Noticiero Univision Provee Necesaria Visibilidad A Organización Que Beneficia A Jóvenes Inmigrantes LGBT

De la edición del 26 de marzo del programa de Univision Noticiero Univision:Previamente: Medios En Español En La Florida Rompen Con Los Estándares Éticos De Periodismo En Reportaje De Homicidios De Mujeres Transgénero Fox News' Dishonest Defense Of Indiana's Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Law CBS Shows How Easy It Is To Properly Cover A Transgender News Story

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 10:32 am

WSJ Ed Board Should Read Journal 's Own Reporting On EPA Mercury Rule

A Wall Street Journal editorial contradicted the Journal's own news reporting by falsely claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) never considered costs when setting regulations on mercury and other toxic air pollution.  The Journal editorial also deceptively downplayed the public health benefits of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and baselessly dismissed the dangers of mercury pollution.WSJ Editorial Contradicted Own Paper's Reporting By Claiming EPA Never Considered Costs Supreme Court Heard Oral Arguments In Case Challenging EPA's Decision Not To Consider Costs Before Deciding To Regulate Toxic Pollutants. National Journal reported: On Wednesday, justices heard oral arguments in a case challenging whether the EPA was justified in deciding to regulate mercury and other pollutants based solely on the fact that exposure posed a public health threat. A decision is expected in June. At issue is the agency's decision not to consider how much the rule would cost for the utility industry to comply with before deciding it would set limits on toxic pollutants.  [...] Administration officials say the EPA was justified in considering cost after making the decision to regulate, rather than before. [National Journal, 3/25/15] WSJ Editorial: EPA Never "Considered Costs" When Setting Mercury And Air Toxics Standards. In a March 25 editorial, the Wall Street Journal claimed that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer "pull[ed] a fast one" during oral arguments by suggesting that the EPA could consider costs "at some point later ... after deciding to regulate" toxic pollutants. The Journal editorial board claimed that Breyer's "invention" would require belief in a "fantasy EPA" that after initially ignoring costs would "all of a sudden become reasonable at step two." The Journal then further claimed that the EPA acknowledged it "didn't" consider costs: [Justice Breyer suggested] that the EPA will consider costs at some point later when it enforces the mercury rule. The Clean Air Act allows the [EPA], after deciding to regulate, to divide power plants into different "sub-categories" and apply tailor-made rules to each if they are also "appropriate and necessary." The EPA could in theory use this discretion to mitigate any inappropriate costs. The problem is that this invention requires you to believe in a fantasy EPA that, having willfully disregarded the statute at the "appropriate and necessary" listing stage, will all of a sudden become reasonable at step two. The EPA has never taken Justice Breyer's position, and administrative law requires the agency to explain its decision-making. Neither did the Administration nor any friend-of-the-court brief during the Michigan litigation. Justice Breyer's theory is also self-contradictory on the merits. If the EPA had determined at the outset that costs could be assuaged at some late date, then it would have considered costs--exactly what it asserted it didn't and wasn't required to do. [Wall Street Journal editorial, 3/25/15] (emphasis added) WSJ News Article: "[The EPA] Said It Took Costs Into Account Later When It Determined Exactly How To Set Emissions Standards." By contrast, a March 25 Wall Street Journal news article reported that the agency did, in fact, explain that costs were considered at the later stage: [The EPA] said it was appropriate to consider only public health risks--not industry costs--when it decided to regulate coal- and oil-fired generation plants. That decision was the crux of 90 minutes of oral argument. The court was considering a section of the Clean Air Act that said the EPA "shall" regulate utilities' emissions of the hazardous air pollutants if it found that such regulation "is appropriate and necessary." The agency said it took costs into account later when it determined exactly how to set emissions standards. [The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/15] Oral Arguments, Legal Documents Make Clear EPA Did Consider Costs When Setting Standards U.S. Dept. Of Justice Brief For The Case: EPA Does Not Consider Costs When "Assessing the Dangers," But Does Later When "Setting Standards." In its brief on behalf of the EPA in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice noted: "EPA does not consider costs when assessing the dangers at the first stage, but it does consider costs, in accordance with the relevant provisions, when setting standards at the second stage." At one point Justice Breyer himself recognized this point during the Supreme Court's oral arguments in the case, stating: "[T]he [Solicitor General's] brief unambiguously required EPA to consider costs at the second stage of the regulatory process. That's what it said." During oral arguments, Justice Sonia Sotomayor similarly noted to U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli: "Basically, you have consistently in your brief, and so has the  other Respondents, basically said at the listing stage we don't consider costs, we consider it later." [U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments, Michigan v. EPA, 3/25/15; Michigan v. EPA, Brief for the Federal Respondents, accessed 3/26/15] U.S. Solicitor General During Oral Arguments: EPA Did Consider Costs At A Later Stage By Separating Out Standards For Different Types Of Power Plants. During the Supreme Court oral arguments Verrilli directly responded to Breyer's inquiry about addressing costs by noting that EPA placed different sources into "subclasses." Verrilli stated: "And EPA did that in this case. It broke out power plants that generate power burning natural gas, and it said that's a separate subcategory." In addition, Paul M. Smith, an attorney representing industry groups that side with the EPA, noted: "[The EPA] categorized oil-fired plants into four categories. They categorized coal-fired plants into various categories. And that was all done through a notice and comment process which led then to different emission standards." Smith then confirmed to Justice Anthony Kennedy that this was "done based on cost." As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan described it, "costs become relevant later in the analysis, and in a variety of ways." [U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments, Michigan v. EPA, 3/25/15] NYU's Institute For Policy Integrity: Federal Regulatory Review Confirms "EPA Considered Costs And Benefits In A Reasonable Manner." In an amicus curiae supporting the EPA's position in the case, the New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity noted: When a rule's benefits do not justify its costs, [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] OIRA can return a rule to the proposing agency for further review. [...] Here, OIRA reviewed EPA's analysis, including the Rule's substantial indirect benefits, and allowed the agency to proceed, indicating that EPA considered costs and benefits in a reasonable manner. [Institute for Public Integrity amicus curiae in Michigan v. EPA, accessed 3/26/15; OIRA regulatory review, Fall 2011] Business Insider: "The EPA Did Factor In Costs At A Later Stage." Business Insider reported, "The EPA did factor in costs at a later stage when it wrote standards that are expected to reduce the toxic emissions by 90 percent." [Business Insider, 3/25/15] Vox: EPA Says It Considered Costs When Setting Regulations. According to Vox, "the agency considers costs in the later stage, when it's actually setting regulations. And, the EPA says, that's what it did." [Vox, 3/25/15] WSJ Editorial Deceptively Compared Full Cost Of Rule To A Fraction Of Its Health Benefits WSJ Editorial: Reducing Mercury Emissions Will "Produce Merely $500,000 To $6 Million In Direct Public Health Benefits." The Journal editorial alleged: "The EPA's own estimate shows that reducing mercury emissions will produce merely $500,000 to $6 million in direct public health benefits annually. But it will cost the electric industry some $10 billion a year to comply--meaning as much as $20,000 may be needed to produce a single dollar of gains." [Wall Street Journal editorial, 3/25/15] WSJ News Article: EPA Found "The Actual Benefits Of The Regulations Would Be At Least $37 Billion." By contrast, the Wall Street Journal news article noted that Solicitor General Verrilli "referenced EPA findings that the actual benefits of the regulations would be at least $37 billion." Indeed, in its regulatory impact analysis, the EPA found that the Mercury And Air Toxics Standards would "yield annual monetized benefits (in 2007$) of between $37 to $90 billion," largely due to "co-benefits from 4,200 to 11,000 fewer [fine particle pollution]-related premature mortalities." [The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/15; EPA Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, December 2011] EPA: Agency Reduced Costs In Response To Public Input, Allowing Americans To Get $3-9 In Health Benefits For Each Dollar Spent On The Rule. According to an EPA fact sheet on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: After proposal, EPA received more than 900,000 comments. Based on this input and data, the agency has finalized standards that follow the law, maintain vital and significant health benefits and can be implemented for $9.6 billion, about a billion dollars less than the proposed standards. That means that for every dollar spent to reduce pollution, Americans get $3-9 in health benefits in return. [EPA Fact Sheet, accessed 3/26/15] Even Health Benefits Just From Reduced Mercury Pollution Are Likely Higher Than Figures Cited By WSJ. The figure the Journal editorial cited was based on EPA's estimate of the "economic benefits associated with avoided IQ loss due to reduced [mercury] exposure among recreational freshwater anglers" in the continental United States.   However, while the EPA noted that "ingestion of fish" is the "primary route for human exposures in the U.S.," it added that limitations on the ability to measure the full economic value of reduced mercury pollution "suggest that the benefits of mercury reductions are understated by our analysis." [EPA Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, December 2011] WSJ Editorial Baselessly Dismissed Dangers From Mercury Pollution WSJ Editorial Claimed Mercury Pollution Is Not Worthy Of Concern. In order to smear the EPA's intentions, the Wall Street Journal editorial claimed: "Mercury pollution is already de minimis and well controlled, but the rule isn't really about mercury. It is part of the EPA's larger campaign to drive coal-fired power plants out of business." [Wall Street Journal editorial, 3/25/15] WSJ News Article: EPA Said Power Plants Are Single Largest Source Of Mercury, Which Can Be "Particularly Harmful To Children And Unborn Babies." In contrast to the editorial, the Wall Street Journal news article reported, "The EPA said such plants are the single largest source of U.S. emissions of mercury, a neurotoxin that can be particularly harmful to children and unborn babies. [The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/15] Greenwire: Scientists Say Each Pound Of Mercury In The Environment Makes 2 Million Pounds Of Fish Unsafe To Eat. According to a Greenwire report: The sectors subjected to new rules -- coal plants, industrial boilers, cement plants, hazardous waste incinerators, gold mines and chlor-alkali plants -- together produce about 80 of the 100 tons of mercury that American facilities release into the air each year. That doesn't sound like much, considering the United States produces 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, but mercury is extremely potent. Scientists estimate that 1 pound in the environment is enough to make about 2 million pounds of fish unsafe to eat. [Greenwire,12/8/10]

