On CNN Thursday, Don Lemon confirmed through a source that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson did not sustain a broken bone in his face prior to shooting unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown six times. Recently, right-wing media sources have been running with the news that sources close to the situation revealed that Wilson was treated at a hospital for an orbital fracture and that his face was severely swollen. After rumors had been swirling in the conservative blogosphere about the fracture, Hollie McKay at Fox News reported on Wednesday that Wilson was badly beaten nearly to the point of unconsciousness.
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.
“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
With a major news network giving credibility to the story, The Blaze, and other conservative websites and newspapers, ran with it. Ann Coulter, who never, ever makes unfounded and wholly inaccurate statements, wrote a piece for NewsBusters claiming that there was already an X-ray of Wilson’s busted eye publicly released. Of course, no such image exists. My guess is that Coulter got her bit of info from stock images that wingnuts were passing around via blogs showing what an orbital fracture looks like. Allen West used the image in a blogpost of his Tuesday claiming Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture.”
It didn’t seem to matter that videos taken from the scene of Brown’s shooting show Wilson walking around seemingly injury-free and not tending to his face. Nope. When a good rumor comes along that fits nicely within the narrative you’ve set, you need to push it, and push it hard. Well, right-wingers intent on assassinating Brown’s character and placing Wilson on a pedestal took a big hit Thursday when Lemon revealed Brown did not break Wilson’s eye socket.
Below is video of the report, courtesy of CNN:
So, how will Fox News and the conservative media entertainment complex spin this over the coming days? What gets me is that inevitably, the truth was going to come out about this anyway. Somewhere down the line, we would all see that Wilson didn’t have his face smashed in and his eye bone broken. While saying these things might make those who support Wilson feel good about themselves for a bit, the truth still catches up eventually.
Millions of Americans watched the United States advance in the World Cup on Thursday. Ann Coulter was probably not one of them.
In a column published on Wednesday, Coulter, the conservative pundit and provocateur, blasted the sport of soccer and trolled its U.S. fans, whom she refers to as “Americans” — quotes marks included.
"I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone," Coulter’s column begins. "But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay."
Coulter lists all the reasons why she says soccer is not a real sport. Among them: “Individual achievement is not a big factor.”
"The blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway," Coulter writes. "There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised. There’s a reason perpetually alarmed women are called ‘soccer moms,’ not ‘football moms.’"
Another: It’s boring, she claims.
"If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he’d still be alive, although bored," Coulter quips.
[Related: Yahoo Sports’ full World Cup coverage]
It’s not violent enough for Coulter.
"The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport," she writes. "Most sports are sublimated warfare."
In American football, she writes, “ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.”
And despite the stellar ratings that Sunday’s USA-Portugal game received in the United States (18.2 million viewers, according to ESPN), Coulter doesn’t believe the sport is actually catching on here.
"The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s ‘Girls,’ light-rail, Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton," she writes. "The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is ‘catching on’ is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.”
Coulter claims she’s not the only one bored by soccer in the States. “One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not ‘catching on’ at all, is African-Americans,” Coulter writes. “They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.
"If more ‘Americans’ are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law," Coulter adds. "I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time."
Just shut your fucking mouth, Ann Coulter!
With the outsized vitriol Barack Obama’s presidency has inspired among conservatives, it’s seemed inevitable that the right would try to find some reason to impeach him. For more than five years, fringe activists, conservative media, and various Republican politicians have invoked the specter of impeachment over any number of manufactured scandals and supposed outrages. In a new book out today, National Review writer and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy tries to kickstart the movement in earnest, laying out the “political case” for impeaching the president.
Writing in the New Republic in 2010, liberal journalist Jonathan Chait predicted that if Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and Obama won a second term, “the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.” He continued, “Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.” Indeed, for much of Obama’s presidency, the prospect of impeachment has been a hammer in search of a nail.
While fringe activists have been agitating for impeachment for years, more mainstream conservatives have been considerably more reluctant.
In Faithless Execution: Building The Political Case For Obama’s Impeachment, McCarthy tries to bridge the gap and build support for impeachment as a serious idea. The crux of McCarthy’s argument is that despite what he sees as the rock-solid legal justification for impeaching Obama, Republicans cannot move forward with the effort without first convincing the public that removing the president from office is the right course of action. To do so without public backing would “look like partisan hackery. It would be worse than futile.”
