Fox News host Eric Bolling warned America that “liberalism is a dangerous virus,” echoing the kind of dangerous rhetoric that right-wing media figures like Glenn Beck have spread for years.
In an October 6 FoxNews.com opinion piece, Bolling wrote that while people are concerned about Ebola, the virus of liberalism is already here:
Wake up, America!
While everyone is up in arms about Ebola, and we must remain vigilant and fight it with all we have, there is another virus that has already taken hold of Americans in every state: liberalism.
Truth, transparency, freedom and liberty. The flag, “Under God” patriotism have all been tossed out the window.
They are being replaced by “everybody gets a trophy,” “share the wealth,” “government knows what’s best for your business,” your family and even what should go on in your bedroom.
Be careful, America. Liberalism is a dangerous virus.
Wake up, America. Liberalism is a virus, too.
Try not to catch it. And if you do, for goodness sake, don’t spread it!!
Bolling’s eliminationist rhetoric — the belief that the liberals are a disease weakening America — has been echoed by far right-wing media figures for years. In 2009, actor turned WND columnist Pat Boone compared liberalism to “A deadly virus … loosed throughout our system.” Throughout 2010, on his radio show, on Fox News, and even at his CPAC keynote speech, former Fox News host Glenn Beck called progressivism “the poison that’s killing our Constitution” that “we’ve got to irradiate;” a “disease in the republic;” and “the cancer in America.” And in 2012, right-wing columnist David Limbaugh likened liberalism to “a metastatic cancer.”
Bolling wasn’t the only conservative media figure to compare liberals to a disease on Monday. Right-wing author, filmmaker, and conservative media darling Dinesh D’Souza compared President Obama’s father to Ebola, asking “which is a more dangerous infection?”
Dear Eric Bolling, Liberalism is NOT a “virus.”
h/t: Zachary Pleat at MMFA
How Fox covers the first female UAE pilot, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, bombing ISIS
Greg Gutfeld: “The problem is, after she bombed it she couldn’t park it.”
Eric Bolling: “Would that be considered ‘boobs on the ground?”
Even worse: these comments happened right after Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle noted how poorly “some Arab countries” treat women.
Fox Panelist Hoenig Wrongly Defends Muslim Profiling With WWII Japanese Camps [TW: Hate Speech, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Racial Profiling]
During a panel discussion, one of the show’s guests, Jonathan Hoenig stated: “We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001.” He then doubled-down on this sentiment (video below), saying, “The last war this country won, we put Japanese Americans in internment camps; we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start.”
Bolling let Hoenig express these hateful opinions unchecked, despite the fact that Japanese American Internment remains one of the most shameful periods in our nation’s history – a fact acknowledged by the US government in its 1988 apology to the former internees. Bolling and the show’s producers also ignored that such xenophobic and hateful sentiment since 9/11 has led to numerous acts of hate and violence against innocent Americans that were deemed a potential “threat” to the nation, based simply on how they looked, dressed, or worshipped.
By airing these comments without context or criticism, Fox News all but endorsed them. This is especially irresponsible, given the recent spike in hate crimes that has occurred around the country, against Sikh Americans as well as other communities. As we saw after 9/11, and as we saw during World War II, attacks on the United States, as well as military entanglements abroad, can lead to heightened emotions and confusion among the American public. Under these circumstances, people are far quicker to give in to fear and hate, and to lash out at those perceived as different. Remarks like those made on Fox News this Monday greatly exacerbate this risk, and foster an environment where entire communities are far more likely to be subjected to discrimination and violence.
One of the values that we hold dear as Americans is the concept of freedom of expression. The ability of our fellow Americans to express their beliefs freely, without persecution, is one of the things that makes this country unique, and a global leader. However, the right to free speech is not a right to spew hate on national television without question or criticism. When Hoenig spoke out in support of racial profiling, of internment, and of the marginalization of an entire religious community, Bolling had the opportunity, and the obligation, to respond. Sadly, he did not respond, and let Hoenig’s claims go unchallenged. Isn’t that the responsibility that we have entrusted to the media, our nation’s fourth estate? In front of a national television audience, Bolling and Fox News essentially gave tacit support to Hoenig’s xenophobia and hate.