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 9:52 am

Hispanic News Media Blast Ted Cruz's Policy Positions

Republican presidential-hopeful Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has faced criticism from Hispanic news media for his extreme conservative policy positions on health care and immigration, which are out of line with the majority of Latino voters.Ted Cruz Announces His Candidacy For President, Bringing Media Attention To His Extreme Policy Positions Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Bid For 2016 With Differing Spanish- And English-Language Ads. On March 23, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) officially announced his presidential bid at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Cruz also announced his run via a Spanish-language and English-language campaign ad. As Time explained, the Spanish-language ad focused entirely on Cruz's personal life story, while the English-language version discussed Cruz's policy positions, several of which are unpopular among Latinos: Two of the policy positions Cruz doesn't mention in his [Spanish] YouTube ad -- his opposition to immigration reform and his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- are unpopular in the Hispanic community. [Time, 3/23/15] National Journal: Cruz Has Made "Repealing" The Affordable Care Act "Central" To His Career. Cruz said he wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during his March 23 campaign announcement. As the National Journal noted, while other Republican hopefuls have made similar gestures, "none have made it as central to their political careers thus far as Cruz." [National Journal, 3/23/15] USA Today: Cruz Suggests Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Denied Path To Citizenship, Emphasizing Border Security Instead. According to USA Today's Alan Gomez, though Cruz "spoke in lofty terms about the virtues of immigrants" during his campaign announcement, elsewhere he has "made clear" that he is not interested in a pathway to citizenship for immigrants and focuses instead on increasing border security: From barring undocumented immigrants from ever becoming U.S. citizens to remaking our immigration system into one that welcomes mostly university-trained foreigners, Cruz has made clear that he celebrates only a certain kind of immigrant. [USA Today, 3/24/15] Hispanic Media Hit Cruz For Being Out Of Step With Latino Voters La Opinión: Cruz's "Agenda And Style" Have Made Him "Incompatible With The Hispanic Majority." As Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión pointed out, Cruz is the third Latino to officially announce a run for presidency in U.S. history, but his "presence opens the door to the question of whether it is enough to have a Spanish-speaking or Latino candidate to gain support of the Hispanic community." Moreover, the editorial argued, Cruz's "agenda and style" make him "incompatible with the Hispanic majority." [La Opinión, 3/26/15] El País: Cruz May Be Latino And Speak Spanish, But He Does Not "Crusade" For This "Identity." Spanish-language newspaper El País criticized Cruz for his policies, writing (in Spanish), "while he is Latino and speaks Spanish, he doesn't crusade with this identity and is opposed to measures that would legalize Latin American immigrants." [El País, 3/23/15] Huffington Post Latino Voices: Cruz "Doesn't Represent Latino Public Opinion" On The Affordable Care Act. Huffington Post Latino Voices reported on multiple ways in which Ted Cruz's views "diverge from prevailing opinion among Hispanics," noting that despite the fact that 47 percent of Hispanics support the health care law, Cruz "appears likely" to make repealing the ACA a focal point of his campaign. [Huffington Post Latino Voices, 3/24/15] La Opinión Highlights Cruz's "Two Faces" With Spanish-Speaking And Non-Spanish Speaking Voters. La Opinión criticized Cruz's "two faces" on immigration, arguing that he switches his messaging for Latino and non-Latino voters. The paper noted that in his campaign ads, Cruz "celebrates his Hispanic heritage, but omits his attacks on undocumented immigrants" in Spanish, while in English Cruz falsely calls Obama's immigration actions "illegal and unconstitutional amnesty." [La Opinión, 3/24/15] Univision 41 (San Antonio): Hispanics "Reject" Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz, Largely Due To His Anti-Immigration Reform Policy Positions. According to Univision41.com, Hispanics have rejected Cruz, accusing him of "holding anti-immigrant positions." More specifically, immigration rights activists like the Dream Act Coalition said: "While Ted Cruz has a Hispanic name and an immigration background in his past, that is where all of the similarities between him and the Latino community stop." [Univision41.com, 3/23/15] Despierta America: Cruz's "Latino Last Name" And Background Cannot Distract Hispanic Voters From His Anti-Immigrant Positions. During the March 23 edition of Univision's Despierta America, Newsport reporter Danay Rivera explored reactions to Cruz's presidential announcement, noting that "getting the Latino vote would be really hard for him as he hasn't precisely championed the interests of Hispanics." Co-host Ana Patricia Gonzalez opened the segment by highlighting Cruz's Latino and immigrant background, noting that he has become known for his "anti-immigrant policies." [Univision, Despierta America, 3/23/15] Polls Show Widespread Support Among Hispanics For Immigration Reform And The Affordable Care Act Pew: Latinos Prioritize Pathway To Citizenship For Undocumented Immigrants Over Border Security. According to findings from Pew Research Center, "84% of Latino registered voters say that creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants should either be the top priority (46%) or just as important as better border security (38%)" for immigration reform, and "[o]nly 14% of Latino registered voters believe that better border security should be the priority": [Pew Research Center, 10/29/14] Pew: 47 Percent Of Hispanics Support The Affordable Care Act. A 2014 study from Pew Research found that while the popularity of the Affordable Care Act has decreased somewhat among Hispanics, 47 percent still support the health care law. [Pew Research Center, 3/27/14]

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 8:01 am

Mark Levin: President Obama "Is The Greatest Threat The Jews Face ... Since The 1930's"

From the March 26 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show:Previously:  On Hannity, Mark Levin Accuses Obama Of Being Anti-Semitic Mark Levin: Jewish Obama Donors Are "Self-Haters" Who "Despise Their Own Country" Fox's Tantaros Is Just Asking: "Is This White House Anti-Semitic?" Fox News Guest Ben Shapiro: Obama Administration Is "Borderline A Jew-Hating Administration"

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 7:52 am

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart Calls Out Fox News' "Massive Ego" And "Rush To Judgment In Almost Every Situation"

From the March 26 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show: Previously: The Daily Show Trashes Conservative Media's Never-Ending War On Reality The Daily Show Blasts Fox News' Double Standard In Ferguson And Benghazi Coverage

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 6:48 am

Alan Colmes Dismantles Fox's Defense Of Indiana's "Religious Freedom" Law

From the March 27 edition of The Real Story with Gretchen CarlsonPreviously:  Fox News' Dishonest Defense Of Indiana's Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Law Doctor Refuses To Care For Gay Couple's Baby - Is This Conservative Media's "Religious Freedom"? The Ugly, Hateful Result Of The Anti-Gay "Religious Liberty" Debate 

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 2:35 am

Conservative Media's Fantasy That Obama Leaked Info On Israel's Nuclear Capabilities

Right-wing media are up in arms over the Department of Defense's (DOD) release of a 1987 report suggesting Israel has nuclear capabilities, claiming the acknowledgement of the country's nuclear program is an "unprecedented" "leak" and act of "treachery" from the White House. In reality, the Bush administration declassified information on Israel's nuclear program years ago, and the DOD only released the 1987 report after years of fighting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Conservative Media Stoke Fears That Obama "Leaked" Info On Israel's Nuclear Program "For The First Time" Rush Limbaugh: Obama Released Report That "Revealed" Israel Has Nuclear Capabilities, An "Unprecedented" Decision Meant To Anger Netanyahu. During the March 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh claimed that the Obama administration "quietly declassified a 336-page Defense Department document -- top-secret document" that details Israel's nuclear program. Limbaugh called the decision "unprecedented" and asserted it was because Obama's "nose is out of joint" over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress. He went on, "No one has ever admitted that Israel has nukes" until this document was released. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/26/15] Sean Hannity: "Obama Has Now Leaked Israel's Nuclear Secrets To The World," An Act Of "High Crimes And Misdemeanors." On the March 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity asserted the administration "actually leaked Israeli nuclear secrets," calling the release of the report "a level of treachery I can't even begin to comprehend." Hannity claimed Obama engaged in "espionage" and "sabotage" against Israel. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/26/15]  Mark Levin: This Is "A Leak" Of A "Top-Secret" Report Because Obama's "Decided That Israel Has Got To Go." During the March 26 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show, Mark Levin called the DOD's release "a leak" and asserted that it "means that Obama has decided that Israel has got to go." [Cumulus Media Networks, The Mark Levin Show, 3/26/15] The Weekly Standard: "In Shocking Breach," U.S. Declassifies Report Acknowledging Israel's Nuclear Program For "The First Time." In a March 26 blog post, The Weekly Standard asserted that the release of the document was a "shocking breach" and the "first time Israel's alleged nuclear program has ever been officially and publically referenced by the U.S. authorities." [The Weekly Standard, The Blog, 3/26/15] But The Bush Administration Declassified Information About Israel's Nuclear Capabilities Years Ago In 2008, Bush Administration Declassified Report That Stated Israel "Has Produced Nuclear Weapons." In January 2008, the Bush Administration declassified a 1974 "top-secret" report, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," that noted Israel "has produced nuclear weapons." The report was declassified in response to a FOIA request. [The Washington Post, 1/13/08] In 2006, Bush Administration Declassified Documents Detailing Secret Policy Debates Over The Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program. In April 2006, the National Security Archive published 30 declassified U.S. government documents that "disclosed the existence of a highly secret policy debate... over the Israeli nuclear weapons program." The documents were used for an article which found, "Israel already had a nuclear device by 1967." [The National Security Archive, 4/28/06] DOD Only Released Report After Battling A FOIA Request In Court  DOD Fought FOIA Request To Release Document In Federal Court. A January 8 article from Washington Examiner explained the long legal battle for the release of the report due to a FOIA request by Grant Smith, writing, "Defense officials are fighting a three-year-old request under the Freedom of Information Act to release a 1987 report supposedly discussing Israel's nuclear technology." [Washington Examiner, 1/8/15] And DOD Asked Israel To Review Before Releasing Report Pentagon Asked Israel To Review The Document Before Releasing It. Washington Examiner also reported: In a seldom-used legal move known as optional review, Pentagon officials have asked the Israeli government to review the report before they consider releasing it.  [...] While the Israeli government is not obligated to respond, U.S. defense officials said "diplomatic relations dictate that DoD seeks Israel's review," according to documents filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. [Washington Examiner, 1/8/15]

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 2:29 am

Media Ignores Scott Walker's Dark Money Controversy

The press has almost entirely ignored the revelation that after the "richest man in Wisconsin" made secret donations benefitting Republican Governor Scott Walker, his company received special tax credits for that same donor's company. By contrast, the media have frequently invoked donations to the Clinton Foundation in their coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, baselessly suggesting that those donations create conflicts of interest. Yahoo News reported March 23 that John Menard Jr., the billionaire owner of a chain of hardware stores in the Midwest, donated over $1.5 million to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which "pledged to keep its donors secret." Walker helped generate large, undisclosed donations for the group, according to records unveiled as part of a criminal investigation into whether the interactions of such groups with Walker's campaign committee violated state campaign finance laws. The Club defended Walker in the 2012 recall election, where he prevailed. Since then, Menard's company "has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records." Walker appointees also scaled back enforcement actions by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, "a top Menard priority." MSNBC's Rachel Maddow gave a detailed account of the story on her March 24 broadcast: Yet the pay-to-play allegations swirling around Walker, a possible Republican presidential candidate, have been widely ignored by others in the media. The story hasn't been covered on the three major broadcast networks, CNN, or Fox News, according to a search of Nexis and Media Matters' video archives. The Rachel Maddow Show appears to be MSNBC's only mention of the story. Besides a reprint of an Associated Press article noting a denial of wrongdoing from the Walker administration, the New York Times hasn't covered the story. And the only references from The Washington Post are in a post on the progressive Plum Line blog and the same AP story the Times reprinted. By contrast, the media has repeatedly raised the specter of "ethical concerns" over donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments and individuals, among others. They have persisted with this coverage despite the clear indications from Hillary Clinton's record as secretary of state that the donations did not influence her politically and the reality that the donations went to a global charity, not a fund benefiting her election.

Posted by on 27 March 2015 | 1:05 am

Hannity: Obama "Wants To Give The Iranians Nuclear Weapons"

From the March 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity:Previously: Right-Wing Media Hype GOP Letter Seeking To Derail Nuclear Negotiations Between The United States And Iran MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Highlights Media Backlash To GOP Senators' Letter To Iran

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 9:57 am

Journalism Professors Issue Letter Critical Of 60 Minutes Ebola Coverage

More than 150 writers and professors sent a letter to CBS criticizing 60 Minutes' Ebola coverage, which they described as a "frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent."  According to Politico, former New York Times foreign correspondent and associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Howard D. French, along with 150 academics and journalists sent a letter to 60 Minutes' executive producer Jeffery Fager, condemning what they called "many of the worst habits of modern American journalism on the subject of Africa." The letter takes issue with 60 Minutes' failure to air the perspective of Africans during their reports on Ebola from areas like Liberia, noting that "the only people heard from on the air were white foreigners who had come to Liberia to contribute to the fight against the disease." The letter continued:  Africans were reduced to the role of silent victims. They constituted what might be called a scenery of misery: people whose thoughts, experiences and actions were treated as if totally without interest.  [...]Liberians not only died from Ebola, but many of them contributed bravely to the fight against the disease, including doctors, nurses and other caregivers, some of whom gave their lives in this effort. Despite this, the only people heard from on the air were white foreigners who had come to Liberia to contribute to the fight against the disease.Taken together, this anachronistic style of coverage reproduces, in condensed form, many of the worst habits of modern American journalism on the subject of Africa. To be clear, this means that Africa only warrants the public's attention when there is disaster or human tragedy on an immense scale, when Westerners can be elevated to the role of central characters, or when it is a matter of that perennial favorite, wildlife. As a corollary, Africans themselves are typically limited to the role of passive victims, or occasionally brutal or corrupt villains and incompetents; they are not otherwise shown to have any agency or even the normal range of human thoughts and emotions. Such a skewed perspective not only disserves Africa, it also badly disserves the news viewing and news reading public. In a statement to the Columbia Journalism Review, a 60 Minutes spokesperson responded that they have invited French to discuss the issue and said that "60 Minutes is proud of its coverage of Africa and has received considerable recognition for it."  French told CJR that he "would be happy to speak with them, but the only basis for sincere conversation that I can detect would be engaging on the points of my letter, and they have not done that." 

