The New York Times

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  • 16 Times The Media Let Trump Falsely Claim He Opposed The Iraq War From The Beginning

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN, NICK FERNANDEZ & CYDNEY HARGIS

    Media figures and outlets have repeatedly pushed the myth, or allowed Donald Trump to push the myth, that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. There is no evidence to support this claim and February reporting from BuzzFeed News showed Trump voiced support “for invading Iraq” in 2002 and termed it a "tremendous success" after the invasion began.

  • The New York Times' New Myth Is That Hillary Clinton Is More Hawkish Than Donald Trump

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS & JARED HOLT

    The New York Times' Mark Landler and Maureen Dowd are baselessly claiming that Hillary Clinton would be more likely to bring the nation to war if elected president than Donald Trump, in part due to Trump's claims of opposition to the Iraq War. In fact, Trump supported the Iraq War, has refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Europe, has floated military engagement with Iran, and called for U.S. invasions of Libya and Syria.

  • Conservative Media Lash Out At John Boehner For Calling Ted Cruz “Lucifer In The Flesh”

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & JULIE ALDERMAN

    Right-wing media condemned former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) for referring to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) as “Lucifer in the flesh” and the most "miserable son of a bitch” he has ever worked with.

    Former House Speaker John Boehner Calls Ted Cruz “Lucifer In The Flesh”

    NY TimesBoehner Described Ted Cruz As Lucifer In The Flesh, The Most "Miserable Son Of A Bitch” He Ever Worked With. The New York Times reported on April 28 that Boehner “described Senator Ted Cruz as ‘Lucifer in the flesh’ … and said that he would not vote for” Cruz if he became the Republican presidential nominee:

    Former House Speaker John A. Boehner described Senator Ted Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh” during a forum at Stanford University on Wednesday and said that he would not vote for the Texas Republican if he is the party’s presidential nominee.

    [...]

    Mr. Boehner’s harshest assessment was saved for Mr. Cruz, who he has not forgiven for spearheading the 2013 government shutdown.

    “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends,” Mr. Boehner told David Kennedy, an emeritus history professor, at the event. “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” [The New York Times4/28/16]

    Conservative Media Lash Out At Boehner, Call His Comments A “Witless Cheap Shot”

    National Review Editors: Boehner’s Comments Are “A Witless Cheap Shot” And “Petty Grudge-Holding. National Review’s editorial board wrote on April 28 that Boehner’s characterization of Cruz was a “witless cheap shot.” The editors said the comments were “petty grudge-holding” and speculated that these “knee-jerk responses … though cathartic, would ultimately set back our common goals”:

    We get it. John Boehner doesn’t like Ted Cruz. In a witless cheap shot, Boehner called him “Lucifer in the flesh” at an event at Stanford University. Boehner’s attitude is widespread among Republican insiders who are foolishly allowing personal ill will to cloud their reasoned judgment about who, among the candidates left in the GOP race, is the best representative of conservative principles and policies, and about who would be the best candidate in the upcoming general election.

    [...]

    [P]rominent conservatives who might not be counted among Cruz’s friends — Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush come to mind — have urged the party to rally around Cruz as the only reliable conservative left in the race.

    They’re right to do so, and not to give in to the petty grudge-holding of John Boehner. In 2013, when Cruz was engineering his ill-fated government shutdown, his Republican critics, including us, warned against interpreting tactical disagreements as evidence of disagreements about objectives. We encouraged conservatives not to indulge in knee-jerk responses that, though cathartic, would ultimately set back our common goals. That argument works in both directions. Whatever his personal feelings, Boehner agrees with Cruz on most questions of principle and policy, and it’s a shame he can’t act accordingly. [National Review4/28/16]

