Ann Coulter has made it her business to ridicule gays. By ridiculing straights:Â
Bill Clinton “show[s] some level of latent homosexuality”, Al Gore is a “total fag”, and “I’d say that’s about even money” on Hillary Clinton “[c]oming out of the closet” in 2008.
“…but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I’m – so, kind of at an impasse, can’t really talk about [John] Edwards…”
It turns out, calling someone a “faggot”, or “faggy”, or even “gay” even if they’re not, can be a hate crime. Even if they’re only kidding. ButÂ it turns out you can get away with it. Because the Right has made a business out of hate speech. Yes, that’s right, hate speech.Â
Hate speech is defined as “Bigoted speech attacking or disparaging a social or ethnic group or a member of such a group.”
And it turns out itÂ sells books. And ads on blogs, television and radio shows. And ads in newspapers. And conservatives have a far greater reach, and are far more likely to use it to demonize gays than liberals. Here are a few quotes from conservative radio host Michael Savage:
“I don’t like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke. … I want to vomit when I hear it. I think it’s child abuse.”
“…the family unit is…the strongest bond on Earth, which is why homosexual marriage is such a threat to civilization itself.”
“…you may say, ‘Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?’ Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America.”Â
Does that match the definition of “hate speech”? Most certainly. And yet, the Ann Coulters, Michael Savages, and Michelle Malkins of the world are allowed, even encouraged, to continue their venomous attacks on the millions of gays in America. They are rewarded for their hate and hostility. It hasÂ becomeÂ a circus, entertainment, a game, to drive ratings and sell books, advertisements, and speaking engagements. And it seems the harder we fight against the business of homophobia, the more the hate-mongers win.
Perhaps one of the mostÂ vicious, homophobic attackers is Michelle Malkin. Although less well-known than Coulter, she has crystalized her brand of venomous hatred into a position at FOX News as a commentator, and as a syndicated columnist and blogger. Malkin seems strangely obsessed with homosexuals. I wrote last month an open letter to Malkin, wondering why, “the word â€œhomosexualâ€ appears inÂ 45 of your blog posts, and … the word â€œgayâ€ appears inÂ well over 150 of your blog posts.”Â
After California’s anti-gay marriage ballot initiative, Proposition 8, passed, Malkin went into full force against the millions of angry gay marriage supporters across the country, calling them “tolerance bullies“, characterizing their anger as “insane rage“, and creating a homophobic panic which might lead any reader to think large numbers of gays, what she called the “mob response to the passage of Proposition 8“,Â were daily attacking every church and business or individual who supported Prop 8. (For the record, there were not.)
Which brings us back to Ann Coulter. Speaking about the 2006 California gay marriage debate, Coulter said,
“…these black ministers would come on TV and say things no white conservative would say. ‘Sodomy? You’re going to burn in hell for that!’ And I realized to my delight that if we can get blacks to be conservatives, we have an entireÂ raceÂ of Ann Coulters. “
Early in the spring of 2007, during the Democratic presidential nominee campaign, Coulter called John Edwards a “faggot”. She received harsh rebuke, primarily from the Left, for it. And she lost advertisers. Lots of them. Via Towleroad:
Net Bank, Verizon, Washington Mutual, AT&T/Cingular, Dollar Rent-A-Car, SmileTrain.org, University of Phoenix, Sallie Mae, LasikPlus, Power Chord Academy, Gulf Shores.com/Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ulta.com, and Yellow Pages.com have all abandoned the right-wing pundit’s site…
The Human Rights Campaign mounted an effective effort to impact her reach by urging the public to “Help put an end to the politics of hate. Tell the Universal Press Syndicate to stop carrying Ann Coulter’s column!” And it worked. At least eleven newspapers did drop Coulter’s column. But it also drummed up attention. And attention is what feeds the bank accounts of the homophobic hate-mongering crowd.
Ann Coulter is back on top. After losing ground, advertisers, and reach, Coulter has risen to new heights of popularity. The media have catered to her tactics and shenanigans and desperate pleas for attention. All of which have helped her publish books. Seven books, actually. Her current publisher, Random House’s Crown Forum,Â “is the latest addition to our growing family of targeted imprints. Serving a conservative readership, it includes books from Ann Coulter, Michael Medved, Daniel J. Flynn, Kenneth Timmerman, and others.“Â Her latest bestselling book, “Guilty”, has been characterized by Media Matters as “filled with falsehoods“. But it is those falsehoods, like characterizing Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and John Edwards all as gay that sell her books, and the books, TV appearances, radio talk shows, and public speaking engagements of the conservative Right that keep these hate mongers in business. And we have to stop them.
