A conservative group backed by several Fox News contributors has pulled ads featuring footage of murdered journalist James Foley after his family sharply criticized the campaign as “deplorable.”
Secure America Now (SAN) had been running advertisements attacking Democratic candidates with footage of Foley’s beheading at the hands of ISIS. Foley’s parents told New England Cable News (NECN) that the ads are “very sad” and “deplorable,” and called for them to be pulled with an apology.
The group announced on October 15 that it would launch advocacy campaigns featuring the Foley footage in ads against Democratic Senators Mark Pryor (AR), Mark Udall (CO), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Congressman Gary Peters (MI). Secure America Now president Allen Roth said that “Pryor, Udall, Landrieu, Shaheen, and Peters have all ignored the crisis at our southern border. While evading efforts of those attempting to secure the border, they have silently supported President Obama’s rumored amnesty plans.” The group also posted on Facebook that day, “Watch the ad that’s got the left riled up. Help us get it out, SHARE this video now.”
Roth later told NECN, “It has been brought to our attention that a news report image of American hostage James Foley that appeared in a Secure America Now video has upset his parents, so we have decided to take the video down. It was never our attention to upset Mr. Foley’s family and we apologize for any pain we inadvertently caused.”
SAN used the Foley ad to fundraise. An October 15 email stated, “With your help, we can finally capture the attention of these ignorant few. Every dollar you donate will go directly to advocating for border security in the Senate race of your choice” and included links to donation pages featuring the now-removed ads.
The group’s advisory board includes Fox News host Mike Huckabee and Fox News contributors John Bolton and Pat Caddell. Despite claiming to be “non-partisan,” the group has previously been involved in projects pushing for President Obama’s impeachment and more investigations into the already thoroughly-investigated attacks in Benghazi.
Bolton previously defended the use of the Foley video in other campaign advertising. Commenting to The Hill in early October about a Republican House candidate’s ad, Bolton said that ”When you hear people say, ‘Oh you shouldn’t run ads on that issue,’ to me it demonstrates fear of the issue … if we don’t talk about it as adults we’re never going to understand the problem fully.”
NECN reported that Roth said “SAN board members are not involved in creating ads, nor do they see them before they go public. Roth says Bolton had nothing to do with this.” Regardless, Fox News contributors like Bolton are integral to establishing the group’s credentials, as the group touts their advisory board membership and testimonials.
National Rifle Association board member and conservative commentator Ted Nugent suggested that President Obama is not a Christian and touted Republicans as “the only chance we have” to kill “the wolf at the door” during the 2014 midterm elections.
In an October 8 column for conspiracy website WND, Nugent, claiming to speak on behalf of “we the people,” also conspiratorially questioned how unaccompanied children are arriving at the U.S. - Mexico border and wrote that the “vast majority” of those in poverty have “every imaginable luxury known to man”:
Now more than ever, we the people are painfully aware that those subject to the separation of powers have become nothing more than a conspiratorial gang against us.
We refuse to believe that all those children showing up at our southern border just happen to make that near impossible journey all on their own.
We don’t believe that our president is a Christian.
We can’t believe our government squawks about so many living in so-called poverty when the vast majority of such poor people have cellphones and every imaginable luxury known to man.
Nugent, who is also a spokesperson for Outdoor Channel, then engaged in an extended analogy where he argued Americans should support Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm elections in order to kill “the wolf at the door.” According to Nugent, “unless we the people get cracking back into the ‘experiment in self-government’ saddle and do to ravenous wolves what we are supposed to do to them, these killing machines will continue their nonstop freedom killing spree.” While writing that “[t]he Republicans aren’t exactly the knights in shining armor,” Nugent wrote that the GOP “could very well be the only chance we have.”
Nugent frequently uses violent rhetoric when talking about removing Democrats from political offices. During a widely reported on rant at the 2012 NRA annual meeting where Nugent said he would be “dead or in jail” if Obama was reelected as president, Nugent analogized Democrats to coyotes who should be shot and said of the 2012 elections, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”
Later, after Obama was reelected, Nugent claimed he had not received enough support in his efforts to oppose the president’s reelection, complaining, “when I kick the door down to the enemy’s camp, would you help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room,” before adding, “that’s a metaphor ladies and gentleman, I’m not recommending shooting anybody.”