    Sean Hannity: “John Boehner, Shut Up … You Failed The Republican Party.” On the April 28 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity told Boehner to “shut up,” calling his performance as speaker “weak, timid, feckless, visionless.” Hannity asserted that Boehner “failed the Republican Party,” concluding, “We don’t need lectures from you”:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST):  All right, I’ve got to tell you something. I can't say this strongly enough. John Boehner, shut up. You know what? You gave us $4 trillion in debt. You were weak, timid, feckless, visionless. And I’ve got to be honest, you want to know why Cruz and Trump are doing so well? Look in the mirror, because you are afraid of your own shadow that you might get blamed for a government shutdown, so you wouldn't defund Obamacare, you wouldn’t use the power of the purse, you wouldn’t defund executive amnesty, which was -- which Republicans ran on in 2014. You failed the Republican Party. We don't need lectures from you against presidential candidates that are resonating with the American people, thank you very much. [Fox News, Hannity4/28/16]

    Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: Boehner “Today Just Demonstrated His Utter Contempt For” The People On The Right. During the April 28 edition of NRA News’ Cam & Company, conservative Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter said Boehner’s remarks “proved” that he was “a giant waste of air.” Schlichter concluded, “The people on the right are angry … at people like John Boehner, who today just demonstrated his utter contempt for them”:

    CAM EDWARDS (HOST): How about that? “Lucifer in the flesh.” So, I saw that description today, and for whatever reason, Kurt, the phrase “Goldwater’s baby” came to mind --

    KURT SCHLICHTER: Its eyes! Its eyes! What did you do to its eyes!

    EDWARDS: I want somebody to use that as an insult this year, I just want to hear somebody call someone else “Goldwater’s baby.”

    SCHLICHTER: Oh my gosh. You know, with Boehner, sometimes it's like, you know, we all knew it, and then it happens. This guy literally says he would vote for Hillary Clinton before one of the nominees by the other Republicans. This was our speaker. We were all saying you know, this guy is a giant waste of air, and then he comes out and just completely proves it.

    [...]

    SCHLICHTER: The people on the right are angry. They’re angry at people like John Boehner, who today just demonstrated his utter contempt for them. And they always knew it, and there were people saying, "No, no, no, he really doesn’t feel that way." And well I said, “You know, I kind of think he does.” And now he’s kind of proved it. I think people are justifiably angry. They’re not going to -- to quote Roger Daltrey, "won't be fooled again!" [NRA News, Cam & Company4/28/16]

    Fox’s Laura Ingraham: “I Don’t Like That Comment By John Boehner. At All.” On the April 29 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham decried Boehner’s comments as “not helpful.” Ingraham called Boehner and “establishment” Republicans “devils,” saying, “I have the idea it’s devilish to run on one thing and then govern on something quite different”:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): This John Boehner comment about Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh"? Not helpful. I said yesterday when I saw that this had been said that, I mean, John Boehner should just button it. It's not helpful. Now, you see, I have the idea it's devilish to run on one thing and then govern on something quite different. I think that's very deceiving, as the devil is deceiving. Ted Cruz actually said he was going to run on some basic principles, and for the most part it seems like Ted Cruz actually, you know, tried to fulfill his Senate duties with those principles in mind. Now that's “Lucifer in the flesh”? What? It seems like the revolt against the establishment is making it pretty clear who people think the devils are. The devils are the people who say they’re going to oppose Obama only to fund his entire budget. The devils are the people who say they’re pro-life only to fund Planned Parenthood. The devils are the people who spend most of the good part of an entire year pushing Obama's Trade Promotion Authority. The devils are the people who say they’re going to get rid of Obamacare only to allow Obamacare to be funded. Those are the devils. The devils are the people who call the people the loud people, or make fun of them and say “it’s too hard,” like John Boehner did. So I don't like that comment by John Boehner. At All. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show4/29/16]

    Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt: “Despicable Is My Term For [Boehner’s] Attack On [Cruz].

    [Twitter, 4/29/16]

    Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell: “Boehner Doesn’t Have The Guts To Apologize. He Is A World-Class Coward.”

    [Twitter, 4/29/16]

    The Blaze’s Dana Loesch: “John Boehner Gets Along With Every Beltway Elitist -- But Not The Average American. This Is Why He’s Out To Pasture.”

