Is right-wing legal activist Manuel Miranda changing his tune on Elena Kagan?
In a May 11 Washington Post article, Dana Milbank highlighted praise by Miranda -- whom Milbank called a "smart conservative activist" -- for Kagan: "The president must be commended for shunning left wing activists who demanded that he select a Supreme Court nominee who could promise results for the clients that fund their advocacy. He selected a perfectly reasonable nominee for a Democratic president."
But just a day later, in an Accuracy in Media podcast, Miranda was saying something decidedly different:
MIRANDA: Well, I mean, certainly this has been -- there's been a clamor on the left, particularly with senators like Patrick Leahy, they have been calling for nominees without judicial experience. One of the reasons for that is that it's well rooted in past experience. Most -- eight of the nine members of the Warren court had been nominated -- when they were nominated, they had no judicial experience. So from their point of view, a court that has politicians on it rather than people with a deep judicial record are more likely to be activist court than not, and that makes some sense. In this case, I think that President Obama knows his nominee, knows her views on the structure of the court and the Constitution, and doesn't really need to have a judicial record to display those views. He knows them.
Miranda's invoking of the "liberal activist" meme is a bit disingenuous, since he's not averse to a Supreme Court that's activist toward his way of thinking. While Miranda opposed President Bush's selection of Harriet Miers as a justice in 2005, it wasn't because of her conservative ideology; he wrote that "I want a judge who will rule as we want" -- "we" being Miranda and his fellow conservatives.
Miranda even helpfully provided lines of attack for conservatives against Kagan. After noting that the issue of Kagan's role regarding military recruiting at Harvard Law School "benefits the right" because it "paints the left as being anti-military" -- even though Kagan is not -- Miranda focused on another talking point:
MIRANDA: I think the real concern is, the question has to be, is Elena Kagan still a socialist? And the reason I say that is because in her early writings, in her early life, in the formation of her political sense, it is pretty clear that she is an American socialist. She comes from that background. I grew up in New York, she grew up in New York. I'm very familiar with the sort of Jewish socialist culture in New York, which has an enormous pedigree, has done wonderful things in promoting a way of life and developing American society, but at the end of the day is still socialist.
Of course, the idea that Kagan is a socialist isn't true either.
It seems that Miranda doesn't actually believe that Kagan is a "perfectly reasonable nominee" after all. Further, it appears that what Miranda has to say about Kagan depends on who he's speaking to. When he wants to sound like a "smart conservative," he'll chat up Dana Milbank and praise how "reasonable" Kagan is. But when he needs to boost his right-wing cred with folks such as AIM -- to promise results for the clients that fund his advocacy, if you will -- it's time to haul out the attack lines and false smears he wouldn't dare discuss with someone like Milbank.
That kind of pandering may indeed make him the "smart conservative activist" Milbank says he is -- just not in the way Milbank thinks.
From a March 3 Accuracy in Media "AIM Report" by Cliff Kincaid:
THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) STILL BANS MALE HOMOSEXUALS FROM donating blood because they are notorious disease carriers. This fact was pointed out by Bryan Fischer, the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at American Family Association, in a column arguing that homosexual behavior should be outlawed because it is a public health threat. He also points out that most of those getting AIDS are male homosexuals. Yet President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates want the military to admit these people into the ranks, to live in close quarters and even bathe with normal heterosexual service personnel.
Cliff Kincaid has another anti-gay screed up at Accuracy in Media endorsing the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, this time going after Kathleen Parker's recent Washington Post column for daring to criticize a law Kincaid has aggressively defended. Kincaid denigrates Parker by claiming she is "[l]osing complete control of her senses," doing "her best imitation of lesbian MSNBC-TV commentator Rachel Maddow " and suggests she wrote her column out of "her eagerness to please those who syndicate her column and quote her approvingly in the liberal press."
Kincaid has added more misleading claims to his arsenal. He asserts that "[t]here is a myth that AIDS in Africa has been spread exclusively through heterosexual conduct." That's a red herring - he offers no examples of anyone making the claim that HIV has been spread "exclusively through heterosexual conduct." What has been claimed (as we recently did) is the documented fact that, historically, HIV transmission in Uganda and much of Africa has been spread mostly through heterosexual and mother-to-child conduct. Kincaid offers no evidence that this has significantly changed.
Kincaid then writes:
But the internationally acclaimed medical journal The Lancet last August published the first scientific study showing that male homosexuals are more often than not infected with HIV than the general adult population in sub-Saharan Africa. The study is titled, "Men who have sex with men and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa."