Slate’s David Weigel explained in a piece last month about Republicans’ recent push to impeach Obama “without looking crazy” that many of the supposed impeachable offenses highlighted in McCarthy’s book have already “faded under the klieg lights of big media.” (Though Weigel points out that McCarthy “puts some of the blame for that on Republicans” and their timidity over the issue of impeachment.)
While he’s ostensibly trying to jumpstart popular support for removing Obama from office, McCarthy’s book seems unlikely to win any new converts — it’s just more preaching to people already in the conservative media bubble (the first reference to frequent right-wing boogeyman Saul Alinsky comes in the third paragraph and the first invocation of “ACORN” follows shortly thereafter).
Half of Faithless Execution is comprised of McCarthy’s draft Articles of Impeachment. The supposed outrages in the book are a mix of ongoing focuses of conservative ire — “The Benghazi Fraud,” and “The Obamacare Fraud,” for example — and long-forgotten Scandals of the Month like the “racially discriminatory” Justice Department’s treatment of the New Black Panther Party. If all of these pseudo-scandals that conservatives flogged relentlessly weren’t enough to keep Obama from winning a second term, it’s hard to envision the public deciding they constitute justification for impeachment thanks to a reinvigorated push from Republicans.
Faithless Execution is already getting a boost from Fox News. This morning, after Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pushed the idea of impeaching Obama over the release of Bowe Bergdhal, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy plugged McCarthy’s book. Napolitano added, “it’s a very, very valid argument that people are going to start talking about.”
Nonetheless, McCarthy concedes in the book, “As things currently stand, the public does not support impeachment — no surprise, given that no substantial argument for impeachment has been attempted.”
Whether or not McCarthy sees any of the other arguments as “substantial,” the prospect of impeaching Obama has been a regular source of discussion for conservatives since shortly after the president took office. McCarthy’s isn’t even the first book to try to lay out the argument in serious fashion — last year WND writer Aaron Klein and co-author Brenda Elliott released Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.
Media Matters looks back at some — but far from all — of conservatives’ incessant calls for impeachment below.
Wasting No Time: Conservatives Were Calling For Impeachment Months Into Obama’s First Term
Less than fifty days after Obama took office, conservative radio host Michael Savage told his audience that the American public was “sitting like a bunch of schmucks, watching a dictatorship emerge in front of their eyes.” According to Savage, Obama was already “out of control” and concluded, “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.” Conservative media figures have continued talking about impeachment for the intervening five years.
In the fall of 2009, conspiracy website WND — which had already begun hawking “IMPEACH OBAMA!” bumper stickers — asked in a headline whether it was “Time To Whisper The Word ‘Impeachment’?” Conservative activist Floyd Brown and his wife Mary Beth posited in the column that impeachment was a “political act,” and should be considered due to the fact that “Barack Hussein Obama [is] a very dangerous man, and a threat to your personal liberty.” According to the Browns, the ramp up in discussion of impeachment was perhaps “best” explained by radio host and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce, who eloquently argued, ”Ultimately, it comes down to … the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.”
Concurrent with the column, Floyd Brown — who produced the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988 and takes credit for jumpstarting the Clinton impeachment movement — launched an online petition at “ImpeachObamaCampaign.com.” The site remains active today and is populated with articles bearing headlines like “Obama’s Forged Birth Certificate Brings Call For Revolution.”
The impeachment talk quickly made the jump from fringe activists and websites to mainstream conservative outlets like Fox News and prominent Republican politicians. In 2010, the Obama administration reportedly offered former Democratic Representative Joe Sestak a spot on a presidential panel as incentive to stay out of that year’s U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Though legal experts asserted that no laws had been broken and historians noted that similar offers were commonplace, conservative media figures loudly and repeatedly started banging the impeachment drum.
Leading the charge was then-Fox News contributor Dick Morris, who suggested that the Sestak situation amounted to “grounds for impeachment.” Soon, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh all also pointed to the Sestak offer as a potential impeachable offense.
While Morris built a career out of saying improbable, outrageous and inaccurate things that should be viewed skeptically, his impeachment talk was nonetheless adopted by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who cited Morris’ claims during appearances on Fox News. (Five months later, the Republicans would win the House and Issa would take over as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.)
