Fox News levied a series of complaints and attacks against a Black History Month video by the African American Policy Forum that portrays the barriers of institutional and historical anti-black racism. Fox ignored the substance of the video, which was shown to students at a Virginia high school, and instead focused on complaints that the video is "trying to make students feel guilty for being white." Fox's diatribe against the video underscores a long-standing pattern of shortsighted race coverage at Fox and in mainstream media.
The most extreme pro-gun organizations are condemning National Rifle Association (NRA) board member Ted Nugent after he posted an anti-Semitic graphic to his Facebook page alleging a Jewish conspiracy to enact gun regulations. The leaders of these groups have their own histories of extremism, including instances of anti-Semitism, misappropriating the Holocaust to make points about the modern gun debate, and using violent rhetoric -- and even they think Nugent has gone too far.
Watch Ohio Local News Debunk Allegations About Planned Parenthood
This is amazing: A local news team in Ohio *completely dismantles* the Ohio attorney general's smear on Planned Parenthood that spurred a bill now awaiting signature by Gov. John Kasich to strip Planned Parenthood of state funding. Watch this:Posted by Media Matters for America on Thursday, February 11, 2016
In a February 5 report, Nathan Baca, an investigative reporter for WBNS-10 TV in Columbus, OH, completely debunked faulty allegations that Planned Parenthood clinics in the state were improperly disposing of fetal tissue.
Baca calls the allegations "misinformation" and "wrong."
On December 11, Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine held a press conference on the state's investigation of Planned Parenthood, prompted by the release of deceptively edited videos from Media Matters' 2015 Misinformer of the Year, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Although DeWine admitted that the investigation had cleared Planned Parenthood -- joining a growing list of states that who have similarly found no evidence of wrongdoing by the organization -- he also alleged clinics had failed to dispose of the fetal tissue in a "humane manner." According to DeWine, the investigation found that "fetuses were steam cooked and then were taken to a Kentucky landfill" rather than being properly disposed of according to Ohio law.
These allegations spurred a bill now awaiting signature by Gov. John Kasich to strip Planned Parenthood of state funding. This bill additionally threatens the funding for any group contracting with or referring patients to an abortion provider.
According to WBNS-10 TV, however, "experts and Kentucky state inspectors" reject DeWine's claims and cast doubt on the integrity of the original investigation. Summarizing the misinformation uncovered during his investigation in an accompanying article, Baca wrote:
Autoclaving experts and Kentucky state inspectors, though, say DeWine was wrong. The misinformation includes:
No fetuses were buried intact in Kentucky, said Lanny Brannock, Executive Staff Advisor for the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection.
Neither Accu Medical Waste Services Inc., the company used by Planned Parenthood, nor the Green Valley Landfill have been cited for any law violations or inhumane activities by the state of Kentucky.
In fact, no one from Ohio spoke or visited Kentucky facilities to see what occurred, Brannock said.
"It is illegal to landfill any human tissue in Kentucky, and by law it's required to be incinerated. We have no knowledge of any human tissue going into Kentucky landfills," Brannock said.
10 Investigates also discovered Planned Parenthood wasn't alone in using this process. The state of Ohio had a contract with the same disposal company that was used by Planned Parenthood, state records show.
And though, the state of Ohio does not handle abortions, miscarriages do occur at state prisons and medical facilities.
State Rep. Greta Johnson of Akron condemned the attorney general for his reckless statements to the media that led to the anti-choice bill awaiting Kasich's approval, telling WBNS-10 TV, "it's evidence of putting political headlines over common sense, putting political headlines over access to health care. This was a political witch hunt that was destined to have some sort of outcome to grab a headline."
Looking at the lack of in-depth reproductive rights questions asked during presidential debates thus far this election season, RH Reality Check's editor-in-chief, Jodi Jacobson, raised concerns about the role of journalists and debate moderators in "perpetuating both abortion stigma and the mirage of consequence-free abortion restrictions."