But the Lancet study is about a lot more than how many homosexuals in Africa have AIDS, which Kincaid curiously fails to mention -- perhaps because it undermines his anti-gay crusade. First of all, it further debunks Kincaid's suggestion that heterosexual HIV transmission is a "myth," stating: "Notwithstanding the lack of reliable population data about African MSM [men who have sex with men], the proportion of current HIV incidence attributable to MSM is estimated to be as high as 20% in some west African countries." That leaves 80 percent that is attributable to something else -- in other words, heterosexual and mother-to-child transmission.
The Lancet then points to reasons why there is a high incidence of HIV among gays in Africa:
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has emerged as perhaps the most full-throated defender of Uganda's proposed anti-gay law, which adds Draconian penalties -- including death -- for alleged crimes related to homosexuality. Most recently, Kincaid has been portraying the views of a pair of anti-gay activists in Uganda as representative of all 30.9 million Ugandans, though without offering any evidence that this is the case.
In a February 3 column headlined "Uganda Confronts 'Loud-mouthed Homosexual Lobby,'" Kincaid claims that a "leading pro-family activist in Uganda says that Christians in that East African country need help resisting the schemes of the international homosexual lobby." This person is the only one he quotes. This was followed by a February 5 column headlined "Uganda Rejects Obama's Pro-Homosexual 'Change,'" in which, again, only one person is quoted, "Ugandan Christian minister Martin Ssempa." Kincaid doesn't mention that Ssempa has been screening images of gay pornography in Uganda to whip up support for the bill.
In the February 5 column, Kincaid writes: "Accuracy in Media's review of coverage of the so-called 'Kill the Gays' bill in Uganda finds that it has been completely one-sided, inaccurate, and distorted beyond belief. Contrary to press accounts, the legislation is not designed to kill homosexuals but discourage and punish homosexual practices which spread disease and death. Christians in Uganda are trying to build a culture of life and avoid the sexual perversions which have devastated families in the U.S."
In fact, one of the offenses of "aggravated homosexuality" that would warrant a death penalty in the bill is being a "serial offender," which the bill defines as "a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences." In other words, if you were convicted of previous homosexual behavior -- or even one of the "related offences" such as "failure to disclose" homosexual acts or "conspiracy to engage in homosexuality" -- and were convicted of it again, you could be put to death.
While there has been much discussion of amending the bill, it has not yet been amended. So as the bill currently stands, despite Kincaid's insistence, mere homosexual behavior is a capital offense under the bill, meaning that it will, in fact, "kill the gays."
There are other things Kincaid doesn't mention -- for instance, the fact that the bill applies to Ugandans not living in the country. He's also quiet about another inconvenient fact: In Uganda, HIV has historically been spread mostly through heterosexual or mother-to-child contact.
It seems that, when it comes to his own writing, Kincaid doesn't believe in fulfilling the promise of his employer's name.
From Cliff Kincaid's January 15 Accuracy in Media column, headlined "Homosexual Imperialists Target Uganda":
Homosexual media activists in the U.S. such as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post have falsely depicted the bill in Uganda as an effort to kill homosexuals. In fact, it is designed to save lives by restricting dangerous homosexual practices, including pedophilia, child rape, and the deliberate spreading of the AIDS virus. The controversial death penalty provision, which even some pro-family activists in the U.S. find objectionable, is for crimes of "aggravated homosexuality."
Capehart has said that Uganda, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid, should be deprived of foreign assistance if the bill becomes law. Capehart and some foreign homosexuals are clamoring for the bill to be withdrawn from the Ugandan Parliament or vetoed if passed.
Pressure on Uganda to abandon the pro-family legislation is also being applied by open homosexual Democratic Reps. Barney Frank (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), and Jared Polis (Col.). On the Senate side, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, has warned Uganda it could lose favorable trading status if it proceeds with the legislation. Wyden contends that homosexuality is an international human right.
You would think that, just a few weeks removed from getting caught red-handed spreading falsehoods about Kevin Jennings and being forced to issue an embarrassing retraction, Accuracy in Media would want to stay away from the subject of Jennings, lest it stray into further misleading smears. But AIM doesn't, and it does.
In a January 4 AIM column, Cliff Kincaid tries once again to falsely link Jennings to pedophila -- defying AIM's retraction statement that it has "no evidence" to support such a link -- by bringing up Jennings' praise for gay-rights pioneer Harry Hay, stating that Hay was a "supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association" and insisting that "The praise of Hay by Jennings has led to questions about Jennings's relationship with NAMBLA itself."