Though the Sestak non-scandal fizzled, the impeachment talk didn’t go away. In 2011, Fox Business devoted ten minutes of airtime to hashing out former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s (R-CO) twelve reasons to impeach Obama — including immigration reform, the failed Fast and Furious gunrunning operation, and the administration’s support of failed solar company Solyndra, all of which are included in McCarthy’s book.
Obama’s Re-Election Just Means There’s More Time To Impeach Him
After Republican scandal-mongering was unsuccessful in making Obama a one-term president, impeachment talk continued unabated after his re-election. Fox News contributor Todd Starnes wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, telling his Twitter followers the night of the election, “the first order of business should be a full investigation of Benghazi — followed by impeachment proceedings.” He would soon have company.
Roughly a month after Obama’s second term inauguration, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano wascalling for impeachment over the implementation of the sequester spending cuts.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings a few months later, Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner penned a column arguing that Obama was “unwilling” to keep Americans safe by refusing “to acknowledge that we are in a war with radical Islam.” Kuhner added, “It’s time he is held responsible for his gross negligence. It’s time that he be impeached. Justice demands no less.” (Kuhner had previously written columns calling for Obama to be impeached over military invention in Libya and raised the idea of impeachment during the fight over health care reform.)
Kuhner wasn’t the only media figure that used the Boston bombings as a springboard for impeachment talk. Glenn Beck told viewers to “demand impeachment” over his bizarre and offensive conspiracy theory trying to link an innocent Saudi man to the bombings.
WND columnist and right-wing activist Larry Klayman started calling for Obama’s impeachment and conviction well before the 2012 election, but has spent the last year trying to get Obama ousted from office while starting a ”second American Revolution.” Bypassing impeachment, Klayman in October infamously called on the president to “get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”
Fellow WND columnist Alan Keyes, who holds the historical footnote of being the Republican candidate Obama trounced in his 2004 Illinois Senate run, has spent much of 2014 trying to throw fuel on the impeachment fire. Keyes has devoted numerous columns to directing readers to sign a petition at “pledgetoimpeach.com" to "stop Obama’s dictatorship.” The “Pledge to Impeach” site includes its own draft Articles of Impeachment, featuring claims like, “Mr. Obama has attained the office of president in a verifiably fraudulent and criminal manner, and upon a false identity and false pretenses.”
Obama Should Be Impeached, But He’s Black So He’s Unfairly Safe
While several activists are pushing for impeachment, some prominent conservative media figures say that while Obama may deserve to be impeached, he’s protected from being removed from office due to the fact that he’s the first black president.
McCarthy touches on concerns that pro-impeachment conservatives will be labeled racists in Faithless Execution:
Right now, conviction in the Senate is a pipedream, and therefore one cannot reasonably expect the House to file articles of impeachment. The process of impeachment will always be an ordeal, regardless of how necessary it is. Americans may be convincible regarding the need to oust a lawless president, but they will never be happy about it. Nor should they be. Even the president’s most zealous detractors should prefer that he mend his outlaw ways and finish his term than that the country be put through an impeachment process that would be painful in the best of times. And these are not the best of times: today, the pain would be exacerbated by the vulgar propensity of the left and the media to demagogue concern for the nation’s well-being as racism. Consequently, impeachment entails substantial political risk for the protagonists, even if they are clearly right to seek it. [Faithless Execution, pg 46, emphasis added]
During an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show in April of this year, TruthRevolt.org founder and conservative activist David Horowitz said that “because Obama is black and because he’s a leftist he’s completely protected by the press.” He added that the president is “a menace to American security, and the sooner — and of course you can’t impeach him because you can’t impeach the first black president.”
Conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter has also pointed to Obama’s race as protecting him from impeachment. Discussing health care reform during an appearance on Hannity’s Fox News program in February, Coulter remarked, “there is now a caveat to the constitution — you can’t impeach a president if he is our first black president.”
Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly cited Obama’s race as a reason he is safe from impeachment. Speaking on his radio show in May 2013, Limbaugh told listeners, “the people of this country — if it came to this — are simply not going to tolerate the first black president being removed from office.” A week later, Limbaugh returned to the subject, saying the “racial component” would save Obama from impeachment.
