At the conclusion of a 10-minute CNN segment on the results of an investigation into the veracity of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, anchor Anderson Cooper was still unclear on the facts.
“They keep saying the videos were heavily edited. Were they, and were they deceptively edited?” Cooper asks CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin on “Anderson Cooper 360” Tuesday. “I mean, besides the insertion of pictures, which were not necessarily from Planned Parenthood?”
Cooper is referring to Planned Parenthood’s allegation that the videos released by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) are “highly edited,” which has been picked up and repeated by mainstream media outlets. CNN put Griffin on the story to “try to find out which side is telling the truth,” a narrator explains at the start of the highly edited segment. (RELATED: How The New York Times Is Covering The Planned Parenthood Videos)
In response to Cooper’s question at the conclusion of the segment, Griffin admits “the only thing we found” is that CMP inserted images of fetuses meant to illustrate the testimony of a former Planned Parenthood employee in a manner that could be confusing.
But he allows Planned Parenthood’s allegation the videos are “highly edited” to stand, disregarding relevant facts and critical analysis to suggest the matter is still up for debate. (RELATED: Key Points From The First Nine Planned Parenthood Videos)
The bulk of the heavily edited CNN segment consists of Griffin grilling CMP founder David Daleiden about the source of the disputed images. Daleiden acknowledges CMP got the images from a video posted by a woman to memorialize her stillborn son and from an online abortion photo archive, but he points out the fetuses shown are the same gestational age as those described in the video.
Griffin also presses Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens on whether clinics haggle over the compensation for aborted fetuses — as seen in the videos — and on the nature of the payments. He shows her a specific clip of haggling over the payment, and points out the clip is not edited when she tries to dismiss his question.
“All of the tapes and footage David Daleiden has released out into the world has been heavily edited,” Laguens told CNN. “And I think pretty thoroughly discredited.”
Griffin does not ask her to explain what “highly edited” means or attempt himself to define the term she says “thoroughly discredits” the videos. He also ignores Daleiden’s legitimate point that the source of the images in dispute is to some extent irrelevant.
Griffin concludes that it’s Planned Parenthood’s word versus CMP’s word, so it’s up to members of Congress able to access all of the footage to “decide for themselves” whether it’s highly edited.
CNN’s segment never mentions the fact that a firm commissioned by Planned Parenthood to perform a forensic analysis of the videos found they are not “substantively edited.” A separate firm commissioned by a pro-life group also performed a forensic analysis of the videos and also concluded they are not substantively edited.