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Orlando Sentinel Column Questions City’s ‘Post-Pulse Embrace of LGBT’ Two Days After Massacre’s Anniversary

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Guest Columnist Later Said He Wasn’t Expressing His Own Views 

Two days after the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Massacre, the Orlando Sentinel chose to publish a guest column questioning if the city’s “post-pulse embrace of LGBT” was “too tight,” leading to declining attendance at Disney World.

The column was written by C. Britt Beemer, the chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group, who described himself as “a consumer trends and research expert.” He’s also the co-author of a book designed to instruct parents on how to prohibit their children from “quitting church” with anti-LGBT creationist and Christian fundamentalist Ken Ham. 

“Since the Pulse nightclub shootings a year ago in Orlando,” Beemer wrote, “I’ve observed a significant number of evangelical Christians shift their vacations plans: They will see the Ark instead of visiting Disney in their own backyard.”

Much of the article reads as an ad for Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, with Beemer linking the decline in Disney World attendance to the “genuine concern about how children might be influenced by the pro-gay/lesbian movement in Orlando.”

“The city of Orlando has so much embraced the pro-gay/lesbian campaign after Pulse that many evangelical Christians worry – with justification,” he wrote, “that this crazed jihadist attack on America was not an attack by a jihadist but by an anti-gay individual.”

“Instead of recognizing Pulse as the worst attack on Americans by an extreme Muslim terrorist, killing 49 Americans,” Beemer wrote, “the media have turned the attack into something it is not.”

To be clear, the Pulse Massacre – the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history – was without a doubt also an anti-gay hate crime.

“Perhaps the portrayal of the Pulse shooting as a gay-lesbian issue rather than an act of terrorism accounts for the drop in visitors,” Beemer asserted, continuing his campaign for the Ark Encounter and touting it as the “viable alternative for family-vacation dollars.”

Following the column’s publication, Jezebel’s Rich Juzwiak reached out to Beemer by telephone and wrote about his conversation in an excellent piece:

Beemer conceded to me, but not in his op-ed, that he’s “sure” Disney could be losing some of its market share to Universal. He also said he didn’t ask about the way ticket prices may have affected Ark Encounter/Creation Museum attendees’ choices (per day, Ark Encounter costs $40 for adults and is considerably cheaper for children, whereas a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom for people ages 10+ is $124).

According to Juzwiak, Beemer told him that his editorial doesn’t reflect his own beliefs. “I’m not opposed to the gay community,” he said. “I have gay people working at my company.”

The Orlando Sentinel clearly states atop Beemer’s article that it’s a guest opinion column and doesn’t reflect the views of its editorial board, though Beemer was likely paid for his contribution and they did opt to run it two days after the Pulse Massacre’s anniversary.

For its part, they also published letters to the editor on the matter. Wrote one reader:

Never have I read a more disturbing, misguided, stomach-churning viewpoint in the Orlando Sentinel than the vile, unfeeling, ill-timed homophobic diatribe by C. Britt Beemer. How sad that he would seek to find fault with the love and compassion being expressed by this shining City Beautiful for its diverse citizenry, including but certainly not exclusively for the all-too-long maligned and marginalized LGBTQ community.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election

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Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Arizona brought many opportunities for his supporters to explain why they think the former president will be back in office any day.

Politico spoke to a few MAGA folks on the ground at the event and got their thoughts on what’s next in the Trump movement.

“I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election,” Politico cited Ray Kallatsa from Tucson. “I do think it’s possible, very possible.”

His thoughts echo those of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, who spoke to the crowd ahead of the former president. He cited QAnon language.

“Can you feel the storm building? It’s America,” he said using the allusion of “the storm” which is part of the conspiracy group’s messaging.

The storm, “refers to excessive social conflict that is predicted to occur prior to society reaching the point of ‘The Great Awakening,’ explained Murray State University.

See the photos from the event at Politico.

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'WINDOW INTO WHERE THIS IS ALL HEADED'

‘Avalanche of Lies’: Trump’s Arizona Speech Smacked Down by CNN Host

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The morning after Donald Trump rehashed all of his complaints about the 2020 presidential election that saw him lose to President Joe Biden and then attacked fellow Republicans, a CNN host dismissed his words as an “avalanche of lies.”

During the speech, the president also asserted that his “Stop the Steal” rally crowd was massive, telling the crowd, “They talk about the people that walked down to the Capitol, They don’t talk about the size of that crowd. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before, and they were there to protest the election.”

After sharing clips of Trump’s ranting about critics within his own party who aren’t buying into his election lies, host Abby Phillip cut to the chase and also noted the former president’s defense of the Capitol insurrectionists.

“I don’t actually recommend people listen to the avalanche of lies last night,” she stated, “but it’s notable how much effort went into defending these January 6th defendants and saying that they were being held as political prisoners. It’s a window into where this is all headed for Republicans.”

Watch below:

 

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CRIME

Sedition Indictments Reveal the DOJ Is Looking Beyond the Jan 6th Insurrection: Former US Attorney

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Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday morning, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained that a deep reading of the federal seditious conspiracy indictments filed against eleven members of the Oath Keepers revealed that the Department of Justice is looking at more than the Jan 6th insurrection.

Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Vance suggested more indictments are likely to follow.

“One of the keys to understanding this indictment is it doesn’t look at January 6th as just one day,” she began. “The conduct starts shortly after the election and continues to January 6th. We now seemingly have a more firm answer to the direction whether the DOJ is looking at January 6th as a standalone day or is this continuing course of conduct surrounding the big lie.”

“The fact they are looking at the longer spectrum of conduct is good news for people who want to see people who were involved in the day’s events held responsible for all of the efforts to interfere with the election, not just the violence that manifested on January 6th” she continued. “This is prosecutors continuing to move up that ladder of responsibility. They’ve now hit a point with people involved in a definitive way and the violence on that day. The question is whether some of these individuals and other people who have been indicted will decide to cooperate with prosecutors and if they decide to cooperate, what information they may have to share.”

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