Tucker Carlson,Â co-founder and editor-in-chief ofÂ The Daily Caller today published an article titled, “Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic.” Senator Robert Menendez is the juniorÂ U.S. Senator from New Jersey, a Democrat, and served as theÂ Democratic Senatorial Campaign CommitteeÂ Chairman from 2009-2011. The Daily Caller is aÂ radical right wing Internet broadsheet and has provided no actual proof, just accusations.
If Senator Menendez did hire prostitutes, and it was illegal to do so, we should now about it. But until there are actual facts, this is not journalism, it’s a partisan hack attack. (And I seem to remember one SenatorÂ David Vitter of Louisiana still has his job.)
“Two women from the Dominican Republic told The Daily Caller that Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez paid them for sex earlier this year,” “Investigative Reporter”Â Matthew Boyle writes today:
In interviews, the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000 acre resort in the Dominican Republic. They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.
The women spoke through a translator in the company of their attorney, Melanio Figueroa. Both asked that their identities remain obscured for fear of reprisals in the Dominican Republic.
When shown a photograph of Sen. Menendez, the women said they recognized him as the man with whom theyâ€™d had sexual relations at Casa de Campo this spring. Both said they were brought to the resort with the understanding they would be paid for sex.
Neither knew the identity of the man at the time. Both claimed to recognize him later as Sen. Menendez.
â€œHe called him[self] â€˜Bob,â€™â€ said one.
One woman said Menendez wooed her with compliments like â€œbeautifulâ€ before they slept together. The other woman recounted, with apparent bitterness, receiving from an intermediary only $100 of the $500 she had been promised.
â€œHe lies,â€ she said of Menendez. â€œHe says one thing and does another.â€
The Daily Caller adds but a one sentence paragraph as “balance.”
Asked about the allegations, Menendez spokeswoman Tricia Enright refused to answer any questions on the subject. â€œWeâ€™re not going to respond to a completely false accusation,â€ she wrote by email.
Aside from the accusations by the two female prostitutes, Tucker Carlson and his Daily Caller team have not presented a shred of proof, and decided to run this article five days before New Jersey residents decide Senator Menendez’s re-election.
That’s the same New Jersey that is traumatized and was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy just days ago.
Carlson, the conservative pundit-turned-blogmaster, Fox News Commentator, Cato Institute senior fellow,Â and former-bowtie-wearing half of theÂ formerÂ “Crossfire” (think “Hardball” hosted by asshats) talk show team that CNN canceled after one interview with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart — who eviscerated Carlson — in an iconic interview that catapulted Stewart’s show and credibility and literally was the very end of Carlson’s. (Video below.)
Speaking personally, Carlson’s own credibility and sense of journalistic integrity has always been questionable to me.
In 2010, Carlson onÂ Fox & Friends Â mocked the pending repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and mocked its implications on national security (repeal benefits security) calling itÂ â€œtotally a sideshow issueâ€ and a â€œstupid issue.â€
In 2011,Â Carlson hosted a cocktail-party-slash-book-tour-kickoff in his home for convicted felon Jack Abramoff, possibly the most corrupt lobbyist ever. Carlson said, on camera,Â Jack Abramoff has a â€œdecencyâ€ â€œIâ€™m willing to vouch for.â€
Wht kind of journalism does Carlson promote?
Well, aside from today’s “news” story about Senator Menendez, earlier this year, after the ugliness of the National Review’s ultimate release of racist John Derbyshire,Â aÂ writer for The Daily Caller lamented that his bike was stolen, and â€” although he had absolutely no proof whatsoever â€” the thief must have been a black person.
And in a dangerous and stupid publicity stunt, Carlson, to get more readers, announced The Daily Caller wasÂ giving away one gun every week until election day.
In June, Daily Caller “reporter”Â Neil MunroÂ heckled President Obama during his announcement of his new DREAM immigration policy.
While the President was speaking, Munro shouted out,Â â€Whyâ€™d you favor foreigners over Americans?,â€ to which president Obama replied,Â â€œExcuse me, sir, but itâ€™s not time for questions.â€
â€œAre you going to take questions?,â€ Munro continued.Â â€œNot while Iâ€™m speaking,â€ the President, somewhat angrily, replied.
Carlson announcedÂ he was â€œvery proudâ€ of his “reporter.”
And last month Carlson was at the center of the Drudge-Carlson-Hannity stunt that was laughed at by most of America, theÂ 2007 video of President Obama speaking to a Black college audience, that everyone saw in 2007.
So, did Senator Menendez pay prostitutes for sex?
I don’t know. Neither do you. And neither does Tucker Carlson.
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Republican Attempts to Create Special Religious Rights Fail as Bipartisan Historic Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate
Far right activists and organizations for months have been falsely claiming legislation to protect same-sex marriages would destroy different-sex marriages and take away religious rights from ordinary Americans, but early Tuesday evening on a bipartisan basis the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 61-36.
61-36: Senate passes marriage equality legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages under federal law. 60 votes were needed. The Respect for Marriage Act now heads back to the House for final approval. pic.twitter.com/vKvliW5pIU
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) November 29, 2022
The legislation itself is very simple. It essentially leaves in place the status quo on marriage from the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling. Should right wing Supreme Court justices strike that ruling down, the Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government and states to recognize any marriages that were legal when they were entered, now and in the future.
35 states currently still have same-sex marriage bans on the books. If the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, many of those could become law immediately.
In order to overcome a Republican-led filibuster Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday agreed to allow three GOP Senators to offer amendments to the legislation, amendments that would have created special religious rights to discriminate.
An amendment from Senator James Lankford (R-OK) failed, as did one from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 60 votes were needed for each.
Sen. Lee’s was seen by some as the most extreme, and was strongly supported by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts, in a false claim, had said: “The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ contains so many infringements and encroachments on religious freedoms and on conscience that Republicans should unite solidly against it. Instead, it should be called the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”
Far right evangelical activist Franklin Graham falsely claimed the “bill strikes a blow at religious freedom for individuals & ministries & is really the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”
The Pennsylvania Family Council wrongly called it “a bill that would redefine marriage and attack religious freedom & Christian social services.”
But despite GOP fear-mongering, the legislation has religious protections built in, protections so strong 20 faith-based organizations including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, have supported its passage.
The bill now heads back to the House for a final vote, and then to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.
"What a great day," says Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as Senate approves legislation to codify protections for lawful same-sex and interracial marriages.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 29, 2022
‘Punditry, Not Leadership’: McConnell Slammed for Refusing to Say if He Would Support Trump in 2024
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say if he would support Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2024. McConnell spoke in broad terms about antisemitism and white supremacy Tuesday afternoon, a full week to the day after the former president had dinner with the antisemite Kanye West, and the white supremacist Nick Fuentes, but could not bring himself to disavow Trump by name.
NEW: McConnell begins his weekly presser unprompted, right off the bat by addressing the Trump/Ye/Fuentes meeting by saying anyone meeting with people who espouse anti-Semitic views will not likely be elected to the presidency. pic.twitter.com/xgAXzTn5oe
— Caitlin Huey-Burns (@CHueyBurns) November 29, 2022
“First, let me just say, there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” McConnell said as he began a press conference, his first remarks about Trump’s dinner with West and Fuentes. “Anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected President of the United States.”
MCCONNELL: First, let me just say that there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States. pic.twitter.com/IbUrlmwXvD
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) November 29, 2022
McConnell did not mention Trump, and moments later, when CNN’s Manu Raja specifically asked about the former president, McConnell would only repeat his previous statement.
“Look, let me just say again, there is simply no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy, and that would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices,” he told CNN’s Raju.
After saying there’s no room for antisemitism and white supremacy in the Republican Party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t answer CNN’s @mkraju as to whether he’d support Donald Trump if he wins the GOP nomination for president in 2024. pic.twitter.com/cm3coNXAZl
— The Recount (@therecount) November 29, 2022
Many were critical of McConnell’s refusal to denounce Trump.
Boston Globe opinion writer Abdallah Fayyad said, “McConnell will absolutely back Trump if he wins the GOP nomination.”
Previously, McConnell had said he would support Trump if he is the GOP’s nominee.
“Notice how McConnell said such a person is ‘highly unlikely’ to be elected, rather than manifestly unfit. He needs to keep his rhetorical options open for Trump getting the nomination again,” observed Media Matters’ Eric Kleefeld.
Law professor and former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Sherrilyn Ifill says, “McConnell, Pence, McCarthy and the other folks clutching their pearls today stood beside this man. Distancing from Trump over ‘the dinner’ is way late.”
Political consultant and writer Jamison Foser criticized the Republican Minority Leader, saying: “‘Will not likely be elected’ is punditry, not leadership. McConnell will support Trump if Trump is the Republican nominee; everything else is his attempt to distract from that.”
Before McConnell’s remarks, Ifill had taken the media to task.
“The most dispiriting aspect of the discussion about Trump’s meal w/those two odious ppl is that I thought there was consensus that Trump is a white supremacist. In which case 3 white supremacists had dinner. Why is Trump getting portrayed as an innocent who was snookered?”
‘Beyond Horrific’: Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Producer Is an Out Gay Man Helping ‘Ramp Up’ Hate Says LGBTQ Journalist
Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson, whose nightly show frequently has the largest reach of any on cable news, regularly attacks the LGBTQ community with fear-mongering and hate-filled segments about gay people, transgender people, “groomers” and the latest target: “drag queen story hours.”
His senior executive producer, who oversees Carlson’s media empire at Fox News, is a married, out, gay man named Justin Wells, according to veteran journalist and SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile, who is calling it “beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people.”
Last week, in the wake of the horrific anti-LGBTQ hate crime mass shooting Carlson hosted a guest, the head of the so-called “Gays Against Groomers,” who told Fox News viewers the attack on LGBTQ people at a gay bar in Colorado Springs was “predictable” and warned that these hate crime massacres will continue, “until we end this evil agenda” of gender-affirming care.
Tucker Carlson guest: Shootings like the Club Q shooting are going to keep happening “until we end this evil agenda” of gender-affirming care. pic.twitter.com/4ajSonqlug
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) November 23, 2022
Carlson has repeatedly hosted Jaimee Mitchell, the Gays Against Groomers founder who fear mongers against LGBTQ people, with the apparent consent of Wells, who “helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence,” says Signorile.
“It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin,” Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of media watchdog Media Matters, told Signorile.
Indeed, referring to the Colorado Springs mass shooting massacre, Signorile noted it is “the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.”
“Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people,” says Signorile, explaining that “Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of ‘replacement theory’ and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda.”
One of Carlson’s frequent LGBTQ targets is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who he has called an “unqualified ‘kid’ who ‘breastfeeds,’ and has no business running the agency,” as Mediaite reported.
“And as Carlson further pushed white nationalism, attacked transgender people and embraced Hungary’s authoritarian leader Victor Orban,” Signorile reports, “Wells, in 2021, was named a Vice President at Fox News, in charge of all Carlson product that airs on Fox News TV as well as on Fox’s streaming network, Fox Nation.”
Signorile says, “it’s quite stunning that Wells would work for Carlson, who has a well-known history of visceral homophobia. That’s something that came to light again last year when it became known that Carlson had offered a tribute to Dan White, the assassin of San Francisco supervisor and gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk, in his college yearbook back in 1991, as well as to the late vociferously anti-gay Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who whipped up homophobia during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.”
“I wrote about those jarring revelations when they surfaced last year,” he continues, “as well as about what I dubbed Carlson’s ‘pathological obsession with homosexuality’ throughout his career. Carlson has expressed revulsion at homosexuality, and in one incident he reveled in a violent response. In a TV interview in 2007 he described having smashed a man’s head ‘against the stall’ in a public rest room, after the man ‘bothered’ him.”
“Wells, as a gay man, only emboldens Carlson further,” Signorile concludes. “He gives him permission to launch the ugly attacks and helps Carlson validate, for himself (and likely for executives at Fox News), the vitriol he espouses. That makes Justin Wells’ presence as the powerful gay man behind Tucker Carlson all the more newsworthy. And all the more dangerous.”
Signorile notes that his reporting is not an outing.
“This story is not, however, about a warped closet case, tormented by self-loathing, hiding his true self while bashing those like him. And thus, this story is not an outing, which involves exposing someone who covers up their sexual orientation while publicly presenting as heterosexual — though it certainly may be a startling revelation to a great many. It is, rather, about connecting the dots regarding a reality that seems to have been hiding in plain sight.”
You can read Signorile’s entire report on his Substack newsletter.
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