Guide Opposition and Intimidation: The Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment

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According to Roeder, when he asked Newman if it would be justified to shoot an abortionist, Newman responded, "It wouldn't upset me. Tiller, a piece of paper containing Sullenger's phone number, along with the words "Cheryl" and "Op Rescue" was found in his car. On its website, Operation Rescue proudly advertises the Center for Medical Progress's Planned Parenthood videos; a graphic on their homepage bills the videos as "an investigative journalism study by CMP in consultation with Operation Rescue.

In addition to running Operation Rescue, Newman has a robust online presence: According to a reverse domain name ownership database, there are 45 anti-abortion websites registered under his name and email address.

One of them , AbortionDocs. The registrant phone number for AbortionDocs. Essentially, anyone who wants to harass, stalk, or threaten an abortion doctor can find all the information they'd need here. It's a reading AbortionDocs.

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We denounce acts of violence against abortion clinics and providers in the strongest terms. Those on the receiving end of anti-abortion aggression find such claims disingenuous. Anti-abortion extremists have a long and storied history of doxxing and harassing providers. According to David Cohen, a lawyer and author who has extensively studied anti-abortion terrorism, such harassment takes myriad forms.

For an example of someone who misuses such information, look no further than the Center for Medical Progress's chief financial officer, Albin Rhomberg. Rhomberg has been aggressively harassing and intimidating both pro-choice groups and women seeking reproductive healthcare for over 20 years. In , he was arrested for interrupting a religious service at the inauguration of California's then-Governor Pete Wilson, a Republican who is pro-choice, in order to scream denouncements.

In , a representative from Planned Parenthood of Sacramento posted a video of Rhomberg outside of the clinic, accompanied by the following text:. Once I turned off my phone, he continued to follow me for an entire city block, barely 3 feet away, filming and shouting at me about my evil work with Planned Parenthood. Albin has been filming our events for years This isn't the first time I've been accosted by Albin - he's yelled at me inside my own church and he's followed me out to my car in a parking lot and filmed my license plate as I was driving away.

The Center for Medical Progress's criminal behavior isn't confined to the past. At first glance, the Center may seem like an authentic organization: Not only is it registered with the Center with the California Registry of Charitable Trusts RCT , the IRS also granted it tax-exempt status as a c 3 non-profit organization. However, none of the Center's tax forms are available online, and according to a delinquency letter sent by the California RCT on July 23, , the Center for Medical Progress failed to file its annual report in both and Even more egregiously, it's possible that the Center intentionally misrepresented its purpose to the IRS.

If this is proven true, it could legally constitute felony perjury. According to a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington CREW , until at least February of this year, the Center for Medical Progress publicly billed itself as a "non-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating both the lay public and the scientific community about the latest advances in regenerative medicine, cell-based therapies, and related disciplines. As the CREW complaint notes, "If the Center truthfully told the IRS it intended to make and release secretly-filmed videos in an attempt to disparage providers of reproductive health services, it is highly unlikely the IRS would have assigned the Center the code for biomedicine and bioengineering.

The amount of effort that the Center for Medical Progress put into deceiving Planned Parenthood is staggering. BioMax had its own logo and website which is now password protected ; operatives from the Center of Medical Progress posing as BioMax employees had their own business cards and fake identities. By posing as a legitimate tissue procurement company for two years, Daleiden and his associates were able to infiltrate two annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation NAF as well as at least three Planned Parenthood meetings, according to a recent lawsuit filed by the NAF.

Because abortion providers face severe and constant threats, the NAF must hold its annual meetings in secret, according to Saporta. In order to be allowed admittance, attendees must promise that they have a legitimate interest in reaching reproductive healthcare professionals. They must also sign a non-disclosure agreement NDA in which they consent to not videotape or record at the meeting and acknowledge that all information learned at the meetings is confidential and cannot be disclosed without NAF's consent. In some of the recordings already published online by the Center for Medical Progress, Daleiden openly violates that NDA, referencing information he learned at the event and explicitly naming doctors with whom he spoke.

