During a hearing on a bill aimed at denying protections for transgender students, a Wisconsin state representative called out the extreme anti-LGBT legal organization working to enact similar laws across the country.
On November 19, the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Education held a hearing on AB 469, a bill that would prohibit transgender students from using the bathroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity. The bill was based in part on "model" legislation drawn up by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
State Representative Mandela Barnes (D) called out Alliance Defending Freedom for working to criminalize homosexuality abroad during the hearing on the bill:
REP. MANDELA BARNES (D): It was said that the bill came from a group called... the Alliance for Defending Freedom. And I just want to confirm that that's the case, that's where the bill -
REP. JESSE KREMER (R): No, the bill did not originate there. The bill originated somewhere - there was a bill that was being worked on that was more like the Minnesota bill, and that's what we were looking at originally. We were also looking at the Nevada bill, and as I mentioned, I talked to the authors in both of those states, and then we found out about Alliance Defending Freedom bill, policy, that they had kind of come up with also - so we kind of merged the policies together to get something that would hopefully work for Wisconsin for everyone.
BARNES: I don't know how much people really know about Alliance Defending Freedom. They're not really a friendly group.
REP. JEREMY THIESFELDT (R): Representative Barnes, Alliance Defending Freedom is not on trial here today.
BARNES: Oh, I understand that.
THIESFELDT: Keep your comments to the bill, please.
BARNES: But it's sort of the company we keep and where the ideas come from. We should be really aware of that, really conscious of where some of this policy is coming from. Because this is an organization that's tried to criminalize homosexuality in other countries. And I don't think that's the type of place where we should be getting any of our policy here in the state of Wisconsin.
Barnes' description of ADF's extreme anti-LGBT work is accurate. While the group is best known for its "religious liberty" work, ADF has also sought to promote and defend anti-sodomy laws that criminalize gay sex in countries like Belize and Jamaica.
ADF has launched a concerted nationwide effort to push its own "model" policies denying transgender students equal access to school facilities. As State Representative Jesse Kremer, who introduced AB 469, pointed out, Wisconsin's bill mirrors similar legislation in Minnesota and Nevada. As Media Matters has documented, those bills also drew heavily from ADF's model legislation:
ADF's influence in shaping discriminatory state and school policies is a significant story in the ongoing debate over protections for transgender students. Journalists should follow Representative Barnes' lead and tell audiences what they need to know about ADF, its extreme international work, and the group's campaign to sneak their discriminatory model legislation into statehouses across the country.
The New York Times' Paul Krugman called out right-wing media's baseless anxiety about Syrian refugees and "exaggerated" panic over the threat of a terrorist attack as the latest example of the "apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years."
In a November 20 column, Krugman observed that Fox News contributor Erick Erickson's "bizarre" threat not to "see the new 'Star Wars' movie on opening day, because 'there are no metal detectors at American theaters'" is "part of a larger pattern" of right-wing panic.
Right-wing media reacted to the November 13 ISIS-led attacks on Paris and elsewhere with sweeping and unfounded claims that President Obama's anti-terror response is endangering U.S national security, with some on Fox even claiming that he has "Islamic sympathies." Others vilified Syrian refugees and defended calls for religious litmus tests, only accepting Christian refugees, on the basis that "Muslims might blow us up."
Krugman noted that among conservatives "[t]hese days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception." He attributed this epidemic to the "apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years": "Think about it. From the day Mr. Obama took office, his political foes have warned about imminent catastrophe. Fiscal crisis! Hyperinflation! Economic collapse, brought on by the scourge of health insurance!" Krugman recalled right-wing media's "great Ebola scare of 2014," which featured assertions that President Obama would expose American troops to Ebola to "atone for colonialism." While the "threat of pandemic, like the threat of a terrorist attack, was real," he wrote, "it was greatly exaggerated, thanks in large part to hype from the same people now hyping the terrorist danger." All of this overblown fearmongering is, Krugman concludes, "what the right is all about:
Erick Erickson, the editor in chief of the website RedState.com, is a serious power in right-wing circles. Speechifying at RedState's annual gathering is a rite of passage for aspiring Republican politicians, and Mr. Erickson made headlines this year when he disinvited Donald Trump from the festivities.
So it's worth paying attention to what Mr. Erickson says. And as you might guess, he doesn't think highly of President Obama's antiterrorism policies.
Still, his response to the attack in Paris was a bit startling. The French themselves are making a point of staying calm, indeed of going out to cafesto show that they refuse to be intimidated. But Mr. Erickson declared on his website that he won't be going to see the new "Star Wars" movie on opening day, because "there are no metal detectors at American theaters."