Earlier this year, Limbaugh concluded that even if there was a “slam dunk legal case for it, you’re never going to succeed impeaching a president unless there’s the political will for it.” Limbaugh cited the need for Obama’s approval ratings to drop precipitously in order for impeachment to be on the table, adding, “even then I’m not so sure that the people of this country would ever support removing the first black president.”
He concluded, “It’s just — it’s never going to happen.”
h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
Coulter on Sunday published a tweet with a picture of herself mimicking Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls photo but with her own hashtag iteration, #BringBackOurCountry. Coulter’s attempt to hijack the hashtag completely backfired, as people subsequently tweeted the image with a photoshopped signs making fun of Coulter.
Since the first lady joined the social media campaign, conservatives have bashed #BringBackOurGirls and Twitter activism in general. Rush Limbaugh called use of the hashtag “phony” and “pathetic,” and George Will called the campaign an “exercise in self-esteem.”
Ever had one of those weeks you thought would never end?
For Fox News’ host Sean Hannity, the answer is a resounding yes.
After non-stop cheerleading for deadbeat domestic terrorist Cliven Bundy the previous three weeks, Hannity was forced to backtrack Friday after an interview with the New York Times revealed on Wednesday that Bundy has some “unique” views on people of color. Hannity has come under fire this week for his constant championing of Bundy, a man who owes over $1 million in grazing fees and has refused to pay them because he does not recognize the United States government. Hannity’s week got off on the wrong foot when he was called out by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Monday when Stewart pointed out the hypocrisy of Hannity supporting a self-confessed law breaker like Bundy but criticizing Occupy Wall Street protesters for essentially doing the exact same thing, minus the whole armed insurrection part. On his show Tuesday, Hannity responded by saying what he actually was saying was that the Bureau of Land Management’s disproportionate response to the situation was what made him support Bundy and his cause. So, of course on Wednesday Stewart went back to the vault to again to call out Hannity’s hypocrisy by showing a clip of Hannity supporting UC Davis policemen pepper spraying unarmed student protesters as well as supporting New York City’s stop and frisk policy. Stewart ended the show by calling Hannity’s show the “Arby’s of News” in that it is so unbelievable that it regurgitates the same garbage over and over.
As if receiving a vicious one-two punch from Stewart wasn’t enough, Hannity was then forced to deal with the fact that his media darling that he created had some antiquated views on the “Negroes.” Rather than admit fault, Hannity immediately claimed he was a victim in order to try and defuse the situation. It didn’t help that CNN later interviewed Bundy, who essentially said that he and Hannity have similar beliefs. Bundy said:
“You know, I don’t think I’ve been abandoned. I think they misunderstood me a little bit. I think Fox and I. I think Hannity and I are right on, and I have no doubt that he would support me if he understood my really what’s in my heart, and I think he does understand me. I don’t think there’s a question there.”
The fallout has gotten so bad for Sean Hannity that he is even losing support from his colleagues at Fox News. He first lost the support of Ann Coulter. Coulter, on CNN Friday, said that rallying around Cliven Bundy was a “stupid punchback” and she sent a not-so-subtle message to fellow Republican politicians and right-wing radio and television hosts that they need to “stop following the mob.” In addition, always humble Bill O’Reilly on his show Friday night said that ”Some commentators, including a handful on Fox News, rallied to Mister Bundy’s side. But most Fox News people did not. And that’s why we’re successful. We have a wide range of opinion, expressed in a vibrant way.”
So this begs the question: Why exactly did Sean Hannity support Cliven Bundy in the first place?
This was the exact question that was posed by Slate Magazine on Wednesday in an attempt to figure out the exact relationship between Sean Hannity and Cliven Bundy.It was this question that caused some media outlets to look at the funding behind the Sean Hannity’s popular Fox News program. In a Friday article posted by Media Matters, it was revealed that Hannity’s decision to elevate Bundy to national exposure may have been due to his own personal connection to Charles and David Koch and their Heritage and Tea Party Patriots Groups. The Koch Brothers have made no secret of their utter disdain for the federal government and have been making a recent push for states to gain control over federal land. What better way to promote this view then to use Hannity, who their groups support with funding and large ad buys, to hype up some Howdy Doody rancher feller to bring the issue of privatizing public land into the national spotlight?