In fact, Jennings' praise of Hay has only "led to questions" among those determined to mischaracterize that praise. Jennings praised Hay's role in helping start "the first ongoing gay rights groups in America" in 1948, which has nothing to do with NAMBLA.
(Just as unacceptable to Kincaid, it appears, is that Hay was also "a prominent member of the Communist Party USA and 'Radical Faerie' who believed in the power of the occult.")
Kincaid also curiously embarks on a defense of a proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, asserting that any claim that it would result in the death penalty for homosexuality is "flat-out disinformation" and that the death penalty is for "aggravated homosexuality," which is, according to Kincaid, "pederasty, pedophilia, homosexual parent/child incest, homosexual abuse of a disabled ward, and knowingly spreading AIDS."
But CNN reports that the death penalty could also apply to those who "engage in homosexual sex more than once," as well as "people who test positive for HIV." The law would also apply even to Ugandans participating in same-sex acts in countries where such behavior is legal.
Kincaid's source for his claims about the Uganda law is anti-gay pastor Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries -- which is on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups. The New York Times reports that Lively "has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss" the proposed law and was one of three evangelical activists who headlined a recent conference on the "gay agenda" in the country in which, according to the Times, they "discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.' "
Kincaid quotes Lively stating that the bill "does not emphasize rehabilitation over punishment and the punishment that it calls for is unacceptably harsh. However, if the offending sections were sufficiently modified, the proposed law would represent an encouraging step in the right direction." According to Kincaid, Lively defends the law as "a response to the history of the country, where Christians were persecuted and even killed for resisting the homosexuality of King Mwanga, a violent pedophile." Lively also cites "homosexual political activists from Europe and the United States [who] are working aggressively to re-homosexualize their nation" and claims that "Ugandan citizens report a growing number of foreign homosexual men coming to their country to turn desperately poor young men from the slums into their personal houseboys, and that some girls in public schools have been paid to recruit others into lesbianism."
Kincaid joins WorldNetDaily's Molotov Mitchell in defending the Ugandan bill.
Thanks to Kincaid's smear, AIM owes another apology to Jennings. They might want to quit while they're behind.
It seems that the egregiously false Accuracy in Media blog post attacking Kevin Jennings -- which AIM later removed then apologized for, followed by another attempt to smear him -- may be just the tip of the laziness iceberg over there. Cliff Kincaid writes in a January 4 AIM Report:
I DON'T WATCH THE SHOW, BUT IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THAT LESBIAN commentator Rachel Maddow of MSNBC devoted time and attention to the hanging death of a census worker in rural Kentucky with the word "fed" marked on his chest. Maddow thought this was a murder carried out by conservatives opposed to the federal government and inspired by conservatives in the media. Time magazine agreed, running an article claiming that, "The discovery of the body of Bill Sparkman, 51, a substitute teacher and a field worker for the bureau, comes at a time when talk media, tea parties and white-hot town-hall meetings have fanned antigovernment sentiment." Faiz Shakir of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress called it a "gruesome lynching" and tried to blame it on conservative Rep. Michelle Bachman, who had been critical of the Census. It turned out to be a suicide made up to look like a homicide for insurance purposes. It was a personal matter and had absolutely nothing to do with conservatives. Please send Maddow a postcard asking for an apology.
Read that again. Kincaid wants his minions to demand an apology from Maddow, even though he can't be bothered to watch her show and, thus, cannot explain exactly what she should apologize for.
If Kincaid had watched Maddow's show, he would know that while Maddow did cover the Sparkman case when it happened, the show also reported that Sparkman's death was ruled a suicide.
Also note that Kincaid apparently still can't get over the fact that Maddow is a lesbian, as evidenced by his need to identify her as a "lesbian commentator." He has previously described her as "a lesbian with hair so short that she looks like a man."
If Kincaid wants apologies, he might want to start by offering his own. To cite a couple recent non-Jennings-related examples, there's AIM's repetition of the false claim that less than 10 percent of Obama cabinet appointees have private-sector experience, or Kincaid's own sleazy smear of Ted Kennedy, that he "left a party, probably a drunken orgy, with this poor girl [Mary Jo Kopechne] and his car went off a bridge."
Accuracy in Media regrets the publication of a blog entry accusing Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist, of being a pedophile and personally teaching perverted sexual practices to young people. We have no evidence to support those specific charges. The blog entry was posted by an intern without permission, and has been taken down.
