From a January 15 Associated Press article:
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing anti-gay "hate group" Mass Resistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults"; in fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively.
Tucker Carlson's new web site, The Daily Caller, launched today, featuring a column by The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash:
For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I'll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention. I didn't choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I'd have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil' Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.
Funny, isn't it? No? Well, maybe you just don't get it. 'Cause, see, Rachel Maddow is gay. And so, according to Matt Labash, she's really a man. Now do you get it? No? Neither do I.
Oh, and later, Labash calls stop lights with cameras attached to photograph cars that run red lights "Legalized rape."
Tucker sure knows how to pick 'em, doesn't he?
Is Molotov Mitchell doing a little damage control? Two weeks after endorsing a proposed Uganda law that would permit the death penalty for homosexuality, the WorldNetDaily videographer has uploaded a new video in which he takes the some-of-my-best-friends-are-gay approach.
Mitchell begins by insisting that since he knows "the data" and "some of the scientists," as well as because "I have personally worked with ex-gays for years," he has concluded that "there's absolutely no evidence to support the gay activists' claim that same-sex attraction is genetic, and it's definitely not immutable." He adds: "When I say I'm against homosexuality, I mean I'm against a self-destructive lifestyle that is both unnecessary and dangerous."
The problem is that Mitchell isn't just "against homosexuality"; he favors the "abolition of homosexuality." He has not directly explained in his videos how he wants such abolition to occur, but his support for the Uganda law may be one possible clue.
But Mitchell then declares he has "gay friends." This leads to a story from his days of working in "actor circles," when he was confronted at a party by a "flaming homosexual" who asked him -- as Mitchell lapses into stereotypically fey, limp-wristed mannerisms and a lisping voice -- if he's going to hell for being gay. "I smiled, I looked him in the eye, and I said, 'Yeah, it looks like you are headed for hell.' "
He claimed this confrontational behavior went on for several weeks until a going-away party for the "flaming homosexual," during which, according to Mitchell, he was told by the "flaming homosexual" that "you're my only friend because you told me what I always knew." Mitchell then gets dramatic: "And then he started sobbing, and I grabbed him and I hugged him, and he just cried into my shoulder." Mitchell's lesson: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
Mitchell concluded: "Over the years, I've had lots of homosexual friends, and I've been straight with all of them about my aversion to their sexual lifestyle. A few have walked away, sure, but for the most part, they all stayed close, because they knew I really loved them."
If Michell wasn't mocking the kind of people who he claims he loves by busting out stereotypical imitations of them, we might think he was being genuinely sincere.
In a January 5 article, WorldNetDaily's Chelsea Schilling and Kathleen Farah repeatedly referred to Amanda Simpson -- a transgender woman reportedly appointed by the Obama administration to serve as a Commerce Department adviser -- as "he." WND even went so far as to put Simpson's name, Amanda, in quotation marks:
Mitchell Simpson, now known as "Amanda" following a sex change, is said to have been appointed senior technical adviser at the Commerce Department. He purportedly began work today.
The Obama administration has not officially announced the appointment, and neither the White House nor Simpson responded to WND's calls and e-mail messages requesting confirmation of the appointment.
But in a statement reported by the New York Daily News, Simpson said, "As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."
Indeed, the Daily News did report that the administration had appointed Simpson and by way of background reported:
So the Daily News referred to Simpson as "she," but WorldNetDaily, while citing the Daily News, opted to refer to Simpson with the male pronoun. The 2008 Associated Press Stylebook offers this guidance:
transgender Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.
And AP itself opted for the female pronoun in reporting on Simpson's reported appointment. Incidentally, AP also managed to avoid putting needless quotation marks around Simpson's first name.
Which brings us to Fox Nation. Given numerous press accounts, Fox News' "fair and balanced" website linked to -- you guessed it -- WorldNetDaily and its pronoun-bending write-up. But that was just the beginning of the fun Fox Nation had with this story. In announcing Simpson's nomination, Fox focused not on her qualifications or her groundbreaking position as reportedly the first transgender presidential appointee to the federal government. No, the class acts at Fox Nation saw fit to direct their readers to before-and-after pictures:
It's going to be a long year.
