The New York Times Editorial Board is under fire for what its own readers are calling an “appalling” editorial that claims “America Has a Free Speech Problem.” It is a massive treatise, well over 2500 words, that essentially blames liberals for “cancel culture” and conservatives for banning books – and manages to equate the two as equal, something the Times is criticized for doing on multiple topics frequently.
Rather than quote the Times piece – it can be read here – we’re going to quote some of what the Times’ own readers voted as the best comments responding to the editorial.
“This editorial is appalling,” writes a reader from Baltimore. “Clearly, the Editorial Board is feeling touchy about the widespread ridicule of its recent decision to characterize as a political crisis an undergrad’s discomfort at expressing her opinions in class. I guess you need to be reminded that the 1st Amendment does not guarantee the right not to be ‘shamed or shunned.’ You are creating a false equivalency between private citizens’ opposition to willful disinformation and points of view they find objectionable, and the recent Republican craze for using the levers of government to stifle discussion of particular topics.”
The Baltimore reader is referring to a widely-criticized op-ed the Times published earlier this month written by a college senior complaining about “cancel culture” and claiming she feels she has to “self-censor.” That student identified herself as a liberal yet writes for a right-wing outlet, cited right-wing media, and interned at a Koch-funded foundation. She even praised a right-wing professor at her school who is an anti-LGBTQ activist. As several said, she cited no actual examples of harm that came from her speaking her opinion.
A reader from New York City commenting on the Editorial Board’s piece says they “have never liked the phrase ‘Cancel Culture’ as it creates an easy scapegoat by attacking the terminology and not the underlying sentiment. When I replace the phrase ‘Cancel Culture’ with ‘Accountability Culture’ I am much more inclined to to accept it. I do not think people should be ‘Cancelled’ for their view points or what they say but I do feel people should be held ‘Accountable’ for their words just as they are for their actions.”
Theresa from Vermont says she is “stunned to read this. Free speech is protected in the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from restricting speech, protects the right not to speak, and protects against government censorship. It does not protect a speaker from accountability and responsibility for their speech. I’m a senior citizen, and never remember a time when everyone was expected to listen to every bad idea, all the bad science, every hateful expression, or every lie or misrepresentation of fact, in the name of free speech. Facts and truth, and validity of argument, matter if you want someone to listen. This opinion is totally off the mark, both in analysis of free speech and historical tradition.”
Another reader from New York says, “it seems to me this editorial went really far out of its way to attempt [to] blame the left and the right evenly for cancel culture. But it is not the left that is burning books, it’s not the left that are attacking people in school board meetings, in our Capital, on social media day in and day out. It is not left wing “news” shows that are spreading misinformation daily and it is not the left that have members of Congress shouting out in chambers as if they are calling to a rival at a NASCAR event. Once again the false equivalency between the left and the right helps normalize the behavior from the right that we abhor.”
Dan from Naples says: “I have never felt restrained or curtailed from stating my opinion or voicing my feelings with one exception. The violence that the Right in this country embrace and the gun culture that has become a religion with the Right makes me consider where I am and in what kind of surrounding I’m in before stating what I believe.”
And from Washington, D.C., a reader adds: “If people are more uncomfortable talking about politics because they think they will be judged, it is because of the political moment that we are in. One of our two political parties is getting dangerously close to overthrowing our system of government. It should make you uncomfortable to support that. It should make you uncomfortable to go along with it because you refuse to acknowledge what is happening or because you want a tax cut or whatever.”
Lastly, a reader from SOMA says definitively, “NO. I think it is appropriate to shame and remove from public discourse those that repeat lies that hurt people–such as the lies about scientific information about Covid that kills. Because as we have seen–misinformation does kill. No I do not want to hear alternative truths in the name of free speech. It is destroying society. Especially when the undereducated are lauded by so many, and propaganda abounds that people cannot discern the difference between fact and fiction. We must set some boundaries for when public figures lie to the detriment of the public. They must be held accountable. I’m not sure how we do it, but I know we must.”
Image via Shutterstock
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‘Destroying the Nuclear Family’: Laura Ingraham Falsely Claims New Marriage Law Takes Rights Away From Christians
It was May of 2019. Joe Biden less than a month earlier had just tossed his hat into the ring to run for president amid a field of strong Democratic candidates, and Fox News host Laura Ingraham falsely suggested that the former Obama Vice President was opposed to same-sex marriage because he’s a Catholic.
Telling disgraced Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich she was “just demonstrating how far left the Democrats have been pulled,” Ingram said, “I think Obama has always been there, but the party hasn’t.”
“And so whether it’s on the question of gay marriage or, or the issue of abortion or now gender bending and also – I mean,” Ingraham continued. Her voice started to crack as she disdainfully and mockingly opined, “you gotta, you gotta sense that Biden is not comfortable with any of this. I mean, he, he’s got to be like, ‘my consultants are telling me I’ve got to say this stuff, but my God, I still got to go to Mass on Sunday. Like, I still got to figure this out.'”
Laura Ingraham claims that Joe Biden is uncomfortable with Democratic positions on gay marriage, abortion, and “gender bending” because he’s “got to go to Mass on Sunday” pic.twitter.com/u9Trd68yJw
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) May 22, 2019
Joe Biden, as Vice President seven years earlier, in 2012, had famously said on “Meet the Press” that he supported same-sex marriage, before President Barack Obama had publicly stated his support. That sent the administration into a temporary bit of chaos and set the course for, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional three years later, in 2015.
