The Daily Caller launched numerous sexist attacks against Crossfire co-host Stephanie Cutter in its "first, and hopefully last," review of CNN's newly resurrected debate show.
After Crossfire's premiere on September 9, Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley wrote a review of the show that focused largely on denigrating the "catty air-kissing backstabbing" Cutter while mostly ignoring co-host Newt Gingrich and guests Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). In roughly 600 words, Howley made the following five observations about Cutter:
The Daily Caller was founded by Tucker Carlson, who co-hosted Crossfire's original incarnation from 2001 to 2004. The show was canceled shortly after a guest appearance by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
The Daily Caller wrote that a recent survey of scientific literature only confirmed the "uncontroversial points" that warming has occurred and that it is in part manmade, but the Daily Caller itself has cast doubt on these facts.
The peer-reviewed survey found that 97 percent of scientific abstracts that stated a position on global warming endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. While these points are uncontroversial in the scientific world, they are controversial among many in Congress and the public -- due in part to the misinformation pushed by conservative media outlets such as the Daily Caller.
The Daily Caller also regularly publishes articles that cast doubt on global warming -- including near-transcriptions of Sen. Inhofe's latest attacks on climate science -- yet conveniently leave out the "uncontroversial" fact that the majority of scientists agree that manmade, or anthropogenic, climate change is occurring. For instance, the online publication promoted "Lord" Christopher Monckton, who likes to compare climate activists to Nazis, challenging "Al baby" (Al Gore) to debate him on climate change without stating that the majority of scientists accept that climate change is real and manmade.
The Daily Caller article, headlined "Report: There is no 97 percent global warming consensus," quoted the Global Warming Policy Foundation's Andrew Montford (who is not a scientist) quibbling with the survey by claiming it didn't examine whether the papers endorsed the view that "human activity is the main driver behind global warming" (emphasis added). However, the authors of the report have already addressed this criticism, a fact the Daily Caller left out, explaining that the scientific abstracts they examined didn't go into this detail, but they contacted the authors and 96 percent of them agreed that humans have caused more than half of recent warming (emphasis removed):
The Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus, who headlined a tea party event in August to stoke fears of how comprehensive immigration reform "would change America irrevocably, and for the worse," has a piece out detailing how Republicans can filibuster immigration reform and show that "[a]mnesty as we know it can go away." What Kaus is advocating of course is the same level of GOP obstructionism conservative media have been calling for to kill immigration reform.
In his September 4 piece, Kaus lamented the fact that immigration reform supporters, with help from "La Raza and Mark Zuckerberg, big business lobbyists, the Catholic Church and the Media-Amnesty Complex," will continue to advocate for a path to citizenship until an immigration bill becomes law. He then went on to describe his "tentative simple, four step plan," which began with exhorting Republicans to block all immigration bills that don't first enforce the border.
Kaus is giving preference here to the "enforcement-first" approach that immigration restrictionists have long favored, which seeks to militarize the border and take other extreme steps to cut off illegal immigration. As Kaus pointed out, this approach has been rejected by supporters and Democrats who will accept nothing less than "an inclusive, immediate path to legal status for the 11 million, and an achievable and clear path to eventual citizenship," in the words of America's Voice executive director Frank Sharry.
This approach would create an impasse designed to effectively kill reform efforts. A number of conservative media figures have similarly agitated for such outright obstruction.
However, this seems to be going against the grain, as more and more congressional Republicans express support for reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. As the Miami Herald reported, tea party Rep. Steve Southerland is the most recent Republican to do so:
[W]hen asked Friday in Miami, Southerland sounded more open to the idea of a general pathway to citizenship, Still, he drew a distinction between young people brought as children and those who came when they were older and knew they were breaking the law.
Southerland said he wasn't sure about whether they should be granted a special path to citizenship or legal residency.
"If there's going to be a chance to create a legal path, there has to be a recognition of the wrong done," Southerland said, indicating they would need to pay fines and express contrition. "But I believe in reconciliation."
The Daily Caller published an op-ed blasting gay journalist James Kirchick for condemning Russia's anti-gay crackdown on the Kremlin-funded RT network on August 21, lambasting Kirchick for using his appearance to "throw a fit about gay rights."
In an August 28 op-ed titled "The hysterical Jamie Kirchick," Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute President Austin Ruse mocked Kirchick's "hysterical" criticism of Russia's laws banning the dissemination of "gay propaganda," which encompasses any speech or action that could be construed to depict LGBT people in a favorable light. Ruse doesn't understand why critics of Russia's "reasonable new law" just can't see that it's far better than the western "elite" agenda of tolerance:
Kirchick and his colleagues are hysterical and I think I know why. In the west, they and their elite allies have so cowed and bullied opposition to their agenda that hardly anyone speaks out against them. If you do, you lose your job or get brought before the magistrates of human rights. It is shocking and unnerving to them when they find people who are not so cowed and that they cannot have their way with those in other countries and certainly not with the Russians who overwhelmingly support the reasonable new law.