It's a bizarre reaction -- but when you think about it, it's part of a larger pattern. These days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception, at least on one side of the political divide.
But we shouldn't really be surprised, because we've seen this movie before (unless we were too scared to go to the theater). Remember the great Ebola scare of 2014? The threat of a pandemic, like the threat of a terrorist attack, was real. But it was greatly exaggerated, thanks in large part to hype from the same people now hyping the terrorist danger.
What's more, the supposed "solutions" were similar, too, in their combination of cruelty and stupidity. Does anyone remember Mr. Trump declaring that "the plague will start and spread" in America unless we immediately stopped all plane flights from infected countries? Or the fact that Mitt Romney took a similar position? As it turned out, public health officials knew what they were doing, and Ebola quickly came under control -- but it's unlikely that anyone on the right learned from the experience.
What explains the modern right's propensity for panic? Part of it, no doubt, is the familiar point that many bullies are also cowards. But I think it's also linked to the apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years.
Think about it. From the day Mr. Obama took office, his political foes have warned about imminent catastrophe. Fiscal crisis! Hyperinflation! Economic collapse, brought on by the scourge of health insurance! And nobody on the right dares point out the failure of the promised disasters to materialize, or suggest a more nuanced approach.
The context also explains why Beltway insiders were so foolish when they imagined that the Paris attacks would deflate Donald Trump's candidacy, that Republican voters would turn to establishment candidates who are serious about national security. Who, exactly, are these serious candidates? And why would the establishment, which has spent years encouraging the base to indulge its fears and reject nuance, now expect that base to understand the difference between tough talk and actual effectiveness?
"What's going to happen when those Syrian refugees open fire in a Chick-fil-A"? Fox News' Todd Starnes, November 17.
The bile is coming in over the transom so quickly it's getting hard to keep up, as the conservative media signal their latest xenophobic and Islamophobic outburst, this time targeting refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.
Not interested in having a serious debate about how or when to accept mostly Muslim refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist massacre, Fox News is sponsoring a far-right hate brigade that not only targets refugees, but President Obama, too.
It's a bigoted bank shot for conservative commentators: Accuse Obama of coddling would-be terrorists (including widows and orphans) who are viewed as encroaching on our borders. Or so goes the battle cry, which accuses the president of abdicating America's national security -- and allegedly doing so on purpose.
*Fox's Jesse Watters: Obama is inviting in "the barbarians at the gate."
*Fox's Andrea Tantaros: "Everything that the president is doing seems to benefit what ISIS is doing."
In other words, there's a dark, invading force that Obama won't stop. In fact, he seems intent on welcoming it across the border so it can wreak havoc here at home.
Indeed, watching the Fox meltdown over refugees you might think, 'This is unique brand of rhetorical manure.' I mean, Obama putting Muslim refugees above the safety of Americans? Opting for a "forced infiltration"? But if you hit the rewind button to October and November 2014, then you remember, 'Oh yeah, they did pretty much the exact same thing twelve months ago with their full-scale meltdown over a domestic Ebola outbreak that never happened.'
Is this now becoming an annual autumn tradition? Some Fox talkers are even connecting the refugee/Ebola dots, although they fail to see it as problematic. "He's imported illegal aliens," said Watters of Obama. "Remember he brought all of the Ebola victims into this country?"
Remember Ebola, indeed.
In terms of sheer fearmongering, Fox News led the wild, right-wing pack. There was Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggesting America be put on lockdown, and her Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy absurdly claiming the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention was lying about Ebola because it's "part of the administration." (Naturally, Fox also promoted a conspiracy theorist who claimed the CDC was lying when it cautioned people not to panic.)
Andrea Tantaros fretted that people who traveled and showed symptoms of Ebola will "seek treatment from a witch doctor" instead of going to the hospital, while Rush Limbaugh implied Obama wanted Ebola to spread in America.
That last point is key to understanding the levels to which Fox talkers and their allies sink in their Obama Derangement Syndrome, both in 2014 and in 2015: The Obama administration didn't supposedly bungle the Ebola scare because it was incompetent. It bungled Ebola because Obama wanted Americans infected.
*Laura Ingraham: Obama's willing to expose the U.S. military to "the Ebola virus to carry out this redistribution of the privileged's wealth."
*Michael Savage: Obama "wants to infect the nation with Ebola" in order "to make things fair and equitable" in the world.