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 5:04 am

State Newspapers' Editorial Boards Shame GOP Senators Blocking Attorney General Vote

Editorial boards in states with Republican senators are condemning their representatives for refusing to allow an up-or-down vote on Loretta Lynch, President Obama's highly-qualified pick to become the next U.S. Attorney General, despite bipartisan support for her nomination.Illinois' Journal Star: "Lynch delay just one more indictment of worst Congress ever" Iowa's Des Moines Register: "Lynch deserves confirmation vote" Kentucky's Courier-Journal: "Untangle the Senate" Missouri's St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Dysfunctional Congress trades jabs on sex trafficking, Loretta Lynch" New Hampshire's Concord Monitor: "Another day, another game in the Senate" North Carolina's News & Observer: "Sens. Tillis, Burr crassly partisan in opposing Loretta Lynch" Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Delay of Justice: The Senate should vote on Lynch, up or down" South Carolina's Charlotte Observer: "Time to approve Loretta Lynch" Tennessee's Chattanooga Times Free Press: "Failure to govern: Political apathy can't go on" Texas' San Antonio Express-News: "Confirm Loretta Lynch" Senate Republicans Could Delay A Confirmation Vote On Lynch Until April CNN: "Lynch's Confirmation Vote Could Be Delayed Until April." As CNN reported, Senate Republicans are stalling on a confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch, Obama's pick to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Despite the fact that Lynch has broad support from Democrats and Republicans alike, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has nevertheless gone back on his word and delayed a vote on Lynch until Democrats approve an unrelated human trafficking bill: Lynch, a two-time US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was nominated in November and has waited longer than all five previous attorney general nominees combined for a vote in the full Senate. [Former New York City Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani worked with Lynch when he was mayor and called her an excellent lawyer with "very substantial expertise in national security", who made decisions on merit, was not a political operative in any sense and deserved to be confirmed. "As you all know, I am a Republican and I think I could probably be described as a very dedicated Republican," Giuliani told reporters on a press call. "I find Loretta Lynch not only to be an acceptable appointment. I find her to be an extraordinary appointment." Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to delay a vote on Lynch's confirmation by the full Senate until the chamber completes consideration of an unrelated sex trafficking bill. That legislation had bipartisan support until Democrats discovered Republicans had added an anti-abortion provision they oppose. A procedural vote to end debate on the bill failed for the third time on Thursday and efforts to reach a compromise have gone nowhere. With the Senate set to debate the budget next week and to leave for a two-week Easter recess the following week, Lynch's confirmation vote could be delayed until April. [CNN, 3/20/15] Editorial Boards In States With Republican Senators Condemn Obstruction Of Lynch And Call For An Immediate Up-Or-Down Vote Illinois' Journal Star: "What A Novel Concept: A Nominee Who Supports The Nominating President's Positions." In a recent editorial, the Journal Star condemned McConnell for "trying to extort Democrats" who oppose the expansion of the Hyde Amendment in the human trafficking bill. Noting that "few doubt her credentials," the Journal Star editorial board called on Senate Republicans -- including their own Mark Kirk -- to allow an "up-or-down vote on the merits": Games. Always games. That describes what's happening now in the U.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to extort Democrats into voting for a human trafficking prevention bill by making it a precondition of permitting a vote on the president's nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch. Lynch was nominated by President Obama on Nov. 8. She sailed through her Jan. 28 confirmation hearing without so much as a misstep before a majority party that was eager to hear one, and on Feb. 26, the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed her appointment. Few doubt her credentials, as a current U.S. attorney in New York City, for the job, with the possible exception of those Republicans who think she shares too many of Obama's goals. Yes, what a novel concept: a nominee who supports the nominating president's positions. Wow, that's never happened before with, say, a Republican president, who always chooses someone who disagrees with him for the likes of Cabinet and federal court positions. Alas, McConnell has been sitting on it ever since, all because of the anti-trafficking bill that Democrats generally support -- who's for human trafficking? -- with the exception of an anti-abortion provision that was not in the original Senate bill, not in the initial House bill (though it has been in play long enough for Democrats to have noticed before now). These are unrelated issues. Both deserve an up-or-down vote on the merits, without preconditions. It's the same old nonsense that has made the last couple of Congresses the most unpopular, do-nothing bodies in U.S. history. [Peoria Journal Star, 3/19/15] Iowa's Des Moines Register: "By Tabling A Vote On Lynch, Republicans Risk Further Alienation Of Black And Latino Voters." Iowa is currently represented by two Republican Senators -- Chuck Grassley and newly-elected Joni Ernst -- who have supported the historic obstructionism behind Lynch's nomination. In a recent editorial, the Des Moines Register argued that allowing a vote would "show the country that [Republicans] can govern" and that continued delays would distance the GOP from minority voters: It was inevitable that the new Republican leaders in Congress would face a learning curve. Unfortunately, they are proving to be slow learners. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's treatment of Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, is the latest in a series of strategic missteps that have led to an unproductive start for this Congress -- even by recent congressional standards. [...] Now Republicans appear to have decided to trade one hostage -- Homeland Security -- for another: Loretta Lynch. The party's opposition to Lynch rests almost entirely on her unwillingness to criticize Obama's immigration policies. Unless a compromise can be reached, Republicans will be in the position of indefinitely delaying a vote on the first black woman nominated for attorney general, even though she appears to have enough Republican support to be confirmed. By tabling a vote on Lynch, Republicans risk further alienation of black and Latino voters -- and even more rancorous relations with Democrats, just as budget negotiations are beginning. Republicans still need to show the country that they govern. And the best way to do that is to bring Lynch's nomination to the floor, and the sooner the better. [The Des Moines Register, 3/17/15] Kentucky's Courier-Journal: "Once Again, Gridlock Rules." The