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MSNBC Becomes Platform For Anti-Gay Hate Group’s Lies (Video)

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In a stunning choice Wednesday morning, MSNBC invited a spokesperson for an anti-gay hate group to opine on the anti-gay “religious freedom” laws sweeping the nation. Watch how she lies about verifiable facts – without any response from the MSNBC anchor.

Note: Sandy Rios segment begins at about the 3:45 mark.

It’s not uncommon for Fox News to invite members of anti-gay hate groups, radical religious right pastors, preachers, and politicians onto its shows, and to offer them unfettered access to spew hate and lies. That’s just how Fox News works.

But MSNBC, after years of pushback by LGBT activists, the LGBT media, and LGBT organizations has wisely not called upon the Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischers to offer opinion or debate issues like marriage and family and discrimination with any regularity for quite some time now.

Until today.

During “News Nation” with anchor Tamron Hall, MSNBC gave a wide platform to Sandy Rios, a spokesperson for the certified anti-gay hate group American Family Association. 

Rios, who is also a Fox News contributor and hosts a radio show on the American Family Association’s Radio Network, is well know to many LGBT activists, and her animus and hate is well documented by both Right Wing Watch and GLAAD.

Via GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project, some background on Sandy Rios:

“When homosexual men get together, they don’t look for activities to enjoy common interests, they look for activities to find and expedite sex,” she once said.

Equated the love shared by two men to the “love” that kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro had for the young women he kept captive as slaves; when confronted, doubled down

When Supreme Court overturned criminal bans on gay sex, Rios described it as a “sad moment in American history;” said it was “an immoral act” on par with “the Dred Scott decision declaring slaves two-thirds persons

MSNBC did not mention any of this, other than identifying Rios as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association.

During the lengthy debate with Human Rights Campaign’s Jason Rahlan over Indiana and Arkansas’ anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation, Rios played extremely quick and loose with facts. In fact, she lied.

Here’s how Rios described the case of Washington state florist Baronelle Stutzman, who just lost her discrimination case over her refusal to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

“Barronelle Stutzman, 71-years old, a grandmother, who owns a floral shop in Oregon, inherited from her mother, who has gay employees, serves gay people all the time. A gay couple came to her, asked her to do her artistry for their wedding, she said, ‘I can’t do that. I don’t agree with gay marriage.'”

“They’re trying to take Baronelle’s homes, they’re coming after her trying to take her business and by they, I mean the government in Washington State,” Rios falsely claimed.

“Because she doesn’t have a right, as a 72-year old grandmother, to say, ‘No, I love you, you’re my customer, but I don’t agree with gay marriage and I just can’t give you my artistry.”

Later, HRC’s Rahlan responded. “At the end of the day there is no religious freedom crisis in America the only crisis is a rising wave of anti-LGBT legislation.”

So Rios claimed:

“Ask Baronelle Stutzmann, who’s losing her house. Ask the young bakers who lost their business and have five little children to support and have like multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines because they wouldn’t do a cake for a gay wedding.”

So, what’s the actual truth?

Stutzman has been fined a total of $1001 and ordered to obey the law in Washington, like everyone else, and not discriminate.

But Rios claims the state is trying to punish her by confiscating her homes and business.

And no one, not Tamron Hall, not HRC’s Jason Rahlan, pushed back. She was allowed to lie.

Rios also claimed, again, falsely, that, “The same thing happened to a young couple, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who had a cake shop.”

She is of course referring to Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. After they refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, they chose to close their storefront store and do business online, presumably to avoid Oregon’s nondiscrimination laws.

“So now they’ve been fined, hundreds of thousands of dollars, they have five small children, they’ve had to give up the business – this is the part of the story that people are not hearing.”

What’s the real truth?

The case has been argued and the Kleins have been found guilty, but no fine has been set whatsoever. It could go as high as $150,000, but again, no fine or final judgment has been set.

Yet Rios claims, “they’ve been fined, hundreds of thousands of dollars,” and “they’ve had to give up the business.”

Neither HRC nor MSNBC pushed back, they just allowed false statements to be accepted as truth.

