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Monday, April 11, 2011


Let’s get something straight right now. I don’t much like Lawrence O’Donnell. I rarely watch his program, because, let’s face it, he’s always seemed to me at least to be, well, just that little bit too cutesy and folksy for my taste. A bit too dispassionate, a bit too detached – and, frankly, just a bit boring. There have been times, lately, when he’s shown that the dispassion that he shows can be a far more effective tool that an Olbermann-style bluster, or a Maddow-style snark, or even a Schultz-style rant. All of that changed for me tonight.

I dislike Glenn Beck; I find him pretentious, whiney and a complete phony. I have a lot of Mormon relatives, most of whom have been sealed in the Temple (which means that they are very good Mormons indeed), and I have yet to hear any of them say anything other than “Well, he tithes more than his 10%” – as if that was the absolute measure of the man’s worth. I keep up with the lunatic fringe on the principal that if you don’t listen to them and learn what they’re about and what they’re up to, the only person that you hurt is yourself. Being informed is still the best weapon that there is.

Well, tonight I was watching the late edition of Chris Matthews’ show, and out of sheer laziness, I didn’t change to another channel when Mr. O’Donnell came on the air. I’m glad that I didn’t, because I learned something that I find so egregious, so hateful and so shameful that it’s making me ill just to contemplate. I got to listen to part of Glenn Beck’s radio show that aired today. Did you hear it? It was, to put it mildly, loathsome.

Planned Parenthood is under attack, as are all women’s health issues including abortion on demand. On Friday, Mr. O’Donnell mounted a highly emotional and personal defense of Planned Parenthood on his Friday show. O'Donnell first zeroed in on Sen. Jon Kyl's assertion (which he was later forced to retract) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are abortion related. He called Kyl a "nice guy" who had told a "horrible lie" that he said was fed to him by "fanatical enemies of Planned Parenthood who hate the idea that the word 'planned' should ever come before the word 'parenthood.' " O'Donnell then showed charts which demonstrated that, actually, only around three percent of the organization's resources go towards abortion services, with the rest going to various screening and sexual health services. (None of the abortion services are funded with federal money either.) He said that Kyl's false statement would not be forgotten. "Lies that not go unnoticed in the Senate," he said. "Jon Kyl will never again be trusted by Senators, including Republican Senators, as a source of reliable facts."

Mr. O’Donnell then turned to an email which he said came from a friend of his who used Planned Parenthood. He read the email out from his Blackberry, and as he did so, his hands, and his voice, started shaking with emotion. The friend's email recounted her dire financial straits and history of medical illnesses. Planned Parenthood, she wrote, was the place she went for her birth control and her cancer screenings, and through them, she said, she was able to get multiple mammograms. "It's terrifying to think that with lack of funds, millions of women would not have access to this kind of care," the friend wrote. "I can't imagine what I would do without Planned Parenthood. Talking about what they do is part of your job right now...please yell some sense into these people." As O'Donnell said those last words, his voice broke perceptibly, and he dropped the Blackberry shaking in his hands and turned away from the camera.

On Monday, Glenn Beck played the clip – and here’s what he had to say about Mr. O’Donnell’s emotional moment:

On his Monday show, Beck played the tape of O'Donnell - a host whose feud with Beck is long-running--reading the email from a friend of his who described her need for Planned Parenthood's services. He said he couldn't believe that O'Donnell had teared up about such an issue. "I believe that my country is under attack, and that man's freedom as we understand it is over," he said. "He gets on the air on Friday and [cries] about, 'we're not going to kill babies anymore.'"

He started playing the tape, but asked his producer to stop after O'Donnell read a part of the email where his friend said that she depended on Planned Parenthood. "Stop just a second!" Beck said. "Hookers? Who depends on Planned Parenthood?" He then impersonated the woman, who said she had had an abortion. "I've got 400 abortions that I have to have!" Beck said. "I have to have these children aborted!" He and his co-hosts then continued making fun of O'Donnell and the woman for several minutes more.
Mr. Beck and his sidekick laughed over this for a good five minutes. They thought that this was funny.
Guess what, you son of an earless mother: *I* use Planned Parenthood for my health screenings. I used Planned Parenthood for my contraceptive needs, which also answered a need for hormones that my body didn’t produce enough of. I use Planned Parenthood for my twice-yearly wellness screenings. I use Planned Parenthood for mammograms.

Guess what else, you hyenas? There aren’t enough people to adopt the babies that are already out there. There aren’t enough people to adopt the special-needs children that need homes. For the love of the Goddess, there aren’t enough homes to even FOSTER all the children that are born every year, let alone foster the ones that are already out there, always assuming that the ethnic backgrounds are judged compatible. The GLBT community is not allowed to foster or adopt children. If the children are the offspring of alcoholics or drug addicts, NOBODY will take them.

If you’ve got to value every single life, then how come you don’t value them? As for your assertion about Margaret Sanger, I strongly suggest that you do your homework; the precursor to Planned Parenthood was an organization, started by Preston Bush, who was a great admirer of Hitler’s method of “controlling the undesirables” by sterilization.

Oh, and just for the record, Mr. Beck: I’m not a hooker. I’m a housewife.

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