Fox News is taking fire from military experts after the conservative media outlet and some of its strongest allies attacked Vice President Kamala Harris for not saluting members of the U.S. Military. As experts explained, Harris is not a member of the military nor in the chain of command, and it would be inappropriate for her to do so. It would also signal a weakening of civilian control.
“Vice President Kamala Harris is facing criticism for appearing to break with precedent and failing to salute the honor guard when boarding Air Force Two,” Fox News’ Evie Fordham wrote in an online article on Tuesday. “Video reviewed by Fox News showed that her predecessors, former Vice President Mike Pence and President Biden, regularly saluted the honor guard in the same situation.”
Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College who formerly was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, slammed Fox News, saying it would be “incorrect” for her to salute, and they know they’re wrong.
The Commander in Chief returns salutes as a matter of courtesy (a practice started by Reagan), but the VP is a civilian who is not in the chain of command. It would be incorrect for her to salute anyone, and @FoxNews knows this.
If other VPs did it, it was incorrect. https://t.co/62tcIOK5c3
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 24, 2021
They know, which is what makes it worse.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 24, 2021
Task & Purpose, a military news site reported on the “conflict” before Fox News did, concluding, “there is no requirement that the President or Vice President of the United States return a salute.”
But a veteran speaking to The Chicago Tribune back in 2015 went even further.
“In the military, saluting is a part of ceremony and it’s very prescriptive. If you’re not in uniform, you can’t salute,” Eric Potter, a 32-year veteran of the military said.
“Saluting soldiers is not a recommended way to honor current or former members of the Armed Forces,” the editorial team at Aircraft Compare wrote. “Even members of the Armed Forces do not salute when out of uniform. A salute is part of the official protocols that active soldiers follow. Outside official duties, the military salute is rarely displayed.”
Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity “reported” on the “scandal” on his own site:
WATCH: Kamala Harris Does Not Salute Members of the Military When Boarding Air Force Two https://t.co/9ts8sk4ch7
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 23, 2021
Former NYC “top cop,” and convicted felon Bernie Kerik, who served in the U.S. Army and should know better, called not saluting “disgraceful.”
DISGRACEFUL: @VP Kamala Harris refuses to salute the honor guard at the steps of the aircraft. It is a clear demonstration of her dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military. pic.twitter.com/7QFHzamnt7
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) March 23, 2021
Jonathan Ladd, associate professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and the Department of Government joined in noting Fox News is wrong:
No president (or vice president) saluted the military before Reagan. Not Grant. Not Ike. Nobody. The president’s a civilian. Reagan was an actor who didn’t serve overseas in WW2, but with a flair for showmanship, and created the theatrical gesture. https://t.co/aHnyJvToNj
— Jonathan Ladd (@jonmladd) March 24, 2021
As did Military.com congressional reporter Steve Beynon:
The VP is not in the chain of command and even the president saluting isn’t technically a thing and something adopted relatively recently. https://t.co/k4BPXVKoVE
— Steve Beynon (@StevenBeynon) March 23, 2021
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Top Trump Allies in Full Freak-Out Mode Threaten Facebook Over Board’s Ban: ‘Supreme Court Should Overturn’
After the Facebook Oversight Board released its decision that banning then-President Donald Trump over his comments on the January 6 insurrection – including determining that he had “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” – was appropriate, top Trump allies are in full outrage mode.
Mark Meadows, the former Chair of the powerful House Freedom Caucus and former Ranking Member of the powerful House Oversight Committee who traded all that to become President Trump’s fourth and last White House Chief of Staff, went ballistic, threatening the social media giant.
“It’s a sad day for America,” Meadows told Fox News. “It’s a sad day for Facebook because I can tell you a number of members of Congress are now looking at do they break up Facebook, do they make sure that they don’t have a monopoly?”
Mark Meadows’ immediate reaction to Trump remaining banned: “It’s a sad day for America. It’s a sad day for Facebook, ‘cuz I can tell you, a number of members of Congress are now looking at, do they break up Facebook? Do they make sure that they don’t have a monopoly?” pic.twitter.com/K0SSE0nKlF
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 5, 2021
Charlie Kirk, the head of the pro-Trump activist group Turning Point USA, which took in $28.5 million in the fiscal year ending June 2019, is close friends with Donald Trump, Jr., and once “interviewed” President Trump (photo).
Kirk seemed to think that the Facebook Oversight Board is part of the U.S. federal courts system (it is not), and that based on exactly no law, the U.S. Supreme Court should intervene to overturn the “outlawing” of Trump by an independent committee to a private company.
The US Supreme Court should overturn the Facebook’s “Oversight Board’s” “ruling” which upholds the outlawing of the 45th President of the United States from social media.
This is a big tech, corporate oligarchy without standing and it’s gone too far. Enough is enough.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 5, 2021
House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused Facebook of shilling for Democrats.
Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate.