In light of the recent hate crimes that we have seen, against Sikh Americans, Muslim Americans, and so many others, I strongly urge Bolling, Roger Ailes, and the Fox News Network to repudiate Hoenig’s assertions, and to apologize, not only to the Muslim American community, but to Japanese Americans, whose internment during World War II Hoenig explicitly endorsed. By sending the message that groups of Americans, due to their race, religion, national origin, or other background are inherently suspicious, Fox News is fostering an environment of fear, distrust, and ultimately hate. They must rectify this situation immediately.
Jasjit Singh is the Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) and has been with the organization since 2009. He currently serves on DHS Secretary’s Faith-Based Initiative and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA).From the 09.20.2014 edition of FNC’s Cashin’ In:
h/t: Jasjit Singh at TPM
"How can you be so poor and have all this stuff?" -Bill O’Reilly
Each of these screenshots is from a different Fox show attacking poor Americans for having amenities, trying to make the point (pretty much) that “when I was a kid, poor people had a lot less than this.”
Of course, this is all based on one thoroughly-debunked Heritage Foundation report that conservative media have been parroting for years.
Breaking news for Fox: We’re not in the 1950’s anymore. As technology advances, each year older technology gets less and less expensive, and therefore more working class Americans are able to access it.
Matt Yglesias elaborates:
A serious person would follow this up with a discussion of relative prices. Over the past 50 years, televisions have gotten a lot cheaper and college has gotten a lot more expensive. Consequently, even a low income person can reliably obtain a level of television-based entertainment that would blow the mind of a millionaire from 1961. At the same time, if you’re looking to live in a safe neighborhood with good public schools in a metropolitan area with decent job opportunities you’re going to find that this is quite expensive. Health care has become incredibly expensive. The federal poverty line for a family of three is $18,530 a year. I wonder how many Heritage Foundation policy analysts are deciding they want to cut back and work part time because it’d be super easy to raise two kids in DC on less than $20k in salary? Perhaps just an outfit full of workaholics.
While Fox is so busy pointing out how many people have access to microwaves and refrigerators, they conveniently forget to mention how many people have poor access to quality education, health care, and affordable housing. Because really, what good is an A/C if you can’t even afford to keep living in your house?
On May 29, Duck Dynasty star turned GOP darling Phil Robertson gave a keynote speech at the Republican Leadership Conference (RLC). His speech, which focused on religion and encouraged Republicans to “get godly,” is the latest milestone in the controversial reality TV star’s meteoric and unexpected rise in national conservative politics.
Robertson’s presence at the RLC perplexed Fox News’ Juan Williams, who questioned why the GOP had embraced a figure who gained national notoriety after making a number of homophobic and racist statements in an interview with GQ. During a May 31 appearance on Fox’s Cashin’ In, Williams asked what Robertson’s rise in conservative politics said about the GOP:
BOLLING: I don’t know, I don’t know Juan, what about it? I think he’s big business, and I think it’s probably good for the GOP. No?
WILLIAMS: No, are you kidding me? What does it say, Eric, that GOP makes a hero out of a guy that says black were happy with slavery and segregation, and gays are to be damned. Is he the chief of outreach for the GOP, or is he the chief of internal self-satisfaction?
But Williams’ own network is at least partly responsible for the GOP’s fawning relationship with Robertson, having worked for months to whitewash his offensive comments and prop up the reality star as a beacon of American Christianity.
Fox’s fascination with the Duck Dynasty family predates Robertson’s GQ interview. But when A&E announced in December that they had placed Robertson on a hiatus over his comments, the network went into damage control mode; Fox’s Sean Hannity described the comments as “old fashioned traditional Christian sentiment and values,” while Fox reported Todd Starnes claimed Robertson was just reflecting “the teachings of the Bible.” Even Megyn Kelly came to Robertson’s defense, calling him a “Christian guy” and criticizing LGBT activists for trying to “shut down the debate.”
After A&E reinstated Robertson, Fox News snatched the first ’exclusive’ interview with the Robertson family as part of the network’s “All American New Year.” Since then, Fox has continued to whitewash Robertson’s rhetoric by repeatedly depicting him and the Robertson family as besieged Christian heroes.
