Celebrities are understandably popular on Twitter, but it’s annoying that liberals — who insist they believe in facts, science, experts, and nuances — demand none of that from celebrities.
A family member asked me for a friendly fact check after former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones had a cow on Twitter about the leaked Roe v. Wade. There is a panic on the left that red states will do anything to stop women from traveling out of their states to get abortions.
On May 9, Jones reposted a nine-second TikTok from the Haus of Petty (@musclesandnursing) account with the message, “It’s gonna be a fucking civil war.” Two images circulated in the video on a dance music.
The first was a March 19 Politico headline: “Missouri Wants to Stop Out-of-State Abortions. Other States May Follow,” alongside a photo of Missouri State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman.
The second was a tweet from Paul Cogan of Toronto (no blue check), who imagined the worst (emphasis on imagined): “Just Another WTF…To stop women from leaving the state to get abortions , Republican states will soon pass laws prohibiting women from leaving their state unless they submit a negative pregnancy test.”
The important note here: Nowhere in the Politico article is there any mention of a pregnancy test requirement.
But who needs facts? Above that TikTok image came Jones’ Twitter meltdown: “Soooo how’s it gonna work. Are they going to ask when booking the ticket? Or when boarding the plane?! So any woman leaving town has to show this? PRISONERS NOW WTAF?! Seriously, THEY’RE S—T HAND HELPS!! What are we gonna do?! We can’t let our freedom be attacked!”
People see this and honestly wonder if some Republican politician somewhere actually proposed a bill requiring women to take a pregnancy test for interstate travel. This is the confusion that Jones started. No “independent fact-checker” will be involved. Do they want to tell the famous woman of color that she is spreading false information?
In a 2019 article on “Weekend Update,” Jones donned typical “Handmaid’s Tale” attire and claimed anti-abortion laws were a “war on women.” But PolitiFact did not touch her. Last year, Snopes.com rushed to correct the claim that Jones married fellow cast member Kate McKinnon.
In the real Politico article on Missouri, it was reported that Coleman was proposing a bill allowing private citizens to sue people who transport women from Missouri across state lines for abortions, adding “This specifically targets a family planning clinic in Illinois, just across the river from St . Louis which opened in 2019 with the explicit purpose of serving Missouri patients.
If the Supreme Court returns abortion policy to the states, it will be a contentious issue. Anti-abortion states will want to prevent out-of-state abortions, and pro-abortion states will pose as “safe havens” to kill babies.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced plans to spend $500,000 to pay for out-of-state abortions, declaring Chicago an “island of reproductive freedom.” These developments will spur a whole new round of court cases and become campaign fodder for Republicans and Democrats alike.
But it’s all made exponentially dumber by vulgar comedians going wild. Jones wouldn’t expect Mitch McConnell to be a great comedian, so maybe she should stop playing Maxine Waters on the internet. With all the people unlucky enough to take her seriously, maybe she could read something before tweeting everyone in a dystopian panic.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and editor of the NewsBusters.org blog. To learn more about Tim Graham and read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.