In a February 10 article, Jacobson criticized the media for "becoming complicit in the lies and stigma surrounding abortion care" by not questioning politicians more carefully on their positions about abortion. According to Jacobson, although the "media loves to obsess about -- and stoke controversy around -- abortion and contraception" there has been very little interest in asking politicians, "Exactly what is the evidence for your position?" For example, following the February 6 Republican debate, conservative media hyped Marco Rubio's extreme abortion positions without demanding "specifics about the real-life consequences" or asking how such policies would impact the "real people affected by them," Jacobson wrote (emphasis original).
There is also ample evidence that political rhetoric -- particularly incendiary or misleading rhetoric -- influences the development of legislation that is harmful to women's health. For example, following media circulation of deceptively edited videos from Media Matters' 2015 Misinformer of the Year, the Center for Medical Progress, congressional Republicans threatened a government shutdown in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. In reality, a growing number of state investigations have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing while one grand jury in Texas has instead indicted CMP founder David Daleiden.
Jacobson said journalists have a "duty to best inform the public" and argued that their failure to do so on reproductive rights issues represents "outright bias." She concluded that "starting with Thursday's debate, it's time to get real on abortion care and ask all presidential contenders some in-depth questions":
Question One: Do you trust people to make decisions about pregnancy and childbirth that are best for their families? If not, why not?
Two: Abortion is universally acknowledged by the medical and public health community as a public health issue. If you oppose access to abortion and the right to make decisions about pregnancy and childbirth, why do you believe your judgment should supplant the evidence that exists on abortion worldwide? What is the evidence for your position?
Three: Evidence shows that women who are unable to afford an early abortion spend a lot of time trying to pull together resources, resulting in later abortion. ... Do you believe that an individual's economic status should determine whether or not they are able to make fundamental decisions about their lives, including abortion?
Four: Do you think religiously affiliated medical centers should be able to deny people essential health care? If you believe abortion is essential health care, why would you allow these groups to deny women access to this care? Do you believe that hospitals and clinics that deny women care should be eligible for government funding?
Five: For candidates who claim to be "pro-life," do you believe in forced gestation? This, again, must be asked. It is the ugly reality: Denial of abortion care is forced gestation. Plain and simple. Let's dispense with the "pro-life" fig leaf and get real.
Six: If you claim to be "pro-life," do you support greatly expanded government funding for the care and support of children living in poverty, including universal health care, maternal and infant health care, food assistance, housing assistance, and college tuition for those who were unable to afford a(nother) child? Do you support government funding and lifelong assistance for the families of children born severely disabled?
Seven: For candidates who support access to abortion, what will you do to address the fact that under Obamacare millions of women have lost insurance coverage for abortion care?
Eight: For pro-choice politicians: Do you see abortion as a fundamental issue of human rights or do you see being "pro-choice" as a campaign strategy only to be ignored once you've been elected?
Following a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is poised to sign a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. The bill not only strips Planned Parenthood of state funding, but it would additionally threaten funding for any group contracting with or referring patients to an abortion provider. While the bill does not affect Medicaid reimbursements, it could impact funding for other state health care programs that are currently served by Planned Parenthood affiliates.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio issued a statement as the bill was debated by the state senate saying its passage could stop city and county health departments that have contracts with Planned Parenthood -- or an independent abortion provider -- from receiving state funding for breast and cervical cancer prevention, infertility, infant mortality, and HIV/AIDS programs, as well as sex education and other initiatives.
Since the release of deceptively edited videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) -- Media Matters' 2015 Misinformer of the Year -- anti-choice legislators have repeated right-wing media misinformation about Planned Parenthood in an ongoing attempt to defund the organization. They have simultaneously claimed that community health clinics can effectively fill in the gap left by barring Planned Parenthood from state health care programs, a claim echoed in Ohio by the bill's supporters.
Despite claims made by right-wing media that community clinics can completely fulfill the needs served by state health care programs, there is evidence that removing Planned Parenthood from such programs has a detrimental impact. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 103 U.S. counties, Planned Parenthood is the only "safety-net health center" accessible for women seeking contraceptive services. They noted that Planned Parenthood is the only provider of publicly subsidized contraceptive services and typically can see more patients annually for these services than "other types of safety-net providers."
A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine that examined the impact in Texas of removing Planned Parenthood from state-funded programs found a decrease in the use of long-acting contraceptives that corresponded with an increase in child births by Medicaid-funded patients.
