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OPINION: How Many Lies Did the Sponsor of North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Bill HB2 Just Tell on MSNBC?…

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…And How Many Did Chuck Todd Let Him Get Away With?

I think I just saw one of the worst interviews “Meet the Press” has ever conducted. Host Chuck Todd just interviewed the Republican lawmaker who was the primary sponsor of North Carolina‘s anti-LGBT law, HB2. Rep. Dan Bishop showed up with a huge smile on his face, as if he just won a huge prize. And he had – Bishop and his GOP colleagues rammed through both sides of the General Assembly what some have called the most anti-LGBT bill in the nation. And he managed to get it done, from “debate” to signing by the governor, in well-under 12 hours.

But back to “Meet the Press.”

Chuck Todd was extraordinarily, and visibly, uncomfortable with the issue of LGBT civil rights. I’m pretty sure (feel free to tell me I’m wrong) he said “transgendered,” a few times, and had to carefully pronounce “sexual orientation and gender identity,” and even “LGBT.”

Nope, I’m right:

Worse than his discomfort was his obvious lack of knowledge of the subject.

This is an issue with broad implications for the LGBT community, and sure, it’s a national debate where many people have differing opinions. But what’s never up for debate is asking an important question and allowing the person you’re interviewing to wriggle and slither out of an answer – yet Todd did that repeatedly.

I’m not the only one who’s furious:

Bishop’s first words were literally, “It’s funny how misimpressions get started, Chuck.” That’s a heads-up, a gift, actually, to any journalist worth their salt that their guest intends to, and is prepared to, obfuscate and try to twist the facts. Apparently, Chuck Todd didn’t get that memo.

Bishop began his lies by claiming that HB2 is a “business regulation” bill. It is not, and it’s extremely clear what its intention was, since Republican lawmakers, especially House Speaker Tim Moore and Gov. Pat McCrory made numerous public statements about their intentions.

Bishop went on to claim, “what we did was restore common sense,” and Todd totally let that pass. It’s not common sense to force a transgender woman into the men’s room, or to force a transgender man into the women’s room.

He also gave the usual sexist trope about concern for women’s privacy. Why not concern for men’s privacy too? Two words: misogyny and paternalism.

Then there was this.

“Do you believe your bill prevents discrimination against gays and lesbians in North Carolina?,” Todd asked, ignoring the fact that HB2 really targets transgender citizens. “You don’t feel like you’ve rescinded protections?,” Todd continued. (Why would Rep. Bishop’s feelings have any journalistic rationale in this interview?)

“Absolutely not,” Bishop claimed, because Todd let him when he said “feel.”

“We worked very hard to preserve every piece of protection that North Carolina law, or Charlotte law, provided before the City Council went off the cliff and opened up women’s bathrooms to men,” Bishop claimed. That’s untrue, as best as I can see – maybe legal experts can weigh in.

Chuck Todd did not even try to push back on that. “Rep. Bishop, transgender women are not men,” was all he had to say. He did not.

And notice how Bishop wholly ignores the nine locales in North Carolina whose nondiscrimination protections he and his compatriots literally voided with the stroke of Gov. McCrory’s pen?

And there’s more.

“Let’s take Caitlyn Jenner. Which bathroom would she legally be allowed to use in North Carolina,?” Todd later asked. 

To this day, no one who listened to Rep. Bishop knows, because he never answered the question. Bishop responded by saying that HB2 only covers restrooms in public buildings. 

And, stunningly, he said, “the notion that [HB2] undermines discrimination protections is absurd.” 

Of course it is because there aren’t any. North Carolina has no statewide protections for LGBT people!

Todd asked the Jenner question again, and Bishop again obfuscated. Since he doesn’t know what’s on her birth certificate, he can’t answer the question. Which was a goldmine that Todd was incapable of mining.

When asked, “How do you check to see if somebody’s following the law?,” Todd actually let Bishop get away with, “The question is one of custom.” 

Seriously?

Because just a few decades ago, in North Carolina, it was “custom” to not allow Blacks use the same restrooms as whites.

Later, calling LGBT activists and supporters of Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance “dishonest,” Bishop says those people “can point to no protection that’s been rolled back.”

Rep. Bishop can tell that to the residents of Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange counties, and resident of cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, and towns including Boone, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill.

Rep. Dan Bishop did not actually answer most of Todd’s questions– or he just flat-out lied, or both. I’ll let legal minds dig into that more. And again, NBC News’ preeminent journalist enabled him. Todd literally handed the anti-LGBT community a blank check to twist truth and tell lies and have the platform of what is supposed to be a liberal network on which to do it. 

Memo to MSNBC: You have actual, and excellent, journalists on staff. One of your two best, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, should have been asked to interview Rep. Bishop, not Chuck Todd. What a shame.

 

EARLIER:

North Carolina Gov. McCrory in Hot Seat as Apple, Google, NBA, Many Others Denounce Anti-LGBT Law

Pat McCrory Says He Signed the Broadest Anti-LGBT Bill in the Nation to Prevent Government Overreach

NC GOP Governor, Lawmakers Race to Rescind Charlotte’s LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

 

Image: Screenshot via MSNBC

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CRIME

Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police

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A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.

“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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'CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT'

#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave

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Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.

Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.

On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.

In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.

“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”

Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.

 

 

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THE GOP IS NOW THE QANON PARTY

FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers

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The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.

Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.

The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.

This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.

CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.

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