Courier-Journal editorial board also blasted McConnell for unfairly linking Lynch's fate to the human trafficking bill, and accused him of "falsely implying Democrats are somehow opposed to helping" victims in order to defend his fellow Republicans. The editors also pointed out McConnell's broken promise on the timing of the vote, as he "initially had planned to hold a vote on Ms. Lynch's confirmation but now is stalling it": What do human trafficking, abortion and the nation's next attorney general have to do with each other? Nothing -- unless they get lumped together on the battleground more commonly known as Congress. The three unrelated issues are tangled into a complicated knot by Republicans who hold the majority in the U.S. Senate, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. And once again, gridlock rules. [...] It's already illegal to spend taxpayer funds on abortions under federal law known as the Hyde Amendment. But some in the Senate now want to dictate how trafficking victims spend money from perpetrators. In public comments, Mr. McConnell tries to argue the fight is actually about human trafficking, invoking the terrible plight of victims "sold into sexual slavery" and falsely implying Democrats somehow are opposed to helping such individuals. In fact, it's the Senate GOP holding up aid to victims of trafficking through its insistence on throwing abortion into the mix. [The Courier-Journal, 3/18/15] Missouri's St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Victimizing The Highly Qualified Ms. Lynch ... Is Another Low." Although Missouri's Republican Sen. Roy Blunt reportedly plans to vote against Lynch's nomination, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch attacked the "dysfunctional Congress" that has so far blocked a vote. In its editorial, the Post-Dispatch called on Republicans to "remove the poison pill Hyde Amendment" from the human trafficking bill and bring her nomination up for a vote and confirmation: If Republicans sincerely want to help the victims of sex trafficking -- a roughly $32 billion-a-year slave trade -- they should remove the poison pill Hyde Amendment from the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Women who have been sold into slavery don't need further burdens. Democrats should up their game. Hint: If the GOP says a bill is non-controversial, check anyway. Victimizing the highly qualified Ms. Lynch in this unfortunate exercise is another low. The Senate is busy this week debating a budget that is destined to go nowhere, and then Congress takes two weeks off for Easter. By that point, Ms. Lynch's nomination will have languished for five months. Before eating Easter dinner, the Senate should put aside this malarkey, confirm Ms. Lynch and get the trafficking bill passed. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/26/15] New Hampshire's Concord Monitor: Wait On Lynch Vote Is "An Unconscionable Delay." The editorial board of the Concord Monitor also criticized the "glacial pace" of the current Senate, and called McConnell's use of the human trafficking bill as leverage "the flimsiest of pretexts." In a reference to their own Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, "who knows something about breaking barriers as an attorney general," the paper urged her to "nudge her fellow Republicans in the correct direction" : [W]hen you have a Republican majority that is driven to distraction by President Obama, the simplest matters can turn into the grandest of confrontations. So far this year, the Senate has worked at a glacial pace, only managing to pass bills that are either absolutely necessary, such as allocating money for the Department of Homeland Security, or certain to be vetoed, such as attempting to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Lynch was nominated in November. She was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote last month, with senators of both parties praising her experience. The delay between her nomination and confirmation is now as long as any attorney general since Edwin Meese was nominated by President Ronald Reagan exactly 30 years ago. That's an unconscionable delay, especially when it comes to our nation's top law enforcement officer. The list of things GOP senators don't like about the Obama administration is lengthy. But the justification they're using to oppose Lynch's confirmation is her support of Obama's executive actions on immigration. Never mind the fact that if congressional Republicans had taken action on a comprehensive immigration plan over the last six years, Obama's executive actions would have been unnecessary. They had -- indeed, they still have -- the power to render any executive order superfluous. Right now, Senate leader Mitch McConnell is using a human trafficking bill as the flimsiest of pretexts to delay Lynch's confirmation. The bill includes anti-abortion language that some Democrats object to. Republicans are unhappy that Democrats are raising a stink about the bill now, given that its text has been available for months. But these political squabbles have exactly nothing to do with the post of attorney general. [Concord Monitor, 3/17/15] North Carolina's News & Observer: Republican Senators "Are Simply Classless In Standing Against Lynch." The News & Observer also took to task North Carolina's Republican senators -- Thom Tillis and Richard Burr -- for opposing Lynch, who is a native North Carolinian. The editorial board condemned Tillis and Burr's objections against Lynch as "classless," called Lynch a "North Carolina success story," and concluded that "it's quickly becoming clear what a mistake it was to send Thom Tillis to the U.S. Senate": Tillis is making a partisan objection to Attorney General Eric Holder's supposed "politicizing" the Department of Justice. If North Carolina's senators oppose a nominee, it should be because she is not qualified to serve. It shouldn't be because she does not share their conservative views of the law. She is not nominated as a judge. She is nominated by the president to approach the role of attorney general in a way that reflects his philosophy of the law. The president is entitled to nominate people who share his views. Beyond being wrongheaded about the confirmation process, Tillis and Burr are simply classless in standing against Lynch. An African-American who grew up in Durham as the daughter of a minister and a librarian, Lynch is a North Carolina success story. She distinguished herself by earning undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, in private practice and as United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. If confirmed, she would be the first black woman to hold the office of Attorney General of the United States. Senators are impressed with Lynch's credentials, her demeanor and her judgment. Other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, including Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake, voted for her. Yet the junior senator from North Carolina voted against her, putting himself in league with tea party Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Burr promptly said, "Me, too." Burr and Tillis think Lynch is unworthy of approval because she will cnot drop the Justice Department's suit against a new North Carolina