Rios also engaged in this debate with Rahlan, after he mentioned Apple CEO Tim Cook, NIKE’s CEO and President, NASCAR, the NCAA, Angie’s List, and others who all oppose Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

RIOS: “They don’t know the whole story, Jason.”

RAHLAN: “They’re pretty smart people Sandy, I think they do. They know the whole story.”

RIOS: “No I don’t think they’re pretty smart at all.”

RAHLAN: “You don’t think the CEO of Apple is smart?”

RIOS: “You know if he were smart why is he doing business with countries where they are actually executing homosexuals?”

RAHLAN: “What about the NCAA?”

RIOS: “The NCAA watches, they watch the media! They watch the ridiculous exaggeration.”

There’s a great deal more, but bottom line, MSNBC should never have hosted a spokesperson for an anti-gay hate group, should at least have been better prepared, and should have properly identified Rios as a member of a hate group.

This was, in short, journalistic malpractice and MSNBC needs to apologize and correct the record.

Some reactions via Twitter:

 

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News

House Republicans Move to Upstage SOTU With New Hur Investigation Subpoena and Hearing

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While continuing to defend their impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden, despite the testimony or credibility of numerous star witnesses collapsing, Republican House Chairs Jim Jordan and Jim Comer on Tuesday announced they have issued a subpoena to Attorney General Merrick Garland for “records, including transcripts, notes, video, and audio files, related to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation” of President Biden’s mishandling of classified information.

Hur cleared the President of any criminal wrongdoing, while deviating from DOJ guidelines by making partisan attacks on the President’s memory.

Despite the entire “Burisma” conspiracy again imploding, Chairman Comer and Chairman Jordan have continued to promote false claims surrounding President Biden.

Comer on Tuesday claimed now-indicted former FBI source Alexander Smirnov, who reportedly got the Burisma falsehoods from Putin’s Russian intelligence, “never was a key part” of his investigation into the President.

READ MORE: At the White House Johnson Says Biden Must Use Executive Orders After Calling Them ‘Gimmicks’

Jordan’s and Comer’s remarks have drawn the scrutiny of several former federal prosecutors, including U.S. Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY), who last week warned they could be opening themselves up to conspiracy charges. Monday night Rep. Goldman made his allegations clear: “Jordan is now conspiring with Putin to interfere in the Nov election.”

The deadline Comer and Jordan gave the Attorney General is March 7, the date President Biden is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union Address, as NewsNation Washington Correspondent Joe Khalil noted.

Republicans, along with Fox News, have been concerned over reports President Biden’s team wants to use the State of the Union as a “reset.” Far-right Fox News Business host Maria Bartiromo expressed great concern about the State of the Union Address as she noted Republicans have legislation that would block President Biden from delivering the annual address, at least from inside Congress.

As Axios reported last week, Republicans have been planning ways to take the “spotlight” away from President Biden’s control, and turn it back onto him.

READ MORE: Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

“Biden’s ownership of the national spotlight will be brief. Just five days after his speech, House Republicans will hold a hearing with special counsel Robert Hur, whose report cleared the president of mishandling documents but called him a ‘well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,'” reported Axios’ Mike Allen and Alex Thompson. “Republicans tell Axios they hope to make the hearing a blockbuster, including pressing Hur about Biden’s fitness.”

CBS News adds that Comers and Jordan’s “committees have been trying to show for months that Mr. Biden was enriched by his family’s foreign business dealings and accepted bribes, but have so far uncovered no wrongdoing by the president. Their impeachment inquiry took a hit when one of their key witnesses was recently charged with lying about the first family’s business dealings.”

See the video above or at this link.

Image of Jim Jordan via Shutterstock

 

 

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News

At the White House Johnson Says Biden Must Use Executive Orders After Calling Them ‘Gimmicks’

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Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says President Joe Biden must issue executive orders to address the southern border, just days after scoffing at claims the President was considering using his executive authority, calling those orders “election year gimmicks.”

Republicans, with the assistance of – and some say, at the direction of – Donald Trump derailed a bipartisan  border bill several weeks ago.

Although the House is still on vacation, Speaker Johnson attended his first White House meeting with President Biden on Tuesday, along with Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The President’s goal in gathering the congressional leaders together was to find a way to avoid a government shutdown, which will come after midnight Friday if the House and Senate cannot agree and pass legislation to fund the government.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the meeting “one of the most intense” of his career.