But AIM seems to have learned nothing from getting caught spreading outrageous lies about Jennings, for it continues by hurling more smears:
We continue to urge the media to vigorously investigate Jennings' background, which includes praise for homosexual activist and communist Harry Hay, a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Jennings' role in promoting the homosexual agenda and exposing children to discussions of dangerous sexual practices through his organization, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), should also continue to be investigated. For the facts on Jennings, we suggest three important websites: www.missionamerica.com, where Linda Harvey has broken many stories about Jennings and GLSEN; www.AmericansforTruth.com, where Peter LaBarbera writes regularly about the controversy; and www.massresistance.com, where Brian Camenker has covered the scandal of Obama's appointment of Jennings in much detail.
Linking Jennings to Hays is nothing more than a guilt-by-association smear -- Jennings has never praised NAMBLA. If that's a game AIM wants to play, then it's fair to note AIM's appreciation for convicted felon and unrepentant domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.
As we've detailed, MassResistance is an anti-gay organization declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center that has been the springboard for numerous instances of right-wing falsehoods and misinformation about Jennings, and Camenker has not only likened the gay-rights movement to Nazis, he has denied that gays and lesbians were a target of the Holocaust.
The other two organizations AIM cites are no better.
How anti-gay is Mission America's Linda Harvey? She has advocated (in her column located, naturally, at WorldNetDaily) that parents remove Harry Potter books from their children's collections because author J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is gay, asserted that "Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected" because they are involved in "[w]eird sex, public displays of "affection" and nudity, and sex with youth," and complained that activists who opposed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maine weren't anti-gay enough. Mission America's attacks on Jennings and GLSEN are little more than warmed-over smears from other right-wing groups -- i.e., repeating claims about the explicitness of GLSEN's list of recommended books without noting that GLSEN also recommends that "adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."
Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, has been unambiguous in declaring that his attacks on Jennings (also based on recycled smears) are rooted in hatred of homosexuality:
One more point: it is now common for conservatives - especially non-religiously-affiliated media leaders like Sean Hannity (who should be applauded for his yeoman's work exposing Jennings) -- to make the odd disclaimer that the GLSEN/Jennings controversy (or whatever "gay"-related culture-war story they are discussing) "is not about homosexuality." Baloney. This is all about homosexuality and the "gay" activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a "civil right."
The politically correct "not-about-gays" caveat is about as illogical as claiming that the effort to expose systematic human rights abuses in China and North Korea "has nothing to with Communism." Anyone who calls himself "conservative" should know better. Besides, true conservatives should not be ashamed of enthusiastically conserving the age-old Judeo-Christian sexual/marriage ethic -- which has served mankind well and which rejects all efforts to approve of unnatural and destructive sexual behaviors condemned by God.
These are the people from whom AIM believes you can get "the facts on Jennings." Is it any wonder that an AIM intern felt comfortable enough with spreading falsehoods and smears about him to post them on the AIM website?
Right-wing media outlets have relied on false or misleading claims by MassResistance, a Massachusetts-based anti-gay group, in advancing several recent attacks on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings. The founder of MassResistance -- a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a "hate group" -- reportedly denied that gays and lesbians were a target of the Holocaust and has compared the gay rights movement to the Nazis. The organization has also called on parents to keep their children home from school during an event promoting awareness of, and opposition to, anti-gay bullying and has stated that suicide prevention programs for gay and lesbian youth have no "legitimate medical or psychological basis."
Shortly after Media Matters for America posted a research item documenting that an Accuracy in Media blogger had smeared Department of Education official Jennings as a "pedophile" and falsely claimed that "[v]ideos have surfaced of Jennings teaching 14-year-old boys the dangerous sexual practice of 'fisting,' and discussing with them the particulars of oral sex," the AIM post was removed from its site without comment.
In attacking the media for allegedly insufficient coverage of Obama administration official Kevin Jennings, a blogger for Accuracy in Media, which purports to "set the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage" -- and which has a record of antagonism toward gays -- smeared Jennings as a "pedophile" and falsely claimed that "[v]ideos have surfaced of Jennings teaching 14-year-old boys the dangerous sexual practice of 'fisting,' and discussing with them the particulars of oral sex." In fact, Jennings did not conduct that seminar and, in fact, reportedly criticized it when he became aware of its content.
Remember Marc Rudov? He's the frequent Fox News guest who thinks Hillary Clinton deserves to be called a "B-word," ridiculed a study on housework as the product of a "gyno-versit[y]," insists that "girls just love to expose themselves," among other things.
