With a gunman still holed up inside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado on Friday, CNN invited Rep. Adam Kizinger (R.-Ill.) to blast the women's health care provider over a series of deceptive videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood executives discussing selling off fetal tissue.
“We saw these barbaric videos, and that was something that many of us have a legitimate concern about,” Kizinger said.
Multiple analyses by experts and journalists revealed the “sting” videos, released by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress, were highly edited and misleading.
On Friday, an attacker engaged in an hourslong standoff with police inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. The gunman injured 11 people -- three fatally -- before turning himself over to police. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains released a statement as the scene unfolded, saying what while “we don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action … [w]e share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country."
Kinzinger rushed to dissociate abortion opponents from the attacks, even though the attacker's identity, motives or viewpoints had not yet been confirmed. Authorities have since identified the assailant as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear.
“Obviously this is a person that has a mental-health issue that’s to some level psychotic and crazy,” he said. “If he is [targeting Planned Parenthood], he is taking a legitimate disagreement with a practice and turned it into an evil response.”
Journalists and commentators took to Twitter to condemn CNN, once considered the American BBC, for inviting a partisan politician to spread misinformation about Planned Parenthood during an active shooting.
Neither CNN nor Kizinger's office immediately responded to a request for comment.
This post has been updated with further information regarding the assailant in Friday's attacks.