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Gaetz Praises GOP Congressman Who Echoes His Call for Change ‘Through Force’
U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). largely seen as pushing Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s Republican-majority House of Representatives toward shutting down the federal government, is praising and promoting remarks made by a freshman GOP lawmaker that appear to suggest the use of violence. U.S. Rep. Eli Crane‘s comments, posted Friday (below), call for change “through force,” remarks echoing Congressman Gaetz’s recent comments which were denounced by an expert on authoritarianism as fascistic.
“The only way we’re going to see meaningful change in this town is through force,” wrote Congressman Crane, Republican of Arizona atop a three-minute video in which he frames what is now an almost guaranteed government shutdown as a “spending fight.” In his video he says, “the only way you’re gonna get any change in this town is through force.” Gaetz in August had said, “we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C.”
Congressman Crane is a former Navy SEAL. He has promoted the false “Big Lie” conspiracy theory that there was massive fraud in the election President Joe Biden won, and called “on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 election.” He is one of six House Republicans who voted against McCarthy’s speakership all 15 times in January.
“Congressman Eli Crane is a fountainhead of political courage,” said Rep. Gaetz Friday afternoon. “He holds the line.”
Crane recently came under fire for calling Black people “colored,” during debate on his legislation that would force the U.S. Armed Forces to not use any diversity requirements in its hiring practices.
Just days before he won his House seat last year, The Washington Post reported Crane had urged an “audience to look up an antisemitic sermon at a recent campaign stop.”
“Crane said that he was motivated to run because of ‘radical ideologies that are destroying this country’ and that he was most concerned about ‘Cultural Marxism,’ which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as an antisemitic baseless claim gaining traction on the American right.”
“He encouraged the audience to watch a speech by a right-wing pastor who blamed cultural change on a group of German Jewish philosophers and condemned Barack Obama for having a ‘homosexual agenda.'”
“If we don’t wake up,” Crane said, according to the Post, “if we don’t study what they’re doing, and if we don’t put people in influential positions that understand what this war is all about, what they’re trying to do and have and have the courage to call it out, we’re going to lose this country.”
In August, while standing next to Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Congressman Gaetz said, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should.”
“But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
At the time, Raw Story reported, “historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.”
“What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence,” she warned.
“And that’s how fascists talk,” Ben-Ghiat added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘See How Easy That Is to Say?’: GOP Mocked for ‘Weaponization’ of DOJ Claims as Democratic Senator Gets Indicted
The U.S. Dept. of Justice unsealed an indictment against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez late Friday morning, accusing the New Jersey Democratic lawmaker of bribery as prosecutors showed photos of gold bars and nearly half-a-million dollars in cash stuffed into a jacket that bears his name and the seal of the U.S. Senate.
Many on the left immediately demanded Senator Menendez resign, a demand he is refusing. He will step down as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, which Senate Democrats require when a chair is criminally charged.
It took little time for liberals to mock Republicans who have been claiming President Joe Biden and Democrats in general, along with the “deep state,” have “weaponized” the Dept. of Justice against conservatives, especially after Donald Trump’s four indictments on a total of 91 criminal felonies.
“Let me get this straight,” wrote journalist and progressive SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah. “To the GOP, when DOJ indicts President Biden’s son and a senior Democratic US Senator that is great. But when DOJ indicts Donald Trump for attempting a coup and for 32 counts of Espionage that is DOJ’s ‘weaponization’ of criminal justice?!”
“This is the second time that Sen. Bob Menendez has been indicted for corruption. He needs to resign and allow Gov. Murphy to fill that vacancy with someone who does right by the people of New Jersey,” wrote former Human Rights Campaign press secretary Charlotte Clymer. “See how easy that is to say, GOP?”
Journalist, author, and former Clinton White House aide Keith Boykin posted video of the prosecutor announcing the indictment.
US Attorney Damian Williams shows photos of the Mercedes Benz, gold bars, and cash the government alleges Senator Robert Menendez received in bribes. pic.twitter.com/h4hYYwzKVQ
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 22, 2023
Boykin later sarcastically commented, “There goes Biden again weaponizing the Justice Department to prosecute political leaders in his own party.”
“President Joe Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice has now indicted Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and *checks notes* Joe Biden’s son,” observed veteran intelligence officer, activist, and social media personality Travis Akers.
Attorney and former Republican George Conway quickly responded, saying, “senile sleepy Joe is playing 65-dimensional chess again.”
“Menendez should resign. Today,” demanded historian and author Kevin M. Kruse.
“One of the nice things about rule of law is that truly believing in it ensures that you don’t end up as a partisan hypocrite,” observed The Atlantic’s Brian Klaas, an associate professor in global politics at University College London. “If Menendez is guilty, he should go to prison as anyone else would. (And it would be prudent to resign swiftly).”