Radio host, Townhall.com columnist, and Fox News Channel contributor Sandy Rios wants to know if Rep. Mark Kirk is gay, or if Kirk's roommate is gay. Probably whether Kirk has ever even met a gay man, too, though she doesn't quite spell that out in her strange diatribe.
Nor is Rios entirely clear on why she wants to know if Kirk is gay. On the one hand, she keeps suggesting that as a gay man, Kirk would be vulnerable to blackmail, apparently for fear of being ostracized if he was outted. On the other hand, Rios writes "Homosexuality has now been mainstreamed and de-stigmatized. Any reason not to be open and honest has now been removed," which would seem to undermine the whole "blackmail" fear.
One thing Rios is sure of: Being gay is just like sending sexually-explicit messages to teenagers working as congressional pages:
[P]ress and Republicans alike are rushing to pooh-pooh what, in spite of the weakness of the messenger, has been the topic of discussion in Washington and elsewhere for quite some time. So, where is the reporting? Where are the cameras? The gleaning of records? The follow up on accusations?
Republicans did the same thing in the Mark Foley/Congressional page scandal. Republican leaders knew about Foley but for some inexplicable reason, covered for him. Do they want to repeat the same here?
The rest of Rios' anti-gay screed is just as spurious, like her claim that we need to know if Kirk is gay "Because we are at war" and a gay Kirk might vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "in spite of the fact that military experts from the top down have argued continually that open homosexuality will harm unit cohesion and have a detrimental effect on morale."
That would be news to General John Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said "if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces." And to Charles Larson, a four-star admiral and former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy who joined more than 100 other retired Admirals and Generals in calling for the repeal of DADT. And to former Defense Secretary William Cohen and Colin Powell, both of whom have said the policy needs to be reviewed.
You would think that, just a few weeks removed from getting caught red-handed spreading falsehoods about Kevin Jennings and being forced to issue an embarrassing retraction, Accuracy in Media would want to stay away from the subject of Jennings, lest it stray into further misleading smears. But AIM doesn't, and it does.
In a January 4 AIM column, Cliff Kincaid tries once again to falsely link Jennings to pedophila -- defying AIM's retraction statement that it has "no evidence" to support such a link -- by bringing up Jennings' praise for gay-rights pioneer Harry Hay, stating that Hay was a "supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association" and insisting that "The praise of Hay by Jennings has led to questions about Jennings's relationship with NAMBLA itself."
In fact, Jennings' praise of Hay has only "led to questions" among those determined to mischaracterize that praise. Jennings praised Hay's role in helping start "the first ongoing gay rights groups in America" in 1948, which has nothing to do with NAMBLA.
(Just as unacceptable to Kincaid, it appears, is that Hay was also "a prominent member of the Communist Party USA and 'Radical Faerie' who believed in the power of the occult.")
Kincaid also curiously embarks on a defense of a proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, asserting that any claim that it would result in the death penalty for homosexuality is "flat-out disinformation" and that the death penalty is for "aggravated homosexuality," which is, according to Kincaid, "pederasty, pedophilia, homosexual parent/child incest, homosexual abuse of a disabled ward, and knowingly spreading AIDS."
But CNN reports that the death penalty could also apply to those who "engage in homosexual sex more than once," as well as "people who test positive for HIV." The law would also apply even to Ugandans participating in same-sex acts in countries where such behavior is legal.
Kincaid's source for his claims about the Uganda law is anti-gay pastor Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries -- which is on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups. The New York Times reports that Lively "has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss" the proposed law and was one of three evangelical activists who headlined a recent conference on the "gay agenda" in the country in which, according to the Times, they "discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.' "
Kincaid quotes Lively stating that the bill "does not emphasize rehabilitation over punishment and the punishment that it calls for is unacceptably harsh. However, if the offending sections were sufficiently modified, the proposed law would represent an encouraging step in the right direction." According to Kincaid, Lively defends the law as "a response to the history of the country, where Christians were persecuted and even killed for resisting the homosexuality of King Mwanga, a violent pedophile." Lively also cites "homosexual political activists from Europe and the United States [who] are working aggressively to re-homosexualize their nation" and claims that "Ugandan citizens report a growing number of foreign homosexual men coming to their country to turn desperately poor young men from the slums into their personal houseboys, and that some girls in public schools have been paid to recruit others into lesbianism."