Research from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has shown that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to a net increase in government spending of $130 million over a 10-year period. Beyond the fiscal impact, research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) on the impact of Planned Parenthood cuts in Texas suggests that loss of access to such clinics poses dire health risks as well.
Community health clinics are also ill-positioned to meet many Americans' health care needs, particularly when Planned Parenthood is taken out of the equation. Sara Rosenbaum, a professor at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, wrote in an article for the Health Affairs Blog that the "claim that community health centers readily can absorb the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics amounts to a gross misrepresentation of what even the best community health centers in the country would be able to do."
And contraception is not patients' only loss; removing Planned Parenthood from state health care programs can have other harmful consequences. For example, in 2011 Indiana cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which left one rural county without an HIV testing center as it experienced a growth in HIV infections.
The editorial boards of the Akron Beacon Journal and the Toledo Blade have both warned of similar threats to Ohio women's health if Gov. Kasich fails to veto the bill. According to the Akron Beacon Journal's editorial board, the health impact of Ohio's bill would be widespread as the "loose language in the bill may lead to funding complications for local hospitals and public health departments." In response to claims that other clinics can fill in for Planned Parenthood, the Toledo Blade's editorial board noted that community clinics in Ohio "do not serve poor and minority women nearly to the extent that Planned parenthood does."
Ted Cruz's presidential campaign is still touting praise from National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, even as Nugent is embroiled in an anti-Semitism controversy.
Nugent has been condemned by civil rights groups, Jewish organizations, and both gun safety groups and pro-gun advocates -- several of which are calling for Nugent to be ousted from the NRA's board -- but Cruz's campaign is still touting the claim that Cruz is Nugent's "favorite" candidate:
Cruz's campaign links to a September 2015 Buzzfeed article, which quotes Nugent asserting during a radio interview that Cruz would "make a wonderful president."
While Nugent has said that he will not endorse a Republican candidate during the primary race, he has effusively praised both Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
During a January 20 interview with Newsmax TV, Nugent said, "Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you are going to get in politics," but also said, "Now my dream would be if Ted Cruz became president tonight."
Nugent's Facebook post -- which promoted the anti-Semitic claim that efforts for stronger gun laws are the result of a Jewish conspiracy -- received praise in white nationalist circles, but was roundly condemned by a diverse group of organizations and individuals:
White nationalists, including a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, praised National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent for posting an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page, claiming Nugent had "the courage" to tell "the truth," lauding the fact that Nugent "appears to have doubled-down" on his anti-Semitism, and celebrating that a large audience was exposed to anti-Semitism by Nugent.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent responded to backlash over his posting of an anti-Semitic image on Facebook by calling Jewish people who support gun safety laws "nazis in disguise."
On February 8, Nugent shared an image on Facebook headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to the faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures featured descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg" and the accusation that deceased former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) "Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money":
Nugent was criticized in the media for his post and condemned by civil rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which described Nugent's image as "conspiratorial anti-Semitism." He was also denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper stating, "Ted Nugent has every right to advocate against gun control laws. However he won't be getting a free pass for his anti-Semitic bigotry."
Nugent responded to backlash with a subsequent Facebook post where he asked "What sort of racist prejudiced POS could possibly not know that Jews for guncontrol are nazis in disguise?" Responding to the charge that he is an anti-Semite, Nugent wrote, "Meanwhile I adjust my yamika at my barmitzva playing my kosher guitar":
Nugent made another inflammatory Facebook post on February 8, suggesting that America is on the path to a genocide similar to the Holocaust. His post included an image of Jews being rounded up by Nazis with his comment, "Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me."
Nugent, who has a lengthy history of invoking Nazis and the Holocaust to demonize his critics, was previously condemned by the ADL for comparing Jewish filmmaker Harvey Weinstein to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. The ADL has also condemned the NRA several times in recent years after its leadership figures misappropriated the Holocaust to try to make political points about the gun debate.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent suggested that America is on the path to a genocide similar to the Holocaust by posting an image on Facebook of Jews being rounded up by Nazis and commenting, "Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me."
Nugent's post came just hours after he was condemned by the civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for posting an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page.
