Friday, August 28, 2009


Right-wingers just can't stand the fact that Michael Moore and Al Gore have made documentaries that were box office hits and they haven't. The latest right-wing attempt at a would-be Fahrenheit 911 or Inconvenient Truth is Blood Money, an anti-abortion doc that's nearing completion. Anti-choicer Jill Stanek just posted the slick trailer -- and I have to give the filmmakers credit, because they've done something remarkable in the annals of propaganda: they've wedded a classic trope of political documentaries, the shocking interview with a talking-head whistleblower, to old techniques familiar from works like the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion." Watch the beginning of the trailer: the talking-head whistleblower claims to have participated in events that sound like an anti-abortion conspiratorialist's wish list of every evil it would be delightful to ascribe to pro-choicers:

We had a whole plan that sold abortions, and it was called "sex education." Break down their natural modesty, separate them from their parents and their values, and become the sex expert in their lives so they turn to us when we would give them a low-dose birth control pill they would get pregnant on, or a defective condom. Our goal was three to five abortions from every girl between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.

Wow. I can't believe we were so evil. I guess we didn't kill the girls and use their blood in Passover matzohs. Or maybe that's in the full documentary.

Later on, I see that another talking head gets into Glenn Beck/Alex Jones-style paranoia, and I wonder if this line is going to work its way into the health care debate:

Planned Parenthood is expanding now. They're building gigantic abortion clinics in anticipation of socialized medicine.

I don't know if this is in any way related to the rail cars with shackles many conspiracy nuts think the government is building -- again, we'll probably have to wait for the complete film. (What is it about these folks that they think we're constantly building sinister things? Is there something primal in the paranoid brain about fantasies of enemy construction projects?)

Stanek identifies this guy as Dr. Brian Clowes, the "Director of Research and Training" for Human Life International. He's not an M.D. -- he has a Ph.D. in "Civil Engineering and Systems Science." Maybe that gives him some credibility as an expert on construction projects. But his big subjects seem to be abortion, contraception (he equates use of the Pill with abortion in many cases), and homosexuality (the authors of the insane gay-equals-Nazi rant The Pink Swastika, about which I've written in the past, cite "some alarming statistics" from his work allegedly demonstrating that "eight of the top ten serial killers in the United States were homosexuals and that homosexuals were responsible for 68 percent of all mass murders").

This documentary is highly unlikely to have much impact on the discourse. But I'm I'll be curious to see if the Planned Parenthood conspiracy theory makes its way into Sarah Palin Facebook posts and Michelle Bachmann floor speeches.


And on a related note, Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that Operation Rescue has named another abortion doctor as the successor to George Tiller -- presumably as a target for assassination. Her interview (and more about the widespread craziness in this country right now) is here.

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