    [Twitter, 4/28/16]

     

  • NY Times Ed. Board: Trump's "Makeover Efforts" Can't Obscure "His Unfitness For The Presidency"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times editorial board called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's "makeover efforts" at rebranding as presidential, saying they "cannot obscure his brutish agenda" or "his unfitness for the presidency."

    After Trump's campaign chief Paul Manafort told members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) that Trump’s “image is going to change,” several media figures criticized the move as a sham reinvention, noting "it is important to remember" his myriad insults and extreme rhetoric. Other media outlets continued to give Trump misplaced credit for his supposed reinvention as "presidential."

    On April 26, the Times editorial board asserted that despite Manafort's statement that Trump is "evolving," the candidate already "has reverted to bad habits...telling lies" and saying "that he hasn’t forgotten or doesn’t regret what he said about Mexicans and Muslims." The board also reported that Trump ally Roger Stone said "the presidency 'is show business' to Mr. Trump":

    Mr. Trump has hired a Henry Higgins to work on his comportment. Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s new campaign chief and an old-guard Republican strategist, has eclipsed the abrasive Corey Lewandowski and his nonnegotiable “Let Trump Be Trump” approach. Mr. Manafort’s ambition is to turn this Eliza Doolittle into a candidate more acceptable to decent society, in time for the general election.

    [...]

    But Mr. Trump has reverted to bad habits. He’s still telling lies, and earned four Pinocchios last week for saying that ISIS is “making a fortune” on Libyan oil the terrorist group doesn’t control. On the trail last week, he showed crowds that he hasn’t forgotten or doesn’t regret what he said about Mexicans and Muslims. “I sort of don’t like toning it down,” he said in Connecticut. “Isn’t it nice that I’m not one of these teleprompter guys?”

    Mr. Trump knows that to do well in Tuesday’s primaries he still needs those “motivated voters” who want him to say what other politicians won’t. Yet the Trump on the stump is the true man. However copiously applied, cosmetics cannot obscure his brutish agenda, nor the narcissism, capriciousness and most of all, the inexperience paired with intellectual laziness that would make him a disastrous president.

    [...]

    Whatever persona or good manners Mr. Trump chooses to display from now on, he can’t hide his unfitness for the presidency.

     

  • Conservatives Were Stunningly Wrong About Obamacare, New Report Finds

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    A New York Times analysis found “historic increases” in those covered by the Affordable Care Act, destroying right-wing media predictions about health care reform including that it would “topple the stock market” and enslave Americans. The Times analysis is just one of many pieces of research that have highlighted the successes of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Right-Wing Media’s Calls For Profiling Muslims Are Having Real-Life Consequences

    A Muslim College Student Was Removed From A Flight After Speaking Arabic On The Phone

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    An Iraqi college student was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight “after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic,” The New York Times reported, marking the sixth time a Muslim was removed from a flight in 2016. The student remarked “‘This is what Islamophobia got this country into,’” spotlighting how years of anti-Muslim rhetoric from right-wing media can have real-life consequences for Muslims worldwide.

    Conservative media have repeatedly exploited tragedies to baselessly stoke anti-Muslim fears for years. They've called for racially profiling Muslims, using discriminatory and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk police tactics, surveilling Muslim neighborhoods, mosques, and individual people based on appearance, and banning Muslim immigration into the U.S.

    An April 17 New York Times article reported that “a college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee,” was removed from his flight after another passenger “became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.” Executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ San Francisco Bay Area office condemned the incident, saying, ‘’We are concerned that Muslims are facing more and more scrutiny and baseless harassment when they are attempting to travel.’” From the Times’ report:

    A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.

    The student, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, was taken off a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Oakland on April 6 after he called an uncle in Baghdad to tell him about an event he attended that included a speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    “I was very excited about the event so I called my uncle to tell him about it,” he said.