Nugent's latest image depicts the rounding up of Jews in Nazi Germany and is accompanied by the text, "Back when I learned about the Holocaust in school, I remember thinking, 'How did Hitler get MILLIONS of people to follow along blindly and NOT fight back?' Then I realized I am watching my fellow Americans take the same path":
Earlier on February 8, Nugent shared an image headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures feature descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg." Nugent captioned the image, "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down."
ADL responded by calling for Nugent to remove the image with organization CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt characterizing Nugent's post as "conspiratorial anti-Semitism."
Nugent, who has a lengthy history of invoking the Holocaust to demonize his critics, was previously condemned by the ADL for comparing Jewish filmmaker Harvey Weinstein to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
On February 5, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) -- Media Matters' 2015 Misinformer of the Year -- barring founder David Daleiden and alleged co-conspirators from releasing any of the deceptively edited footage they obtained under false pretenses during National Abortion Federation (NAF) events. As explained by the judge, CMP's fraudulent videos were not journalism and the value of their release did not outweigh the very real anti-choice violence they could incite.
Following Daleiden's January 25 indictment by a Houston grand jury, right-wing media have rushed to defend CMP's smear campaign against NAF and Planned Parenthood by arguing the deceptively edited videos show evidence of wrongdoing and constitute an act of journalism protected by the First Amendment.
In awarding NAF a primary injunction, federal judge William H. Orrick thoroughly refuted these claims.
Joining a chorus of investigations clearing Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, Judge Orrick wrote that after a complete review "of the records or transcripts in full and in context, I find no NAF attendees admitted to engaging in, agreeing to engage in, or expressed interest in engaging in potentially illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit."
Judge Orrick also refuted the unconvincing argument that Daleiden is an investigative journalist. Judge Orrick wrote that CMP did not "-- as Daleiden repeatedly asserts -- use widely accepted investigatory journalism techniques" and that they had "no evidence to support that assertion and no cases on point." Instead, Judge Orrick argued that videos resulting from CMP's work "thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions...of criminal misconduct."
Judge Orrick also directly referenced the uptick in anti-choice violence and harassment since the release of the videos, noting "[i]t is not speculative to expect that harassment, threats, and violent acts will continue to rise if defendants were to release NAF materials":
Having reviewed the records or transcripts in full and in context, I find that no NAF attendee admitted to engaging in, agreed to engage in, or expressed interest in engaging in potentially illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit. The recordings tend to show an express rejection of Daleiden's and his associates' proposals or, at most, discussions of interest in being paid to recoup the costs incurred by clinics to facilitate collection of fetal tissue for scientific research, which NAF argues is legal.
Defendants passionately contend that public policy is on their side (and the side of public disclosure) because the recordings show criminal wrongdoing by abortion providers - a matter that is indisputably of significant public interest. ... I have reviewed the recordings relied on by defendants and find no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. At the very most, some of the individuals expressed an interest in exploring a relationship with defendants' fake company in response to defendants entreaties of how "profitable" it can be and how tissue donation can assist in furthering research. There are no express agreements to profit from the sale of fetal tissue or to change the timing of abortions to allow for tissue procurement.
The context of how defendants came into possession of the NAF materials cannot be ignored and directly supports preliminarily preventing the disclosure of these materials. Defendants engaged in repeated instances of fraud, including the manufacture of fake documents, the creation and registration with the state of California of a fake company, and repeated false statements to a numerous NAF representatives and NAF members in order to infiltrate NAF and implement their Human Capital Project. The products of that Project - achieved in large part from the infiltration - thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions (at least with respect to the NAF materials) of criminal misconduct.Defendants did not - as Daleiden repeatedly asserts - use widely accepted investigatory journalism techniques. Defendants provide no evidence to support that assertion and no cases on point.
As noted above, since defendants' release of the Project videos (as well as the leak of a portion of the NAF recordings), harassment, threats, and violent acts taken against NAF members and facilities have increased dramatically. It is not speculative to expect that harassment, threats, and violent acts will continue to rise if defendants were to release NAF materials in a similar way. Weighing the public policy interests on the record before me, enforcement of the confidentiality agreements against defendants is not contrary to public policy.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent shared a graphic suggesting that Jews are "really behind" gun-safety laws. The image was previously posted on Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website.
