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Media Hoax: News Outlets Misreport Justice Clarence Thomas Quote in NY Vaccine Mandate Case

Media Hoax: News Outlets Misreport Justice Clarence Thomas Quote in NY Vaccine Mandate Case

“Clarence Thomas suggests COVID vaccines are made with ‘aborted children’,” Axios falsely reported. Several other media outlets filed similar dishonest reports, including NBC News and Politico.

There are few things the mainstream media loves doing more than trying to make the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court look out of touch, ignorant, and/or factually challenged on legal matters. That is exactly what happened last week in the aftermath of a decision from the SCOTUS on a vaccine mandate/religious freedom case out of New York.

On Thursday, our nation’s highest court rejected a legal challenge from New York health care professionals who sued Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) over the state’s health care worker vaccine mandate put in place in August 2021 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) before he resigned in disgrace.

Justice Clarence Thomas was one of three on the court (Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito were the others) who argued that they should have heard the case. In Thomas’ dissent (see here, pages 47 and 48), he cited claims from the plaintiffs about how the vaccines were developed:

“Petitioners are 16 healthcare workers who served New York communities throughout the COVID–19 pandemic. They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”

Seems pretty straightforward, but that’s not how media outlets like Axios, Politico, and NBC News initially reported Thomas’ remarks. For instance, in the below tweet, you’ll notice Axios falsely claimed it was Thomas’ opinion:

Not only that, but in their original report (which has since been corrected – sort of), they also made several false and irrelevant claims, as noted by author Dale Franks among others:

NBC News got in on the act as well:

They were called out on it by Ed Whelan, but as of this writing, both the tweet and the original story are still up:

In a now-deleted tweet, Politico did the same thing:

This was their “correction”:

Keep in mind, too, that even if this was Thomas’ opinion, it has a solid basis:

“In various stages of vaccine development and manufacturing, some of the COVID-19 vaccines used cells originally isolated from fetal tissue (often referred to as fetal cells), some of which were originally derived from an aborted fetus.”

In other words, the big “Clarence Thomas said something and we should all be concerned!” story was not a story at all, whether the opinion was one he cited or his own. Politico, NBC News, and Axios all should have deleted their reports out of embarrassment, but I guess that’s just too much to ask.

Multiple Twitter users traced the genesis for this media hoax back to two left-wing writers – Vox’s Ian Millhiser and Mark Joseph Stern from Slate – both of who are notorious for getting it wrong:

Aiding and abetting these “news” organizations were Washington Post “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler, who – shockingly enough – did not even bother to do his job on this one:

… and a couple of “disinformation experts,” including Nina Jankowicz:

Just incredible. It’s as if all of these people who were spreading the fake news conspired together to (once again) prove conservatives right about them. They really do make it too easy sometimes.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Who cares what these corrupt media maggots lie about anymore? The only way they are able to continue to exist is because the same parasites paying them off control our educational system, corrupting children into utter morons who belief this b.s.

If we win the House or Senate in 2022, and McConnell and Kevin McCarthy head either institution, forget about change.

The Gentle Grizzly | July 4, 2022 at 8:20 pm

That canard has been making the rounds in the comments sections of places like Gateway Pundit and Citizen Free Press since the vaccines were released.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 4, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Never mind. I misread the article.

    If you mean the canard that the vaccines are made with actual cells from aborted babies, as these idiots accused Thomas and the plaintiffs of claiming, then that doesn’t surprise me. The average denizen of those pestholes is just as ignorant as Millhiser and Stern, or the average leftist journalist or pundit. They’re like the people who imagine that an AR-15 is a submachine gun.

Steven Brizel | July 4, 2022 at 9:24 pm

These so called journalists look like they need a course in reading comprehension

henrybowman | July 4, 2022 at 9:33 pm

Well… there is the far left media, and there is the psychotically far left media, and there are many good people on both sides.
Trump ought to tweet that.

Vile, dishonest and contemptible Dumb-o-crat fabulists spewing their usual venom, prevarications and distortions.

And, in other news, the Sun rose this morning.

The biased media has been doing stuff like that for a long time.

Wasn’t there a set of leaked emails where one of the drug execs was telling people to not volunteer the information that HEK cells were uses in the development of the vaccine?

I attribute this one more to ignorance than malice. I think Millhiser (no relation!) and Stern are so ignorant of basic science that they don’t understand the difference between “were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children” and “contain cells from aborted children”, or “are made with aborted children”. If you were to confront them about it they would probably claim they had simply summarized the plaintiff’s argument; after all, it’s the same thing, isn’t it? No, it isn’t, and that’s the difference between a true claim and a false one.

    artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | July 5, 2022 at 11:11 am

    They are “journalists” right? If we still have any proper use for that title, in society where everyone has an internet connection and is equally a journalist, it must be that this person is especially reliable in reporting facts.

    They did not do their job. And suspiciously, the error is in the anti-conservative direction. I’ll assume it was malicious unless proved otherwise.

henrybowman | July 5, 2022 at 1:19 am

What we need is a federal board that fights disinformation like this.
Naw, I was just joking, did I getcha?

The vaccine story is a bit like hot dogs. It’s like saying “hot dogs are made with a cellulose casings. Cellulose is a plant-based polysaccharide (basically, a carbohydrate) found in the woody parts of plants, like stalks and stems. But just because it’s plant-based doesn’t mean it’s edible. In commercial settings, cellulose casings are stripped off before the dogs go to market.

With everything this man has had to endure over the years for being a black constitutionalist, I hope the last couple of weeks has made it worth it for him. He stuck to his principles and hung in there long enough to give the Constitution a new life. If we survive, history will certainly give him a lot of credit for why we survived.

Last week may have given the unconstitutional fourth branch of government, the tyrannical administrative state, the kick in the groin that will at least keep them it check for now and possibly start shrinking soon. In the end, Clarence Thomas became a major game changer.

    henrybowman in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 5, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Clarence Thomas is the class nerd whose brilliance ruins the “grading curve” for all the rest of the slackers. That’s why they all love him so much.

A handmade tale brayed will influence perception of reality.

Leftists misstatement of facts to change and manipulate the narrative or discussion into one which benefits them? Not surprising and all too predictable. IMO, the Dobbs decision is going to do yeoman service in deflating the leftist narrative. Why? How many claims have been made in bad faith that Dobbs ‘outlawed abortion’? Far too many to count.

As residents of blue states find out that abortion wasn’t ‘outlawed’ but returned to the States (Federalism) and that their blue state then used that power to go far beyond Roe to allow abortion to the moment of birth or in some cases beyond all of them will be wondering who lied and why. Some will even question that libertine abortion law as going too far. Support for 2nd trimester abortion is not universal. Support for 3rd trimester abortion is very low.

Disinformation brayed with a probable diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism) motive.