"Categorically False": DHS Debunks Right-Wing Fiction That ISIS Attempted To Cross The U.S.- Mexico Border
The Department of Homeland Security definitively debunked the persistent right-wing media conspiracy theory that Islamic State fighters have attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the rumor is not supported by any “credible intelligence” and knocking the claim that the terrorists have been apprehended at the border as “categorically false.”
What began early this summer as an unsubstantiated claim from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) that “people that are coming [across the U.S.-Mexico border] from states like Syria that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes and terrorist operations,” (a claim PolitiFact Texas rated “Pants on Fire”), has morphed into a full-blown right-wing conspiracy theory. Conservative media and elected officials are hyping fears that members of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group are utilizing the U.S.-Mexico border to enter the U.S. and launch terrorist attacks, a chorus that has only grown louder in the ensuing months to attack immigration reform.
In September, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claimed to have seen information detailing “four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border who were apprehended at two different stations that do have ties to known terrorists organizations in the Middle East,” a story subsequently hyped by Fox News. Nearly a month later, the number had jumped from four terrorists allegedly apprehended to 10.
Fox News’ On The Record provided a platform to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) who claimed to have first-hand knowledge of the terrorists crossing the border. Host Greta Van Susteren replied to Hunter’s allegations by asking, “Do you have any information, or any evidence, that they are actually coming in the southern border now?” And Hunter responded, “Yes. … I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas,” citing information he’d received from border patrol agents.
But the right-wing talking point is “categorically false,” according to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security. On October 8, DHS spokesperson Marsha Catron refuted the rumor that Islamic State terrorists had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, telling The New Republic:
"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground," said DHS spokesperson Marsha Catron. "DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border."
It remains to be seen whether DHS’s facts permeate the right-wing bubble. After hearing the DHS statement, Sean Hannity claimed on his radio program that the agency could not be trusted and suggested it may be lying.
Media Matters researcher Jess Torres contributed research to this post.
In an interview yesterday with conservative talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson, former Republican congressman Allen West reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that undocumented youth are spreading a childhood respiratory disease through America, an increasingly popular talking point in the right-wing media.
West alleged that if researchers ever do find a connection between “dispersed illegal alien children” and enterovirus D68, “then shame on the president for playing politics with the health of our children, that would just be abhorrent.”
When Peterson asked West if he thought the respiratory illness “is a biological warfare,” the former congressman responded that could be a strong possibility: “You know the thing is, biological warfare doesn’t have to be something purposeful, but all of the sudden when you have contagions that are in your environment that are attacking your people, that is an aspect of biological warfare. I believe it was Tom Clancy who wrote a book about weaponizing Ebola so we need to be very aware of these things.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott, who also runs the Iowa state chapter of Concerned Women for America and works with the influential group The Family Leader, spent a good part of her weekly radio program on Wednesday interviewing Leo Hohmann, a WorldNetDaily reporter who wrote an unhinged article last month about how a plan to offer asylum to Syrian refugees is in fact part of a “stealth jihad” to take over America.
Scott was quite impressed by Hohmann’s article, asking him, “So if I put on my Facebook… ‘Leo Hohman reveals stealth jihad with thousands of Muslims being brought into the U.S. under refugee resettlement program, receiving welfare, Medicaid and other taxpayer moneys while refusing to assimilate to American culture,’ that’s not an understandment?”
“No,” Hohmann assured her.
Later in the interview, Hohmann explained the difficulty he has in his “reporting” because “if you’re not listening carefully or if you come to this story from a different worldview, it can sound like we’re being racist or somehow bigoted.” But, he explained, he isn’t being bigoted because Islam is not a religion and Muslim-Americans are lying about their plan to become the majority in America and institute Sharia law.
“The problem is, Leo, is that we call it a religion, but you and I both know that it’s a political system and a military system, not just a religion, so that’s part of the danger,” Scott said of Islam later in the interview.
She then went on to praise Michele Bachmann’s furious search for Muslim Brotherhood agents in the U.S. government, which she implied was somehow precient of the 2012 attack on U.S. officials in Benghazi.
h/t: Miranda Bluee at RWW
Conservative media outlets, including Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, are fanning the flames of Ebola panic and anti-immigrant sentiment by highlighting the unfounded opinions of fringe medical expert Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, the former director of an organization that claimed that undocumented immigrants caused a leprosy epidemic.