In a February 8 post on his Facebook page, Nugent shared an image headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures feature descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg." Nugent captioned the image, "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down":
A similar image was used by a commenter on the white supremacist website Stormfront in 2014:
Nugent has claimed those shot in mass shootings are "losers amongst us ... [who] fall for the big lie of political correctness, and get cut down by murderous maniacs like blind sheep to slaughter."
The Supreme Court will hear arguments March 2 in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstadt, which challenges Texas anti-choice law HB 2. A ruling against abortion provider Whole Woman's Health would close at least 75 percent of Texas' clinics and likely enable anti-choice legislation across the country. Texas' brief to the Supreme Court utilized arguments that mirror talking points from right-wing media, including the claim that HB 2 would prevent another "Kermit Gosnell scandal," in which illegal operations led to multiple deaths at a Philadelphia clinic.
On January 25, a grand jury assembled by the Harris County District Attorney's office in Texas elected to clear a local Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing alleged by deceptively edited videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and instead indicted its founder, David Daleiden -- Media Matters' 2015 Misinformer Of The Year. This indictment elicited objections from right-wing media outlets, claiming that the investigation was "biased" and violated Daleiden's First Amendment rights. They dubiously argued that despite his dishonesty, Daleiden should be considered a journalist because he relied on "the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades" and that his indictment would constitute a chilling effect on other journalists.
But these First Amendment arguments are a red herring - as Slate's legal expert Dahlia Lithwick explains, it is crucial that media remember Daleiden is not and never was an investigative journalist.
In a February 2 article for Slate, Lithwick argued that the distinction between Daleiden and real journalists is that "journalists seek truth" while Daleiden "allegedly falsified evidence" to bolster "a truth he cannot quite prove but wants us to believe anyhow." Given that CMP's website was "only recently revised" to include any mention of being "citizen journalists," Lithwick noted Daleiden's claim to a journalist's First Amendment protections is even more unconvincing and a "nihilistic and cynical view of the profession." Drawing on a wide variety of expert testimony and case law, she concluded Daleiden's smear campaign "can be called many things, but 'journalism' probably isn't one of them":
[I]s it so simple to say that what CMP was doing was truly journalism? Amanda Marcotte has argued at Salon that Daleiden "has no right to call himself a journalist," in part because when the hours of footage he shot failed to turn up any examples of criminal conduct on the part of Planned Parenthood, Daleiden didn't back off the story but doubled down on it. Indeed he allegedly falsified evidence, so the videos would show through trickery--including flawed transcripts and stock images--that which he could not prove. In an interview in On the Media this week, Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota, similarly explained that American courts have almost always found that general criminal laws apply to the press, unless a story is so terrifically important it couldn't have been unearthed any other way. That might justify allowing journalists to be immune from prosecution, but only a small handful of such cases exist, and as Kirtley points out, it will be difficult for Daleiden to claim that his actions were critical to exposing vast criminal wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood, given that the grand jury's own investigation, and 11 independent state investigations, have unearthed no wrongdoing. The difference between journalism and what CMP did is that journalists seek truth, while Daleiden seeks to show that somewhere in between the edited seams and faked voiceovers of his films there lies a truth he cannot quite prove but wants us to believe anyhow. That can be called many things, but "journalism" probably isn't one of them.
[It]'s entirely possible that even while Daleiden attempts to argue that what he did--or at least what he now says he was doing--is genuine journalism, there are real risks to the rest of us in allowing him to make such broad claims. We aren't merely risking our privacy and our livelihoods by allowing anyone with a camera and an inextinguishable fantasy to call himself a reporter. We are courting the possibility that his nihilistic and cynical view of the profession could someday become the norm.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent used the outcome of the Iowa caucuses to call Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a "lying America destroying criminal ass bitch."
Nugent's attack on Clinton comes weeks after he said that Clinton and President Obama should be hanged for treason.
In a February 2 post on his Facebook page, Nugent wrote:
Nugent has called Clinton a "worthless bitch," "toxic cunt," "two-bit whore," and claimed she has "spare scrotums."