New Crime in California: Performing Undercover Video Journalism While Not a Democrat

Planned Parenthood
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The Democrats love Planned Parenthood so anything or anyone that portrays it in a bad light is public enemy number one! One powerful democrat even went as far as inventing a new crime to stop any negative allegations towards Planned Parenthood. Democrat Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California

Democrat Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California has charged the undercover reporters that recorded the video of clinic staff talking about the sale of fetal tissue with 15 felonies. 15!! Yes, apparently  Undercover Video Journalism is a crime if you’re not a democrat.

The felony charges against the undercover reporters who recorded the video is a direct attack on the world of media and many news companies aren’t happy about it. 60 Minutes is famously known for undercover journalism.

Below is what the L.A. Times had to say:

“There’s no question that anti-abortion activist David Daleiden surreptitiously recorded healthcare and biomedical services employees across the state of California with the intent of discrediting the healthcare provider, Planned Parenthood — something his heavily edited videos failed to do. There’s also no question that it’s against state law to record confidential conversations without the consent of all the parties involved.

But that doesn’t mean that California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra should have charged Daleiden and his co-conspirator, Susan Merritt, with 15 felony counts — one for each of the 14 people recorded, and a 15th for conspiracy. It’s disturbingly aggressive for Becerra to apply this criminal statute to people who were trying to influence a contested issue of public policy, regardless of how sound or popular that policy may be. Planned Parenthood and biomedical company StemExpress, which was also featured in the videos, have another remedy for the harm that was done to them: They can sue Daleiden and Merritt for damages. The state doesn’t need to threaten the pair with prison time….

In similar cases, we have denounced moves to criminalize such behavior, especially in the case of animal welfare investigators who have gone undercover at slaughterhouses and other agricultural businesses to secretly record horrific and illegal abuses of animals. That work, too, is aimed at revealing wrongdoing and changing public policy.

That’s why the state law forbidding recording of conversations should be applied narrowly, and to clear and egregious violations of privacy where the motive is personal gain.”

The Wall Street Journal added a bit more flavor to the pot:

“If the videographers at the Center for Medical Progress had wanted to avoid prosecution, they should have secretly recorded conversations with Michael Flynn. But instead they chose to conduct guerrilla journalism against Planned Parenthood and its associates in the abortion industry. The result was the Tuesday announcement of 15 felony charges against activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Much of the left is taking in stride the news that two people could go to prison for creating undercover videos that embarrassed a large national organization. But it turns out that at least some of our media brethren really meant it when they said they believe in a robust First Amendment.”

Kevin Drum from left-wing Mother Jones supports Planned Parenthood but believes that the state of California should not get in the way of undercover video activism:

“I continue to have zero sympathy for these two. They edited their videos deceptively and basically lied about everything they did. Nevertheless, I don’t like the idea of prosecuting them. This was a legitimate investigation, and no level of government should be in the business of chilling it. The First Amendment doesn’t say anything one way or the other about how honest one’s speech has to be.

This also strikes me as political grandstanding. I imagine that if this were a couple of liberal activists secretly recording meetings with anti-immigration groups, Attorney General Xavier Becerra wouldn’t so eager to go after them.”

What do you think about this? Do you think it’s an attack on investigative journalism everywhere or an enforcement of justice? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments section below.


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