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Cliven Bundy, an uneducated backcountry freeloader, becomes a simple pawn in a game played by a millionaire TV host and two billionaire Conservative kingpins. His story, one of simple tax evasion, is hyped by Charles and David Koch in an effort to draw attention to the issue of privatizing federal land. This draws in the cavalry via the Tea Party Patriots who are willing to use women as human shields to fight off the big bad government. Add to that, Fox News’ outright lie accusing Harry Reid of trying to steal Bundy land for his own personal gain and you’ve got the ingredients for a potentially explosive situation. What better way to make the case for your patriotic cause then to have some patsy rancher and a crew of faux patriots become martyrs at the hands of the Bureau of Land Management?
If true, and there’s no reason to see why it isn’t, then this whole incident should show us how dangerous Charles and David Koch have become. Without the use of a weapon, the billionaire brothers have almost singlehandedly caused another Waco. They found a random mooching rancher, built him up to cult-like status to attract the brain-dead Tea Party Patriots that they themselves created, and then used their own bought and sold on-air TV personality Sean Hannity to sell the story to the American public to get their support. Had there been shots fired, the Fox News story would have certainly been the government’s violent infringement upon the rights of a God-fearing, kind-hearted western rancher. It would have led to conversations about the Constitutionality of federal lands and without question we would have seen copycat issues in other regions backed by Koch allies.
Jon Stewart is correct to call out Hannity’s program for its blatantly hypocrisy, but he was far too kind. Hannity’s program isn’t simply regurgitated garbage. It does, in fact serve a purpose. Its purpose it to incite violence and armed insurrection on behalf of the political beliefs of Charles and David Koch. It is to advance their own personal agenda and to do so in a way that paints anyone who disagrees with them as the enemy. It is to use propaganda to create a world based on the sick and twisted vision of Charles and David Koch.
In other words, Sean Hannity is the 21st century American version of Joseph Goebbels.
WorldNetDaily commentator Selena Owens writes today about how much she valued Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant remarks at CPAC, in which the pundit compared immigration to rape and called for “death squads” against reform advocates.
Owens, a Tea Party activist with the Conservative Campaign Committee, lamented that liberals are painting opponents of the DREAM Act and other reform proposals as similar to “the big bad wolf waiting to prey on innocent Goldilocks kids.”
“America will be overrun by cesspools of sanctuary cities destroying our society” if immigration reform moves forward, Owens said. “If amnesty passes, border patrol agents and American citizens who died defending borders and personal property would have died in vain.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
In the video embedded below, arch conservative pundit Ann Coulter likened the shift in U.S. demographics to “being raped” as a room full of attendees of the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference guffawed and applauded. Coulter was appearing…
Conservative Heroine Ann Coulter: “Tell Poor People, ‘Keep Your Knees Together Before You’re Married’ (Video)
(Credit: Gage Skidmore)At CPAC on Saturday a tribute to William F. Buckley’s longtime PBS show Firing Line was put together with Mickey Kaus, columnist for the Daily Caller speaking from the “progressive” side and right wing heroine, the queen of nasty, Anne Coulter speaking for the right.[…]
Coulter replied, “and I think part of the problem is, and I completely agree with Charles Murray on this, I mean you read these terrifying divorce statistics and then find out they are completely different for college educated people and those without, or with only a high school degree. The unwed motherhood rate and that just feeds upon itself, and the one thing that’s really changed besides, I mean you have the government often subsidizing bad behavior, or you have Hollywood rewarding bad behavior, but there’s also an overwhelming cultural sense, I think it is a political correctness to end shaming. Shaming is good, this is how, I mean it’s almost a cruel and selfish thing, for lack of a better term, for the upper classes, the educated, for the college graduates to refuse to tell the poor people, ‘keep your knees together before you’re married.’”
Ann Coulter at #CPAC2014: "If Immigration Reform Passes, 'Organize The Death Squads For The People Who Wrecked America'"
CPAC today invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to debate “liberal” journalist Mickey Kaus, who ended up holding the same right-wing views on immigration reform as Coulter, and who even praised ultraconservative GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions. The two tried to outdo each other in bashing supporters of immigration reform, but it was hard to top Coulter.
Coulter attacked MSNBC for “celebrating the browning of America.” “But if you don’t celebrate it you’re a racist,” she added. “It’s going to be people who are not from America who are going to be in theory funding older, white people who are getting to their Social Security and Medicare age. I don’t think that can last, at some point they’re going to say, ‘Screw it.’”