Meanwhile, some used Friday’s indictment of Sen. Menendez to focus on other political figures.
Foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf, warned, “The Memendez case should have Jared [Kushner] and Clarence [Thomas] ordering extra strength Tums today.”
Rachel Bitecofer, the political strategist and analyst also appeared to point the finger at Justice Thomas and his wife, Ginni.
You know who else hid money from the IRS and ran his bribes through his wife?! pic.twitter.com/kWJuAPCtbJ
— Rachel Bitecofer 📈🔭🇺🇲🇺🇦 (@RachelBitecofer) September 22, 2023
‘Corruption of the Highest Order’: Experts ‘Sickened’ at ‘Definitely Bought’ Clarence Thomas and His ‘Pay to Play’ Lifestyle
Legal and political experts are expressing outrage and disgust after ProPublica’s latest investigation into the alleged unethical and unlawful actions of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, with some demanding his resignation and others calling it “corruption of the highest level,” “Pay. To. Play.,” and one simply saying, “This sickens me.”
“Is Clarence Thomas the most corrupt Supreme Court justice in our history? One of the most corrupt senior officials in our history? There is no doubt any more,” writes David Rothkopf, the foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator.
ProPublica is the nonprofit journalism organization that has exposed multiple instances of what experts have said is Justice Thomas’ corruption, abuse of ethics, contributions to the destruction of the high court’s reputation, and actual violations of federal law. Justice Thomas has either not commented or denied any wrongdoing.
“Clarence Thomas Secretly Participated in Koch Network Donor Events,” is the headline on Friday’s installment from ProPublica, which reveals: “Thomas has attended at least two Koch donor summits, putting him in the extraordinary position of having helped a political network that has brought multiple cases before the Supreme Court.”
The Koch network is a right-wing group of political organizations founded by “the Koch Brothers,” Charles and his late brother David.
“One of the Koch network’s most powerful allies,” is how ProPublica’s latest, lengthy investigation describes Justice Thomas The report begins with his arrival in Palm Springs International Airport to attend a “long weekend” that for Koch network members and supporters would include “strategizing, relaxation in the California sun and high-dollar fundraising.”
“The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving.”
“That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term.”
That case, ProPublica reports, is one that could greatly benefit Koch and America’s ultra-wealthy.
“The Koch network is among the largest and most influential political organizations of the last half century, and it’s underwritten a far-reaching campaign to influence the course of American law. In a case the Supreme Court will hear this coming term, the justices could give the network a historic victory: limiting federal agencies’ power to issue regulations in areas ranging from the environment to labor rights to consumer protection. After shepherding the case to the court, Koch network staff attorneys are now asking the justices to overturn a decades-old precedent. (Thomas used to support the precedent but flipped his position in recent years.)”
As with most of ProPublica’s investigations, this report includes both allegations of illegal actions and unethical behaviors.
Experts are voicing concern.
“Clarence Thomas might not be the finest Justice money can buy, but he’s definitely bought,” charges Moe Davis, the well-known retired U.S. Air Force colonel, attorney, educator, politician, and former administrative law judge.
Former federal prosecutor and legal commentator Mimi Rocah, who is now the elected District Attorney for Westchester County, New York expressed disgust.
“As a public servant who sacrifices donor $ (I don’t take donations from elected officials, PBAs, or attorneys with cases before my office), b/c I believe the justice system should be free from even the appearance of political influence, this sickens me.”
“Thomas and his billionaire pals have trashed the court’s reputation,” observed author Mark Jacob, a former Chicago Tribune editor.
“Corruption of the highest order,” is how Heather Cox Richardson, the well-known historian, author and professor of history described Justice Thomas’ alleged actions. “Personally, I’d go right to resign. It’s long overdue. And I’d revisit the cases he’s decided—including Citizens United and Shelby v Holder, which together handed our democracy to the rich—while we’re at it.”
“Does Justice go better with Koch?” mocked Jane Mayer, the award-winning author and investigative reporter at The New Yorker. “Clarence Thomas will judge a momentous case this term affecting all federal regulations after secretly partying for years with involved polluters.”
Journalist and conspiracy theory expert Mike Rothschild wrote: “Clarence Thomas hanging out with the Kochs and Harlan Crow at Bohemian Grove. No human sacrifice, no devil worship, just some old rich dudes scheming to take rights away from the rest of us. The conspiracy is in plain sight, and it doesn’t bother hiding.”
New York Times bestselling author, legal expert and senior editor at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick summed it up: “Pay. To. Play.”
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