According to the NAF's complaint, several of the NAF's members now suspect that Daleiden was recording their conversations—which would violate state laws. Both California and Maryland have two-party consent laws in place: In those states, it's illegal to record a private conversation without first obtaining the consent of all parties to that conversation.

With each deceptively edited tape the Center for Medical Progress releases, it puts abortion providers at substantial risk. Already, the subjects of the Center's previous undercover videos have faced graphic, targeted death threats and had their personal information published online no doubt with help from resources like AbortionDocs. Deborah Nucatola. Anyone go for it. I'll pay ten grand to whomever beats me to [CEO] Falzone had even seen the contract. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.

But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. In January, , Fox demoted Falzone without explanation. That May, she sued the network. Her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, declined to comment but acknowledged that a settlement has been reached; it includes a nondisclosure agreement that bars Falzone from talking about her work at Fox. Ken you are such a LIAR. This story got killed by FoxNews at the highest level.

I know, because I was one of your sources. Shine was liked by most of the on-air stars he managed; they describe him as well organized and forthright. Shine, who is tough-looking, with a doughy, dented face, is the son of a New York City policeman. Colleagues say that Shine knew how to coach talent to look good on TV, and how to drive ratings. He was the one who would give you the lucrative contract.


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He controlled the narrative that way. They allegedly compiled a dossier on Gabriel Sherman as he worked on his Ailes biography, and obtained the phone records of another journalist, Joe Strupp, in an effort to find out who was leaking to him. Separately, Ailes and a small group kept a close eye on internal talent.

These people often get burned themselves. But at least four civil lawsuits against Fox have named Shine as a defendant for enabling workplace harassment. The suit faults Fox for spending fifty-five million dollars to settle such claims out of court. The use of company funds for payoffs prompted a criminal investigation by the U. In , Shine was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, but instead he agreed to be interviewed by prosecutors. A copy of the confidentiality agreement shows that Shine co-signed it.

The day that Ailes left Fox, Luhn broke her silence. She had sexually serviced Ailes for years, she said, in part because he had blackmailed her with compromising videotapes. A spokesperson for Shine has denied this account, and has said that Shine was unaware that Ailes and Luhn had a sexual relationship. She has since left NBC. Shine soon followed him out the door.

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Hannity proposed Shine as a top communications official, or even as a deputy chief of staff. A year later, Shine was both. By the time Trump was elected, Murdoch had adeptly improved ties with him. Murdoch appears to have been wise in securing a rapprochement. Hundt, the former F. The Murdoch family will receive more than two billion dollars in the deal, and will become a major stockholder in the combined company.

The Justice Department expressed no serious antitrust concerns, even though the combined company will reportedly account for half the box-office revenue in America. Trump publicly congratulated Murdoch even before the Justice Department signed off on the deal, and claimed that it would create jobs.

In fact, the consolidation is projected to result in thousands of layoffs. In July, the F. The F. The Justice Department, meanwhile, went to court in an effort to stop A. Time Warner saw the deal as essential to its survival at a time when the media business is increasingly dominated by giant competitors such as Google and Facebook. Murdoch understood this impulse: in , 21st Century Fox had tried, unsuccessfully, to buy Time Warner.

Trump also opposed the deal, but many people suspected that his objection was a matter of petty retaliation against CNN. Although Presidents have traditionally avoided expressing opinions about legal matters pending before the judicial branch, Trump has bluntly criticized the plan. However, in the late summer of , a few months before the Justice Department filed suit, Trump ordered Gary Cohn , then the director of the National Economic Council, to pressure the Justice Department to intervene.


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  • I want that deal blocked! Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs, evidently understood that it would be highly improper for a President to use the Justice Department to undermine two of the most powerful companies in the country as punishment for unfavorable news coverage, and as a reward for a competing news organization that boosted him. We are not going to do business that way. Blair Levin, the former F. He leaves no fingerprints. He recalls attending a dinner where Murdoch pushed him to move ahead on immigration reform.