After news outlets reported the discovery of an Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham hosted Dr. Elizabeth Vliet to inform listeners about the disease. Vliet used the platform to accuse President Obama of “underplaying the risk” of Ebola and suggested the disease could be transmitted through the air, an opinion that runs contrary to widespread medical opinion.
Vliet’s facts are completely wrong about Ebola’s transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that Ebola “is not spread through the air.” A Vox report points out that “basically every health agency in the world agrees” that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air.
Medical experts also agree that it’s highly unlikely Ebola could mutate into a form that changes its mode of transmission. In fact, such a thing has never been observed in medical history, according to Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He writes, “We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted”:
When it comes to viruses, it is always difficult to predict what they can or cannot do. It is instructive, however, to see what viruses have done in the past, and use that information to guide our thinking. Therefore we can ask: has any human virus ever changed its mode of transmission?
The answer is no. We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted.
HIV-1 has infected millions of humans since the early 1900s. It is still transmitted among humans by introduction of the virus into the body by sex, contaminated needles, or during childbirth.
Hepatitis C virus has infected millions of humans since its discovery in the 1980s. It is still transmitted among humans by introduction of the virus into the body by contaminated needles, blood, and during birth.
There is no reason to believe that Ebola virus is any different from any of the viruses that infect humans and have not changed the way that they are spread.
Vliet’s medical degree and penchant for hyping anti-immigrant myths has helped develop her reputation as the far right’s go-to expert for medical conspiracy theories. In August, Vliet wrote an exclusive column for WND.com titled, “Illegals Bring Risk Of Ebola.” In her article, the Vliet parroted other anti-immigrant voices by suggesting undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border were spreading Ebola and that the government was concealing their diagnoses.
Despite “zero evidence” that migrants have carried Ebola through the U.S.-Mexico border, Vliet’s opinion was cited by Breitbart, Infowars, and Newsmax, a continuation of a long conservative tradition of smearing immigrants as dirty or diseased.
Vliet is also the former director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a group of far-right conspiracy theorists with a history of making false claims about undocumented immigrants carrying disease. Mother Jones reported on the organization’s connections to the Tea Party and examined the contents of the AAPS’ publication Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, noting “the journal erroneously claimed that illegal immigration had caused a leprosy epidemic in the US”:
The publication’s archives present a kind of alternate-universe scientific world, in which abortion causes breast cancer and vaccines cause autism, but HIV does not cause AIDS. Cutting carbon emissions represents a grave threat to global health (because environmental regulation would make people poorer and, consequently, sicker). In 2005, the journal erroneously claimed that illegal immigration had caused a leprosy epidemic in the US, a claim that was reported as fact in more mainstream outlets such as Lou Dobbs’ show.
h/t: Brian Powell at MMFA
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush, who believes most journalists should be thrown in jail, today demands that the U.S. government crack down on Muslim foreign nationals living in the country following the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma.
In a column titled “Is It Time To Deport, Intern Foreign Muslims?,” Rush claims that all Muslims are either terrorists or terrorist-sympathizers who must be hounded like Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“We deported, expelled and interned foreign nationals and naturalized citizens for a whole lot less during World War II, and I would certainly call for the deportation or expulsion of all Muslim foreign nationals at this juncture,” he writes.In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last weekend, President Barack Obama reiterated his assertion that America is not at war with Islam, that “Islam preaches peace” and that the majority of Muslims are peaceful.
I would submit that the absence of demonstrable violence does not necessarily constitute being “peaceful.” In the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America by militant Muslims, the question of just who and where these “peaceful” Muslims are has been discussed endlessly. Americans have asked the question – time and again – why the so-called “peaceful Muslims” we hear so much about are reticent to disavow the actions of militant Muslims.
I believe the answer to that question has become clear. Contrary to the contentions of the political left, it would appear that the majority of Muslims worldwide are more than willing to rationalize the actions of those the Western press dubs “militant Muslims” as that of defending Islam or the so-called rights of Muslims. The history of Islam certainly bears this out, as does the Quran, which expressly calls for violence – and beheadings in particular – in the advance of Islam.