“I used to think everything was about sex, now I realize everything is about immigration,” she added later. Coulter praised Mitt Romney for taking the “most aggressive” stance on immigration and called on the GOP to nominate another staunchly anti-immigrant candidate.
Coulter ended with this call to arms: “Amnesty is forever and you got to vote for the Republicans one more time and just make it clear; but if you pass amnesty, that’s it, it’s over and then we organize the death squads for the people who wrecked America.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Local reporting on Texas divorce law has finally put to rest the right-wing media smear that gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis lost custody of her children, debunking this myth as the lie it always was.
Since she announced her candidacy for governor, national right-wing media figures have gone after Davis and scrutinized her parenting choices in a way no male candidate would ever have to confront. One nasty example has been Fox News contributor and RedState editor Erick Erickson, who has repeatedly referred to Davis as “Abortion Barbie,” baselessly questioned her mental health on the basis of routine legal pleadings, and misrepresented the terms of her divorce settlement.
It was also the discredited Erickson who quickly jumped at the opportunity to help spread perhaps the most persistent myth about Davis — that her ex-husband, Jeff Davis, “got custody" of her two daughters following their 2005 divorce decree. This falsehood was unfortunately started by the Dallas Morning News, whose January 18 profile of Davis was criticized for various reporting failures. Although the Dallas Morning News never corrected the language in the original piece, the reporter correctly described what actually happened in a later article, in accordance with the editor’s online admission that the original version “left some readers perhaps too free to misinterpret the situation. We will print a clarification in tomorrow’s newspaper.”
In short, Davis never “lost custody” of her children; rather, she was granted what’s known under Texas law as “joint managing conservatorship" of her daughters. "Custody" isn’t even the relevant legal term in Texas divorce proceedings.
By the time the Dallas Morning News mentioned Davis’ joint conservatorship, the “lost custody” smear had already gained traction. Versions of the myth eventually cropped up in the New York Post (which claimed Davis “lost custody” of her daughters), Breitbart.com (she “gave up custody”), and even Ann Coulter jumped into the fray, accusing Davis of telling “huge whoppers” and erroneously reporting that the Texas family court “awarded [Jeff Davis] full custody.”
Unlike the Dallas Morning News, right-wing media have yet to issue a “clarification,” let alone a much-needed correction and apology to Davis after their smears about Davis’ divorce raced from the fringes of the internet to Fox News. Davis herself expressly pointed this out in a recent speech, saying, "I never gave up custody of my children. I never lost custody of my children. And to say otherwise is an absolute lie."
Wendy Davis is telling the truth on custody of her children.
President Barack Obama may not be a covert anti-colonialist “Manchurian candidate” from Kenya, but he sure does act like it, according to conservative author Ann Coulter. “I know we’ve spent seven years trying to persuade right-wingers, no,…
Ann Coulter being a disgrace to her gender and to humanity as usual.
New revelations about the Texas gubernatorial candidate’s family life have prompted frenzied—and just plain wrong—denunciations from conservatives.
It seems that Wendy Davis needs to learn her place.
Since news broke in the Dallas Morning News that the Texas gubernatorial candidate had support from her then-husband while she attended Harvard Law School, conservatives have been apoplectic.
The right has been heaping scorn upon Davis because she and her husband decided that their children should stay in Texas with him while she studied in Boston. Ben Shapiro of Brietbart tweeted, “The real question: if you wear pink shoes, how fast can you run away from your parental responsibilities?” RedState blogger Erick Erickson tweeted, ”So Abortion Barbie had a Sugar Daddy Ken” and then, “Just think, if Wendy Davis gets elected, she could create “take your daughter to her dad” day. Ann Coulter complained, “I’m … stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.”
For crying out loud, she didn’t leave her children on the side of the road. She left them to live with their father. It’s fair to criticize Davis for her misleading bio that implied she had been a single mother during law school. Instead, a misogynistic mob is determined to punish her for her parenting choices.
It’s sad that the attacks on Davis are coming uniformly from people who call themselves “pro-life.” Many women in Davis’s position–pregnant and unmarried at 18 years old–would have gotten an abortion. She didn’t. But that’s not enough to satisfy the right. Once she had the baby–and another with her second husband–she was expected to follow the right’s designated script or suffer dearly for it.
“Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” an anonymous source told the Dallas Morning News. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.” (Unlike her male colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives, who apparently sit at home darning their children’s socks.) Here’s a news flash: people who run for office are typically ambitious. But only with women is ambition treated as something shameful.
The double standard is reminiscent of how Sarah Palin was treated when she chose to run for vice president in 2008. Her candidacy set off a controversy about whether she was neglecting her children, in particular her special-needs baby. Back then, conservatives were the ones mostly defending her and expressing outrage that anyone would question her decision. Now they see attacking a woman’s parenting choices as fair game.
Nancy Pelosi spoke of the obsession with women’s choices in a 2011 interview, “When I first ran for public office, which is now over 20 years ago, although my youngest was a senior in high school, the question I was most frequently asked was, ‘Who’s going to be taking care of your children?’ And, of course, it’s one of those questions I don’t think a man has ever been asked when he runs for office.”
Becky Haskins, a Republican who served with Wendy Davis on the Fort Worth City Council, blasted the sexist attacks. She told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday that Davis “did what she needed to do for her daughters.” She added, “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up. It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”
When Davis divorced, custody was awarded to her husband. This is proof to right-wingers that she’s a bad person. Rush Limbaugh intoned on his show, “Do you know how hard it is for a mother to lose custody these days?” But Davis didn’t “lose” custody of her children. She agreed that her ex-husband should have custody of their two children, and she paid him child support.
Not that it is anyone’s business. How many male candidates have been raked over the coals because their ex-wives have full custody? Zero. For that matter, nobody is accusing male members of Congress who live in Washington, D.C. (while their families reside elsewhere) of abdicating their parental responsibility.
Believe it or not, Fox is still attacking MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry for joking about Mitt Romney’s African American grandson. So who did Sean Hannity present as an arbiter of taste and sensitivity on the subject? None other than hatemonger, murder fantasizer and serial voter fraud suspect, Ann Coulter. She showed her sensitivity alright – by saying that black people don’t live in New York apartments, because of “all the rich people.” And announcing that liberals have to invent racism because “There is more cholera in America than there is racism.” And more.
Earlier today, I pointed out that Coulter has previously joked – on the Fox Nation website, no less – about killing Meghan McCain. Coulter also suggested on Fox News, “Maybe it’s time to…go after the Obama children.” Apparently, in Hannity’s world, it’s comments like that that make her qualified to judge Harris-Perry.
Unlike Coulter, Harris-Perry has profusely apologized for her comments. But not only was that not good enough for Mr. and Ms. Good Taste (Fox style), they actually used Harris-Perry’s apology to slime her further.
Hannity played the clip of Harris-Perry’s apology. He described it disparagingly as “weepy, weepy” because she teared up as she offered it. “Now is that dedicated to the goodness or dedicated to saving one’s job?” Hannity sneered.
Coulter joked that the sincerity came from “a heartfelt email from her boss.” She and Hannity chuckled heartily. A photo of Harris-Perry’s face remained on the screen with big letters that read: “CRYING TIME.” Later, Coulter scoffed, “I think she was really crying after she just saw her fourth quarter ratings at MSNBC.”
Hannity complained about MSNBC, “This race obsession over there!” Coulter cackled. However, I doubt she was laughing at the blatant hypocrisy of Hannity jeering at anyone else’s race obsession. This is the guy who hosts the go-to show for race baiting African Americans, who jumps to defend just about any white person in trouble for racial remarks, who pals around with a black guy who thanks God for slavery and formerly palled around with a white supremacist who said that if it weren’t for slavery, “black people would still be swinging on trees in Africa.”
Yes, THAT Hannity was making a federal case out of Harris-Perry’s stupid, brief joke for which she has apologized both on air and off.
But not to be undone in the hypocrisy department, Coulter announced, Harris-Perry “apologized for making fun of children. Yes, liberals always do that to conservatives… for sport. And it is an ugly thing when they go after the children.” I guess maybe Harris-Perry should have just joked about murdering Romney’s grandson. Then she could have gotten an entire segment of Hannity rehab!