*Fox's Keith Ablow: Obama won't protect America from Ebola because his "affinities, his affiliations are with" Africa and "not us ... He's their leader." Ablow added, "We don't have a president who has the American people as his primary interest."
It's just ugly, rancid stuff; the kind of hate speech that has rarely passed for 'mainstream' conservative rhetoric in modern American politics. (For the record, the Obama administration was "vindicated" for the way it handled the Ebola scare, NBC News recently noted.)
Twelve months later we're witnessing the same kind of toxic sewage (what else should we call it?), as Fox leads the campaign to condemn the president of the United States a terrorist-sympathizer who can't be trusted to deal with Syrian refugees.
It's important to note that during the media's Ebola scare last year, lots of mainstream press outlets produced egregiously bad reporting that not only failed to illuminate the public, but it played into the fear the GOP was trying to whip up during the midterm election season. (Sen. Rand Paul: Ebola is "incredibly contagious.")
"Here's What Should Scare You About Ebola" read one overexcited New Republic headline, while CNN's Ashleigh Banfield speculated that "All ISIS would need to do is send a few of its suicide killers into an Ebola-affected zone and then get them on some mass transit, somewhere where they would need to be to affect the most damage."
To date, we haven't seen the press regularly duplicate that kind of recklessness with the refugee story, although there have been some notable stumbles.
Let's hope the press resists Fox News' siren call for more bigotry.
A day after The Wall Street Journal attacked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for attempting to rein in racial bias in auto loan practices, Politico questioned the agency for seeking advice from a consumer advocacy group that many media outlets -- including Politico -- frequently ask to comment on consumer issues.
On November 19, Politico questioned the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) supposedly "cozy" relationship with a consumer advocacy group after emails revealed the agency consulted with the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) on payday lending reforms. CRL is a leading source of research on the issue of payday loans; however the article misleadingly compared the CFPB consulting with a consumer advocacy nonprofit to the often nefarious "influence of big banks and lobbyists in writing legislation":
When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put out its proposal to overhaul payday lending rules in March, the move was cheered by consumer advocates as a much-needed crackdown on an industry that preys on the poor.
But the final product wasn't a surprise to at least one nonprofit group.
While Elizabeth Warren and other progressives decry the influence of big banks and lobbyists in writing legislation, in this instance, the agency created by Warren to protect consumers from abusive lending leaned heavily on consumer activists as it drafted regulations for the $46 billion payday loan industry. The Center for Responsible Lending spent hours consulting with senior Obama administration officials, giving input on how to implement the rule that would restrict the vast majority of short-term loans with interest rates often higher than 400 percent. The group regularly sent over policy papers, traded emails and met multiple times with top officials responsible for drafting the rule.
Politico's criticism comes a day after The Wall Street Journal's editorial board lambasted the agency for drafting guidelines on ending racial bias in auto lending, and advocated for legislation to slow the CFPB's consumer advocacy work.
Politico's false comparison that consumer watchdogs have the same pervasive effect as big banks on legislation and rulemaking fails to note that the Center for Responsible Lending is a well-respected resource on financial products and how these products affect consumers. In the last month, research from the CRL has been cited by a Yale professor in The New York Times, and appeared in articles in Time, The Atlantic and The Huffington Post. On November 19, The Washington Post's Dave Weigel took to Facebook to criticize Politico, explaining to readers that "the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending, which reporters who have covered any of this stuff recognize as a pretty above-board group that lobbies against predatory loan practices":
In 2009, the Center for Responsible Lending uncovered that 76 percent of the total volume of payday loans are borrowers taking out new loans to pay their existing loan. The CRL also reported that payday loan practices lead to $3.4 billion in excessive fees a year with over 75 percent of these fees generated by borrowers with more than 10 loans a year. The CRL and its sister non-profit -- the Self Help Credit Union -- use this research to advocate for lending practices that will end the perpetual payday loan cycle, saving low income Americans billions.
While Politico questioned why "CFPB requested data from the nonprofit on payday lenders 'to help focus these efforts,'" it failed to mention it has used reports and published comments from the Center for Responsible Lending on multiple occasions in relation to financial products and legislation. On October 29, Politico asked CRL's Maura Dundon to explain a financial ruling on student loans and, on October 16, quoted Dundon to emphasize the strength of a CFPB crackdown on for-profit colleges. In December of 2008, Politico reported on the CRL findings that minority homeowners were pushed into higher priced mortgage options:
Research by the Center for Responsible Lending, for instance, shows that African-American and Latino homeowners were often steered into subprime mortgages with hefty fees when their credit scores in fact qualified them for less expensive prime loans. Now those groups are experiencing some of the highest rates of foreclosure.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs reported a baseless claim that someone from Hillary Clinton's campaign demanded that the Laugh Factory comedy club founder take down a video compilation of Clinton jokes from his website. The claim was based on an anonymous phone call from an unidentified caller, but reported as fact by conservative media outlets.
In a November 19 piece, Slate's Michelle Goldberg debunked the right-wing claim that a Clinton staffer contacted Jamie Masada, founder of the Laugh Factory Comedy clubs, and demanded he take the videos insulting Clinton down from the club's website. Goldberg called the founder of the Laugh Factory comedy clubs, who admitted that he could not identify the caller, adding "maybe it was a prank, I have no idea."
Goldberg also explained how Clinton smears spread in right-wing media, noting that the stories get "reported in one outlet and amplified on Twitter ... Maybe Fox News follows. Eventually the story achieves a sort of ubiquity in the right-wing media ecosystem, which makes it seem like it's been confirmed."
Even after Masada walked back his accusations against Clinton's campaign, Fox Business' Lou Dobbs repeated the dubious claim on the November 19 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight:
LOU DOBBS (HOST): This is the video the Clinton campaign took issue with demanding it be scrubbed from the internet by the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.
DOBBS: Are you offended? Hurt?
JUAN WILLIAMS: No! I was amused. But I just -- I tell you what offends me is, why would you say shut up to anybody? A comedy? I mean, alright, so we're all going to be mocked. She went on Saturday Night Live and she made fun of herself and her husband. I think she should have some sense of humor. What's going on here?
DOBBS: Yeah, it's peculiar.
TOM SHILLUE: It's a little shadowy. I don't want to doubt Jamie Masada, the owner of the Laugh Factory. It's a great club, but he does have a flair for self-promotion. I will say that.
DOBBS: Well he's done pretty well here. Now although even Salon noted is they tried to rationalize what was happening here, perhaps correctly -- I don't know. They tried to point out that he, you know, he does not have an ideological ax in all of this. I like the way I sort of clashed those clichés together. Keeps me fresh. The idea that the left is now becoming though, I mean it really is becoming oppressive in language.
Slate columnist Michelle Goldberg explained how an unfounded accusation spread throughout conservative media, claiming that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team tried to force Laugh Factory to take down a video about her.
According to the right-wing organization Judicial Watch, "Hillary Clinton's campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club." Judicial Watch claimed that a Clinton staffer called Jamie Masada, the comedy club's founder, asking for the names of the actors and for the video to be taken down.
In her November 19 Slate post, Goldberg explained that the threat to Masada came from an anonymous call that was not confirmed to be from Clinton's campaign and detailed how the unfounded accusation spread through right-wing media, despite the fact that Masada could not verify that anyone from Clinton's campaign had actually contacted him:
In short order, right-leaning sites including NewsBusters, NewsMax, Mediaite, the Daily Caller, and the Daily Mail aggregated the accusation.
This seemed bizarre. Even if you buy the most grotesque right-wing caricatures about Clinton's humorlessness and authoritarianism, it's hard to believe that the campaign would be so clumsy, especially at a time when it's going out of its way to make the candidate seem fun. Such a demand would only reinforce the worst stereotypes about Clinton while ensuring that the offending video went viral. Besides, there's nothing in the video itself to attract the campaign's notice: It's less than three minutes long and is mostly stale cracks about Hillary's clothes and age, along with familiar insinuations that she's a lesbian. One of those insinuations is even admiring: "I would love if you become president, divorce Bill, and then you marry a bitch," says Tiffany Haddish.
Yet there was Masada--a man who has won awards from the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, and has no discernable right-wing agenda--quoted as saying, "They threatened me. I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don't cut the video."
Masada doesn't actually know that the call came from the Clinton camp.
How does Masada know that John was actually from the Clinton camp? He doesn't. "I'm glad I'm not in politics or any of that stuff; you might know more than I do," he says. "Maybe it was a prank, I have no idea. Was it real? Not real? I have no idea. He didn't call back, that's all I can say." Nor is Masada sure how Judicial Watch even heard about the call. "The way I understand it, it's because one of the [Laugh Factory] employees told a couple of people," he says.
