Follow Friday: Rep. Akin and 'Legitimate Rape,' Looking Ahead to the RNC

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rep. Todd Akin, who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, made controversial comments about abortion. Rep. Todd Akin is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. (flickr)

As the 2012 Presidential race heats up, political news continues to dominate the headlines. At the forefront this week was Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), the Republican running to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill this fall. Representative Akin drew outrage from across the political spectrum when he told KTVI-TV in St. Louis, "It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors...if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

The Republican National Committee called on Rep. Akin to step down, as did Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Yet Akin is staying in the race, as he explained to Mike Huckabee on the former Arkansas Governor's radio show, "The good people of Missouri nominated me and I’m not a quitter. And my belief is we’re going to take this thing forward and by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race."

While Akin stole the headlines this week, Romney released his energy plan, calling on President Obama to open the Keystone Pipeline as soon as possible. And as Tampa readies for the Republican National Convention, the city is also preparing for a potential hurricane. 

Farai Chideya, distinguished writer-in-residence at New York University’s Journalism Institute and David Plotz, editor of Slate, discuss these stories and more. 



Farai Chideya and David Plotz

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [4]


The issue is not Akin's ignorant belief about rape (although it is troubling that he - and others - believe this fake science), the issue is the fact that he (and the Republican platform) is in opposition to abortion in the case of rape or incest. That's the discussion we should be having.

About Biden's many times have I heard Sarah Palin and others call for an unshackling corporations from regulations? Being shackled is NOT a reference to slavery, but being in chains IS?

Aug. 24 2012 03:29 PM

Thanks to a handy search feature and teh nicely-usable Takeaway webpage, it is possible to search for all of the stories that mentioned "Biden" and "chains," and "Akin" and "rape."

By my count -- and if there is a better count, I'd be happy to hear about it -- Biden got just two mentions, without any major airtime devoted to what he said, on the air. There are many more mentions of Biden by commenters like Ed from Larchmont and me.

In stark contrast, every single program this week devoted substantial time, usually in two or more segments, to Rep. Todd Akin and his controversy.

The more we count things like this difference, and the more detail we dig up, the better I like it.

The disparity, in terms of time and tone, is stunning, and I very much like shining a light on it. A clearer, cleaner demonstration of the determined left-leaning political bias of public radio producers and story editors is hard to imagine.

Aug. 24 2012 11:13 AM

"Confused", "Mixed Up"??? It is quite obvious that he is trying to forward the believe that a woman cannot become pregnant as the result of a "legitimate" rape. And if a woman says that she was raped, and then does become pregnant, then she must have been lying about her being raped and therefore it was not "legitimate".

btw - Biden did make a mistake last week, it was noticed and the story was repeated over and over.

I'm more curious why he was even discussing this subject in the first place. Did he bring it up or was he being questioned? And what was the question he was asked?

Aug. 24 2012 09:25 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Perhaps he just got confused. The female body can hold semen up to 5 days in the Fallopian tubes, so if the woman ovulates within a few days of relations, she can still become pregnant. A wonderful system.

Perhaps he got this thought mixed up, or perhaps he guessed that there was an opposite mechanism. But by legitimate he of course meant that the woman was having a traumatic experience, and there might be some evidence that adrenaline, etc., can make these mechanisms to some extent less efficient.

But he made a mis-statement and it's still spoken of, Vice-President Biden makes mistakes, no one notices.

Aug. 24 2012 06:06 AM

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