Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..
What happens when a liberal news show executes a hit job on a pro-life target, only to watch their attempt fizzle? Watch this MSNBC interview to find out.
Here is the context for the MSNBC interview:
Following a slew of undercover videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood affiliates profiting from the sale of fetal body parts, the organization and its powerful allies have retaliated with a full-bore assault on the Center for Medical Progress, the pro-life investigative group that produced the videos.
CMP has been attacked for improperly editing the video images to manipulate public opinion and foster support for defunding Planned Parenthood.
Carly Fiorina, the only woman among a large pool of GOP presidential hopefuls, has also cited the videos and thus prompted further attacks. Her critics say she mischaracterized one video image during her remarks at the second GOP debate, when she referenced a graphic image from one of the videos and described it as a live, fully intact fetus whose organs would be harvested.
Her critics argued that the image actually was of a stillborn child, not a fetus that survived an abortion, and was being prepped to have its organs removed. But Fiorina's supporters dispute this charge, and explain that there were two different images in the same CMP video—one of a stillborn child and the other of a live, intact fetus. A more complete report on this complicated matter is available on the Federalist website.
This week, MSNBC invited Lexie Fretz, the mother of the stillborn child, onto its news show. Fretz had posted photos of her stillborn child on her Facebook account to let friends know what had happened, and the images had come to the attention of the Center for Medical Progress.
Judging from anchor Thomas Roberts' leading questions, the plan was to have her call out the pro-life producer of the videos for using the image of the stillborn child she had named "Walter". Except Mrs. Fretz, who turns out to be pro-life, didn't call out the Center for Medical Progress. Fretz said that she and her husband had spoken with the Center for Medical Progress and were okay with the use of their child's image.
Roberts asked “How do you feel about Walter's picture used to discredit Planned Parenthood?”
Fretz acknowledged that the use of Walter's image in the video was a surprise. Then she explained, “My husband and I are actually extremely pro-life.”
Roberts didn't let up.
"I know that Walter's story is very precious for you and your family. This has been really distorted out of context in this larger political conversation. Have you felt betrayed in any way by Walter's life being used and mischaracterized in such heavy—and in some ways mischaracterized political debates?"
Again, Fretz noted that the use of Walter's image came as a surprise. Then she said: “We are trusting that He is going to take care of use and use Walter for His good.” (See more here.)
According to a transcript of the interview made available by Newsbusters, Fretz went on to express her love for Walter and her desire to see the lives of other unborn children protected and cherished.
“I just believe that every child should have a chance, a chance to be alive, to make a difference. We had so many little lives being lost and thrown away each day and I wish so much that my son was here. We miss him and the short time we had was precious with him. But I know his purpose, his purpose was to help to educate the world as to what a child really looks like," Fretz told Roberts.
"You know, you say fetus, baby, whatever you want to call it, he was very much alive. And I just believe that every, every little baby should have a chance.”