In the face of its surreal and manifestly treasonous deportment, the Obama administration is also set to announce sweeping new restrictions on racial and religious profiling in federal investigations, including those involving matters of national security. This of course comes in the midst of heightened concerns of Islamic militant groups executing a terror attack on U.S. soil. In fact, Islamist militant leaders abroad have called for such attacks, just as they called weeks ago for lone-wolf attacks and beheadings of Americans on American soil.
We deported, expelled and interned foreign nationals and naturalized citizens for a whole lot less during World War II, and I would certainly call for the deportation or expulsion of all Muslim foreign nationals at this juncture.
h/t: bRIAN tASHMAN AT RWW
AFA's Fischer: Ban Muslim Immigration Because We Don't Know Who Is Carrying 'The Decapitation Virus'
On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer reiterated his belief that the government ought to ban immigration from nations where the Ebola virus is present as well as from Muslim-majority nations because, just as there is no way to determine who is carrying Ebola until the disease emerges, there is also no way to know which Muslims are carrying “the decapitation virus.”
"I think our policy toward Islam should be the same as our policy toward Ebola," he said, asserting the America just cannot take a chance on allowing a potential Ebola carrier to enter this country. “Now we ought to be saying exactly the same thing about people who come from Muslim-majority countries because we have no way of knowing who might be carrying the decapitation virus.’
"We simply don’t know," Fischer continued. "And so we say to them ‘look, I’m sorry we can’t let you into our country. I don’t believe that you represent a threat of any kind but we simply don’t know. We have no way to tell, we’ve got no kind of scanning device that can identify whether the decapitation virus is in you, whether it’s alive in you, whether it’s going to erupt’":
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW
Republican Scott Brown Runs On Border Security, After Having Skipped Every Senate Hearing About It
This is one of several attack ads Scott Brown is running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire focused on “border security.” Brown is now completely against “amnesty” and is all about security our borders against the brown hordes. Which is apparently a brand-new interest of his. Because when he was in the Senate, and in the committee that has jurisdiction, he couldn’t have cared less.[A]s a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he was eligible to attend, records suggest.
Brown was absent from five hearings in 2011 and one in 2010, according to a review of public records and congressional transcripts and video. Of the six, four were full committee hearings and two were meetings of the subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which he belonged.
A review of all Homeland Security Committee hearings during the time Brown was senator shows those were the six he could have attended, based on his subcommittee membership.
Lots of senators miss hearings, because there are a lot of hearings and meetings with various rich people (in Brown’s case, perhaps he was meeting with kings and queens and prime ministers). But Brown missed every hearing on exactly this one issue that he is making a centerpiece of his campaign. The hearings were “mainly centered around assessing and building progress on border security at the local and federal levels. Brown also apparently missed an April 2010 meeting titled “Border Security: Moving beyond the virtual fence.”
So when Brown had the opportunity to actually learn about border security and to maybe do something about it as a senator, he couldn’t be bothered. But now it’s the thing that matters most. Just like how it used to be all about how he was just a Massachusetts guy with a pickup truck looking out for Massachusetts’ blue collar families, while he was voting for Wall Street every time. So why should New Hampshire voters believe he’s actually going to be looking out for them?
On the September 23 edition of her radio program, ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham mocked José Díaz-Balart for conducting a bilingual interview with María Cruz Ramírez on his MSNBC show. Ingraham said, "I can’t even follow what he’s saying because it’s so herky-jerky. Are we sure he’s a native Spanish speaker?"
Díaz-Balart responded on the September 26 edition of the Telemundo show Un Nuevo Día, saying, “It happens to many people everywhere, all the time. But you know what? We are here to contribute. To take our families forward. To contribute to this country.”
Translation by Miguel Ferrer
In the same interview with Sandy Rios today in which he warned of a looming Civil-War-level crisis in the U.S. and reported of the imminent Christian conversion of Israel’s Jews, retired Army general and Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin wondered why “cowardly” American Christians aren’t brave like the terrorists of ISIS.
“Think about this, what if we had Christians that were that committed to what they believe?” he said, after Rios played him a clip of a Vice interview with an ISIS spokesman. “I mean, here’s a guy who stands up and says, ‘I’m willing to die, I’m willing to die for it.’ And what about the Christian church these days? We’ve got Christians that are more cowardly than, I think, at any time in the history of America because they won’t stand up to evil.”