Next week in Europe a petition will be released from more than 70 mostly European human rights groups supporting the Russian law. They believe there is no human right to advance homosexual propaganda to school children, but there is a prior right for parents to determine how their children are educated. It says so right there in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Daily Caller's Guns and Gears section published an opinion piece that suggested "[b]ecause Black Democrats are fine for house work, but not for doing heavy lifting," white leaders should choose replacements for the current heads of civil rights organizations.
Guns and Gears is the firearms-themed section of the Daily Caller that publishes press releases and opinion pieces from the National Rifle Association and other gun organizations, along with commentary on firearms issues.
In his August 26 op-ed, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry stereotyped African-Americans as violent, suggested that black teenagers must "follow the work rules laid down by white Americans" to achieve greater success, and accused the Obama administration of encouraging "racial violence."
Discussing the tragic killing of World War II veteran Shorty Belton by two African-American teens, Curry criticized African-American civil rights leaders for not "leading huge civil rights demonstrations protesting the murder of Mr. Belton and demanding that black parents, families, communities and churches get and keep their black teenagers under control." Notably, there is no evidence that Belton's killing was race-related.
Still, Curry wrote, "If America's black leadership isn't going to take charge of and clean up their own mess, white leaders will have to do it for them," and added, "You can't expect white Americans to keep looking the other way while black teenagers beat their fellow white Americans to death. Evidently black leaders seem to think it is alright for black teenagers to profile Shorty Belton and kill him and they need not comment on how wrong it is, but it's not right for a white policeman to profile someone black and kill them."
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre baselessly warned that proponents of stronger gun laws could implement a firearm "confiscation scheme" in his latest unhinged column for The Daily Caller.
Despite LaPierre's warnings of a draconian gun registration and confiscation scheme that he wrote "could happen to us if we fail to stand and fight," the plot LaPierre described is illegal under current federal law, has not been proposed by the supporters of stronger gun laws LaPierre singled out in his column, and would likely violate the United States Constitution.
LaPierre's column was published on August 19, the day before BuzzFeed reported that the NRA itself uses a variety of data collection methods to gather information on gun owners. In an article that described myriad ways the NRA collects data on gun owners, BuzzFeed contributor Steve Friess noted the tension between the NRA's warnings about government gun owner databases and the gun rights organization's own actions:
The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners -- and raised tens of millions of dollars -- campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.
But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country's largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby's secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.
That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun-safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines, and more, BuzzFeed has learned.
LaPierre's Daily Caller column is demonstrative of the outlandish gun registration and confiscation plots the NRA warns of while apparently simultaneously collecting information on gun owners for its own purposes.
The Obama family has adopted a new dog, the White House announced on August 19. CNN reported that "Sunny -- a female Portuguese Water Dog -- is joining Bo as 'first pet.' "
The Daily Caller responded to the news by noting that neither of the Obamas' dogs are white (emphasis added):
"A Portuguese Water Dog can range in cost wildly. On average, one will pay between $1,400 and $2,000. President Barack Obama has this breed of animal," according to an answer on Ask.com.
With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.
The Obamas do not have any white dogs.
Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi summer action film Elysium is raising hackles in the conservative media.
Set 140 years in the future, the rich have relocated off a crowded and polluted Earth and live life isolated on a space station called Elysium, filled with plenty of greenery, large homes, private security, and most importantly, a machine that can cure all medical issues -- technology not available to anyone not a citizen of Elysium. This paradise exists only a quick 19-minute shuttle flight away from Earth; with no hope of breaking the class barriers, immigrants attempt to sneak onto the space station in rickety and dangerous shuttles. Most of them are killed in the process, and those who make it there alive are instantly sent back to Earth.
Rush Limbaugh denounced Elysium as "a full-fledged anti-capitalist, pro-socialism movie" before expressing anger that the filmmakers and star Matt Damon deny there's political bias in the film.
At the Daily Caller, R.J. Moeller wrote that Damon and Blomkamp "know that the movie-going audience is primarily comprised of 12-21 year old boys who wouldn't know socialist propaganda if it spit in their Monster energy drink."
