Interview With David Harsanyi

todayJuly 28, 2015

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Life_of_Washington_Free_Download_Offer_FeatureMandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello for the first time to the editor-in-chief of The Federalist, a great little website out there.  You’ve probably heard me quoting it over and over and over again for the past two weeks.  David Harsanyi is the editor-in-chief.  He has also written on the subject, as has his fine coterie of writers and others.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest….

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello for the first time to the editor-in-chief of The Federalist, a great little website out there.  You’ve probably heard me quoting it over and over and over again for the past two weeks.  David Harsanyi is the editor-in-chief.  He has also written on the subject, as has his fine coterie of writers and others.  David, it is a pleasure to have you on the program, sir.  How are you?

David Harsanyi:  I’m well.  Thank you for having me.

Mike:  Very much so.  Let me just start by saying personally from me to you, and I know that you’re the co-founder of The Federalist as well, with Sean Davis, I believe.  Let me just say to you, thank you.  Your blog is the only one that I can find that is actually not going to let this Planned Parenthood story die, is actually committing some resources to doing what people used to do in your profession, which is journalism, and holding the proverbial feet to the fire.  The reporting that you guys are

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doing, the stories that you’re writing, like today’s very moving account by D.C. McAllister.  This is all good stuff.  From me to you, citizen Church to editor Harsanyi, thank you.

Harsanyi:  I appreciate that very much.  Others have done some work on it as well, but the infrastructure of the mainstream media, the big newspapers and so on who have the resources to really dig here won’t do it.  It’s probably going to take longer.  I think, at The Federalist at least, we have some secular folks like myself.  I’m not a religious person at all.  I’m happy you mentioned the sort of arbitrary timeline that people give to life.  It’s impossible that at one point something is life in the sense that at five months it is and four months it’s not.  We just want a logical discussion about abortion, a real one.  The one we’re having right now is not.  Nominalism is a perfect way to lay it out.

Mike:  Let me ask you, David, the piece that you wrote last week, “CDC: The Centers for Baby Control and Prevention,” there is this ghastly — I was shocked to learn this.  There is this ghastly entity known as the family planning administration.

Harsanyi:  Population.  It’s Orwellian or Malthusian maybe and gross that our government is concerned in that sense about population.  What are they saying?  They’re saying that they want less people not more people.  Their advisory board is made up of folks — whoever’s name I put into Google, out popped Planned Parenthood.  They essentially are the expert class of that organization.

Mike:  The U.S. Office of Population Affairs.  Do you think that you’ve learned all that you wish to learn about this or is there more in the offing?

Harsanyi:  I’m sure there’s more.  Mollie Hemingway, who writes for us, is really concerned about this issue.  She tried to FOIA the government about this and they wouldn’t expedite information because they said it wasn’t really a newsworthy event.  It’s the mainstream media that decides what’s newsworthy.  And the government basically gives cover to these government organizations and then don’t send you the information.

Mike:  Folks, you have to understand, we have the Centers for Disease Control.  Underneath the umbrella that is the CDC is this group, this entity, I guess that was created by Obamacare, the U.S. Office of Population Affairs.  Was that its genesis?

Harsanyi:  It’s part of the CDC, so I don’t think Obamacare created it, though I think it definitely relies on it, especially for laying out the parameters of how Planned Parenthood or others deal with contraception and abortion and so forth.  For instance, what we wanted to know was, the form that you fill out that says it’s okay to give “this tissue” away afterwards, baby organs, who decided, who laid out what that means or how much oversight there is?  Those are just part of a regulatory regime.  We don’t know.  It’s probably going to be a long time before we find out.

Mike:  Unfortunately — I read Mollie Hemingway’s request, the FOIA request, and I guess it can take up to two years for them to actually return the information?

Harsanyi:  Absolutely.  In my previous life working as a reporter — to be fair, this isn’t — it’s hard to extract this sort of information you need from government if you’re not one of these big organizations.  They’re not going to help The Federalist out, that’s for sure.  We have to work hard.  There’s that part of it, but as you elegantly put it before, this is a moral case.  It’s clear that even secular people, that even liberals should understand, and I think they would if there was a Republican Party making a compelling case for it, which they do not.  They actually run away from really taking this on, most of them do.  I think the moral case could be even stronger.  We know what’s going on in Planned Parenthood.  We know they’re selling organs, harvesting organs and selling them and killing human beings.  If people are okay with that, that means that we’re a country that maybe is coming to an end in the way that we know it.  We should have the debate on those terms.

Mike:  Absolutely.  You say the Republican Party is not covering it or is running away from it.  I’d say a more accurate term is sprinting.  They’re sprinting away from it as fast as they can.

Harsanyi:  The other day they essentially blocked Republicans from bringing it up in an amendment to debate it just to pass a highway bill.  Around 17,000 babies are killed in late-term abortions, after 22 weeks, yet that even is not up for discussion where they are clearly fully-formed human beings that are viable or almost viable.  The Republican Party talks a good game.  I’m talking about the leadership mostly.  I’m not a Tea Partier.  I don’t think you can’t compromise.  But should you compromise on chopping up and dismembering babies?  I don’t think that’s something that normal, moral people should compromise over.

Mike:  David, do you think that for too long we’ve used sterile and not-accurate terms to describe what abortion is and the byproducts of it?

Harsanyi:  Sure.  There all these euphemisms, but also it’s been completely miscast as something that has to do with choice.  I’m for choice on almost everything, but I’m not for choice that coerces someone and ends their existence.  The problem is this has been infused with all kinds of political and ideological angles that make it difficult for the left to discuss honestly.  It’s a big problem.  Planned Parenthood is also about an array of other services.  I think the big problem with Planned Parenthood and going after them is we have to separate the abortion from the other stuff and it’s very difficult.  I think you’re right.  I used to be pro-choice when I was younger until I actually thought about it.  I think people need to just think about it. [/private]

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Mike:  They’re not going to think about it if people don’t talk about it.  This is the problem, which is why The Federalist blog has become a stopping place for me every morning and for me to relay to others: There are people out there, there are entities out there covering it.  I realize that because you are a news blog that your resources are not those of The Gray Lady.  Your resources are not those of the Washington Post.  You don’t have Woodward and Bernstein or the equivalent of Woodward and Bernstein working for you.  Ms. Hemingway is doing some really good work on this.  I know that she has to be frustrated by the inability of being able to obtain actual information from the government.  You think about the Obama administration, it’s supposed to be the most open, the greatest sunshine laws and the most open administration in history and transparent.  These guys aren’t transparent.  These guys are as shaded and as cloistered as any administration has ever been, aren’t they?

Harsanyi:  Yeah, on all things frankly.  It’s not just the Planned Parenthood fiasco that they’re closed up on.  The thing here is, Planned Parenthood — it’s hard to sort of come to the exact sum, but they are beneficiaries of hundreds of millions of dollars every year in taxpayer funds.  Clearly, taxpayers should have some oversight and there should be sunshine here.  More than many other things, they are intricately involved in the lives of millions of women, and obviously they’re up to something that at least half the nation doesn’t want to participate in.  Then I see in the newspapers: Oh, but taxpayers don’t fund the abortion part of Planned Parenthood, as if the dollars aren’t fungible.  It’s the most ridiculous case I’ve ever heard.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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