election law. The law, quickly approved once the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act, is one of the most restrictive such laws in the nation. It requires a photo ID to vote, tightens registration rules and cuts back early voting. [The News & Observer, 2/26/15] Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The Senate Owes Ms. Lynch -- And The Country -- The Courtesy Of A Vote." In its editorial supporting a vote on Lynch, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called Republican senators "childish" for stalling Lynch's confirmation vote. As the Post-Gazette explained, Republican Senators like Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey has created an absurd new standard in their opposition to Lynch, because "[t]he president is never going to put forth a nominee the Tea Party will like -- nor should he": More than four months after President Barack Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, Loretta Lynch remains in limbo. This is not because some Republican senators are racist or sexist, but because they're childish, treating the nomination like candy to be traded for better fare. While such political antics are often defended as "the art of the possible," they degrade both the political process and the office. The Senate should stop stalling and vote Ms. Lynch up or down. [...] Ms. Lynch, however, was generally well regarded until her confirmation hearing, when she said immigrants who came to the United States illegally should be able to obtain work permits. This enraged Republicans who believe the president's immigration policies flout the Constitution. But Ms. Lynch's position should not come as a surprise; a president is not going to appoint Cabinet members who don't share his views. The president is never going to put forth a nominee the Tea Party will like -- nor should he. To become the next head of the Justice Department, Ms. Lynch needs 51 votes. If all 46 Democrats vote for her, she needs just five Republicans to cross over. A few, such as South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Utah's Orrin Hatch, say they intend to back her, but they could change their minds if Senate leaders continue to stall. The Senate owes Ms. Lynch -- and the country -- the courtesy of a vote. Republicans will get an attorney general more to their liking if their presidential candidate wins in 2016. Until then, it's Mr. Holder or Ms. Lynch. Pick one, and move on. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/20/15] South Carolina's Charlotte Observer: Delay On Lynch Is A "Hyper-Partisan D.C. Food Fight That's Destroying Our Country." Although South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has signaled his support for Lynch, his colleague, fellow Republican Tim Scott, has not -- even though, as the Charlotte Observer pointed out, Lynch "is well-qualified to take over for Eric Holder." The editorial board called the delay an example of "toxic politics of the nation's capital": We like to say in this country that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can reach as high as your dreams and smarts will take you. That certainly isn't the message Republican senators are sending when it comes to Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general. Nearly two weeks after winning approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Greensboro-born, Durham-bred Harvard graduate still awaits confirmation as the nation's top law enforcement official. Thanks to the toxic politics of the nation's capital, she might have to wait another month before the full Senate votes. All of this despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans -- even some who oppose her -- agree that the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York is well-qualified to take over for Eric Holder. So what's the problem? Critics say she's too much like Holder and the man who's trying to hire her, Barack Obama, on major issues such as voting rights and immigration. It's a ridiculous objection. What boss picks an employee to fight his or her goals? What's really holding her up is the kind of hyper-partisan D.C. food fight that's destroying our country. [The Charlotte Observer, 3/18/15] Tennessee's Chattanooga Times Free Press: "We The People Cannot Get A Vote On [Lynch's] Nomination." In a recent editorial, the Times Free Press denounced Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander for his opposition of Lynch, despite the fact that her public service resume "is the epitome of good government working well." The editorial board railed against the partisan politics that stalled her nomination even though "none of our senators and Congress members have any complaints": "I will vote against President Obama's nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general of the United States," Alexander said in an email statement to the media. "This is an opportunity, within the Senate rules, to express my disapproval of the president's abuse of executive authority, and it's an opportunity I intend to take." What? Loretta Lynch was the valedictorian of her class, and gave up excellent private attorney compensation to become a public servant decades ago. She has successfully prosecuted mobsters, bad cops and corrupt politicians. She is the epitome of good government working well. But we the people cannot get a vote on her nomination because the Senate has now found a way to disagree on a bill that would protect victims of sex trafficking. [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 3/18/15] Texas' San Antonio Express-News: "What We've Witnessed Is A Business-As-Usual Congressional Hot Mess." As the Express-News' editorial pointed out, "Lynch's qualifications are not questioned," and linking her confirmation to an unrelated trafficking bill is inappropriate. The editorial board suggested Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz "chew gum and walk at the same time" by allowing a vote on Lynch while they consider the trafficking bill: Loretta Lynch is extremely qualified to be the next U.S. Attorney General. Abortion language in a human trafficking bill is unnecessary to the good work this legislation would produce. It is as simple as that. One issue should have nothing to do with the other. But because the U.S. Senate is involved, the issues have been linked, and what we've witnessed is a business-as-usual congressional hot mess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised a vote on the president's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder would happen this week. But on Sunday, he said this would be delayed to take up the human trafficking bill by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. [...] Lynch's qualifications are not questioned. She has been a federal prosecutor and is now a U.S. Attorney in New York. The most expedient route to both passage of this bill and to confirmation for the next Attorney General lies in dropping the abortion language. Failing that, the Senate has two choices: Proving it can chew gum and walk at the same time -- considering the bill and having a speedy vote on Lynch -- or compromise on the abortion language. It's a toss-up whether this Senate is up to either task, but it should at least try. [San Antonio Express-News, 3/19/15]

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 4:47 am

Fox News' Dishonest Defense Of Indiana's Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Law

Fox News host Gretchen Carlson defended Indiana's anti-LGBT "religious freedom" law, inaccurately equating it to existing federal legislation to claim the bill is "harmless" and necessary to protect Christians from discrimination. On the March 25 edition of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Carlson and her guests discussed Indiana's recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a law that creates a broad license for individuals and business owners to cite their religious beliefs as a defense against charges of discrimination. Businesses, religious leaders, and even the Republican mayor of Indianapolis have all condemned the state's RFRA law for its potential to encourage discrimination against LGBT people in particular. During the segment, Carlson and her guests falsely equated Indiana's RFRA with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act , which was originally passed in 1993 to prevent the government from passing laws that substantially burdening a person's free expression of religion, with a few exceptions. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal RFRA did not apply to the states, resulting in many states passing their own local RFRAs: But Indiana's SB 101, is not, as Carlson and her guests assert, an exact replica of the federal RFRA. A February 27 letter by 30 legal scholars expressing their concern over the proposed Indiana RFRA explains the distinction between the SB 101 and the 1993 federal law: The state RFRA bills do not, in fact, mirror the language of the federal RFRA. [...] The definition of "person" under the proposed RFRA differs substantially from that contained in the federal RFRA, affording standing to assert religious liberty rights to a much broader class of entities than that currently recognized by federal law. Unlike the federal RFRA, Indiana's RFRA contains an extremely broad definition of "person" that includes organizations, corporations, or companies that are: "compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by an individual or the individuals; who have control and substantial ownership of the entity, regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes."  As Buzzfeed also reported:  The Indiana bill is broader than federal law. While the Indiana bill says that a "governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion," it also applies those rules to businesses and interactions between private parties "regardless of whether the state or any other government entity is party to the proceeding." Carlson and her guests also downplayed the opposition against RFRA by noting that the federal bill was originally passed with bipartisan support. But the unforeseen consequences of RFRA have caused many democratic legislators who originally voted on RFRA to withdraw their support of the law. As the same legal scholars explain in their letter (emphasis added): This parallel between support for the federal RFRA and the proposed state RFRA is misplaced. In fact, many members of the bipartisan coalition that supported the passage of the federal RFRA in 1993 now hold the view that the law has been interpreted and applied in ways they did not expect at the time they lent their endorsement to the law. As a result, the legislators who voted on RFRA have distanced themselves from their initial backing of the legislation. As legal and religious scholar Dr. Jay Michaelson noted, these unintended consequences amount to a broad license to discriminate against LGBT people, because state RFRA laws could allow "individuals and businesses [to] exempt themselves from anti-discrimination laws by proffering religious objections to them." Portraying Indiana's RFRA as benign legislation identical to the "bipartisan" federal law isn't just inaccurate journalism. It is a part of Fox's larger role in promoting the narrative of Christian persecution to support the passage of a number of state RFRAs now being considered in states across the country. Expect to see Fox continue to misrepresent RFRA as a harmless law protecting "religious liberty" while ignoring the fact that these bills are actually the product of powerful anti-LGBT organizations lobbying to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. 