Fox’s attempt to turn Robertson into a kind of religious martyr is part of the network’s broader effort to depict blatant homophobia as a part of mainstream Christianity. From Robertson to Brendan Eich to the Benham brothers, Fox News has seized on opportunities to depict opponents of LGBT equality as victims of a culture war in which Christians are persecuted because of their views on homosexuality. By whitewashing Robertson’s comments, Fox News has been able to depict his critics as “anti-straight,” anti-Christian bigots, paving the way for his faux-victimization story to evolve into a full on conservative rallying cry.
Following his speech at the RLC, Robertson appeared on Hannity where he admitted he was “surprised to be chosen to speak at the event. ‘I’m not a political person,’ he said. ‘I guess the GOP may be more desperate than I thought to call somebody like me.’” It was an uncomfortable message on a network that can’t seem to find an anti-gay figure too extreme to champion.
From the 05.12.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:
Fox's New Benghazi Conspiracy: "Maybe 20 Months Ago" Admin Started "Covering Up" For Hillary 2016 Campaign | Video | Media Matters for America
Fixed Noise the Benghazi! This, Benghazi! That channel.
From the 05.03.2014 edition of FNC’s Cashin’ In:
Fox figures praised armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as good, patriotic, hard-working Americans, ignoring their threats of violence against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents and indications that they were willing to put women in children in the line of fire.
Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy Refuses To Pay Grazing Fees, Resulting In Standoff With BLM
Los Angeles Times: Bundy Refused To Pay Grazing Fees For Use Of Federal Land. As the Los Angeles Times reported on April 7:
Bundy is battling with federal officials over his cattle’s grazing on 150 square miles of scrub desert overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. He has refused to pay BLM grazing fees since 1993, arguing in court filings that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement. His back fees exceed $300,000, he says. [Los Angeles Times, 4/7/14]
AP: Court Ordered Bundy To Pay Fees Or His Cattle Would Be Confiscated. Bundy refused to pay the fees he owed, and so the BLM attempted to carry out court orders to confiscate his cattle to settle the debt:
A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy to remove his trespassing cattle in 1998. The bureau was implementing two federal court orders last year to remove Bundy’s cattle after making repeated efforts to resolve the matter outside court, Kornze said, adding the rancher has not paid grazing fees in 20 years. [Associated Press, 4/13/14]
AP: BLM Halted Cattle Confiscation After Armed Militias Showed Up To Protest. As the Associated Pressreported, after the Bureau of Land Management began confiscating Bundy’s cattle, armed ”states’ rights protesters, including militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ return to rancher Cliven Bundy,” leading to the BLM’s decision to halt the confiscation:
Federal land managers say “escalating tensions” led them to release all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.
Bureau of Land Management Chief Neil Kornze announced an abrupt halt to the weeklong roundup just hours before the release.
"Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public," Kornze said in a statement. [Associated Press, 4/13/14]
Sen. Harry Reid Calls Armed Protestors “Domestic Terrorists”
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Sen. Reid Called Bundy's Armed Supporters “Domestic Terrorists.” At an event hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called armed protesters supporting Bundy ”domestic terrorists,” saying, “Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots, are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/17/14]
Bundy Repeatedly Threatens Violence Against BLM Agents
Las Vegas Sun: Bundy Said He Would “Do Whatever It Takes” To Protect His Cattle. In 2013, Bundy told the Las Vegas Sun he would “do whatever it takes” to prevent the government from seizing his cattle:
[T]he rancher insists his cattle aren’t going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch and has vowed to “do whatever it takes” to defend his animals from seizure.
"I’ve got to protect my property," Bundy said as Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."Bundy’s wife Carol told the Sun that she owns a shotgun and is prepared to use it:
Carol Bundy said her husband is not a violent man, just a person who will protect what he owns. For that matter, so is she.
"I’ve got a shotgun," she said. "It’s loaded and I know how to use it. We’re ready to do what we have to do, but we’d rather win this in the court of public opinion." [Las Vegas Sun, 9/23/13]
Bundy's Response To Question About Resorting To Violence: ”I Didn’t Say I Wouldn’t Carry A Gun.” On the April 10 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham asked Bundy whether he would resort to violence to settle the dispute:
INGRAHAM: When you said you would do quote “whatever it takes,” to stop the government from impounding your cattle, what did you mean by that? Did you mean you would resort to violence?