What we have here is a small-scale demonstration of how the Hillary smear sausage gets made. It starts with a claim that's ambiguous at best, fabricated at worst, and then interpreted in the most invidious possible light. The claim is reported in one outlet and amplified on Twitter. Other outlets then report on the report, repeating the claim over and over again. Talk radio picks it up. Maybe Fox News follows. Eventually the story achieves a sort of ubiquity in the right-wing media ecosystem, which makes it seem like it's been confirmed. Soon it becomes received truth among conservatives, and sometimes it even crosses into the mainstream media. If you watched the way the Clintons were covered in the 1990s, you know the basics of this process. If you didn't, you're going to spend the next year--and maybe the next nine years--learning all about it.
On November 16, Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a report on an investigation his office had undertaken at the request of GOP state legislators to investigate whether Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue or performing illegal abortions. Although The Seattle Times reported the launch of the inquiry, it has as of yet failed to inform its readers of the investigation's report that cleared Planned Parenthood.
The Spokane, Washington newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, covered the attorney general's report on November 16 and ran a follow-up editorial three days later, which wrote "These findings should be repeated as often as the baseless allegations that the clinics in this state and around the country were breaking the law." The editorial further noted that "the allegations themselves... have done considerable damage," citing the apparent arson fire at Planned Parenthood clinics in Pullman, Washington and Southern California.
While the Spokane newspaper covered the report, Washington state's largest circulation newspaper, The Seattle Times, did not. The omission is notable because the publication covered the GOP lawmakers' initial calls for the state attorney general to investigate Planned Parenthood on July 27, in addition to publishing articles about other sources for donated fetal tissue in Washington state, and about Sen. Patty Murray's (D-WA) support for Planned Parenthood following a congressional vote against the organization.
The state attorney general has now concluded that there was no evidence to support any of the allegations that Planned Parenthood violated federal law or state laws involving fetal tissue donation or abortion procedures. In a letter to state lawmakers Ferguson wrote, "We found no indication that procedures performed by Planned Parenthood are anything other than performance of a legally authorized medical procedure."
Washington state GOP lawmakers had called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood stemming from the release of deceptively-edited videos produced by the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress.
image via creative commons
Emily Miller, the chief investigative reporter for Washington, D.C.'s Fox 5 (WTTG), sparked unnecessary concerns about danger in the Washington, D.C. area on November 18 when she publicized an internal police document about the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) seeking information on four men who appear to be Middle Eastern engaged in "suspicious activity" on D.C.'s rapid transit system.
But according to the Metro Transit Police, the "routine" document was not intended to be released to the public, and by the time Miller tweeted it to her 50,000 followers, the alert had already been resolved. MTPD says Miller did not contact the department before releasing the information.
Miller tweeted out a "BOLO" (Be On The Lookout) notice on Twitter the night of November 18 about four people sought for questioning since Sunday:
This is scary: Be On The Lookout alert for these men on DC metro at Pentagon. Note it was a warm on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/hkgTuhBgKx-- Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) November 19, 2015
Miller's tweet quickly gained attention, garnering more than one thousand retweets and articles on Glenn Beck's news site, The Blaze, conspiracy website InfoWars, the website of conservative blogger Jim Hoft, and the Daily Mail. Several Twitter users responded to the image by raising fears about an Islamist terror attack in D.C. and making derogatory comments about Syrian refugees.
After her initial tweet, Miller responded to someone asking where the alert came from by saying the document is "an internal metro #BOLO that I got from a source who thinks it should be public."
But by the time she had distributed the internal BOLO, the four individuals had been reached by police, interviewed, and found not to be a danger to anyone, a spokesman for the Metro Transit Police told Media Matters.
"What was not reported out when it went out on the Internet last night was that those individuals had met with law enforcement yesterday, they were fully cooperative and the Bolo had been cancelled," said Dan Stessel, chief spokesman for Washington's Metro Transit Police. "They were identified by Metro Transit Police, they met with Metro Transit Police and our federal partners, again full cooperation with police just running that information to ground as we do every day and the Bolo again was cancelled."
Stressel added that the notice "was never intended to be released publicly. There are times when we do, whenever it is warranted we will not hesitate to do so. But in this case there was a report that these individuals may have acted suspiciously while in the area of the Pentagon and police checked it out."
Responding to Miller's tweet last night, MTPD tweeted that it could not confirm the authenticity of the document, because it "does not comment on non-public material." Following widespread attention given to Miller's tweet, MTPD followed up the morning of November 19 by explaining, "The 4 men in internal MTPD bolo were ID'd & contacted by us yest evening. All checked out, fully cooperative, no nexus to criminal activity." (Miller promoted the MTPD statement with a tweet.)