    He told his uncle about the chicken dinner they were served and the moment when he got to stand up and ask the secretary general a question about the Islamic State, he said. But the conversation seemed troubling to a nearby passenger, who told the crew she overheard him making “potentially threatening comments,” the airline said in a statement.

    Mr. Makhzoomi, 26, knew something was wrong as soon as he finished his phone call and saw that a woman sitting in front of him had turned around in her seat to stare at him, he said. She headed for the airplane door soon after he told his uncle that he would call again when he landed, and qualified it with a common phrase in Arabic, “inshallah,” meaning “god willing.”

    “That is when I thought, ‘Oh, I hope she is not reporting me,’ because it was so weird,” Mr. Makhzoomi said.

    That is exactly what happened. An Arabic-speaking Southwest Airlines employee of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent came to his seat and escorted him off the plane a few minutes after his call ended, he said. The man introduced himself in Arabic and then switched to English to ask, “Why were you speaking Arabic in the plane?”

    Mr. Makhzoomi said he was afraid, and that the employee spoke to him “like I was an animal.”

    “I said to him, ‘This is what Islamophobia got this country into,’ and that made him so angry. That is when he told me I could not go back on the plane.”

    Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said there had been at least six cases of Muslims being pulled off flights so far this year. The conduct of Southwest Airlines was of particular concern, she said, after another Muslim passenger was removed from a flight in Chicago last week.

    “We are concerned that Muslims are facing more and more scrutiny and baseless harassment when they are attempting to travel,” Ms. Billoo said.

  • NY Times Editorial ​​Slams Court Challenge To Immigration Executive Actions As "A Highly Politicized Anti-Immigrant Crusade”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times editorial board condemned the legal challenge to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration as “a highly politicized anti-immigrant crusade wrapped in legal briefs.”

    On April 18, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s programs that could protect 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and grant them the legal right to hold a job. Right-wing media have pushed misinformation about the programs, falsely claiming that they will cause a “constitutional crisis,” lead to Obama’s impeachment, cost $2 trillion, and harm American workers.

    On April 16, the Times’ editorial board called the case “one of the most flagrant examples in recent memory of a naked political dispute masquerading as a legal one,” and wrote that the Supreme Court “should reject the plaintiffs’ absurd claim.” The board explained that the actions are, in fact, “well within Mr. Obama’s authority,” given that -- as the Supreme Court observed in 2012 -- “the federal government has ‘broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens.’” The board then concluded that Obama’s executive actions to shield the parents of American citizens and permanent residents from deportation are “smart politics and humane policy” and condemned the challenge as “a highly politicized anti-immigrant crusade”:

    On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Texas, one of the most flagrant examples in recent memory of a naked political dispute masquerading as a legal one.

    In this case, 26 Republican-led states brought suit against President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions to protect millions of immigrants from deportation. And once again, the prospect of a 4-to-4 split on the court threatens to spur widespread legal chaos by effectively giving these 26 states the power to set national immigration policy. But it need not come to that. If the justices follow their own precedent as well as longstanding practice, they should reject the plaintiffs’ absurd claim.

    […]

    This is both smart politics and humane policy, and it falls well within Mr. Obama’s authority. As the Supreme Court reiterated in 2012, the federal government has “broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens.”

    […]

    Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. likes to say that the court is above politics. This case, which has never been more than a highly politicized anti-immigrant crusade wrapped in legal briefs, gives him and the court a clear opportunity to reaffirm that principle and leave fights like these to the political process.

  • Why Won't The New York Times Tell The Truth About "Bathroom Predators" In Its Reporting?

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    The New York Times has failed to debunk the "bathroom predator" myth in its reporting on North Carolina's anti-LGBT bathroom law, despite its own editorial board acknowledging that the myth "exists only in the imagination of bigots."

    On March 23, North Carolina legislators passed a law, House Bill 2 (HB2), barring transgender people from certain bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates. Proponents of the law falsely claim it’s needed to stop sexual predators from sneaking into women's restrooms by claiming to be transgender.