BUNDY: What I said was — I didn’t say I wouldn’t carry a gun. [The Laura Ingraham Show, 4/10/14, via Media Matters]
Fox Figures Praise “Patriotic” Bundy Supporters
Fox’s Earhardt: Bundy Supporters Are “Good, Hardworking Americans.” On the April 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt expressed outrage at Sen. Harry Reid’s comments that Bundy’s supporters are “domestic terrorists,” saying:
EARHARDT: And then the question this morning, the government’s reaction to all of this. They’re pulling guns on these individuals, on Harry Reid’s community. These are folks that live in Nevada, these are good, hardworking Americans. So they disagree and the government goes out there and pulls guns and now Harry Reid’s calling them terrorists? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/14]
Fox's Morris: Supporters Were “Protesting Peacefully.” In a later segment during the April 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Clayton Morris claimed that, “Suddenly people are there protesting peacefully, arguing against government intervention here … and all of these police and folks roll in with guns and sniper rifles pointing at them.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/14]
Fox’s Napolitano: Ranch Protesters ”Shows You The Resistance Of Patriotic Americans.” Fox contributor Andrew Napolitano and Bill O’Reilly discussed the Nevada standoff on the April 17 edition of The O’Reilly Factor. Both conceded that Bundy’s actions were illegal, yet Napolitano called his supporters “patriotic” and downplayed their threats of violence:
O’REILLY: But here’s the fact. The federal government sent more force in to handle Cliven Bundy’s cows than they did to Ukraine. Right, I mean we can’t even get binoculars over there for those people but we have all of this.
NAPOLITANO: It shows you the attitude of the federal government today, and it shows you the resistance of patriotic Americans — Americans whose voices were silenced at the scene by being moved three miles away. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 4/17/14]
Fox’s Starnes: Bundy Supporters Are “Law-Abiding” Patriots. On the April 17 edition of Hannity, Fox contributor Todd Starnes told guest-host Eric Bolling, “The idea that you’ve got the Senate Majority Leader going out there and calling law-abiding American citizens — patriots — domestic terrorists for protesting against their government is beyond the pale.” [Fox News, Hannity, 4/17/14]
Fox Guest: Why Were Guns Pointed At “Hardworking Ranchers”? During the April 17 edition of Fox News’s The Kelly File, frequent Fox guest and conservative filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch demanded an explanation from Sen. Harry Reid as to why guns were pointed at “hardworking ranchers”:
LYNCH: That man [Sen. Reid], I want an explanation from him. I want to know why it is that I had M-16s pointed at my face. Why those M-16s were pointed at women and children and hardworking ranchers. I want an explanation. Because the more I keep on looking at my footage — that looked like Afghanistan. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 4/17/14]
Bundy Supporters Who Fox Praised Were Armed, Threatened Violence
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Armed Militia Members Mobilized For ”Armed Confrontation.”The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on April 9 that armed militia members were joining Bundy in his standoff with the BLM:
From near and wide, armed men are trickling toward Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where the rancher’s fight with the federal government has become a rallying cry for militia groups across the United States.
They say they are prepared for armed confrontation, but they insist they will not be the instigators if bloodshed happens. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/9/14]
Reuters: Many Supporters “Wore Military Fatigues And Carried Rifles And Pistols.” Reuters reported on April 17 that many of Bundy’s supporters carried rifles and pistols:
A number of Bundy supporters wore military fatigues and carried rifles and pistols and had traveled from California, Idaho, Arizona, Montana and beyond. Most kept their handguns holstered.