Kincaid joins WorldNetDaily's Molotov Mitchell in defending the Ugandan bill.
Thanks to Kincaid's smear, AIM owes another apology to Jennings. They might want to quit while they're behind.
From Pamela Geller's January 4 Atlas Shrugs post:
Obama Names Transgender Appointee to Commerce Department
Does Obama know anyone who isn't wacky, radical, militant, judeophobic, socialist, marxist, pedophilic? ...... Does he chill with anyone who is normal?
I guess this is better than teaching fist f**king to our children. Now there's a positive spin.
Howard Kurtz, the nation's most prominent media critic, rebukes a reader for being "a little outdated" in mentioning the Washington Times' tendency to use scare-quotes when writing about gay marriage:
re: "The Times says it will still do straight journalism": Does the Washington Times still put quotes around the word "marriage" when referring to legally binding marriages between members of the same sex? Because, if so, it never practiced "straight journalism."
Howard Kurtz: You're a little outdated. When John Solomon was editor, he banned some of those loaded phrases, such as homosexual marriage instead of gay marriage. Of course, he quit during the big management shakeup six weeks ago, and no replacement has been named. The managing editors, including Jeff Birnbaum, who like Solomon came from The Post, have also stepped down. So it remains to be seen who will be leading the paper.
But Howard Kurtz, the nation's most prominent media critic, is the one who is a little out-dated. Despite Solomon's edict, the Times has continued to use scare quotes, as Media Matters has documented.
The anti-gay bigots at WorldNetDaily are back with yet another recycled attack on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings. This time, WND "news editor" Bob Unruh is trumpeting a seven-year-old Concerned Women of America "report" that, in the words of WND's banner headline, "Jennings called Falwell 'terrorist.' " But like every other attack the right has leveled at Jennings, this one falls flat.
In the first sentence of his WND story, Unruh breathlessly writes: "Reports have been uncovered revealing President Obama's Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings once called renowned evangelist Jerry Falwell a 'terrorist' ..."
Not until the 12th paragraph of the story (the 13th, if you count the paragraph hocking The Marketing of Evil audio book, on sale in the WND superstore) does Unruh get around to providing the context of what Jennings is actually alleged to have said -- context that makes Jennings' quote (assuming he actually said it) a lot less inflammatory:
The documentation on Jennings' opinion of Falwell comes from a report posted on the CWFA website about a 2002 conference.
Report author Allyson Smith noted going undercover to the GLSEN "Teaching Respect for All" conference in Los Angeles that year.
The subject of Falwell, who founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Liberty Christian Academy, Liberty University and the Moral Majority, and died in 2007, came up.
Jennings said: "I have to stop and give my little homage to the Southern Baptist Church because one of its leaders, Jerry Falwell, two days ago just announced that the founder of one of the world's greatest religions, Mohammed, was a terrorist. Usually the religious right tapes everything I say, so let me make sure they get this [quote] down: Jerry Falwell, if you need to know what a terrorist looks like, go look in the mirror," according to the CWFA report.
Falwell had told CBS News earlier that the founder of Islam was "a violent man, a man of war."
For the record, here's the relevant portion of the 2002 60 Minutes report by Bob Simon that Jennings was allegedly referencing:
SIMON: (Voiceover) Falwell believes most Muslims want to live in peace but, he says, the lines have been drawn: Christians and Jews on one side, Muslims on the other. And, he says, those lines were drawn more than 1,000 years ago.
SIMON: So the same way that Moses provided the ultimate example for the Jews and the same way that Jesus provided the ultimate example for Christians, Mohammed provided the ultimate example for Muslims, and he was a terrorist?
Of course, this wasn't the first outrageous comment Falwell had made about terrorism. A year earlier, in the aftermath of 9-11, Falwell suggested that the United States deserved the terrorist attacks, famously telling Pat Robertson that "what we saw on [9-11], as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact--if, in fact--God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."
