On ABC's The View, co-hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd again promoted the falsehood that without the passage of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, members of the clergy could be jailed for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. In fact, neither Proposition 8 nor the California Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry had anything to do with members of the clergy.
On The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd both suggested that without Proposition 8, a California ballot measure to amend the state constitution to reverse the California Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, members of the clergy who refused to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies could have been prosecuted. In fact, as the court itself made clear, the ruling applied only to state officials, and "no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."
Discussing the passage of a California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, radio host Jim Quinn asserted: "[G]ay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have -- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their -- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us."
Beyond the echelon of widely known conservative radio hosts with national audiences lies a vast network of lesser-known syndicated and regional radio hosts who have become key components of an echo chamber for conservative talking points and falsehoods. Like their better-known counterparts, these syndicated and regional radio hosts have played active roles this election season in promoting falsehoods and smears in an all-out effort to foment hate and distrust among their listeners for President-elect Barack Obama. While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters for America and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, have promoted over the past year.
Radio host Lars Larson played a spoof "Barney Frank for President" advertisement, in which a person said: "Now remember, this Erection Day -- Election Day, vote for Barney Frank for President. I'm Barney Fag -- uh, Frank and I approve this massage -- message." Larson also baselessly suggested that Frank allowed his relationship in the 1990s with a Fannie Mae official to improperly influence his conduct as a member of the House Financial Services Committee. In fact, Frank repeatedly took actions over the years to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On his radio show, referring to a California ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, Michael Savage stated: "If you're insane, hate the family, hate man and woman, hate your mother and father, hate the Bible, hate the church, and hate the synagogue, of course you're in favor of 'no' on Proposition 8." The next day, Savage said that "people who don't have families ... don't understand what the family unit is. It's the strongest bond on Earth, which is why homosexual marriage is such a threat to civilization itself."
Ugh, this article is a piece of work.
When we last noticed Time's John Cloud he was writing a blogospheric classic in the form of a Valentine to Ann Coulter (has it really been three years?), where the hate mistress was transformed into a public intellectual.
Cloud's latest is headlined, "The Gay Mafia That's Redefining Politics." It's basically a look at a group of wealthy and influential gay men, dubbed the Cabinet, who have teamed up to raise millions of dollars to give candidates running against anti-gay opponents, and to give to organizations and PAC's that are politically aligned with the men's agenda.
That strikes us as mildly interesting, but hardly blockbuster, material. But when Time dresses the story up and shrouds it mystery with words like "secret," "secretive," "stealth," and the "complex" "web of connections," even we had our interest piqued.
Alas, the breathless tone of the piece turns out to be pointless. And so are many of the claims Cloud makes in his effort to prop up the story as a tale of nefarious influences. For instance, why is the name of the right-wing's favorite lib bogey man, George Soros, sprinkled throughout the Time story even though Soros is not connected with the Cabinet and, based on Time's reporting, has not donated a dime?
And what's with "redefining politics" headline? The Cabinet is made up of liberals giving money to liberal candidate (esp. on the state level) and to liberal orgs. As much as we wish that constituted"redefining politics" in America, that claim strikes us as absurd.
And we're not even going to mention the idiotic, law-breaking "mafia" meme. Actually, we will mention it because Cloud goes out his way to darkly note (he even quotes a Skadden Arps attorney!) that none of the Cabinet's work or donations are "illegal." But why even bring that up? There's absolutely nothing in the article to even suggest there's anything illegal going on. Again; wealthy libs raise money and then spread it around. Where does the crime-breaking angle come in?
The truth is, Cloud has to address the issue of illegality because of the hush-hush tone he uses to dress up the Cabinet up as a menacing force.
In the passage where Cloud reassures Time readers about how the Cabinet's work is legit, he adds this caveat:
And yet as the National Review's Byron York has pointed out, Americans were horrified to learn during Watergate that Richard Nixon's friend Clement Stone had donated an outrageous $2 million in cash to the President's campaign. Cabinet members have spent at least five times that amount in various races in the past four years.
First, love how Time turns to the conservative National Review writer for an un-bias assessment of liberal political activism.
Second, the comparison between the Cabinet and Nixon's pal Clement Stone clearly makes no sense because Stone made headlines in the early 1970's when it was discovered, as part of the Watergate investigation, that the millionaire insurance salesman single-handedly filled Nixon's campaign coffers with millions and millions of dollars worth of donations.
He did that by donating money to hundreds of Nixon-created front groups--which funneled the money to Nixonland--as a way to get around the legal limits in place for presidential donors. (Corner-cutting donors also got tax breaks that way.) In other words, Stone for years was pretty much oblivious to the campaign finance laws of the time.
That's who Cloud uses as a comparison for the Cabinet, which, as far as the Time article reports, doesn't even give money to Democratic presidential candidates. Plus, Cloud provides zero proof that the Cabinet is using front groups to bypass established law the way Stone brazenly did. Yet Cloud eagerly quotes from a conservative in order to make the phony comparison between the two; a single donor who skirted the law, and a group of men who abide by it.
Like we said, this article is a piece of work.
On his radio show, Michael Savage said: "[Y]ou may say, 'Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?' Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America."
In recent reports, McClatchy News Service and the Las Vegas Sun falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples.
Asked on Fox & Friends about the "damage done" by having Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews anchor MSNBC's election coverage, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham responded, "Not only is the damage already done, the damage continues. I mean, not only are they keeping these people on for an hour a night, they're adding this lesbian Air America radio host, Rachel Maddow, on every night."
In reports that the Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, CNN.com and UPI falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill in 2006 that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, Palin has stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that it was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples.
Syndicated columnist Debra Saunders and CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck both falsely claimed that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples. She has also reportedly said that she would support a ballot question banning benefits for same-sex couples.
The Associated Press reported that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "opposes gay marriage -- constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time -- but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners." However, the AP did not note that Palin stated that she vetoed the bill because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that it was unconstitutional, not because she believed same-sex partners of public employees should receive benefits.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "has expressed limited support for the rights accorded couples in same-sex civil unions" and that he "oppos[es] a constitutional amendment to ban abortion." But the AP's assertions about McCain's views are contradicted by statements McCain himself has made, which the AP did not report.
After being asked by a caller: "I want to know how the Republicans don't need Christians and conservatives, and they think we're 30 percent. Twelve percent black people in the population. Ten percent -- they claim -- homosexuals in the population. Rush, honey, when did 30 percent get to be a small number?" Rush Limbaugh responded, "Let me see if I can get your question right. You want to know why the Republicans are willing to say, 'Screw you,' to 30 percent or more of their voters and yet Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles, and say, 'Have your way with me,' for 10 percent and 2 percent of the population?"