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Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2011

'NOT INTENDED TO BE A FACTUAL STATEMENT'.... On the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), eager to prove that the budget debate wasn't just about Planned Parenthood, spent some time on the Senate floor going after Planned Parenthood.

"Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on," Kyl said. "Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does."

That's not even close to being accurate. Just 3% of the organization's work is related to terminating pregnancies, while "well over 90% of Planned Parenthood does" relates to preventative health care services.

Yesterday, CNN, to its credit, sought an explanation from the senator about the glaring error. CNN anchor TJ Holmes told viewers:

"We did call [Kyl's] office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, 'his remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions.'"

Indeed, Kyl's office shared this identical line with other outlets.

As political spin goes, this is a true gem. Kyl said abortion is "well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does" -- a blatant lie -- and when called on it, his defense is that his remarks on the Senate floor were "not intended to be a factual statement." What an amazing way to justify all bogus claims -- just make stuff up, and if anyone notices that you're not telling the truth, simply explain that your nonsense was "not intended to be a factual statement."

Quick follow up for Jon Kyl: how are we to know which of his arguments are "intended to be factual," and which aren't? Perhaps he can start letting us know in advance?

Steve Benen 9:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Comments

Shorter John Kyle: "I Lied".

Posted by: SW on April 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Kyl's not smart enough to know a factual statement if it kicked him in his ample ass.

This imbecile is barely smart enough to read talking points and remember them.

But to the voters in many parts of this country, that makes them worthy of any high office, up to, and including the Presidency.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

As Groucho Marx once asked, "Who do you believe, me or your own two eyes?"

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of line in the movie "Anchorman". "60% of the time, it works every time." Except that was a Paul Rudd playing a parody of a TV journalist, and Jon Kyl is playing a United States senator in real life.

Posted by: Jess on April 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

So Kyl's office says "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." I wonder if that remark too is intended to be a factual statement. Perhaps Kyl's office can clarify, but then we'd have to ask whether that clarification is intended to be a factual statement.

Posted by: dsimon on April 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

It won't matter. Kyl will still be invited on TV as a purported knowledgeable guest.

Posted by: Holmes on April 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

An assertion that is not intended to be a factual statement is, in fact, a lie.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 9, 2011 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"I want to be re-elected." -- factual

"[anything else]" -- lie

Posted by: stinger on April 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe this can lead to something like the Glenn Beck murdered a woman project: "Jon Kyl is personally responsible for the murders of three dozen people in his home state of Arizona*."

* not intended to be a factual statement.

Posted by: Jurgan on April 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Good Jon...then NO statement you make is intended to be 'factual' and we should let the public know that. In fact, your whole party makes statements 'not intended to be factual' and then accuses everyone else of lying.

Posted by: SYSPROG on April 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"not intended to be a factual statement." Right, and nothing that any Repiglican says is meant to be a factual statement. They whole investment is peddling lies over and over, which are of course megaphoned by their willing corporate media, so that the typically stupid American then believes those repeated lies as the truth. It's intentional. Just ask Frank Luntz.

Posted by: stormskies on April 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

The first question every reporter should ask him now is: "For this interview, do you intend your answers to be factual, or should we just end this interview now?"

Posted by: fostert on April 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kyl learned that trick from Hollywood. Just sayin'.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on April 9, 2011 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

They don't give a shit how many abortions Planned Parenthood does. PP helps women avoid unwanted pregnancy, poverty, hasty marriage and dependency, bucking the right-wing narrative that poverty is caused by fornication and poor people just need to get married then all their problems would be solved. So the bizarre right wingers will continue to target them with lies and funding cuts so long as they keep getting elected.

Posted by: nothingmuch on April 9, 2011 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Defunding Womens Health Clinics will cause the amount of abortions to rise. Republicans & conservatives are so ignorant. Do the state of Arizona send Mr Kyl to Washington to make false statements on the Senate floor ?

Posted by: Arlene McCarthy on April 9, 2011 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

We do have empirical evidence John Kyl is an ignoramus! Oh, and by his testimony, he goes to the public's place of business and makes shit up!

What a mega-ignoramus! Should I add social cretin to boot? -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I liked the part where CNN asked Kyl's office if the prepared statement was factual or just another lie. Well, I would've liked that part, but unfortunately CNN failed to do their job. Again.

Posted by: josef on April 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Everything out of his mouth is a lie including "and" & "the". With apologies to Truman Capote

Posted by: John R on April 9, 2011 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

We we just assume everything he says is off by 3,000%?