“This was making fun of a child for his skin color,” Coulter continued self-righteously. Then, less than a minute later, she made fun of African Americans based on their skin color. Complaining that Mitt Romney had been accused of racism when he used the word “apartment” “because black people live in apartments,” Coulter added, “But not in New York, with all the rich people.” She giggled maliciously.
Of course, Hannity didn’t have a problem with it.
But Coulter wasn’t through with her special brand of racial insight. She now declared that racism is dead:
(Racism) was just about gone in this country and then (liberals) needed to start playing it again to promote the left-wing, the most left-wing president the country has ever seen, Barack Obama. And there’s been an explosion.
I mean if you had a graph of racism sightings, it was through the roof until the O.J. verdict and then, basically, completely disappeared. Between O.J. and Giuliani and Bill O’Reilly on this network going after Jesse Jackson repeatedly. It just went away!
It didn’t work anymore. It was like a subway token that didn’t open the gate anymore. And when Obama came back, wow, it just exploded again. But unfortunately for liberals, there is no racism in America. There is more cholera in America than there is racism. But they have to invent it.
Hannity chimed in: “It was a question in 2008, would America elect a black president? And you know what? America elected a black president twice!”
Of all the tea partiers running for Senate in 2014, Greg Brannon, a GOP primary candidate hoping to topple vulnerable North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan, is one of the most extreme. He opposes public education, claiming it “does nothing but dehumanize” students. He doesn’t believe that states have to follow Supreme Court decisions. He contends bipartisan compromises in Washington "enslave" Americans. He hails the the late Sen. Jesse Helms—who died in 2008 without ever renouncing his support for racial segregation—as a "modern hero." He claims that ”all ten of [Karl] Marx’s planks of Communism”—including the abolition of private property—”are law in our land today.” In October, Brannon cosponsored and spoke at a rally supporting nullification—the notion that states can invalidate federal laws at will—that was cosponsored by the League of the South, a secessionist group seeking “a free and independent Southern republic.” And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has endorsed him.
Conservatives are eager to snatch up Hagan’s Senate seat, and they have pinned their hopes on Brannon, a tea party rabble-rouser and fiercely anti-abortion OB-GYN who has never run for elected office. In addition to Rand Paul, RedState editor Erick Erickson, who featured Brannon as a speaker at his annual RedState confab in November, and Ann Coulter have award Brannon their blessings. In a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, Brannon was the only Republican who beat Hagan in a head-to-head matchup. When PPP polled Republican primary voters on the four GOP candidates, North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis ran 9 points ahead of Brannon—but nearly half of those voters said they were undecided.
Brannon says he is eagerto join Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in the"wacko bird caucus."And he has a role model in mind: Helms. He has promised, if elected, to emulate Helms, who represented the state in the Senate from 1973 to 2003. In November, Brannon told the RedState crowd that he even asked his wife to move to North Carolina because “Senator No”—Helms’s nickname—was his hero. Helms, by the way, earned that sobriquet for obstructing disability rights legislation, funding for HIV prevention, and a bill to establish a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., among many other things. He entered politics fighting interracial marriage,bullied black Senators, and considered gay people “morally sick wretches.”
Brannon is a fervent advocate of right-wing positions. He has derided public education as Marxist and he decries all things bipartisan. In November, he dismissed the role of the Supreme Court in the American system: “Just because nine people in black robes, seven of them voted that abortion is in the Constitution, it does not make that law.” The nullification rally he cosponsored and addressed was designed to make the case that nullification is “the path forward for those who love liberty”—and not only a tool that historically was used to support slavery and racial segregation.
But the issue closest to Brannon’s heart is abortion. Brannon runs a pro-life OB-GYN practice—meaning he doesn’t advise women on contraception or refer for abortions—and occasionally shows up for interviews or political events fresh off delivering a baby. In his stump speech, he alludes to the idea that the founding fathers supported fetal personhood.
In 2011, Brannon advised state Rep. Paul Stam on anti-abortion rights legislation Stam was pushing. Thebillrequired women to wait 24 hours for an elective abortion after their initial visit to an abortion provider. Providers would have to perform a sonogram of the fetus—even if it is not medically necessary—display the image, and describe the extent of fetal development “in order for the woman to make an informed decision.” Brannon testified before a North Carolina House committee in favor ofa version of the bill that would force abortion providers to give women printed materials prominently displaying this statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception.’”