[Former Arizona sheriff Richard] Mack, who wore his gun on his hip, and other Bundy supporters interviewed by Reuters said they would not shoot first but would retaliate if fired upon. [Reuters, 4/17/14]
Review-Journal: "Serious Bloodshed Was Narrowly Avoided" At The Protest. The Las Vegas Review-Journal also reported that:
On Wednesday, that dispute teetered at the edge of deadly conflict, when Cliven Bundy’s family members and supporters scuffled with rangers from the Bureau of Land Management sent to protect the federal roundup of Bundy’s cattle on public land. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/9/14]
Huffington Post: Former Sheriff Wanted To Put “Women Up At The Front” If A Shootout Occurred. According to the Huffington Post, former Arizona sheriff and Bundy supporter Richard Mack proposed putting women on the front lines if a shootout with the BLM occurred and claimed he “would have put my own wife or daughters there”:
"We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front," he said on Fox News, according to TheBlaze.com. "If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers."
"If they’re going to start killing people, I’m sorry, but to show the world how ruthless these people are, women needed to be the first ones shot. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible. I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die. [Huffington Post, 4/15/14]
Reuters: Bundy Supporter “Aimed His Semi-Automatic Rifle” At Federal Agents. On April 17, Reuters reported on the aftermath of the Bundy ranch protest, writing that during that during the standoff an armed protester aimed his gun at federal agents:
Flat on his belly in a sniper position, wearing a baseball cap and a flak jacket, a protester aimed his semi-automatic rifle from the edge of an overpass and waited as a crowd below stood its ground against U.S. federal agents in the Nevada desert. [Reuters, 4/17/14]
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart
KLAS-TV Las Vegas: Militia Man Joining Bundy Protest Said “We Provide Armed Response.” On April 10, a local Las Vegas news station KLAS-TV reported that one militia man coming to support Bundy said, “That is what we do. We provide armed response … We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government.” [KLAS-TV Las Vegas, 4/10/14]
Led by Sean Hannity, Fox News has devoted 4 hours and 40 minutes of its prime-time programming to cheerleading for a Nevada range war.
Media Matters examined Fox News’ weekday programming from 4 p.m. through 11 p.m. ET since it first started covering the story.
Fox News began agitating for a range war on April 9, sympathetically portraying Cliven Bundy as a folk hero based on the Nevada rancher’s refusal for two decades to pay the required fees for grazing his cattle on public land. While Nevada reporters have made clear that Bundy is “clearly wrong” and “breaking the law,” Fox has waged a PR campaign romanticizing Bundy and the armed militia groups that fled to his ranch and forced a standoff with federal agents who were executing a court order that allowed them to impound his cattle.
Fox Radio host Todd Starnes fanned the flames by implying that federal agents could be “strung up” for confiscating Bundy’s cattle, regardless of a court order. Even after the Bureau of Land Management announced that it would return the cattle to Bundy, Hannity asked Bundy whether he was worried that government agents might kill him.
Hannity has effectively turned his Fox News show into a public-relations firm for Bundy and the militias backing him, dedicating more than 1 1/2 hours of coverage since April 9 to effectively agitating for armed conflict with the federal government.
Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of Fox News programs from April 5th to April 17th. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: Bundy, Nevada, ranch!, cattle, Bureau of Land Management. The search included the Fox programs The Five, Special Report, On the Record with Greta van Susteren, The O’Reilly Factor, The Kelly File, and Hannity.
Here’s a pop quiz. Find the contradiction in this quote:
“I’ll tell you, there’s unhappy people here, and we are rioting against the federal government, those people that are carrying guns and pointing them at us…I don’t think we’re going to put up with that in America.”
Would that America be a little slice of Nevada where domestic terrorists dwell and refuse to acknowledge the federal government, or is that America the one where fifty states are united under one national flag and live under the rule of law?
Also, would that America be the one where they have no problem with this…
…but whine about the federal government carrying guns and pointing them at them?
The victimhood just rolls off Bundy in big sweaty drops, courtesy of your Fox News hosts, who want you to know the badass federal government is full of mean people who want to arrest moochers and call them horrible names like domestic terrorist. Never mind the pesky truth, it’s just mean, am I right?
Far right anti-worker shill Eric Bolling DEFENDS China’s law labor laws.
From the 04.15.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:
Bill O’Reilly came out strong supporting Tesla Monday night, arguing conservatives need to be rooting for them to succeed. Eric Bolling told O’Reilly tonight he doesn’t like the idea of the government loaning money to companies in the first place (even though Tesla paid it off), and the men clashed over whether more people getting Tesla’s electric cars would be good for the country and the world. He said, “You can be as cynical as you want, this is big.” Bolling told O’Reilly that right now, “only the likes of DiCaprio, Clooney, and O’Reilly” can afford Tesla cars and argued electric cars can impact the environment through the use of coal-fired plants.
O’Reilly argued not only that switching to Tesla cars would be the more environmentally conscious decision, but it would be a good way to stick it to OPEC and Vladimir Putin, telling Bolling “the greater good has to come into play.” Bolling brought up Solyndra to make the point that even if Tesla is a winner, the government shouldn’t pick and choose winners and losers by giving them money, bringing up companies like Apple and arguing that the government doesn’t need to get in the way of innovation.
O’Reilly shot back, “This is about cleaner air and hurting the villains, so this is elevated above Apple and all the other computer products.” Bolling questioned whether average Americans want the government to be messing around like this, but O’Reilly insisted that “what they want is relief from OPEC” and Putin. Bolling said if that’s the case, fracking is the better way to go.
Right-wing media have been Hobby Lobby’s biggest fans in the Supreme Court showdown between the federal government and the company over the health care law’s contraception coverage mandate, championing Hobby Lobby as only interested in protecting its religious liberties. But according to new documents obtained by Salon, the company is an active partner to activist groups pushing their Christian agenda into American law.
This week the Supreme Court took on the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, hearing arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, a case which could allow secular, for-profit corporations an unprecedented religious exemption from the requirement that all health insurance cover preventive services like birth control. The conservative plaintiff, Hobby Lobby, is arguing that some emergency contraceptives covered by the mandate amount to abortion — even though they don’t.
Over at National Review, editor Rich Lowry framed the Green family — Hobby Lobby’s owners — as “law-abiding people running an arts-and-craft-chain,” “minding their own business,” until “Uncle Sam showed up to make an offer that the Greens couldn’t refuse — literally.” Jonah Goldberg, in an op-ed in USA Today, claimed that all Hobby Lobby is asking is to leave birth control decisions up to women and their doctors.
The conservative media sphere has repeatedly characterized Hobby Lobby as merely seeking “religious freedom.” As Fox News host Eric Bolling described the case, ”your religious freedom, guaranteed to you by the constitution, hangs in the balance.” He added that the mandate “feels like political ideology trumping small business.” The network has even given Hobby Lobby’s attorney the platform to champion the company’s small town virtues.
It turns out that the company right-wing media have worked so hard to champion has a significant hidden political agenda. On March 27 Salon broke the story that it had obtained a document revealing Hobby Lobby’s political funding ties to a network of activist groups “deeply engaged in pushing a Christian agenda into American law.”
According to Salon, a 2009 Tax Filing Form revealed that Crafts Etc., a Hobby Lobby affiliate company, and Jon Cargill, the CFO of Hobby Lobby, contributed a total of nearly $65 million in 2009 alone to the National Christian Charitable Foundation — one of the biggest contributors to the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Center for Arizona Policy.
These organizations pushed SB 1062 — the anti-gay legislation recently vetoed by AZ Governor Jan Brewer — to the AZ Statehouse, and their agendas include many other discriminatory and dangerous policies including legislation that forces women to have invasive ultrasounds before abortions.
The National Christian Charitable Foundation also contributed over $90,000 in 2012 to the Becket Fund, the legal group representing Hobby Lobby in its current Supreme Court battle over Obamacare’s contraception mandate. As Salon explained the relationship:
Seen in this light, the ideological connection between the Hobby Lobby suit and Arizona’s recently vetoed legislation becomes clearer: One seeks to allow companies the right to deny contraceptive coverage while the other would permit businesses to deny services to LGBT people. “There are really close legal connections between [Arizona’s anti-gay SB 1062 bill] and the [Hobby Lobby] Supreme Court case,” Emily Martin, vice president and general counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, told Salon. “Ideologically, the thing that unites the two efforts is an attempt to use religious exercise as a sword to impose religious belief on others, even if it harms others, which would be a radical expansion of free exercise law,” said Martin.
And the common thread is the much bigger trend across the country. “Individuals and entities with religious objections to certain laws that protect others are seeking to use their religion to trump others,” Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, told Salon.
From the 02.19.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five: