Fox News contributor Allen West went to Walmart and thought he was the victim of "Sharia law" because a checkout clerk under the age of 21 couldn't sell him alcohol.
West, a former congressman and head of the think tank National Center for Policy Analysis, wrote a May 11 post originally headlined, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" He recounted a weekend trip to Walmart, where a "Muslim employee" manning the cash register was unable to sell him alcohol. (West knew he was Muslim because, "being the inquisitive fella I am, I used my additional set of eyes -- glasses -- to see the young checkout man's name. Let me just say it was NOT 'Steve.'"):
There was a young man doing the checkout and another Walmart employee came over and put up a sign, "No alcohol products in this lane." So being the inquisitive fella I am, I used my additional set of eyes -- glasses -- to see the young checkout man's name. Let me just say it was NOT "Steve."
I pointed the sign out to Aubrey and her response was a simple question, how is it that this Muslim employee could refuse service to customers based on his religious beliefs, but Christians are being forced to participate in specific events contrary to their religious beliefs?
Boy howdy, that is one astute young lady.
Imagine that, this employee at Walmart refused to just scan a bottle or container of an alcoholic beverage -- and that is acceptable. A Christian business owner declines to participate or provide service to a specific event -- a gay wedding -- which contradicts their faith, and the State crushes them.
Following publication of West's "Sharia" post, West's website posted an "editor's update" explaining what actually happened:
EDITOR'S UPDATE: We spoke to the Walmart store, and apparently employees under 21 years old are prohibited from selling cigarettes and alcohol. However, that isn't to say Walmart isn't selectively caving to Muslim demands, such as this case regarding Halal meat in Ohio.
The post no longer has the headline, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" and instead reads, "More ominous signs of Christian persecution." A screenshot of West's post prior to the editor's note, via Bing.com, can be found here.
West has a long history of toxic remarks, including about Muslims. He's also called President Obama an "Islamist" and "disgusting racist," attacked feminists for "neutering American men," and smeared Democrats as communists, Nazis, and anti-Semites.
Right-wing media accused First Lady Michelle Obama of "wasting an opportunity," "playing the race card," and reciting a "litany of victimization" after the first lady's commencement address at Tuskegee University in Alabama.
From the May 11 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:
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Several 2016 presidential candidates were interviewed for Sunday morning's political talk shows on Mother's Day, and not one of them was asked about how they might fix America's poor standing on maternal and child health and education.
A new report ranked the United States 61st globally in maternal health, worst among developed nations. From CBS News:
Save the Children, a global nonprofit organization aimed at improving the health of children worldwide, ranked 179 countries based on five indicators: maternal health, children's well-being, and education, economic, and political status. When taking all of these factors into account, the United States slid to 33rd place worldwide, down two spots in the rankings compared to last year.
While the United States performed well on economic and educational status -- 9th and 16th best, respectively -- in addition to its poor standing in maternal health, it ranked 42nd in children's well-being and 89th in political status, as measured by women's representation in national government.
Republicans Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson, as well as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, all appeared on political talk shows during Mother's Day, but none of them were asked about how they might address the nation's tragic infant mortality rate, reproductive health discrimination, or the fact that the United States is the only industrialized nation without paid maternity leave.
NBC's Meet the Press tackled the topic in a Mother's Day-themed panel at the end of its show, but host Chuck Todd neglected to ask Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina about what her approach would be to correct the U.S.'s maternal failings if she were to be elected. Instead of discussing Fiorina's dubious claims about the origins of gender pay equity, the two discussed free trade, her business record, and her lack of political experience. Todd did wish the candidate a "Happy Mother's Day."
Carson appeared on Fox's Fox News Sunday, where host Chris Wallace began an interview by asking Carson about his ailing mother and asking the candidate to describe how she raised Carson out of "dire poverty" in Detroit. Carson answered that his mother encouraged him to read, and that access to books made all the difference. But Wallace failed to ask Carson how he might increase the chances for other mothers and their children to thrive.
CBS' Bob Schieffer interviewed a pair of 2016 presidential candidates on the Mother's Day edition of Face the Nation, but he failed to ask either Mike Huckabee or Bernie Sanders about policy stances affecting U.S. mothers. Schieffer pressed Huckabee on the threat of ISIS, reforming Social Security, and his past hawking of fake diabetes cures, while focusing most of his discussion with Sanders on Hillary Clinton. Sanders nevertheless took the opportunity to cite Mother's Day and raise concerns about the U.S.'s child care system, which he called a "total disaster."
Republicans have regularly opposed measures that would alleviate some of the ways the nation's current policies have failed American moms. After President Obama called for mandating paid maternity leave in his 2015 State of the Union address, Republicans "didn't join in the applause" that followed and have publicly panned the idea. The Hill further noted that current Republican leadership also opposed the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said at the time would have devastating consequences.
From the May 10 edition of NBC News' Meet The Press:
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From the May 8 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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From the May 8 edition of Premiere Radio Neworks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From the May 7 edition of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show:
From the May 7 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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Rush Limbaugh accused an "angry" First Lady Michelle Obama of attempting to "widen the racial gap" with her remarks at the dedication of a New York City art museum.
Michelle Obama recently spoke at the dedication of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, where she praised the museum's inaugural exhibit for its attempt to capture the range of cultures which built American art during the last century. Obama called the exhibit "particularly powerful for our young people" because it shows them that "their story is part of the American story, and that they deserve to be seen." Such engagement is important, Obama said, because "there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that's not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood."
But to Rush Limbaugh's ears, Obama was saying that "museums are for white people." Limbaugh used the May 7 edition of his radio program to accuse the First Lady of trying to "rip this country apart" and "play the race card," describing her as "angry" and "complaining."