    Most American news outlets try to adhere to facts. Case studies conducted by the authors show that lies and distortions on the right spread easily from extremist Web sites to mass-media outlets such as Fox, and only occasionally get corrected.

    Pro-Life Group Pays Women $3,000 To Not Get Abortions

    When falsehoods are exposed, core viewers often react angrily. Sometimes such pushback has a salutary effect. Such breaks with the Trump narrative on Fox are rare, though. Unlike Glenn Beck, Hannity has been allowed to spew baseless conspiracy theories with impunity. For more than a year, Hannity and other hosts spread the lie that the hacking of Democratic Party e-mails during the campaign was an inside job. Hannity claimed that the hacking had been committed not by Russian cyber-warfare agents, as the U.

    Yet Fox kept flogging it as the real national-security scandal involving Russia.

    Those were the standards. It was the subject of hilarity. Aki Peritz, a former C. It was just a guy in his underwear in Georgia who had influence over Fox News! And Fox News influences the President! As Trump watches, he frequently posts about points that he agrees with. Since August, , Media Matters has tallied more than two hundred instances of Trump disseminating Fox News items to his fifty-eight million Twitter followers.

    White House aides confirm that Trump has repeatedly walked away from compromises at the last moment because Fox hosts and guests opposed the deals. Last March, Trump was widely expected to sign an omnibus appropriations bill, thus avoiding a government shutdown. That afternoon, Trump relented and signed the bill. Mattis prevailed in this instance, but former White House aides and other political players in Washington believe that Trump is more influenced by Fox pundits and guests than by his staff, or by the intelligence experts who brief him.

    Marc Short, who was formerly in charge of congressional relations for the White House, tried to counter the effect by enlisting Republican allies in the House to go on Fox. Hannity and Dobbs urged Trump nightly on their shows to make these moves; according to press reports, they also advised Trump personally to do so. For the next thirty-five days, Hannity and the other Fox hosts kept cheering Trump on, even as polls showed that the American public was increasingly opposed to the shutdown. Narrowcasting may generate billions of dollars for a cable channel, but as a governing strategy it inevitably alienates the majority.

    Similarly, Fox has a financial incentive to make Trump look good. Van Susteren likens the phenomenon to audiences turning away when their sports team is losing. She had annoyed the President earlier that day with a question about Michael Cohen. Baker declined to comment, but a colleague of his witnessed Shine pulling Baker aside from the press pool.

    The incident was settled amicably after Baker sent Shine an audio recording proving that the accusation was false. In recent months, Shine has practically ended White House press briefings. Trump prefers to be his own spokesman. The shutdown messaging was a crisis. There was no exit strategy. A few weeks later, when Trump was humiliated by the news that the F. Conservative critics of Trump who used to appear on Fox, such as Stephen Hayes and George Will, have largely vanished; Will told the Washington Post that Fox discontinued his contract, in , without explanation.

    In November, , he had a heated on-air exchange with a Fox host, Melissa Francis, about the Republican tax bill. When Francis hectored him, accusing him of merely repeating talking points, he vowed on the air never to return. They became more combative, and started treating me like an enemy, not an opponent.

    Meet the Terrorists in the War on Women

    After Fox completes the spinoff of its entertainment properties to Disney, the news channel will be part of a much smaller company, under the day-to-day supervision of Lachlan Murdoch. According to Media Matters, in the first year after Mueller was appointed Hannity alone aired four hundred and eighty-six segments attacking the federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in the election; thirty-eight per cent of those segments claimed that law-enforcement officials had broken the law. And, as I say to my friends, I do two things—I vote and I buy guns.

    But, with Fox News covering his back with the Republican base, he has a fighting chance, because he has something no other President in American history has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation. Sam Knight discusses his reporting on how a psychiatrist set out to collect the dreams and forebodings of the British public. A Reporter at Large. March 11, Issue. By Jane Mayer March 4, Recommended Stories. Sign in. Get the best of The New Yorker in your in-box every day.