The congressional hearings on Planned Parenthood were a clear example of fundamental defects in the state of our political process ["Planned Parenthood tells Congress: It's a smear," News, Sept. 30].

The Republicans who called the hearings demonstrated a complete lack of interest in actual fact-gathering. It was an end-justifies-the-means approach to governing that fits better in a dictatorship than a democracy.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) showed a chart to make a point. He didn't seem to know the source for the chart, which he claimed was Planned Parenthood itself. The true source was Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. The data were structured to mislead and distort.

It's not that Chaffetz isn't good at reading charts. It's that he ignores facts in the interest of getting what he wants.

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is worse on this count. Her claims to have seen things in the videos from the discredited Center for Medical Progress have been debunked by several fact-checking authorities. Her insistence on repeating her unfounded claim that a video showed a live baby demonstrates that truth is less important to her than victory.

Peter Makus, Dix Hills