Posted by: Hmmmmm on April 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Let's try that again: Should we just assume everything he says is off by 3,000%?

Posted by: Hmmmmm on April 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I would just like someone... journalist, Democratic Congressman, someone in a publicly visible position say, "John Kyl has admitted to deliberately lying in a statement on the Senate floor. How can you ever trust anything he says?"

Posted by: tanstaafl on April 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I commented elsewhere today on the New START Treaty before I read this gem. Makes the blood run cold to realize that a clown like Kyl was the lead GOP negotiator on that treaty. Or should I say, the lead GOP obstructionist. Kyl is a master of the 'non-factual statement,' even when his lunacy means the U.S. or Russia might lose track of loose nuclear material. If you cannot see past the end of your own partisan nose on something like that, you have lost touch with reality.

Posted by: wesfromga on April 9, 2011 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Somewhere out there, one of John Kyl's staffers has to go to sleep to night knowing that he works for a despicable douchebag. Some reasonably well-educated person had to draft a press communication that basically said "my boss lied and doesn't give a shit because you can't make him give a shit."
I hope that staffer has a hard time getting a good night's sleep for a while. Either that, or he chokes on his own vomit and dies.

Posted by: Govt Skeptic on April 9, 2011 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I call a statement that looks, to the untrained eye, to BE a factual assertion, and yet is not accurate:

I call it a lie.

The fact that Kyle doesn't call it that, is NOT a factual statement.

Posted by: Dan Mortenson on April 9, 2011 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "As political spin goes, this is a true gem."

With all due respect, Steve, Kyl's "spin" is no more ludicrous than your all-too-frequent assertions that Republican politicians are "confused" or "don't know what they are talking about" when they are quite obviously neither confused nor ignorant, but telling carefully-crafted, focus-group-tested, deliberate, vicious, blatant lies.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

This really does clarify almost everything the Republicans say:

"Cutting taxes on the wealthy will create jobs."

(Not intended as a factual statement.)

Scott Walker: "This is about the budget, not eliminating public union bargaining rights."

(Not intended as a factual statement.)

Bush, Cheney: Saddam Hussein clearly has weapons of mass destruction"

(Not intended as a factual statement.)

Fox News Breaking News: (Not intended as a factual statement.)

Posted by: Doug CA on April 10, 2011 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kyl sucks the Koch brother's dicks each day before breakfast.
(This was not intended to be a factual statement)

Posted by: Vokoban on April 11, 2011 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

So what Kyl is saying is that he fully intended to LIE to make things seem worse than they really are.

Posted by: greydog on April 11, 2011 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

The saddest part about the whole situation is that none of the spineless Democrats will say a word about it. They have allowed the GOP to shape the public and private discourse on all policy matters.

VOTE OUT EVERY INCUMBENT IN 2012!!!

Posted by: R E on April 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I assume the attribution to Capote wasn't intended to be a factual statement -- it was Louella Parsons.

Posted by: Hershele Ostropoler on April 12, 2011 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Whaddya expect? John Kyl is an elected official from AZ...Having last run on the "Sun revolves around the Earth" platform.

Politicians are designed to craft the agenda of their constituents. Why are we surprised by this? Whether John Kyl today, or tomorrow, Harry Reid?

Posted by: charlie on April 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Rush et al had the most insidious response technique when caught lying by saying things like: "Can't you take a joke?!!".. or "Oh that?! I was just kidding around." I guess it takes a neo-Republican politician to bring it to this level of absurdity.

Of course they've been slinging the mud against the wall to see if it will stick all along but now, I can only wish, 'NOT INTENDED TO BE A FACTUAL STATEMENT' will become a part of our cultural, political lexicon and it will always be remembered where it came from.

Posted by: Steve Branch on April 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

I thought he was intelligent. I was wrong.

Posted by: susan quave ___1823-1308995@x.x on April 14, 2011 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Lie

�noun
1.
a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

2.
an inaccurate or false statement


�verb

1.
to express what is false; convey a false impression

�Synonyms

1. prevarication, falsification

�Antonyms

1. truth.

in other words

#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

Posted by: lang on April 15, 2011 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Jon Kyl is a demon sent from hell to spread chaos, disinformation and bring about the downfall of mankind as we know it. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

Posted by: Truthsayer on April 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yea - terrible. Check out http://www.notintendedtobeafactualstatement.com

Posted by: NF on April 17, 2011 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

Rapid gain in popularity with easy access to this region via Abaco's two airports is attracting investors from across the globe.

Posted by: Bahamas island on May 3, 2011 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK
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