READ MORE: Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries are all united in the need to pass legislation to help Ukraine battle Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal war.

Often after these meetings participants will hold a joint press conference outside the White House but Johnson opted to speak to reporters alone.

Defiant, and in opposition to the President, Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries, Johnson declared that the southern border must be fixed before he could support funding critical military aid to Ukraine.

Pointing to “discussion about the supplemental spending package,” referring to the military aid bill, Johnson told reporters (video below): “I was very clear with the President and all those in the room that the House is actively pursuing and investigating all the various options on that, and we will address that in a timely manner.”

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

“But again, the first priority of the country is our border and making sure it’s secure. I believe the President can take executive authority right now today to change that. And I told him that again today in person, as I’ve said to him many times, publicly and privately over the last several weeks, it’s time for action. It is a catastrophe, and it must stop and we will get the government funded and we’ll keep working on that.”

Last week, Politico reported Johnson, in addition to his “election year gimmicks” remarks, said: “The president suddenly seems interested in trying to make a change using the legal authority that he claimed until recently didn’t exist.”

Watch Johnson below or at this link:

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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COMMENTARY

Stephen Miller: Arrest ‘Commie’ Teachers, Use Government Power to ‘Defeat Evil’

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Former Trump aide Stephen Miller told the MAGA activists gathered near Washington, D.C. last week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that conservatives must be willing to use power more aggressively against their opponents. He railed against district attorneys and other officials for not arresting teachers who violate new state laws that restrict teaching on race, gender, and sexuality.

Miller, an architect of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies, has been promising MAGA activists that if Trump returns to the White House, he “will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown.” Miller’s America First Legal group is part of the far-right Project 2025, which has prepared a battle plan for the movement to “take the reins of government” in a new Trump administration. The Heritage Foundation, ringleader of the Project 2025 scheme, was at CPAC recruiting foot soldiers willing to carry out the plan.

In a recent article for Political Research Associates’ “The Public Eye” magazine, I noted that Project 2025 reflected a “movement-level, ideological shift away from a libertarian mistrust of government power and toward an authoritarian view of government power being used ruthlessly—whether as a righteous force wielded to advance a ‘biblical worldview’ or turned against an ‘administrative state’ supposedly captured by a radical Marxist left.”

Miller provided ample confirmation about the MAGA movement’s intentions, down to his dismissal of libertarianism as “a terrible ideology” that might be fine for academic debates but not in the real world, where he said public officials have a responsibility to “defeat evil.”

Excerpts from Miller’s appearance on a Friday, Feb. 23 CPAC panel:

Call it a mental illness, call it a spiritual failing, call it a moral deficiency, call it weakness, softness, or just being pathetic. There is something really broken in the conservative brain. They’re afraid not only of conflict, we know that. But there’s an even deeper fear, a deeper fear than all that, which is having power, and using power. Conservatives are addicted to the language of libertarianism, which is fine–you know, it’s a terrible ideology, but in an academic setting, okay, have these debates. …

You elect a state supreme court justice, you elect an Attorney General, and so on and so forth, to have an office with specific powers, duties, and responsibilities, with the expectation that they will use that authority to defeat evil, to protect the good, and to accomplish positive change in society. And you have to use that power fearlessly. …

A number of states, for example, have passed laws, saying that you can’t have this in the curriculum, or you can’t have that in the curriculum, and you can’t teach DEI and so on and so forth. Without exception, I can promise you, all the commies in the classroom changed the name of their lecture, changed one word, changed one little paragraph in the syllabus and did the exact same damn thing every single day because they’re communists and that’s what they do. Were they sued? No! Were they arrested if they broke a law and it’s applicable? No! Did any D.A. anywhere, if you’re talking about trans issues, think of arresting somebody for abusing children with trans ideology? No, we write blog posts about it. That’s what we do. So until we get serious, all the way down to the local DA, all the way up to the state A/G. and every office in between, including judges, electing people who have power and will use that power and measure their success by change in the real world, then we aren’t going to be able to beat the left.

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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