Maria Shriver, you have two sons and two daughters. Do your sons like hearing from you that they're growing up in a woman's nation? I doubt it. What will their friends say? Nothing flattering. What will your daughters think about their brothers - and all men? Isn't your TV program just as destructive as those that once prompted mothers to teach "life in a man's world" to their daughters?
Rudov is just getting warmed up. He then declares that all "laws and policies that confer upon women unilateral rights and protections in rape, reproduction, abortion, custody, child support, domestic violence, workplace practices, and immigration" are "unconstitutional" because "[o]ur legal system is designed to be blind to specific groups," yet such laws get passed anyway because "spineless men fear retribution from feminists and sexual retaliation from their wives for writing, passing, enforcing, and adjudicating gender-neutral laws."
Rudov then blames American women for the current state of American men:
Men are fast becoming slacker dudes and permanent blue-collar workers. This is because highschool programs favor girls; college-enrollment stats prove it. Not only are women dominating at the undergraduate level, they are receiving more than 50% of degrees in law, medicine, and business. At UC Davis 80% of veterinary grads are women. The trend of female domination is growing unabated.
Is this a problem? You betcha. A society of marginalized men is a weak society. Whom will these highly educated women marry? Slacker dudes? I don't think so. Given that 40% of American children are born out of wedlock, marriage isn't a big concern for many women. Too bad. Every study of teenage pregnancy, drug usage, alcoholism, gang membership, crime, and school dropouts points to the lack of fathers at home. Women file 70% of divorces and choose single motherhood as a lifestyle.
Then, it's back to bashing Shriver, claiming that she's "compounding the omnipresent wedge between men and women" and that "any men who rally your cause are pathetic eunuchs - proof of your thesis."
Yet Rudov did find one bright spot in his alleged emasculation:
In canonizing women as strong, smart, talented, and self-reliant - and they are - you have done men a big favor: terminated all justification for women to receive alimony and child support. You are the alimony terminator. We love you. This is fantastic, as Arnold would say.
And so, America is now a Woman's Nation, a matriarchy, a gynocracy. Women are in control. They no longer need, and therefore cannot require, men to support them financially - at any time, in any way, for any reason. Otherwise, they'd be hypocrites, wouldn't they?
Sounds like Rudov needs to decide whether he's upset that women are taking over or relieved because he's no longer expected to do anything for them.
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid writes of Ted Kennedy in a Sept. 17 "AIM Report": "A notorious womanizer, he had left a party, probably a drunken orgy, with this poor girl and his car went off a bridge." [emphasis added]
Say what? Where's Kincaid's documentation for his claim that Kennedy engaged in an orgy on Chappaquiddick?
Such sleazy smears demonstrate why AIM isn't taken all that seriously these days.
From an August 4 press release issued by Accuracy in Media:
Cliff Kincaid, the editor of Accuracy in Media, has released a copy of his own birth certificate, in order to demonstrate what needs to be done to resolve the growing controversy over the alleged birth certificate of President Barack Obama. "My birth certificate includes the names of my mother and father, my mother's doctor, and the hospital in which I was born," said Kincaid. "This certified copy of an original long form document is what anyone who wants to be president should be prepared to produce. Why is this a controversy?"
Kincaid continued, "It is not unreasonable to ask questions about Barack Obama's birthplace. Anybody who has an original copy of their own birth certificate, or a certified copy of their own original birth certificate, should immediately understand that the Obama version is lacking in basic information that should be publicly available."
AIM describes itself as "a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."
From a June 30 Accuracy in Media blog post by AIM chairman Don Irvine, headlined "Gay Old Time at the White House":
President Obama moved swiftly to try to repair relations with gays and lesbians by hosting the first ever Pride month celebration at the White House.
From ABC News' Jake Tapper
ABC News' Yunji de Nies reports: ABBA's "Dancing Queen" filled the East Room, as more than 200 prominent gays and lesbians gathered for the first ever celebration of Pride month at the White House. The President and First Lady entered to thunderous applause. President Obama told the group he is committed to equality for their community.
"This struggle continues today, for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot and will not put aside issues of basic equality," he said, "We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love."
He ended his speech with a promise to champion their cause in the days to come.
"I want you to know that, in this task, I will not only be your friend; I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you," he said.
Maybe next he can repaint the White House a nice shade of pink and hang the rainbow flag in front to show his commitment to the gay cause.