By contrast, progressive culture critic Alyssa Rosenberg wrote that, far from a political screed, Elyisum "fails in its mission to speak truth to power." The film never discusses the causes of inequality nor advocates real solutions to the problem. The right's real objection to Elyisum is that the very nature of the economic disparity at the heart of the story illustrates a world suffering the consequences of the policies conservatives advocate.
Russia's recent crackdown on its LGBT community has been condemned by everyone from President Barack Obama to grassroots gay rights activists. But since Russia passed a series of sweeping laws banning the dissemination of "gay propaganda" and prohibiting the adoption of children by Russian same-sex couples and any foreign couples from nations with marriage equality, many right-wing media figures have instead rallied to the country's defense.
It's not surprising that far-right figures from anti-gay hate groups like the American Family Association (AFA) and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) have enthusiastically endorsed President Vladimir Putin's draconian crackdown on gays. As the Russian news agency RIA Novosti recently reported, AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera has championed Putin's cause. In a statement on his group's website, LaBarbera said, "Russians do not want to follow America's reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth." The AFA's Bryan Fischer praised Putin's anti-gay laws, stating that the country isn't being homophobic but "homorealistic."
But AFTAH and AFA are not alone in endorsing Russia's right to arrest anyone who offers a positive depiction of homosexuality, as the new laws will allow. Outlets and figures within the mainstream of the conservative movement have also jumped on the bandwagon.
The Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus will appear at an August 21 Tea Party meeting to whip up fears that comprehensive immigration reform "would change America irrevocably, and for the worse."
The Hancock Park Patriots, a Tea Party group based in Los Angeles, announced Kaus' participation in the event, promising that he would answer the questions "Can they be stopped?" and "What's the alternative?"
Kaus self-identifies as "neoliberal" and "common sense Democrat" but espouses a far-right ideology, including a fixation on union-busting, and his participation in the Hancock Park Patriots meeting makes clear that Kaus is anti-immigrant. The former Slate blogger has become obsessed with the issue, dedicating all but one of his posts in July on his Daily Caller blog to the subject.
The Daily Caller clutched its pearls over news that the College of Charleston has assigned a graphic memoir featuring gay and lesbian characters to its incoming freshmen.
In an August 2 post titled "Public college freshmen forced to read comic book starring lesbian, child molester," Daily Caller education editor Eric Owens touted the concerns of the Palmetto Family - a group tied to the anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council - which has raised hackles over the assignment for incoming freshmen at the College of Charleston to read Alison Bechdel's 2006 memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
Fun Home chronicles Bechdel's troubled relationship with her father and probes issues like identity, self-discovery, and belonging. The New York Times Book Review lauded the memoir as "a pioneering work, pushing two genres (comics and memoir) in multiple new directions." Salon called the book "extraordinary." The Boston Globe called it "brilliant." The Quarterly Conversation declared that Fun Home is "a graphic novel autobiography that easily rivals the best works in the field."
The Daily Caller, on the other hand, was appalled at the book's sexual content and the presence of openly gay characters:
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre criticized President Obama for saying that Americans should disregard those who say "tyranny is always lurking just around the corner," before warning that the administration is attempting to "disarm citizens on multiple fronts -- a step at a time -- not only of their firearms, but of their free speech"
The NRA often engages in hyperbolic language to suggest that Obama wishes to form a tyrannical government and destroy the Second Amendment. From LaPierre's July 30 op-ed appearing on conservative news website The Daily Caller:
Specifically, Obama signaled what he sees as dangerous political speech in his May, 2013 [Ohio University commencement] address:
"Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate sinister entity that's at the root of our problems. Some of these voices also do their best to gum up the works. They warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices."
As members of the oldest civil rights organization in the nation, NRA members know tyranny when we see it. Five million strong, we proudly "gum up the works" when those "works" are designed to destroy American liberty, be it attacks on rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment or the First Amendment.
"Tyranny." That's Obama's word. The president is right about one thing: Many people are, indeed, warning about tyranny "lurking just around the corner."
Referencing controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's use of improper screening methods when reviewing tax-exempt status for some non-profit groups, LaPierre wrote, "Obama cannot erase the Second Amendment without crippling or controlling exercise of the First Amendment. And that's exactly what is at the heart of the ongoing scandals involving the vindictive assault on conservative Americans by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)."
In fact, this characterization is overblown. There is no evidence of White House involvement in the use of improper screening methods by the IRS. Furthermore, despite initial reports that only conservative non-profits were targeted, it was later revealed that the IRS also used improper screening techniques on liberal organizations as well.
Still, in his opinion piece LaPierre described the IRS as "the president's thug arm" and implored readers to elect candidates who will "root out and prosecute what has morphed from the corruption of the 'Chicago way,' into the much more sinister Obama way," adding that he hopes "Obama's 'transformation' of our nation and our culture" can be stopped.
