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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 08:08 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Politico reporter ventures defense of Todd Akin

UPDATE 10:43: Perhaps with the aid of a night’s sleep, Catanese has renounced his thought experiment. Here’s the tweet:

Don’t like the tone here. Catanese appears to be blaming Twitter for his misguided thought experiment. Though Twitter challenges writers to put their thoughts in brief spurts, there’s nothing in its guidelines that bars someone from conveying nuance. That’s possible; it happens all the time. In fact, those who responded to Catanese’s tweets in many instances deployed nuance themselves.

The problem was not Twitter; it wasn’t the fact that he was wading into a highly charged issue; it was that he was attempting to defend something that didn’t merit defending.


Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, who’s seeking a Senate seat in this year’s elections, sat down with a St. Louis Fox affiliate and said the following when asked whether abortion should be legal in instances of rape:

People always want to try and make that as one of those things, well, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should to be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not on attacking the child.

The sheer idiocy of that statement — scientific, political, factual, commonsensical — made Akin defenders a precious commodity on Sunday afternoon. Yet one person out there wanted to give it a try. Dave Catanese, a reporter for Politico, started out the experiment this way:

Then this:

And this:

By  |  08:08 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Tags:  todd akin, dave catanese politico, thought experiment, twitter, american journal of obstetrics and gynecology

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