LIMBAUGH: First Lady Moo-chelle Obama gave a speech on Monday that was supposed to be celebrating the opening of a new museum. And it was a dedication, a $420 million dedication for a new building at the Whitney Museum in New York City on Monday. And a whole bunch of democrat luminaries were there - Bill de Blasio, the mayor, the architectRenzo Piano, and Moo-chelle Obama. And instead of just congratulating the staff, and praising the museum, or whatever you do at a museum opening, she decided to lecture everybody about diversity.
Everything has to be about race with these people. We were supposed to be post-racial with the election of Obama. Supposed to have put all that behind us. His election was supposed to mean something. It was supposed to signify that we had overcome and gotten past the original sin of slavery. And instead, as I knew would be the case, it's gotten worse by design, and this is one of the reasons why. Here her husband is president, the first African American president in our history, and instead of lauding this new museum, whatever, you know, these effete snobs at these museums do, to take the occasion here to widen the racial gap.
She said, 'Museums and concert halls just don't welcome non-white visitors, especially children, the way they welcome white people.' Can you imagine being in the audience for this? I mean even if you're a committed liberal, I mean, you don't want to hear this stuff all the time, I'd wouldn't think. You're here at a museum dedication, and you want to hear an angry First Lady stand up and start complaining about stuff like this?
Limbaugh went on to suggest that black people don't appreciate museums because they are "not in their cultural upbringing."
From the May 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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Boston's Metro Daily demonstrated how to improve media coverage of sexual assault, apologizing for an offensive cover story referring to victims of sexual violence as "babes" after outcry from a local anti-sexual violence advocacy organization.
Police in Boston are investigating a series of sexual assaults in the city after three incidents of groping near Boston University were reported, according to a May 5 report from The Boston Globe.
Metro Daily, a Boston-area free daily newspaper, reported on the investigation with a cover story headlined "BU Babes Beware," featuring an accompanying photo of a woman from the torso-down. Following the article's publication, Safe Hub Collective, a local anti-street harassment and safe space advocacy group publicly called out Metro Daily in an open letter to the outlet, explaining that their cover "not only trivialize[d] the serious issue of sexual assault, but display[ed] the kind of attitude and language that actually contributes to it":
By presenting an image of a headless woman, you dehumanize all women. The dehumanization of women is a key element to violence against them- when you view someone as less-than-human, as an object, it becomes easier to treat them that way. Men who commit assaults like this serial groper do view women as objects or property, which this cover only reinforces.
By referring to women as "babes," you not only sexualize them, but you patronize them. Furthermore, this is exactly the kind of violent language that street harassers use towards women on a daily basis- this kind of reporting, using the language of violence to report on violence, is harmful and potentially retraumatizing. It also serves to trivialize the nature of the assault that the victims experienced.
Metro Daily quickly responded with an apology to readers later that same day, noting that although they had intended to "raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment" in Boston, "it's clear that that is not what was conveyed" through their coverage:
We've heard from many of you about our coverage yesterday about a serial groper who has been targeting women in and around Boston University's campus. While our intention was to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment within our community, it's clear that that is not what was conveyed with our cover and headline.
Sexual assault is a largely silent epidemic in communities worldwide that affects women, men and children. Survivors of all backgrounds should feel comfortable talking about their experiences without fear that they will be judged or blamed by others. We will try harder in our future coverage to ensure that that will happen.
In a statement to Media Matters, Safe Hub Collective founding member Britni de la Cretaz explained that she is "happy to see that the Metro responded promptly and avoided the 'non-apology" trap that people so often fall into," but that, "only time will tell if their commitment to do better will actually be one that they keep. Our hope is that, going forward, not just the Metro but all news outlets can avoid falling into reporting that blames the victim, perpetuates harmful stereotypes and, ultimately, contributes to the very violence it claims to condemn. We believe that everyone can (and should) do better."
De la Cretaz also urged media to not only provide the contact information of the police in their reports but to also include resources on rape crisis support. "I'd love to see the media do when it reports on sexual assault is provide a number to a rape crisis support hotline/local rape crisis center at the end of the piece, and not just the number to a police department," she explained. "Changing the narrative means supporting survivors of assault and that means recognizing that not all survivors want to report to the police and that, even if they do, they may need support beyond that. "
In prior reporting on sexual assault, outlets like ABC News have provided resources for those seeking additional information on rape, sexual assault, sexual violence, and crisis support.
From the May 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News' varied online news platforms characterized Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's recent remarks on immigration with three very different headlines.
In May 5 remarks, Clinton called immigration "a family and economic issue" and expressed support for expanding protections "to help parents of immigrant children stay in the United States."
Fox News Latino headlined a story about her remarks as, "Hillary Clinton makes deportation protection, path to citizenship central to campaign."
This frame contrasted significantly with that of FoxNews.com and Fox Nation. FoxNews.com referred to "illegal immigrants" in a headline that read, "Clinton calls for path to 'full and equal citizenship' for illegal immigrants."
Following his death as a result of injuries sustained in police custody, Baltimore resident Freddie Gray was buried on April 27. While protests in the city had previously been peaceful, that night violence broke out. The following day, national media descended on the city to report, and none did a worse job than Geraldo Rivera and Fox News. When Rivera was not giving credence to a former leader of a hate group with no local ties, he was insulting protester Kwame Rose - who merely explained what Geraldo and Fox News were missing (and showed no interest in reporting).
Time and time again, Geraldo Rivera missed the real story and instead pushed a false narrative that played into Fox News' pre-existing conservative biases.
Oh, and Rivera also confused Kevin Liles for Russell Simmons. That really happened.
Video by John Kerr, additional research by Liv Kittel and Nicholas Rogers.