"We'll leave it to others to opine on the appropriateness of the release of this internal material," Stessel said. "What I can say is these individuals had done nothing criminal, there were no warrants issued, were not wanted, and the material was not intended for public release. We were not contacted prior to the information being posted to the Internet."
Asked what he would have told Miller if she had reached out for comment or to confirm the information, Stessel said, "We would have likely declined comment, but we would have taken the opportunity to advise the reporter that it was routine, the kind of material that is shared internally with law enforcement every day and that doesn't necessarily mean there is anything of concern for the public and caution any reporter that the individuals here are not suspected of any criminal activity."
He stressed that many internal alerts are issued to police on areas of concern, many of which turn out to be nothing and that is why they are not given public airing.
"That's routine," he said. "It's the kind of Bolo that is shared within law enforcement every day. It was not shared publicly because it was not a crime, no warrant and no overt reason for public concern."
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson argued that the terrorists who committed the Paris attacks represent the "true Islam," not Muslims who denounced the attacks.
On his November 18 radio show, Mickelson criticized Muslims who say "terrorists hijack their religion." Mickelson began by playing audio from a local television news broadcast, in which Muslims from Des Moines, Iowa, said the Paris attackers do not represent Islam, "because Muslims do not kill innocent people." Mickelson called their comments "total rubbish," and said, "I call them cigar store Muslims, meaning they are template Muslims, Americanized Muslims." Mickelson continued:
MICKELSON: So the people out here in the cheap seats saying that the cigar store Muslims here in Des Moines are the true Muslims -- the non violent, worldwide peaceful kind -- while those people over there are the aberration and they've just invented a new religion. Who's left to actually believe that except, well, people like that?
Mickelson also played an interview with Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher from the United Kingdom. Choudary, who has been condemned by major Muslim groups in the UK, is well-known for his support of ISIS and Sharia Law. Mickelson told his listeners to "put an asterisk in your memory" when some "cigar store Muslim tries to sell you otherwise," connecting Choudary's extremist statements with the local Muslims interviewed previously.
MICKELSON: Why they would allow this guy who, he, you just heard him say, "do you support the people who want to commit those kinds of acts of violence in the United States?" The guy said of course he does! And he says the Internet makes the world a very very small place. Put a little asterisk in your memory at this very point when some cigar store Muslim tries to sell you otherwise.
Mickelson has been advocating in recent months for Americans to reject Muslim refugees and keep "Islamic cultures" out of the United States. The host also recently argued "we ought to foreclose on [the] property" of churches who can't fully pay for refugees they help resettle.
Politico reported that NBC News President Deborah Turness used the word "illegals" - a derogatory term viewed as an offensive slur by many Latinos - during a meeting with Hispanic lawmakers about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Several media outlets have stopped using the term "illegals" to describe undocumented immigrants. The Associated Press Stylebook instructs journalists against "the use of 'illegal' to describe a person," and The New York Times followed suit. The National Associated of Hispanic Journalists, in a March 2006 press release calling on media to stop using "illegals" as a noun, explained that using that term "crosses the line by criminalizing the person," and the Asian American Journalists Association and National Association of Black Journalists issued similar statements in 2006.
The November 19 Politico article explained that members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were looking for an explanation from NBC of why Trump hosted SNL, after the network decided to cut all business ties with Trump in the wake of his insulting comments that Mexicans are "rapists." NBC's decision to allow Trump to host the show was met with protest by immigrant advocacy groups, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued a statement asking NBC to disinvite Trump from hosting. According to Politico, Turness used the term "illegals" near the beginning of the meeting "that was already expected to be tense":
NBC News President Deborah Turness committed a major blunder -- as far as the Hispanic lawmakers were concerned -- when she described undocumented immigrants as "illegals," a term that many in the Latino community find highly offensive.
Turness was describing NBC's integration with their Spanish-language network Telemundo, which included coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. and his interaction with a young girl who was afraid her parents would be deported because they're "illegals."
"I'm going to stop you right there. We use the term undocumented immigrants," Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) interrupted.
That exchange kicked off a meeting that was already expected to be tense. Lawmakers were hoping for an explanation of why Trump hosted Saturday Night Live, despite formal protests from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. MSNBC and NBC News executives -- who are part of a separate entity from NBC's entertainment division, which oversees SNL -- came expecting to talk about the progress they've made in making their newsrooms more diverse.
Vargas later told POLITICO, "She was saying how they've done all these great things and then boom, she said 'illegals.'"