He went on to claim that “much” of the Islamist extremism in the United States “has come across our southern border” or “has been just developed inside by those people that came across our southern border with nefarious intent to destroy us.”
Boykin made the remarks in a live interview at the Values Voter Summit, which is hosted by his employer the Family Research Council.
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst lost his re-election bid in the GOP primary because he was seen as too liberal, and before that he lost to Ted Cruz in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Well, Dewhurst unleashed several conservative talking points today at the Values Voters Summit, where he followed Cruz by preaching against abortion rights and stirring up opposition to immigration reform. Dewhurst said President Obama “literally opened up the red carpet” for a “tsunami of unaccompanied children” with an immigration law signed in 2008, the year before Obama became president.
“If we don’t stop the bad guys at the border, they’re going to be in your hometown tomorrow,” he said.
He later claimed that prayer rugs found in Texas are proof that ISIS members may be crossing the southern border to “mobilize terrorist Islam against the United States.” We wonder if Dewhurst is referring to the Breitbart News story which confused a prayer rug with an Adidas jersey.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Laura Ingraham unloads on MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart in xenophobic rant [TW: Xenophobia, Ethnocentrism, Hate Speech, Hispanophobia, Mexiphobia, Anti-Immigrant Bigotry]
Right-wing radio host and anti-immigration crusader Laura Ingraham launched a tirade Tuesday against MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart, mocking Díaz-Balart for translating his interview with an unauthorized immigrant and calling it “annoying” that he pronounced the woman’s name in a Spanish accent.
On Monday, Díaz-Balart invited María Cruz Ramírez, a mother of three children from Mexico, to discuss immigration reform. Díaz-Balart translated Cruz Ramírez’s answers into English, drawing Ingraham’s ire.
“First of all, I can’t even understand what he’s saying because it’s so herky-jerky,” she said. “Are we sure even he’s a native Spanish speaker at this point?”
Ingraham also inveighed against calling undocumented youth “dreamers.”
“If you’re an American kid growing up in Ohio – maybe you’re from Akron – can they call you a ‘dreamer’ on TV – or just the kids who are here illegally?” Ingraham asked.
Ingraham has used her platform on conservative talk radio to denounce immigration reform, and played a pivotal role earlier this summer in toppling then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary for his alleged heresy on the issue.
Listen to Ingraham’s latest rant below, courtesy of Media Matters:
Luke Brinker is Salon’s deputy politics editor. Follow him on Twitter at @LukeBrinker.
WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon is promoting her book “What Women Really Want” by arguing today that Republicans should be “giddy” about the prospect of running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
She calls on GOP politicians to attack Clinton for supposedly tolerating rape and other forms of violence against women: "If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?"
Loudon goes on to claim that immigration reform and gun policy reform are part of the real “war on women.”The first war is one where women are being serially gang-raped and stoned to death by Islamists across the world who believe women are only one-fifth of a person. If a woman is raped, under Shariah law, five men must testify that they witnessed the woman being raped. Otherwise, she is stoned to death in front of her friends and family. Christian and Jewish women are being led like lambs to slaughter by Islamists. There is definitely a war on women, but not the one the statist elites in D.C. like to pretend is happening. That is but a ruse designed to distract the simple minded.
Where are the old-school feminists who cussed conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly and burned their bras in protest of equal pay, in the face of this bloody war on women? Do equal rights not to be stoned matter less than equal pay or birth control?
Where is Hillary on this? If I were GOP leadership, I would be giddy about the thought of a Hillary run. Aside from Benghazi, think about a campaign based on what she never did to stop the real war on women. If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?
Women with whom we spoke on our book tour are most concerned with safety and security, and that is because of failed foreign policy and open borders exacted on them by the pro-old-feminist administration (including old feminists like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Economic security and national security are of grave concern to women today. Open borders give away jobs, especially starter jobs for youth. Open borders let terrorists in our country, and that threatens women’s families and futures. Open borders mean children with unknown, untreatable and, in some cases, latent diseases sit in classrooms with our children.
Even for those women who don’t care to ever touch a gun (and that is OK), most still wouldn’t want to take away the rights of other moms to protect their children, their families from abusers, or their homes from tyranny.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW