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Fox News Reporter Just Can’t Figure Out Facts In Anti-Gay Bakers Story

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Is Fox News’ religion reporter having a hard time separating facts, or is he just defaulting to incorrect information?

It’s no secret Fox News religion reporter Todd Starnes is anti-gay and a fan of anti-gay hate groups. It’s also no secret that his reporting is biased and all-too-often inaccurate.

Starnes has been taken to task by those he has wrongly reported on several times. For instance, during the War on Christmas of 2013, Starnes reported that “as long as anyone can remember, teachers at Brooklet Elementary School have posted Christmas cards in the hallways outside their classrooms – until Monday. When boys and girls returned from Thanksgiving break, they discovered that their teachers’ Christmas cards had been removed – under orders from the Georgia school’s administration. … The Christmas card censorship comes as the Bulloch County Board of Education cracks down on religious expression in their schools.”

Starnes’ piece, titled, “Georgia School Confiscates Christmas Cards,” was of course false – there was no secret war on Christmas cards or religious expression.

A local news channel did Starnes work for him, and some actual reporting.

“This year, due to a legitimate, personal privacy concern raised by one of the school’s staff members, [Principal] Baker moved the display to the opposite wall inside the office work room so that the staff member could still participate in the tradition,” the school district, attacked by Starnes fans, said in a statement to WSAV. “Baker wanted to respect the staff member’s privacy and that of his/her children depicted in the Christmas card.”

That statement also read, “Unfortunately, today the school was terrorized by an intentional and vicious dissemination of untrue information that disrupted the good work going on inside. Fox News Radio Commentary Host Todd Starnes, acting on misinformation that neither he, nor his media outlet corroborated with the school system or Baker, misreported a story about student Christmas Cards being removed from the school.” [Bolding ours]

That’s just one example. 

Media Matters today refers to Starnes as a serial misinformer, points to “Starnes’ consistently inaccurate ‘culture war’ reporting,” and offers as more evidence Starnes’ reporting on the now infamous case against Oregon baker Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

In his Fox News piece yesterday, “Christian bakers face government wrath for refusing to make cake for gay wedding,” Starnes writes, “Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, and now they must pay for their crime.”

The judge’s ruling paves the way for a March 10 hearing at which the Christian business owners could be ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and damages.

Wrong.

In the real world, the Kleins, through their lawyers, tried but failed to get a judgment in their favor and $200,000 in court costs and fees out of the same-sex couple they refused to serve.

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Communications Director Charlie Burr gave Media Matters a statement denying Starnes’ reporting.

Todd Starnes is writing that the bakery owners face fines of up to $200,000 in damages. That’s false. In fact, it’s the Kleins who have asked for $200,000 in damages from our agency for our enforcement of the Equality Act. We rejected the request due to jurisdictional issues.

The agency’s prosecution unit is seeking up to $75,000 per person in damages, but no ruling on amounts has been made. [emphasis original]

Starnes also “asks” if the deciding official in the case, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, “wants to ship the Christians off to a government-sanctioned re-education camp?”

And he concludes, the “evidence seems to indicate that Christian business owners are being intentionally singled out for persecution. And it appears the courts are consistently ruling that gay rights trump everyone else’s rights.”

Anyone care to weigh the truth of that statement? 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Florida Dems Walk Out After DeSantis’ Surgeon General Refuses to Say if Vaccines Work

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Democrats on a Florida state Senate committee walked out of the confirmation hearing of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a far right-wing anti-science extremist after he refused to answer if vaccines are safe and effective, and why the Dept. of Health has stopped publicly posting COVID data.

Ladapo, who has been in the position for months, has ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist doctor who talks about alien DNA, demon sperm, and pushes hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure.

Asked if the COVID vaccines are effective, Ladapo refused to say “yes” or “no.” The Tallahassee Democrat reported Ladapo’s answers were “long-winded, indirect,” and that he “gave murky answers about his criticism of the Biden administration and his ability to work with the federal government, and whether he had a plan for ending the pandemic in Florida.”

“I would say that, that the, the question is a scientific one and it’s one that is answered with data. So, so, the, the question, the question is informed by data on specific outcomes and specific, specific therapies. So that’s a that’s the, that’s the scientific question.”

The Senator, polite but frustrated, pushed back: “Just a yes or no. Do vaccines work? In fighting against COVID-19? Yes or no?”

Related: DeSantis Vows to Fight FDA After COVID Treatment His Top Donor Invested in Is Found to Not Fight Omicron

“Senator,” replied Ladapo, an anti-vaxxer who opposes testing for the deadly coronavirus. “I just, I as a scientist, you know, I I, I am compelled to answer the scientific question, and I’d be happy to answer any specific scientific question that you have related to vaccines and COVID-19.”

So she tried again.

“Scientifically, does the, do the vaccines work against preventing COVID-19? Yes or no?”

“So, yes or no questions are not that easy to find in science,” Ladapo obfuscated. “So, I will I understand I think I have better clarity about your your question at this point. So what I would say is that the most commonly used vaccines in the United States, which would be the the Pfizer product and the product that was was developed by Moderna have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization.”

Later, he was asked why the state has stopped publicly releasing COVID data. He again obfuscated.

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BREAKING NEWS

SCOTUS Justice Breyer Retiring

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, is retiring at the end of the Court’s term. Breyer, nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, is one of just three liberals left on the nation’s highest court.

Progressives have been working to convince Breyer to retire while President Joe Biden still has a Democratic majority in the Senate.

NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news. He notes President Biden committed to nominating the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

 

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21ST CENTURY VERSION OF A BOOK BURNING

Mayor Who Promotes His City’s ‘Progressive Leadership’ Blocks Taxpayer Funds Over Library’s ‘Homosexual Materials’

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Last March, Ridgeland, Mississippi Mayor Gene McGee spent time reading books to students at a local elementary school in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America Week.

In September Mayor McGee signed a proclamation promoting Constitution Week, celebrating the 234th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

Mayor McGee, who says his city of Ridgeland “attracts new businesses and new residents because of its vibrant businesses, progressive leadership, excellent schools and welcoming neighborhoods,” this week is refusing to release $110,000 in already appropriated funds to the local library because it has “homosexual materials” that he claims violate his Christian beliefs.

McGee “told me that the library can serve whoever we wanted, but that he only serves the great Lord above,” Tonja Johnson, executive director for the Madison County Library System told the Mississippi Free Press.

The counsel for the library board, Bob Sanders, was asked at a Tuesday meeting of the Ridgeland Library’s board if the mayor has legal authority to block the funds.

“Uh, no.” Sanders responded.

Mississippi Free Press reporter Nick Judin adds that “the mayor’s action may well violate basic constitutional rights, based on earlier court cases on the subject of LGBTQ book bans, including Sund v. City of Wichita Falls.

On Twitter, Judin adds more details:

Judin also offers this plea: “if you are sharing this story to make a point about Mississippi, I encourage you to remember that Mississippi is not just Gene McGee. Mississippi is also Tonja Johnson and the library board who voted unanimously to ignore his demands.”

No word yet on if the funds will be released.

 

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