Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Logic v Cosgrove (last night on Nightline)

Crap! I missed last night's blogger edition which featured Maura Keaney (Democracy For VA), but she was kind enough to email me the link so I could watch her in all her splendor. Eschanton has a link to some of the transcript (in which Maura's name is slaughtered).

For those of you unfamiliar with this
piece that increased traffic on the DFV website, it was also cross-posted on DailyKos and Chez Miscarriage. I was so incensed when I read Cosgrove's proposed amendment to HB1677, that I posted links to DFV and the proposed changes on few forums including the community section of the Foo Fighter's site (Dave Grohl's from Springfield, VA - so I figured what the heck). I also included information regarding the proposed amendment towards the end of a post in January here.

Reading through the transcript, I found myself stunned at John Cosgrove's insistance that Maura should have contacted him prior to reporting about the amendment he sponsored:

The big problem I have with what happened there -and it's that that person, again, never contacted me.


I don't think that any citizen should have to wait for a legislator's permission to share her concerns about legislation. I mean, it's - once you introduce a bill into the legislature, it's part of the public record.


I've dealt with newspapers and radio stations and television media. And I have yet to have one reporter just run a story without running it by me.


I'm not a broadcaster. I take far more license from an editorial position than I would expect any reporter to do because I'm an activist.
For Cosgrove to require approval or advance notice of any "reporting" about him or legislation he sponsors makes me wonder what country he thinks he lives in. He appears to be implying that there was some sort of malice on Maura's part that enabled and/or encouraged those who repeated the story in the "blogosphere" to report the story inaccurately. Maura has been credited for reporting the story completely and accurately. Just as it is not the responsibility of Main Stream Media to ensure nobody misunderstands/misquotes/embellishes a reported story, it is not Maura's responsibility to ensure that nobody altered the story intentionally or not. The story was credible and reported accurately.

I'm not sure why a concern was expressed in relation to the posting of accurate information by an activist trying to engage citizens to get involved in local politics, etc. Maura fulfilled all ethical obligations required for any other OP/ED piece, the information contained within her "story" was verified as correct and corroborated by a link to the actual legislation submitted by Cosgrove. She even emailed Cosgrove for information prior to posting.

There is no requirement to obtain permission to report on action taken by an elected official in the public domain (in this case, the information was part of the public record) and there was no infringement of Cosgrove's privacy in the post. Cosgrove seems to be implying that if she had waited to discuss her concerns with him, he could have easily placated her with his assertions that she misunderstood his actual intent and that changes in verbiage to further clarify would have been untaken as part of committee meeting/review on the bill.

Cosgrove still refuses to accept any responsibility for his poorly worded amendment being "misunderstood" to have intentions other than what he supposedly meant. How he can be surprised that anyone would think language such as the following would be perceived as a threat to women who have had (or may have) miscarriages when Virginia defines fetus as the "product(s) of conception" regardless of age (that is from the moment of conception)?

[emphasis added; revisions in italics]

D. When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother woman at or after the delivery or abortion or when inquiry or investigation by a medical examiner is required, the medical examiner shall investigate the cause of fetal death and shall complete and sign the medical certification portion of the fetal death report within twenty-four 24 hours after being notified of a fetal death.

When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman's responsibility to report the death to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of which the delivery occurs within 12 hours after the delivery. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.


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