The Daily Caller decried a southern California school district's agreement to accommodate transgender students, misidentifying the gender of the student whose complaint prompted the agreement and belittling the experiences of transgender individuals.
In a July 28 article, Daily Caller education editor Eric Owens lamented the trend toward increased acceptance of transgender students, highlighting the case of a suburban Los Angeles school district where a transgender male successfully pushed the schools to allow transgender students to use facilities like restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities:
It's all the rage these days for transgender students (or their parents) to sue or make a big fuss because their genitalia doesn't match the bathrooms and locker rooms they prefer to use.
The latest flare-up occurred in a quiet, expensive suburb northeast of Los Angeles. The Arcadia Unified School District in Arcadia, Calif. finalized an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to terminate a Title IX investigation into allegations of discrimination against a transgender middle schooler, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The agreement resolves a complaint pressed by the Department of Education and filed on behalf of an unnamed student who was born female but wants to be a male.
For GOP national candidates, navigating the conservative media is kind of like NASA executing a gravitational slingshot: there's a hot, dense center of gravity that you want to get just close enough to so that your campaign rocket ship gets a boost in the right direction. Veer too far and you'll drift into the political void. Get too close and you'll crash hard onto Planet Wingnut.
This complicated act of political physics is becoming a defining characteristic of national Republican politics. Would-be candidates who don't hold elected office or otherwise lack a national platform turn to Fox News for exposure (and in the case of paid contributors, a paycheck). Anyone who wants to make it past the Ames straw poll can't risk drawing the ire of a big name radio host. Of course, as Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum can attest, you can't be too cozy with the activist right either. It's tough to pull off, particularly as talk radio and conservative online media slouch further and further to the right.
Those of us who remember the 2012 election know that presidential candidates who channel the conservative blogosphere and poach talking points from Fox News quickly run into trouble. Mitt Romney's exposition on the 47 percent and his claims about President Obama's global "apology tour" traced their roots back to the conservative blogosphere. Romney (one could argue) indulged in this sort of rhetoric because he felt he had to boost his standing among the Republican base.
With that in mind, we turn to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose trip to Iowa last week stoked a round of 2016 speculation. Cruz is a different matter from the likes of Romney. Conservative activists love the junior senator from Texas, and he's a Fox News favorite (a Nexis search shows he's been on Hannity five times this year already). He'll enthusiastically grab onto conservative media narratives and carry them into Senate hearing rooms.
The Daily Caller published a column cheering on Russia's brutal and draconian crackdown on LGBT people, downplaying concerns about state sponsored anti-gay violence and criticizing American activists for meddling in Russia's affairs.
Russia has enacted a number of extreme anti-LGBT measures in the past few months, including laws that prohibit the dissemination of "gay propaganda" to minors and ban the adoption of Russian children by people from countries that allow same-sex marriage.
The vague language of the "gay propaganda" law, which has been condemned by human rights experts for violating international human rights law, makes it especially dangerous - anything from waving a rainbow flag to holdings hands in public could potentially be considered criminal "propaganda" under the measure. The law has already led to the arrests of several openly gay tourists in Russia. Meanwhile, police continue to violently crack down on gay pride celebrations and homophobic murders remain a constant threat to Russia's LGBT community.
On July 25, the Daily Caller published an op-ed titled "Putin is not the gay bogeyman," written by Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) President Austin Ruse. According to Ruse, international concerns about Putin's brutal crackdown on LGBT people are wildly exaggerated. In fact, Ruse argues, America should be learning from Russia's anti-LGBT policies:
Homosexuality and homosexual acts are totally legal in Russia. Homosexuality is quite open in Russia. What the Russians do not want, and this opposition is widespread, is for homosexuality to be taught to school children or otherwise exposed to school children.
Russians understand that homosexuality exists in their society and always has, even when it was illegal under the Soviets and that it exists in all human societies. What is new and what they resist is the political movement to regularize and even celebrate it. They view this as harmful to children and society.
They are appalled, as are many Americans, at how these sexual practices and lifestyles are celebrated in the United States. The state of California now mandates the teaching of homosexuality to school children. Those individuals and institutions in the United States that oppose the homosexual advance are ostracized and in some cases criminalized.
And under the Obama administration this ideology has now become a part of US foreign policy. Openly gay ambassadors are now placed in largely religious countries. Gay celebrations are now held in US embassies even in countries, like Pakistan, where such parties are calculated to deeply offend legitimate religious sensibilities and beliefs. [emphasis added]