Fast forward from May of 2019 to December of 2022.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the historic Respect for Marriage Act into law, requiring the federal government and states to recognize legal same-sex marriages regardless of what jurisdiction they were performed in.
Ingraham had a very different take on Tuesday than she did in 2019.
The far right Fox News host charged President Biden with “destroying the primacy of the nuclear family” and taking away the rights of “any serious person of faith.”
Implying same-sex couples marrying is “aberrant behavior,” Ingraham continued her years-long attack on marriage equality.
Referring to the “aberrant behavior” she had just mentioned, Ingraham declared that “today that got elevated as I mentioned earlier, at the White House.”
“Joe Biden held kind of an over-the-top, you know, celebration, this extravaganza that was named the Respect for Marriage Act,” which Ingraham described as “a bill that moves to restrict freedom of religion and freedom of speech even.”
That’s false. More than twenty faith-based organizations and even the main Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Mitt Romney’s church – announced support for the law. Even Romney, a Republican Senator from Utah who once said he didn’t know LGBTQ people had families, supports the Respect for Marriage Act.
“We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” the LDS Church said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Ingraham continued her false claims, saying: “whether you’re Catholic or evangelical or maybe Muslim, any serious person of faith, you will not necessarily have the rights tomorrow that you had yesterday.”
She did not state what rights people of faith allegedly lost on Tuesday when President Biden signed a law that changes little unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns any of several decisions, including those that made constitutional access to contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.
After attacking a drag queen who was one of apparently thousands invited to celebrate President Biden signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, Ingraham issued a warning.
“Let’s be very clear here. This push by the left, Biden included, is about destroying the primacy of the nuclear family.”
That, too, is false.
Ingraham on Respect For Marriage Act: Whether you’re catholic or evangelical or Muslim, any serious person of faith, you will not necessarily have the rights tomorrow that you had yesterday pic.twitter.com/oCjy4DYTGO
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 14, 2022
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.
Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.
On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.
Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”
“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”
Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”
She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.
Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.
“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”
“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”
“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.
“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”
“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.
“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”
“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.
Watch below or at this link.
“It’s an extraordinary statement, even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup… the disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as possible when he called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated” – @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/WWrt1wdSZ0
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) December 5, 2022
Franklin Graham’s Ugly Lie Ahead of Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will put the Respect for Marriage Act on the Senate floor late Monday afternoon. It is expected to pass, thanks to about a dozen Republicans who are expected to vote to protect, at least at the federal level, the marriages of same-sex and interracial couples.
The Respect for Marriage Act merely states the federal government is required to recognize any marriage that was legal in any state it was entered into. An amendment to the bill goes a long way in codifying the right to anti-LGBTQ discrimination by faith-based organizations, but LGBTQ activists see it as a win to protect marriages after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for cases that would help him overturn several laws, including the right to intimate contact and the right to marriage for same-sex couples.
The bill also ensures states, even if they ban marriage equality, will recognize any legal marriage that happened before any possible ban or that happened in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.
“It is very disappointing that these 12 Republican senators would side with the Democrats and ultra-liberal Senator Chuck Schumer to put the vast majority of Americans who believe in and support marriage between a man and a woman in jeopardy,” Graham wrote in an obvious and ugly lie on Facebook over the weekend.
He then listed the Senators’ names, and add links to their contact information on their government websites.
Graham’s false claim that somehow anyone who believes in or supports marriage between a man and a woman would be put “in jeopardy” by this bill is a dangerous falsehood.
Graham didn’t stop there.
“The deceptively-named Respect for Marriage Act that Senator Schumer is trying to push through is just a smokescreen to give more protections to same-sex marriage—and it doesn’t protect the religious liberties of those who support traditional marriage. In fact, it would make individuals, churches, academic institutions, and organizations who stand with marriage between a man and a woman in danger of persecution and legal attacks because of their convictions,” Graham added, which, again is false.
As NCRM has previously reported, all the religious protections that people of faith currently enjoy would be unchanged – if not strengthened – contrary to numerous false claims of far right extremists and religious extremists, like Graham.
The bill and its accompanying amendment do such a good job of protecting religious liberties that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, has issued a statement supporting it.
Despite decades of demonization by the right, same-sex marriage has become extremely popular, and not one of the false claims Graham and the religious right made before Obergefell has come true.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California is the original sponsor of the bill, and Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, an original co-sponsor, is taking the lead for the Democrats.
A joint press release that also includes Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), states an amendment to the bill, which Republicans fought for, ensures no religious rights will be impacted.
The amendment, their statement says, “Protects all religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution or Federal law, including but not limited to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and prevents this bill from being used to diminish or repeal any such protection.”
Why Graham is telling his flock something greatly different is par for the course.
“The bill strikes a blow at religious freedom for individuals and ministries and is really the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act,’” Graham said two weeks ago in an egregiously false statement.
“Its sponsors remarkably claim it protects religious freedom. It does not. This disastrous bill sends a message to America that if you don’t agree with the left’s definition of marriage, you are a bigot,” Graham added, again, falsely.
Should the Respect for Marriage Act pass it heads back to the House for a final vote, as the House’s version is slightly different. President Biden has promised to sign it into law.
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