Anti-secrecy site releases abortion industry videos despite gag order
Planned Parenthood Videos
by Leigh Jones
Posted 10/23/15, 12:10 pm
An online news site that emphasizes publishing information ignored by mainstream media has obtained and posted to YouTube 11 Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos a judge ordered the pro-life group not to release.
The video clips feature footage taken at a National Abortion Federation event. The abortion industry trade group sued CMP to block it from releasing the footage. But a House subcommittee requested all CMP’s footage as part of its investigation into Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the fetal-tissue trade, and another judge ordered CMP to hand over all the videos.
GotNews.com allegedly got the footage from a congressional staffer, “who felt morally compelled to have them released,” according to Politico.
If House lawmakers are free to view the videos, the public should be too, GotNews.com founder Charles C. Johnson wrote.
“The journalistic class cares more about censoring its competitors (or in stealing from them) than it does in the very worrisome development of restricted information or persecuted journalists,” Johnson wrote explaining the site’s decision to release the videos. “Prior restraint of speech is unconstitutional. That, at least, is what we were told when the media leaked the terrorist surveillance programs.”
After GotNews.com released a clip from the full footage on Tuesday, Morrison & Foerster, the California law firm representing the National Abortion Federation, sent Johnson a threat letter demanding he not release anything else. But late yesterday, a hacker named Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer allegedly obtained and released all the footage. It's not clear how Auernheimer got the footage
Johnson claims he is not working with, and has not corresponded with, CMP founder David Daleiden about the footage. But in a post from earlier this year, he described Daleiden as a “great friend” from college. Daleiden told Politico he didn’t know who leaked the videos.
Despite the legal threats, Johnson said he intends to keep writing about the abortion industry’s attempt to keep the videos out of the public domain.
“We are moving from the Planned Parenthood tapes being about the sale of organs to the unconstitutional restrictions on First Amendment,” he wrote.
Watch the 11 video clips released by GotNews.com:
Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.