" host actually broke down in tears (video follows with transcript and commentary):
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: I’ve never visited a Planned Parenthood office, so I know little beyond that pie chart about what Planned Parenthood does. But I have friends who depend on Planned Parenthood. One of them currently, an unemployed victim of the great recession, who can’t even afford cable TV to watch this show tonight, sent me an e-mail today saying -- "Stop these whackos."
Her e-mail deserves a place in the Congressional record besides the lies being told about Planned Parenthood. She says: "do they have any idea how expensive birth control is and how important it is for it to be provided to women at Planned Parenthood clinics? A regular prescription for my pill was 98 dollars a month without insurance. And even with insurance, it was 78 dollars through the pharmacy.
"Who can afford that every month? Last summer, through my employer’s insurance, which I lost along with the job, was the first time I’ve ever been to a, quote, ‘real gynecologist,’ a doctor outside of Planned Parenthood. But as a woman, I need an annual exam. Even beyond birth control and my unfortunate and devastating abortion, I’ve needed Planned Parenthood for breast exams.
"My breasts are cystic. Since I was 17, I’ve had small lumps come and go. And through Planned Parenthood, I’ve had three ultrasounds and two mammograms. Presently, I have another large lump that may be more serious. And once again, Planned Parenthood is offering to perform an exam and provide me with additional testing.
"At my current income, these services will most likely be entirely free to me as my birth control now is. In the past, I would pay a donation of my choosing that I determined by my income, which would be at most 20 dollars a visit. In addition, the doctors or nurse practitioners at Planned Parenthood are the only medical doctors I get to see every year.
"I haven’t had a general practitioner in ten years. I haven’t even been able to afford a teeth cleaning from a dentist in five. And I can’t even fathom what it would be like to be able to have a doctor to visit if I get ill.
"To be able to have doctors, nurses services available to me at Planned Parenthood that I would otherwise be unable to afford is a huge relief and burden off my shoulders. Now I’m afraid those services will no longer be available to me.
"It’s terrifying to think that with lack of funds, millions of women wouldn’t have access to this kind of care. I can’t imagine what I would do without Planned Parenthood. Talking about what they do is part of your job right now. So I wanted you no know on a personal level what Planned Parenthood does for me, so it might influence you when you’re on the subject at work.
"I feel my voice is lost and there’s nothing I can do about this situation. Please yell some sense into these people."
This is what liberal media members were willing to do to blame a government shutdown on Republicans.
Never mind that Democrats who controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House had all year last year to create a budget of their own. That's been totally irrelevant to their shills in the media for over 15 months.
As for the Planned Parenthood rider, the lack of this provision was never going to prevent a budget agreement. Instead, this became a totally dishonest rallying cry from Democrat leaders, especially Friday as the deadline approached.
With this in mind, shills like O'Donnell and many others on MSNBC took their marching orders and began foisting this canard on their viewers who probably ate it up like the finest caviar.
So into participating in this charade was O'Donnell that he not only read this e-mail message from his PDA rather than the teleprompter right in front of his face, he also did so with the dramatic effect of fighting back tears until he was almost done.
And this is what passes for journalism at MSNBC.
Of course, these are the same folks that rail against Glenn Beck's tears as well as House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Oh.).
I guess it's okay to cry on the air when you're advancing a lie that might help the Party you support win an upcoming election.
Nice job, Lawrence. Your Hollywood background is surely paying off in your new role as MSNBC commentator/Democrat shill.