    The New York Times' own editorial board has described that talking point as baseless, writing in a March 25 editorial (emphasis added):

    Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law late Wednesday, said it was necessary to undo Charlotte’s ordinance, which included protections for gay and transgender people, because it allowed “men to use women’s bathroom/locker room.” Proponents of so-called bathroom bills, which have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, have peddled them by spuriously portraying transgender women as potential rapists.

    That threat exists only in the imagination of bigots. Supporters of the measures have been unable to point to a single case that justifies the need to legislate where people should be allowed to use the toilet. North Carolina is the first state to pass such a provision.

    [...]

    By promoting the ludicrous idea that transgender women are inherently dangerous, the law endangers citizens who are already disproportionately vulnerable to violence and stigmatization.

    Despite this, the Times has failed to debunk the "bathroom predator" myth in its reporting on HB2, choosing instead to create a false equivalency by uncritically presenting comments from both opponents and supporters of the law.

    • On March 28, the Times reported that "some conservatives complained that the [North Carolina] ordinance would endanger women and girls by allowing people who are anatomically male to use their restrooms," adding that "transgender advocates dismiss that as nonsense, saying that transgender people have been using their chosen bathrooms for years without incident."

    • On March 29, the Times reported that lawmakers focused on “the contention that it might allow men dressed as women to enter bathrooms and commit assaults,” and noted that “critics say there is no evidence that has happened elsewhere.”

    • On April 1, the newspaper reported that "lawmakers had said that they were trying to prevent men from dressing as women to enter bathrooms and commit assaults," adding that "Critics said there was no evidence that had happened."

    • On April 11, the Times quoted Lt. Gov. Dan Forest who perpetuated the myth stating, “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, it was worth it,” yet failed to include any pushback to Forest's claim.

    The Times adopted that same false equivalency in its reporting on anti-discrimination ordinances in cites like Jacksonville, FL and Houston, TX despite its editorial board acknowledging that the "bathroom predator" myth is "completely unfounded."

    That kind of false balance is a form of misinformation -- it distorts reality and makes it harder for readers to figure out the truth. In 2012, The New York Times' Public Editor Margaret Sullivan called attention to the issue of false balance and encouraged journalists “to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers know what to believe,” writing:

    Simply put, false balance is the journalistic practice of giving equal weight to both sides of a story, regardless of an established truth on one side. And many people are fed up with it. They don’t want to hear lies or half-truths given credence on one side, and shot down on the other. They want some real answers.

    […]

    It ought to go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: Journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers know what to believe, to help them make their way through complicated and contentious subjects.

    The more news organizations can state established truths and stand by them, the better off the readership — and the democracy — will be.

    The Times' editorial board has correctly and repeatedly stated that the "bathroom predator" talking point is baseless and harmful. But that kind of truth-telling needs to show up in its reporting on laws like North Carolina's, rather than being relegated to its opinion section.

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Megyn Kelly’s History Of Right-Wing Media Misinformation

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Megyn Kelly, the host of Fox’s The Kelly File, is often billed as a “straight news” anchor known for occasionally "bucking ... the conservative party line" on Fox. Here’s a look back at some of her most egregious misinformation campaigns and out-of-touch comments regarding race, LGBT issues, gender, reproductive rights, Islam, immigration, climate change, and Hillary Clinton.

  • Yahoo Reports Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show Over "Bigotry" Of  Anti-LGBT Law

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    On March 23 North Carolina’s general assembly passed a bill "barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates." The New York Times editorial board slammed the legislation, writing that it "makes North Carolina [a] pioneer in bigotry," while regional editorial boards admonished the "recklessness and foolishness" of state officials rolling back nondiscrimination protections. On April 7, NBA analyst and TV personality Charles Barkley told CNN "the NBA should move the all-star game from Charlotte" due to the law. 

