Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ducked a question from a gay newspaper about her foundation taking millions of dollars from countries that persecute gays. In an exclusive interview with The Washington Blade published Nov. 3, Clinton touted the Clinton Foundation’s fight against HIV and claimed, “As your president, I will continue to fight for LGBT rights here in the United States and around the globe.”
Once upon a time, the right had (some) reason to complain about media bias, acknowledges Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, but these days, not so much. According to Marshall, when conservatives back in the day “went about creating their own counter-establishment,” what they built wasn’t a normal mirror image, but a funhouse-mirror image. For example, "Fox News [was] the supposed antidote to the 'liberal media'. Of course, Fox is 'conservative' in a way that the mid-century elite media simply never was. And with generations of ref-playing what had been a vaguely establishment liberal national press ceased almost entirely to be so."
I took it for granted that a leftist like Bernie Sanders would be opposed to the death penalty. Still, I was truly shocked to see Sanders—not in some throwaway comment on the campaign trail but in prepared remarks on the Senate floor—flatly call the death penalty "murder." On his MSNBC show this morning, Al Sharpton played the clip to illustrate how Sanders is working to differentiate his policy positions from those of Hillary Clinton, who says she supports the death penalty in "rare" cases.
Question: how can we begin to explain the moral compass of liberals like Sanders who call imposing the death penalty on adults duly convicted of heinous crimes "murder," but refer to the killing of innocent, unborn babies as "choice" or other grotesque euphemisms like "women's health?"
New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak weighed in on Tuesday's front page on two Supreme Court decisions, both favorable to conservatives. Yet in both cases Liptak led his coverage off by detailing the losing liberal arguments: "The move, which supporters of race-conscious admissions programs called baffling and ominous, signaled that the court may limit or even end such affirmative action."
Just when you find yourself doubting the legitimacy of capital punishment, a liberal comes along and erodes that doubt.
On his HBO program Sunday night, former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver mocked the efforts of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts to acquire the drugs needed for the lethal-injection execution of an inmate after the solidly Republican state legislature voted to end capital punishment in Nebraska. The new law won't take effect for three months.
The front of Sunday's New York Times will evidently be blessed with "Death Penalty Leaves Boston Unsure of Itself." The paper found the death sentence handed down to convicted Boston Marathon terrorist bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a distasteful "blot" on Boston's compassionate liberal reputation, which has rendered the finish line "a place of ambivalence," with no end of self-righteous Bostonian handwringing on the matter.
Of all the rotten reasons not to execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, we'll give the booby prize to the one offered by Paul Raushenbush, a HuffPo religion editor and ordained American Baptist minister. On today's Melissa Harris-Perry show, Raushenbush imagined that in twenty years, Tsarnaev might become "a spokesperson for reconciling Islam with America. We don't know what this life is going to lead to." Anything's possible, but surely Tsarnaev's sentence should not be based on this sort of idle speculation.
What made Raushenbush's argument particularly galling was his statement that "the idea of ending any life for any reason is for me just not something I want done in my name." I Googled, and sure enough Raushenbush supports abortion rights. You don't want "any life" ended in your name? You don't know what a life that is ended might lead to, Rev. Raushenbush?
The nation's establishment press is virtually ignoring the existence of horrifying and officially approved Islamic State videos showing the executions of accused homosexuals and adulterers.
A search this morning at Google News on "Islamic State gay" (with "Islamic State" in quotes, showing duplicates) for items appearing since January 14 returned 83 results. Roughly 30 of them are directly relevant, and almost none are from U.S. establishment press outlets. As usual, the British tabloids and new media outlets are ahead of the game. Here are several paragraphs from the U.K. Daily Mail's coverage (bolds are mine):
Prospective 2016 Democratic presidential contender Gov. Martin O'Malley decided to close out 2014 with an announcement that he would be commuting the death sentences of four Maryland death-row inmates who were in a virtual state of limbo -- eligible for execution but unable to be executed due to the state lacking an appropriate protocol for lethal injections.
Reporting the story in the January 1, 2015 edition, Washington Post staffer John Wagner front-loaded the article with praise for "practicing Catholic" O'Malley's, waiting until the eighth paragraph for the first mention of criticism of the move.
While promoting a book of news photography on CBS This Morning on Saturday, Sir Harold Evans, editor at large of the Reuters news agency, called the electric chair a “monstrosity” and said seeing a picture of one was “almost as appalling, in its sense, as these barbarians who have taken the heads off journalists in the desert.”
Although Alex Wagner has donned new glasses for her news show Now, the liberal journalist seems unable to look beyond MSNBC’s favorite response to any Republican: bringing up race. On the July 31 edition, Wagner played a clip of Ari Melber’s July 30 interview with Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker on their new drug law reform initiative the REDEEM Act – the Record Expungement Designed to ENhance Employment Act – and then asked the co-host of The Cycle why Paul and Booker were so “reticent to take up” the issue of “racial disparities inherent in our criminal justice system” and “plumb further depths of it.”
Even though the Senators were pushing a bipartisan bill on the traditionally liberal cause of criminal justice reform, Melber and Wagner were unable to resist weaseling race into the discussion, seemingly unhappy that both politicians were unwilling to play the race game. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
John Oliver used the Sunday July 20 edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight as a platform to condemn the privatization of the American prison system. Rather than describing both sides of the issue, Oliver told horror stories from prisons that outsource healthcare and food provision without mentioning similar stories from publicly run prisons. According to Oliver, the verdict is straightforward: “private prisons are bad.”
The British comedian spent 18 of his 30 minute show decrying the “drug laws that do seem to be a little draconian, and a lot racist,” as well as the “dismantling of our mental health system” that lead to America having “more prisoners at the moment than China.” Of course, he failed to mention that the Chinese government usually chooses the death penalty over imprisonment, and according to CNN, “executed more people than any other country last year.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]