Some might say The New York Times is the king of normalizing views from the right, even views that could be considered disturbing or, in some cases, even dangerous to their fellow citizens, the nation, or the world. The Times’ pre-World War II profiles of a young Adolf Hitler are a legendary example.
In 2015 The Times republished what it calls “1922: Hitler in Bavaria,” patting itself on the back for getting “a lot of things right,” like its “description of his ability to work a crowd into a fever pitch, ready then and there to stage a coup.”
The Times that year also reported that “several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.”
History knows how that turned out.
Fast forward to 2017, when The Times published a profile commonly referred to as “The Nazi Next Door,” originally titled, “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” which was written by Richard Fausset.
Salon’s Matthew Smith described the piece, bemoaning the “creepy trend of media outlets attempting to humanize Nazis and white supremacists.”
“Tony and Maria Hovater were married this fall,” Fausset’s story begins. “They registered at Target. On their list was a muffin pan, a four-drawer dresser and a pineapple slicer.”
“Ms. Hovater, 25, was worried about Antifa bashing up the ceremony. Weddings are hard enough to plan for when your fiancé is not an avowed white nationalist.”
A caption of a photo reads: “Mr. Hovater and others in the loosely defined alt-right movement are hoping to make their ideas less than shocking, even normal.”
Some felt The Times, intentionally or not, certainly appeared as if it were trying to lend a hand. And in fact, after massive outrage, which forced a headline change (along with removing a link it included to “a webpage that sells swastika armbands,”) the Times’ editors defended publishing the piece by saying they thought “it was important to do so.”
Between 1922, and 2017, and after, no doubt the Times has published other works that normalize the radical right, extremism, and fascism.
Earlier this year a Twitter user posted his take on how the Times in 1935 covered a “large anti-Hitler protest in front of a Nazi ocean liner.”
July 1935. A large anti-Hitler protest in front of a Nazi ocean liner. Protesters managed to rip the swastika flag.
NYT: Reds riot.
Don’t worry, the “aroused” Nazi crew helped police hunt down the protesters.
Covering anti-fascist action was never a strength of US media. pic.twitter.com/QMISrz55xL
— Abraham Gutman (@abgutman) January 13, 2022
And oh yes, 1924:
Ah, the NYT. Let’s never forget this headline from 1924, which I verified in the NYT database as authentic. pic.twitter.com/aRKgaAXZoJ
— Jonathan Greenberg (@JournalistJG) December 12, 2021
“22,000 Nazis Hold Rally in [Madison Square] Garden; Police Check Foes,” was a front-page headline in the Times about a stunningly disturbing NYC event in 1939.
Meanwhile, fast forward to today.
“These 8 Conservative Men Are Making No Apologies” is the headline in Tuesday’s Times Opinion section. The piece is by the Times’ deputy Opinion editor Patrick Healy and the Opinion section’s editorial assistant Adrian J. Rivera. And while no one should make a comparison to Hitler or Nazis, the question some are asking is why did The Times think it important to profile a group of conservative men, since conservative men have pretty much been in charge for decades?
“There was no talk of a stolen election, no conspiracy theories about voter fraud or rants about President Biden’s legitimacy. Yet listening to our 90-minute focus group with eight conservative men, you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit,” it begins.
“The men didn’t see themselves fitting into American society today. They didn’t feel free to be themselves in the culture,” the piece claims. “Seven of them said they felt like a stranger in their own country. At a time when democratic institutions are under pressure — and even under attack — and the United States feels so ununited, what causes these Americans to feel so alienated from America?”
The Times, to my knowledge, has never done a focus group of, say, eight LGBTQ men over 50. Or eight LGBTQ people of any age. What about doing a focus group of eight Northeast Democrats? How about visiting a diner and listening to supporters of President Joe Biden? Or Senator Elizabeth Warren? Or Reps. Jamie Raskin or Val Demmings?
When does the paper of record start highlighting views of people from the left, rather than a Nazi from 1922 or conservatives from 2022?
Again, The Times defends its piece, claiming these are “Americans whose voices are often not heard in opinion journalism.”
The Times apparently has never heard of Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, or Facebook.
The Times piece includes one hour and 22 minutes of audio it titled, “8 Conservative Men On Being a Man in America Today.”
To give a taste, here are some of the men and their top concerns about America or American society:
Tony (white, 72, retired, Massachusetts): Government spending.
Derrick (Black, 63, software engineer, Georgia): Inflation.
Michael (white, 67, retired, Florida): Economy.
Christopher (Black, 51, small-business loan broker, Maryland): Elitism.
Danny (Middle Eastern, 47, Realtor, Florida): Disgraceful.
Joe (white, 37, apparel manufacturing, New York): Weak.
Joe says: “This is not the America I remember growing up in, and it’s just sad to see what’s going on.”
Robert says: “You’re not free to be yourself anymore because of crime. You’ve got to be concerned about ‘If I go out, am I going to be a victim of crime?'”
(Most crime is actually at historic lows, but you won’t hear that on TV or social media. The Brennan Center reports the “violent crime rate in the United States has decreased sharply over the past 25 years.”)
Later in the piece, Robert reveals, “I voted for Trump. I like Trump from when he was with ‘The Apprentice.’ I knew him as a businessperson. That’s why I voted for him. And then — oh, Lord — from church to every place, people just had a problem with it. You can’t have a different viewpoint.”
One interviewer asked questions like “What does it mean to be a man?” “Is masculinity important to you?” “Who would you all think of as good examples of masculinity or manliness these days? Who’s a good example?”
Responses to The Times’ piece were strong and appropriately unforgiving:
I mean, this is just Episode 1,826,736 of NYT’s storied “Midwestern Diner” series. But I did like this bit, because I think it gets to a bigger truth: they see other people living their authentic lives as a *personal attack* on them https://t.co/7343C0FYyw pic.twitter.com/eVG4Xd4hJU
— Matt “Key Bump” Coppock (@MattCoppock) April 12, 2022
— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) April 12, 2022
Oh lord. @nytopinion‘s “focus group” with conservative men is so over-the-top whiny, entitled and sexist that even @patrickhealynyt concludes: “you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit.” https://t.co/miDzk9okFh
— Dan Froomkin/PressWatchers.org ☮️ (@froomkin) April 12, 2022
— Jesse Lacika (@PigEpidermis) April 12, 2022
There is no worse form of journalism than shoddily-conducted focus group journalism.
These 8 Conservative Men Are Making No Apologies https://t.co/Gu33ICF3fb
— Brian W. (@JustBrianOk) April 12, 2022
— Kyle Barry (@KyleCBarry) April 12, 2022
Sure, Oklahoma just outlawed abortion but let’s talk to 8 conservative whiney men, also is the nytimes aware Biden won?
These 8 Conservative Men Are Making No Apologies https://t.co/kKIB3lF9vm
— Andrea R MD (@AndreaR9Md) April 12, 2022
NYT puts 8 conservative men in a room who “won’t apologize” for their views.
Dear readers, welcome to a conversation with the 8 most insufferable assholes you’ve never met. https://t.co/1qHanE1D6u
— Mark Hoofnagle (@MarkHoofnagle) April 12, 2022
absolutely insane that the largest, most influential newspaper in the country (world?) continues to give legitimacy to the idea that all of these people *whose words are always in their paper* are not being sufficiently seen/heard https://t.co/gN4GzIiSQ2
— Athens Grease (@Athens_Grease) April 12, 2022
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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