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 3:26 am

The Pay-To-Play Allegation Walker's Watchdog Isn't Defending

Mired in conflicts of interest, Watchdog.org's Wisconsin Reporter has remained silent as new information emerges concerning Governor Scott Walker's (R-WI) role in a potential pay-to-play scandal. The site, which echoed defendants calling the investigation a "witch hunt," has previously defended Walker from the allegations of campaign finance violations in over 150 articles. The Wisconsin Reporter has been a staunch defender of Walker against allegations of wrongdoing stemming from the "John Doe" investigations, the protected state probes into Walker's campaign practices and possible illegal campaign coordination. Since January 1 of this year, the Reporter has published 19 articles either defending Walker or denouncing the validity of the investigations.The Reporter's website includes a special series on the "John Doe" investigations titled "Wisconsin's Secret War," which currently has 186 total entries. But the Wisconsin Reporter has been silent as evidence reportedly leaked from the very investigation it has covered so heavily revealed potential instances of pay-to-play between a local business man and the Walker administration. At issue is over $1.5 million in donations made in 2012 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCG), a group that defended the Governor during his 2012 recall election and is directed by Walker's campaign advisor, Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff reported on March 23. The donations were made by hardware store franchise owner John Menard Jr. According to Isikoff, in the years after Walker survived that recall election, Menard's business has benefited from "up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs." Before the evidence of Menard's donation to WCG became public, the Reporter defended Eric O'Keefe, director of the WCG, against allegations that he and the WCG improperly coordinated with Walker. In multiple articles the Reporter gave O'Keefe and the WCG a platform to deny wrongdoing and undermine the investigation by calling it a "witch hunt." While prosecutors have not commented on the case to the site, O'Keefe told the Reporter, "From its inception, this was a scam, a political pursuit." In an attempt to undermine the case, the Reporter highlighted the growing cost of the investigation, questioned the independence of the chief justice hearing the case, and promoted counter investigations into the prosecution. The Reporter has not yet mentioned Menard's donation and subsequent tax breaks, a major development in the story that made national headlines. Their silence on the story highlights the conflicts of interest that surround the outlet's reporting on Walker and the "John Doe" investigations. The Reporter is part of The Franklin Center, a group of web-based media outlets founded in part by EricO'Keefe. The Franklin Center's Watchdog.org media group -- which includes the Wisconsin Reporter -- claims they are "in no way partisan," however the Franklin Center received 95 percent of their funding in 2011 from Donors Trust, a conservative clearing house used to pump money indirectly into politics, and whose chief executive told The Guardian that no donations to the trust would go "to liberals." The Franklin Center's ties to conservative Wisconsin groups goes beyond O'Keefe and the WCG. In an op-ed in The Capital Times, Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy reported that Franklin Center Director of Special Projects John Connors has also acted as president of Citizens for a Strong America, another conservative group funded by the Club for Growth which was named as a target of the "John Doe" investigation. After apologizing for not disclosing Connors' connection to the case, the Wisconsin Reporter continued to defend Walker and those involved in the investigation. CORRECTION: This post originally stated that John Connors was personally named in the "John Doe" investigation. While it is unknown if Connors is personally named, he has acted as the president of Citizens for a Strong America, which is named in the investigation. This information was uncovered by the Center for Media and Democracy's Brendan Fischer, not The Capital Times as originally reported. 

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 2:34 am

Rush Limbaugh Launches Into Sexist Anti-Hillary Clinton Tirade

From the March 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:Previously: Limbaugh Attacks Clinton While Reading MSNBC Article On "Cankles" Rush Limbaugh's Decades Of Sexism And Misogyny

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 12:56 am

Weeks Before His Appearance At NRA Meeting, Ted Nugent Calls Another Black Man A "Mongrel"

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent called MSNBC host and civil rights activist Al Sharpton a "racist mongrel" and claimed that the only racism he can discern in the United States is "coming out of the White House" during a radio appearance. Nugent, who is a conservative columnist and spokesperson for the Outdoor Channel, previously caused widespread controversy after calling President Obama a "subhuman mongrel." Nugent's racially charged attack on Sharpton comes weeks before he is scheduled to appear at the NRA's annual meeting, which will be held April 10 through 12 in Nashville, Tennessee. On April 12, Nugent is scheduled to give a presentation titled "Freedom is not Free and We the People Must Keep It Alive!" According to the NRA, Nugent will "remind Americans that there is a cost for the Freedoms that we enjoy" and tell the crowd "what you can do to keep this country free" during his appearance. During a March 24 appearance on KFYI's The Mike Broomhead Show, Nugent said that he was "shattered" to learn of racism against African-Americans as a young person, but that "by the late 60s, the 70s, I couldn't find racism. I never saw racism. I never heard of racism. I thought it was a thing of the past in isolated pockets of inbreeding and cannibalism and spiritlessness." According to Nugent, he only became aware of racism again after hearing President Obama's comments on the controversy that surrounded the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, who is African-American, by a white police officer. Citing Obama's remarks on Trayvon Martin, "the racism of" Attorney General Eric Holder, and "racist mongrel" Al Sharpton, Nugent said, "nowhere can I find racism except coming out of the White House."

Posted by on 26 March 2015 | 12:14 am