Falwell went on to "point the finger in" the "face" of several groups he claimed "helped this happen," including "the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle":
FALWELL: The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.
ROBERTSON: Well, yes.
FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way--all of them who have tried to secularize America--I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."
David Limbaugh continued the right-wing assault on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, using anti-gay rhetoric and advancing a number outrageous smears and distortions in order to attack him as a "known homosexual activist" who was appointed to "propagandiz[e] for the normalization of homosexuality." These smears and distortions include the conclusively debunked falsehood that Jennings "failed to report statutory rape," the false suggestion that Jennings praised a gay rights activist because he was a "promoter of pedophilia," and the claim that Jennings - currently a board member of Union Theological Seminary - should be disqualified from public service because he purportedly "harbored a hatred for God" as a teenager.
From a December 15 post by The Jawa Report's Rusty, headlined "Media Matters Now Defending Kiddie Porn:
Look, we're no prudes around here. We like hot lesbian teacher posts as much as any one. But I've read some of the stuff being recommended by Kevin Jennings and it's the kind of reading that would make a sailor blush. No, more than that. The sailor would first blush, then take you out back and kick your ass. Then he'd kick it again just for safe measure.
Any one defending Jennings after actually bothering to read what his organization recommends deserves that same ass kicking.
Media Matters for America examines and debunks the wide array of falsehoods and distortions the right-wing media have used in their attempts to smear and discredit Department of Education official Kevin Jennings and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which Jennings founded and previously served as executive director.
Three months ago, Fox News was forced to issue a humiliating retraction of the false allegations it had leveled against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings. Now, Maxim Lott, the FoxNews.com reporter at the center of those falsehoods, has re-emerged with more smears of Jennings.
This time, in an article headlined "Obama's Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders," Lott reported that Jennings "is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic." In the article, Lott grossly distorts the contents of books recommended by GLSEN for grades 7-12 and waits until the 13th paragraph to disclose that the list of books included the disclaimer that they "contain mature themes" and the recommendation that "adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."
And just who are the "critics" who apparently inspired Lott's article? In short: anti-gay bigots.
There's Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who last year announced his desire "to export homosexuals from the United States" -- a comment for which he later apologized (sort of). FRC's website states: "Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects."
Lott also quoted Peter LaBarbera of American for Truth about Homosexuality. LaBarbera has explained that his attacks on Jennings are "all about homosexuality and the 'gay' activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a 'civil right.' "
The fact that Fox continues to allow Lott to report on Jennings is some of the strongest evidence yet that the network isn't a news outlet at all but is actually a right-wing political organization whose mission is to concoct dishonest, bigoted attacks with which to damage progressives and the Obama administration.
Let's revisit some of Lott's past work on the Jennings beat.
On September 30, Lott reported as fact that more 21 years ago, as a young teacher in Massachusetts, Jennings "didn't report that a 15-year-old boy told him that he was having sex with an older man."
At the time, there was substantial evidence available that Lott's claim was false. As Media Matters pointed out, a publicly available 2004 letter from Jennings' lawyer stated that the student was actually 16 years old when the conversation took place. The Massachusetts age of consent is -- and was at the time -- 16; Jennings was under no obligation to report anything. (The student later said that he "had no sexual contact with anybody at the time.")
On October 1, after reporting as fact that the student was "15," Lott apparently decided to check whether this claim was true. As Media Matters exclusively revealed, Lott sent a Facebook message to the student, asking if the "rumor" that he was 15 at the time was "accurate."
Normally, this is the sort of thing journalists ask before leveling allegations at public servants. But Lott and Fox News are apparently so obsessed with gay-baiting that accuracy has become a secondary matter that can wait until after they've run with their charges.
On October 2, two days after Lott's story ran, Media Matters published a statement from the student and a copy of his driver's license, definitively proving that he was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings. That same day, the student wrote to Lott and demanded a correction. Eventually, Fox added the following editor's note to the top of Lott's article: "Since this story was originally published, the former student referred to as 'Brewster' has stepped forward to reveal that he was 16 years old, not 15, at the time of the incident described in this report."
Three months later, Lott's back. And he's got a new smear.