    Fox News host Todd Starnes lashed out at Springsteen on Twitter by pushing the conservative “bathroom predator” myth, claiming that Springsteen’s opposition to the anti-LGBT law meant Springsteen wanted “grown men to use the bathroom with little girls”:

     

     

     

     

     

    In a statement reported by Yahoo News, Springsteen said "this fight against prejudice and bigotry" in North Carolina is "more important than a rock show":
    Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.

    “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

    [...]

    In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:

    As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

  • Yahoo Reports Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show Over "Bigotry" Of  Anti-LGBT Law

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Yahoo reports Bruce Springsteen cancelled an upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, in opposition to the state's anti-LGBT HB2 law that bans transgender people from restrooms that align with their gender identity.

    On March 23 North Carolina’s general assembly passed a bill "barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates." The New York Times editorial board slammed the legislation, writing that it "makes North Carolina [a] pioneer in bigotry," while regional editorial boards admonished the "recklessness and foolishness" of state officials rolling back nondiscrimination protections. On April 7, NBA analyst and TV personality Charles Barkley told CNN "the NBA should move the all-star game from Charlotte" due to the law. 

    Fox News host Todd Starnes lashed out at Springsteen on Twitter by pushing the conservative “bathroom predator” myth, claiming that Springsteen’s opposition to the anti-LGBT law meant Springsteen wanted “grown men to use the bathroom with little girls”:

    In a statement reported by Yahoo News, Springsteen said "this fight against prejudice and bigotry" in North Carolina is "more important than a rock show":

    Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.

    “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

    North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which is officially called the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March. Never mind that North Carolina police have admitted that the law is essentially unenforcible, there is no factual evidence to support the pervasive theory behind this law, which is that sexual predators would exploit transgender nondiscrimination laws in order to enact assaults. Data compiled by Media Matters for America shows that states with laws preventing discrimination against trans people have no evidence of a rise in sexual assaults.

    [...]

    In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:

    As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

  • NY Times Report On Employer-Provided Insurance Puts Another Nail In The Coffin Of Conservatives' ACA Fearmongering

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    New York Times article debunked the right-wing myth that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would cause employers to stop providing health benefits to employees, reporting that "widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves" were "largely wrong." In fact, according to the Times, "Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance."

    Right-wing media have relentlessly hyped debunked myths and evidence-free claims about the ACA since its passage, including the claim that the health care law would lead employers to cut jobs or shift workers to part-time, that millions would lose their employer-based coverage, and horror stories about rising costs and scaled-back coverage.

    The April 4 article explained that"emerging consensus" holds that the health care law "has not upturned the core of the country's health insurance system," noting that employers are expected to "remain the source of coverage for a majority of working Americans for the next decade" and even "seem to be staying the course even more strongly than they did before the law." The article pointed out that, in fact, "health care remains an important recruitment and retention tool" in the labor market, and employers are accordingly "responding" to employees' expectations of receiving health benefits: 

    The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves.

    But those predictions were largely wrong. Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance.

    As it turns out, health care remains an important recruitment and retention tool as the labor market has tightened in recent years. Desirable employees still expect health benefits, and companies are responding, new analyses of federal data show.

    "We're more confident than ever that we'll offer benefits," said Robert Ihrie Jr., a senior vice president for Lowe's Companies, the home improvement retailer.

    Companies get a sizable federal tax break from providing the insurance. And if they dropped the coverage, many workers would expect the money in their paycheck to increase enough to pay for outside insurance -- or would look for a new job.

    The reversal in thinking about employer benefits is so stark that even government budget officials are singing an optimistic tune. They lowered the number of people they think will lose coverage because of the health law and now predict employers will remain the source of coverage for a majority of working Americans for the next decade.

    The surprise turnaround adds to an emerging consensus about the contentious health law: It has not upturned the core of the country's health insurance system, even while insuring millions of low-income people.

    [...]

    Employers seem to be staying the course even more strongly than they did before the law. The percentage of adults under 65 with employer-based insurance held firm for the last five years after steadily declining since 1999, according to an analysis of federal data released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which closely tracks the health insurance market.