If they can ban President Trump, all conservative voices could be next.
A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 5, 2021
Every day almost all of the top 10 shared links, thanks to Facebook’s algorithms, are from the far right:
The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from:
1. Ben Shapiro
2. Ben Shapiro
3. Ben Shapiro
4. Fox News
6. Dan Bongino
7. Sean Hannity
8. Dan Bongino
9. Fox News
10. The Rachel Maddow Show
— Facebook’s Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) May 5, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz, who just had dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, fear-mongers that there’s nothing to stop Facebook from silencing liberals, ignoring the fact that no liberals have ever incited an insurrection.
For every liberal celebrating Trump’s social media ban, if the Big Tech oligarchs can muzzle the former President, what’s to stop them from silencing you? https://t.co/Yky4P0B38X
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 5, 2021
Is there anything more Orwellian than Facebook’s “independent oversight board,” stocked with left-wing academics, deciding issues of free speech?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 5, 2021
Trump-Loving God-Fearing MyPillow CEO Claims First Amendment Right to Lie About Voting Tech Companies
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is building a high-profile legal team to defend him against a billion-dollar defamation suit that he hopes will land before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The staunch Donald Trump ally has hired veteran First Amendment attorney Nathan Lewin and is getting advice from Alan Dershowitz for his defense against Dominion Voting Systems, which alleges that Lindell defamed the company with baseless claims about the 2020 election, reported The Daily Beast.
“I want to take this all the way to the Supreme Court,” Lindell has repeatedly said. “I’m not stopping.”
The 85-year-old Lewin helped prosecute Jimmy Hoffa for Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department, and later represented Jodie Foster, former attorney general Edwin Meese, President Richard Nixon and John Lennon, and Dershowitz — who defended Trump during his first impeachment — gave a preview of Lindell’s defense.
“Our position is that Dominion is the government, for purposes of the First Amendment,” Dershowitz said. “The government delegated to them the most important governmental function, mainly counting votes in a presidential election, and they are therefore subject to criticism in the exact same ways that the government would be subject to criticism in that situation, and criticism of how the government conducted a presidential election is the highest bar protecting the First Amendment right to criticize such action.”
Dershowitz is not an attorney of record in the case, but he confirmed that he’s been helping Lindell’s team craft a defense.
“I’ve been on conference calls repeatedly with [Lindell’s] legal team, sometimes Lindell is on, sometimes he’s not,” Dershowitz said. “My role is to come up with ideas as they pertain to the First Amendment. I give them cases, and I suggest First Amendment theories — my role is limited to advising on the First Amendment issues at hand.”
Image via Facebook
Trump Political Appointee and Anti-LGBTQ Christian Right Activist Sues Biden After Refusing to Resign
Roger Severino, a former Trump appointee at the Dept. of Health and Human Services who targeted LGBTQ Americans in his religious crusade as head of the Office of Civil Rights is suing the Biden administration for firing him from his appointment by the former president to an obscure but powerful federal government agency known as ACUS.
He is refusing to resign, despite being a political appointee.
“President Biden’s attempt to remove me contrary to law exposes his lofty promises of healing and uniting all Americans as nothing more than cynical manipulation,” Severino defiantly told Newsweek.
“Because I am not one to be bullied, not even by the President himself, I will not resign my duly commissioned post and look forward to seeing how President Biden tries to justify his vindictive actions in court.”
Severino’s lawsuit claims that “President Biden has no constitutional authority under Article II to terminate Mr. Severino’s appointment to the Council.”
“The Council” is the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), which holds sway over how U.S. government regulatory agencies operate.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who covers the courts and the law, writes on Twitter that “Severino’s substantive argument … seems to suggest that ACUS is part of no branch of government, but instead sits outside the executive branch on some heavenly plane.”
He calls the lawsuit “bonkers, BONKERS, just eye-melting galaxy-brain-level drivel.”
What’s especially pathetic, though, is that federal law doesn’t even protect Roger Severino from removal. He’s an at-will employee! He wants the federal judiciary to go beyond the text of the statute and find, in its penumbra, an implicit protection against removal. It is insane.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) February 4, 2021
Severino spent his four years in the Trump administration working tirelessly to kill protections, many installed by the Obama administration, for LGBTQ patients, effectively promoting discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. He also expanded opportunities for people of faith to claim anti-religion discrimination by creating the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS.
At HHS Severino called Obama-era protections for transgender patients “unnecessary.”
And in defending an anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” regulation, Severino told reporters, “Patients want doctors who match their values.”
As NCRM has previously reported, Severino has been called a “radical” anti-LGBTQ religious right activist by the Human Rights Campaign. He once served as CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a religious right non-profit that opposes separation of church and state. He has also served as the Director of the DeVos family’s Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.
He is married to Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent millions to install President Donald Trump’s extremist judges, including reportedly tens of millions of dollars to help secure Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees.
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