The nature of Arizona's SB 1062 -- a bill to expand the parameters of the state's religious freedom protections -- was "egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics," according to a bipartisan group of constitutional law experts who wrote to Gov. Jan Brewer (R) prior to her Wednesday veto of the bill.

By extension, as we've noted in our reporting, the liberal media glommed onto the bill's critics and presented their attacks as accurate descriptions of what the bill actually does. But as these experts explained in their missive to Brewer, the law is much narrower than the nightmare scenarios its opponents dreamed up for it. From Warren Richey's February 27 story for the Christian Science Monitor (emphasis mine):



Soon after Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed S.B. 1062 -- a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would have given business people the right to cite religious beliefs when refusing service to homosexuals -- gays and liberals began cheering and celebrating the decision, which received extensive coverage in the three network morning shows.

However, many people who disagreed with the veto vented their frustration online by calling the network news coverage of the issue “a truly awe-inspiring tsunami of poorly informed indignation” since the word “gay” was not mentioned in the legislation, among other reasons.



Talking to Democratic Senator Patty Murray during her noontime MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell gloated over Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoing a proposed religious freedom law in the state: "Clearly she was responding to some heavy pressure, economic interests, national economic interests, major corporations, the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball. States cannot take these kinds of actions and expect to do it with impunity." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Before making that declaration, Mitchell asserted that the GOP had already been damaged by the nonexistent law: "The vetoing of the anti-gay bill by the Arizona governor. I'm not sure why she waited as long as she did because it's now become an issue for the Republican Party, having dragged it out so many days."



After spending days denouncing a religious freedom bill in Arizona as "anti-gay," all three network morning shows on Thursday hailed protester celebrations following Governor Jan Brewer vetoing the proposed legislation. Fill-in co-host Lara Spencer led off ABC's Good Morning America by excitedly announcing: "Vetoed! Protesters cheering the Arizona governor's decision to strike the controversial bill that would have given businesses the right to deny service to gay people for religious reasons." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega described the joyous atmosphere: "Boy, a lot of celebrating here overnight....And that very moment outside Arizona's capitol, from cheers to tears." Vega talked to one protester who compared the vetoed bill to segregation: "Nobody rides at the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once and that's what this battle is. We shouldn't have to do this again and I hope this is the last time."



On Tuesday, all three network morning shows touted "pressure mounting from all sides" for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto an "anti-gay" bill designed to protect religious freedom. On NBC's Today, correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "Governor Brewer actually has until the end of the week to make her decision. But the pressure has been mounting to finally kill the bill that at the very least has reignited the culture wars." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts announced: "Governor Jan Brewer, under a lot of pressure to veto the measure that would give businesses the right to refuse service, citing religious beliefs. Protests overnight right outside the Governor's office..." In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega stood amongst those protestors and proclaimed: "...they promise to be out here every night until this bill is vetoed."



All three network morning shows on Tuesday continued the push against an Arizona bill [SB 1062] that aims to protect the religious freedom of business owners who oppose gay marriage. According to CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, "Hundreds protested at the state capitol last night. They say the bill legalizes discrimination."

Today's Savannah Guthrie hyped, "Mounting pressure. From John McCain to Apple, even concern from Super Bowl organizers, a growing chorus calling on Arizona's governor to veto a bill that would let businesses turn away gay customers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Journalist Natalie Morales muttered, "Really big decision, very controversial." None of the networks featured voices in support of the legislation. 



The Daily Beast is at it again, portraying attempts by state legislators to protect religious freedom in the workplace as enshring "discrimination" at best and mimicking "Jim Crow" at worst.

Here's how The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet feature describes a bill [SB 1062] which passed the Arizona legislature and which awaits Gov. Brewer's signature [see screen capture below page break]:



On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes compared conservatives to clowns as he praised Republican Governor Jan Brewer for breaking ranks with conservatives and pushing for the implementation of ObamaCare in Arizona.

Reminiscent of the time he recently called various Republicans "jackasses" and used some version of the word "jackass" 11 times in one segment, Hayes on Friday used some form of the word "clown" 10 times in just over four minutes.

After teasing the show, the MSNBC host continued:



The New York Times sent reporters scurrying around the country to deliver Tuesday's dire dose of sequestration fear -- a full page (with photos) of impending cuts to a range of federal programs starting Friday. Lead reporter Michael Cooper set the groaning board:

The owner of a Missouri smokehouse that makes beef jerky is worried about a slowdown in food safety inspections. A Montana school district is drawing up a list of teachers who could face layoffs. Officials at an Arizona border station fear that lines to cross the border could lengthen. And if Olympic National Park in Washington cannot hire enough workers to plow backcountry trails, they may stay closed until the snow melts in July.



New York Times Phoenix bureau chief Fernanda Santos reported Sunday on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's controversial action to expand Medicaid in Arizona, in a story full of labeling bias and a denigrating description of the supposedly uncompassionate governor: "Medicaid Expansion Is Delicate Maneuver for Arizona's Republican Governor." (Previously, Santos has advocated for Arizona's illegal immigrants cowering in "the shadows.")



Well, it was only a matter of time before the Associated Press was going to have to write up something about a Friday bomb explosion just outside of a Social Security office in Casa Grande, Arizona.

I guess the AP's Brian Skoloff needed time to work on maximizing the misdirection in his report. Instead of associating the attempted bombing by Abdullatif Ali Aldosary, described yesterday in a PJ Media post by Patrick Poole as "an Iraqi refugee" (but not by the AP reporter, of course), with any of the actual or failed terrorist bombing attacks by Islamists both on American soil and overseas beginning in the late 1990s, Skoloff's dispatch strangely decided to go all the way back to 1995 (bolds are mine througout this post):



In a jarring campaign ad for Jeff Flake's U.S. Senate campaign, Dr. Cristina Beato alleges that, when he worked under her as Bush's Surgeon General, Flake opponent Democrat Richard Carmona angrily pounded on her front door during the middle of the night on one occasion. As a "single mom," Beato told viewers, "I feared for my kids and myself." Carmona "has issues with anger, with ethics, and with women," she added.

This charge --  leveled in a November 2007 interview with majority and minority counsels for the House Oversight Committee --is, if true, very troubling. So how is MSNBC -- the network most obsessed with the GOP's supposed "war on women" -- reacting to the explosive charges? By bemoaning how nasty the Flake campaign is by running the ad, of course. From the October 15 edition of MSNBC's Jansing & Co.: