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  • Right-wing media and think tanks are aligning with fake feminists who dehumanize trans people

    TERFs use feminist vocabulary but are aligned with national anti-LGBTQ groups

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Tucker Carlson recently hosted Julia Beck, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” or “TERF,” in a segment promoting the illusion that there is an important divide over the importance of transgender rights within the LGBTQ community.

    Beck and other TERFs claim to be feminists, but they hold vehemently anti-trans views and are widely rejected by LGBTQ advocates and organizations. In fact, TERF groups and activists have joined with right-wing, anti-LGBTQ organizations around the country in lawsuits against trans rights.

    Beck's appearance on Fox was just the latest example of right-wing figures and groups promoting TERFs, who use feminist vocabulary to disguise their anti-trans bigotry.

    TERFs have appeared on right-wing media and at right-wing events

    Beck appeared on the February 12 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss her recent removal from Baltimore’s LGBTQ commission for her anti-trans views. During the segment, Beck, who is a lesbian, said, “Women have been speaking out about this for decades, but we have been effectively silenced. Many women like myself have been pushed out … simply because we acknowledge biological reality.” She also claimed that transgender identities are “opposed to biological reality,” said she doesn’t “think it’s fair to lump us all into the same acronym,” and pushed the thoroughly debunked myth that trans-inclusive policies threaten the safety of women and girls.

    Beck has also appeared at the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation as part of a panel of people labeled as being “from the Left” who oppose the Equality Act, a bill that would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to existing nondiscrimination laws. The January event was moderated by Ryan T. Anderson, an anti-LGBTQ activist who has previously hosted other TERF activists at the Heritage Foundation to attack trans-inclusive legislation.

    On the panel, Beck said, “There are only three sexualities -- homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual; all the hip new identities in the alphabet soup like nonbinary, gender-fluid, [and] pansexual are not actually sexualities. Neither is transgender.” She added that the “T” in LGBTQ is “diametrically opposed to the first three letters” and claimed that transgender identities “undermine and erase homosexuals.” She also said the definition of a woman is limited to an “adult human female,” echoing a rallying cry of the U.K.-based TERF movement.

    Beck spoke on the panel alongside Kara Dansky, a leader of the TERF group Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) who has also appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight. During her 2017 interview, Dansky said, “We're called transphobic bigots because we ask questions about gender identity. We're asking questions and we're standing up for women and girls.”

    Another TERF activist has recently leveraged her anti-trans beliefs into a flood of sympathetic coverage from right-wing outlets.

    Meghan Murphy, who founded the pro-TERF blog Feminist Current, is suing Twitter after she was banned from the platform for intentionally misgendering and deadnaming a transgender person. Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by the name given to them at birth that they no longer use and that does not align with their gender identity, and it is a violation of Twitter’s new hateful conduct policy. Right-wing media rushed to cover Murphy’s lawsuit after she posted a YouTube video about the ban, leading to favorable coverage from Quillette, The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Wire, Townhall, The Spectator, LifeSiteNews, the Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller.

    Right-wing media suggest TERFs are liberals; in fact, they’re aligned with extreme right groups

    Right-wing outlets seized on Murphy’s self-identification as a “feminist” as evidence that anti-trans reactionaries do not solely come from the far-right. On his Fox show, Carlson similarly identified Beck as a feminist and claimed that WoLF leader Dansky is a “radical feminist” and “not on the right at all.” And during their appearance together on the Heritage Foundation panel, which was titled “The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left,” Beck expressed her surprise at participating in an event hosted by a conservative think tank.

    TERFs’ embrace of supposedly feminist aesthetics and rhetoric can make it more difficult for media consumers to identify what they really stand for, and right-wing media take advantage of this confusion to push the illusion that activists “on the Left” share their anti-trans agenda. But TERFs are distinctly on the side of right-wing groups, and they have even allied with the efforts of national anti-LGBTQ groups to oppose trans rights in the judicial system.

    In 2016, WoLF sued the Obama administration after it issued guidance to public schools regarding transgender students’ access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In the suit, WoLF alleged that these accommodations would lead to “indecent exposure” and “voyeurism” -- a claim that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked. In reality, transgender people are more likely to be victims of harassment, assault, and discrimination in bathrooms than to be perpetrators of such crimes.

    In G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, WoLF submitted an amicus brief filed jointly with the Family Policy Alliance, a national anti-LGBTQ group with an alliance of state groups that work to deny LGBTQ people their civil rights. The brief argued against extending Title IX protections -- which “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance” -- to include gender identity. WoLF’s brief was submitted in support of a school district that refused to accommodate the needs of a transgender student.

    WoLF also filed a brief in the Doe v. Boyertown Area School District case in support of a client of the extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, who sued his school district for allowing transgender boys to use the same restrooms and locker rooms as him.

    Another coalition, called Hands Across the Aisle, which includes TERFs as well as conservative Christians, has also been actively supporting anti-LGBTQ groups in their legal actions against transgender civil rights. Like WoLF, the group filed an amicus brief in the Boyertown case supporting ADF’s efforts to roll back protections for transgender students.

    Hands Across the Aisle also wrote a 2017 letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson urging him to rescind protections implemented by the Obama administration in 2016 for transgender people seeking assistance in homeless shelters. The letter was signed by dozens of leaders of various anti-LGBTQ groups such as the Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, and the Texas Eagle Forum. (A prominent member of Hands Across the Aisle, Meg Kilgannon, was recently interviewed on Fox’s The Ingraham Angle about the group’s opposition to transgender athletes.)

    One prominent TERF has also connected with extremist movements overseas to support reactionary movements seemingly unrelated to her anti-trans agenda. Kellie-Jay Minshull, who goes by Posie Parker, recently traveled to Norway for a conference where she posed with far-right Hungarian politician, Holocaust denier, and Islamophobe Hans Lysglimt Johansen.

    Additionally, Parker has repeatedly expressed support for far-right anti-Muslim activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson. Robinson, another former Tucker Carlson Tonight guest, has also expressed anti-trans views in a video for far-right media outlet The Rebel.

    Right-wing media misleadingly suggest TERFs demonstrate a division within the LGBTQ community

    The idea that TERFs are liberal feminists -- bolstered by right-wing media -- helps create the illusion of a growing division within the LGBTQ community over transgender civil rights. In reality, mainstream LGBTQ rights organizations support and campaign for transgender civil rights, and lesbian institutions such as the Dyke March explicitly champion issues impacting transgender and gender-nonconforming people while also preserving pride events as a form of radical protest. Civil liberties advocates have also taken on the Trump administration’s anti-trans agenda and sued on behalf of transgender people for their right to access public accommodations. There is no such “divide” among mainstream feminists and LGBTQ advocates regarding the inclusion of transgender people in the queer community, as TERFs would like us to believe.

    In a piece about U.S. TERFs for Bitch Media,Tina Vasquez wrote that the debate over transgender rights “is not just feminist-theory inside baseball. Though outspoken, politically active trans-exclusionary radical feminists are relatively few in number, their influence on legislation and mainstream perceptions of transgender people is powerful and real.”

    Right-wing media figures like Carlson -- who has time and again demonstrated his intimate familiarity with extremist movements and a willingness to champion their causes -- are pushing a larger agenda that is anti-transgender, which includes denying trans people health care, expelling them from the military, and legally undermining their existence. And along the way, they’ll undoubtedly continue to uplift TERFs’ viewpoints under the guise of progressive feminism. But other media outlets and media consumers should be aware that nothing could be further from the truth; without transgender people leading the way, LGBTQ liberation cannot take place.

  • Pro-Trump media attack judge in Michael Cohen case after Sean Hannity is revealed as his client

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Agenda-driven right-wing figures and online media outlets are using their platforms to try to discredit Judge Kimba Wood, a federal judge overseeing the case of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, currently under scrutiny for possible bank fraud and wire fraud. Right-wing media started targeting Wood after she ordered Cohen to disclose the name of his anonymous legal client on the basis that there was no legal ground to withhold it; the client turned out to be Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. Far-right Twitter trolls, conservative writers, and Fox News commentators -- among others -- dug into Wood’s past, scandalized her ties to Democrats, and attacked her for training as a Playboy bunny while in law school.

    This is a familiar tactic for right-wing media figures, who regularly attempt to defame any judge with whom they disagree. Right-wing media have also launched a full-on offensive against special counsel Robert Mueller and his team’s investigation into ties between the Trump orbit and Russian officials. Here are some of the things these figures and outlets have claimed undermine Wood’s credibility:

    She trained for five days in college as a Playboy bunny

    True Pundit: “Cohen’s Judge & Stormy Daniels Have Much in Common: Playboy Bunny Judge Worked for Hugh Hefner”

    Infowars’ Jerome Corsi: Wood “worked as a Playboy Bunny at a Playboy casino in 1966.”

    She officiated George Soros’ wedding in 2013

    Infowars: “No Joke: Judge Who Forced Cohen to ID Hannity Performed Soros Wedding”

    Conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec: Sean Hannity was “doxed by Liberal Judge” who was at George Soros’ wedding.

    Right-wing troll Mike Cernovich: "On the same day that Soros-funded Media Matters announces a boycott, The judge who performed Soros' wedding names Sean Hannity as a Michael Cohen client. TOTAL COINCIDENCE."

    The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra: “The judge who ordered @SeanHannity's name to be released performed the wedding for far-left billionaire George Soros.”

    Fox News host Melissa Francis: “Kimba Wood taking time away from Michael Cohen matter to perform George Soros wedding.”

    She was considered by the Clintons for attorney general

    Conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord: Bill and Hillary Clinton “pressed to make [Wood] Attorney General.”

    FrontPage Magazine: “Judge Kimba Wood was Bill Clinton's nominee for Attorney General. But then her nomination fell apart over her employment of an illegal alien and the Playboy thing. ... It's a safe bet that Judge Kimba Wood might harbor some resentment toward Republicans."

    Fox’s Sebastian Gorka: Wood “is a Clinton confidante who was chosen by Hillary to be AG. The #DEEPstate is real.”

    Right-wing radio host Mark Simone: “Michael Cohen's bad luck was getting a judge from the Clinton administration.To give you an idea of her politics - Kimba Wood was chosen by the Clinton's to be Attorney General and she performed George Soros's wedding.”

    American Thinker: Wood “was Bill Clinton's second choice to be attorney general. … Is this amazingly great luck for the Mueller-U.S. attorney tag team or what?”

    Disclosure: George Soros made a donation to Media Matters in 2010.

  • Right-Wing Media Figures Want Trump To Shut Down The Government So They Can Blame Democrats

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    Right-wing media figures are displeased after the likelihood of a government shutdown seemed to fade following a breakthrough after days of failed negotiations and speculation. Specifically, right-wing media figures cheered the idea of a shutdown because they wanted to make sure that “Democrats get blamed” and to exact revenge after, as they claimed, Democrats made previous shutdowns “as painful as possible.”

  • Right-Wing “Porn Star” Attack On Former Miss Universe Falls Apart

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Conservative media figures are responding to former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s statements that Donald Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and publicly humiliated her for gaining weight by accusing her of being a “porn star.” It is unclear why Trump’s behavior would be mitigated by Machado later performing in adult films, but those claims nonetheless appear to be false.

    During the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton pointed to Trump’s record of mistreating women, specifically highlighting his attacks Machado. Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant from 1996 to 2015, doubled down the morning after the debate on the September 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” Trump supporters have sought to explain away Trump’s actions by seeking to undermine Machado’s character.

    In a September 27 article headlined, “Porn Star Campaigns For Hillary Clinton,” the Daily Caller falsely reported that “Snippets of an adult film starring Machado are available on multiple free porn websites.” While the headline remains the same, that language has been removed from the article, which now states that she “is in a sextape” that was released in 2005.

    The article features the correction, “The star of Apprentass 4 was Angel Dark, not Alicia Machado.” While the correction is nonspecific, it appears that the Caller based the entire premise of their claim that Machado is a “porn star” on the incorrect belief that she was featured in that film. According to The Daily Beast, which reported on conservatives’ smear effort against Machado, “there does not appear to be any evidence suggesting the existence of professionally made pornography starring Machado.”

    While the article no longer cites an example of her appearing in an adult film, it still baselessly claims that Machado made an “appearance in porn” and has a “background in pornography.”

    The apparently unsubstantiated claim that Machado appeared in adult films rocketed through Trump’s supporters in the right-wing media. Rush Limbaugh opened his September 28 radio show by describing Machado as the “porn star Miss Piggy.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed on his radio show “that she may have starred in an adult film, and available apparently on multiple free porn websites according to the Daily Caller.” He also said that Machado is “in all these porn videos” during an interview with Eric Trump. And CNN’s Jeffrey Lord repeatedly described Machado as a “porn star” in an American Spectator article headlined “Hillary’s Bad Judgement: Exploits Porn Star Surrogate.”

    This effort to shame Machado into silence would be despicable even if it were true. But it appears that the entire smear campaign is also completely false.

  • Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media figures are blaming for violence that occurred following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's canceled rally in Chicago on March 11, likening the group to the Ku Klux Klan and accusing them of "creating this havoc and ... putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy." In fact, several media figures have slammed Trump for condoning "violence in rally after rally," and at the Chicago event only helped provide logistical support for the protests, including printing signs and recruiting attendees.

  • CNN Analyst Attacks Jorge Ramos For "Race Card Playing" Even Though He's A "Blue-Eyed, Light-Skinned" "European Mexican"

    Jeffrey Lord Also Compared Charleston And Virginia Shooters To Ramos

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord attacked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for playing the "race card" even though he is a "blue-eyed, light-skinned ... European Mexican." Lord also connected Ramos to Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II and alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, claiming they all engaged in "dividing the country by race."

    On August 25, Ramos, one of the country's top Hispanic journalists, was booted from Donald Trump's press conference while attempting to ask the Republican presidential candidate questions about his immigration policy. Ramos was later allowed to return. Conservative media subsequently cheered Trump for his treatment of Ramos.

    In his August 27 column for The American Spectator, Lord criticized Ramos for being "in Iowa to score a blow for race card playing" by "rant[ing]" against Trump on immigration. Lord dismissed him as "a left-wing illegal immigration activist disguised as a journalist" who fulfills "every stereotype of the smarty-pants rude media type that millions of Americans have come to loathe."

    Lord then transitioned to an attack on Ramos' ethnic background. He cited a 2011 column by Ruben Navarrette Jr. stating that in Mexico, many of the most important jobs go to those who "have the lightest skin." Lord then wrote, "Now let's get back to Jorge Ramos. The blue-eyed, light-skinned Ramos -- let's be candid he is a European Mexican -- is the epitome of what Navarrete is saying."

    Lord proceeded to criticize the idea that America should be a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation, claiming:

    Ramos also penned a 2002 column in which he revealed that he wants to turn America from the "melting pot" of historical fame into a North American version of Mexico -- divided by class and race. In the words of Ramos, "the challenge of the United States is that it recognize itself as it is--a multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural nation."

    This is exactly antithetical to the American Dream. America is not supposed to be an "ethnic" or "racial" nation let alone a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation. "All men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence is about "all men." Period. Full stop. It says nothing about race or ethnicity. The nation is founded on principles of freedom and liberty -- ideas, not skin color or class structure.

    Yet that is not what Ramos is seeking. He is playing the Mexican version of the race card and wanting to transfer the rigid class structure of his native country northward.

    He continued by drawing a line from Ramos' advocacy to "slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan":

    It is no accident that his ideas get such a warm welcome on the American Left. As we note here so often, the political party that fuels the American Left is the Democrats -- the party that arose around the organizing principle of dividing Americans by skin color. From slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan to illegal immigration, the beating heart of the American left is race -- race card-playing, outright racism.

    It is no wonder that Ramos, coming from a Mexican society that is itself hopelessly divided by out and out racism thinks it would be terrific to import this way of life to America. And it is no wonder that millions of Americans -- yes, those supporters of Donald Trump -- are furiously resisting. Trump supporters come from a wide diversity of ethnicities -- and in a country that is 100% populated by the descendants of immigrants from all over the globe -- Trump supporters are demanding a colorblind society of American social mobility -- where race and class remain the foreign notions that so many millions came here to escape.

    During an appearance today on CNN's New Day, Lord also connected Jorge Ramos to mass shooters in Virginia and Charleston.

    When asked about potential solutions to shootings, Lord said that "when you read this guy's manifesto ... he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race." He then connected the mass-shooters to Ramos, stating: "I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path." From CNN:

    LORD: You know, two things that are not being discussed here at all when you read this guy's manifesto, one is race and the other is value of life. And what do we have here? We have this whole Planned Parenthood issue going on in which basically they're selling baby parts, devaluing life.

    ALISYN CAMEROTA: But how is that connected to a man who's just, who feels slighted and decides that killing other people is the answer?

    LORD: Right. In other words he's not valuing life. He didn't value the lives of the people that he killed. And aside from that, he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race. So I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path. This is a color blind country, that was Dr. King's goal, that's where we should be headed, and I think that is something that we should be discussing as well as mental illness and guns. 

    Lord has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. He engaged in a "profoundly ahistorical" crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, has repeatedly defended Trump's false anti-Mexican immigrant rhetoric, and pushed bogus conspiracies about progressives and Democrats.

    Despite his history, CNN hired Lord as a CNN political commentator earlier this month.

  • New CNN Hire Jeffrey Lord Is An Anti-Immigrant Lynching Denier Who Compares Opponents To Nazis

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNN has hired Jeffrey Lord as a political commentator. Lord has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. He engaged in a "profoundly ahistorical" crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, pushed bogus conspiracies about Democrats, compared his political opponents to Nazis and the KKK, and defended Donald Trump's anti-immigrant remarks.

  • CNN Commentator: Critics Of Trump's Megyn Kelly "Blood" Remarks Are Nazis

    Is CNN's Jeffrey Lord Comparing His Employer To The Nazis?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    New CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord accused Donald Trump's critics of engaging in a "Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique" by attacking Trump's recent "blood" remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly. CNN has heavily covered the story and criticized Trump for his misogynistic remarks. 

    In an August 10 column headlined "The Disgusting Big Lie About Donald Trump," Lord discussed Trump's August 7 remarks on CNN that Kelly was a bad moderator and "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" -- which many interpreted as a reference to Kelly's menstrual cycle. Lord compared those who had that interpretation to Nazis, writing that what followed Trump's comments was "the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels":

    What has followed has been 48-hours of the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." There was not a word said, not a hint, not a suggestion, that Donald Trump ever said Megyn Kelly asked her lead question of him because she was menstruating. Say again... not... a... word. Not one. This is -- there is no other word for it -- a Goebbels-esque lie. 

    Lord continued by attacking Republicans, RedState blogger Erick Erickson, and the media, again comparing them to Nazis: "In a stunning convergence of the Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique with today's left-wing political correctness, Erickson, the Republican Establishment -- of which Erickson is decidedly not a member -- and many in the media have made it a point to endlessly repeat Erickson's slander."

    Lord, a writer for NewsBusters and the American Spectator, announced he was hired by CNN on August 6. CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota stated that day: "Joining us is the newest member of our CNN family, CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord ... Welcome to the family."

    According to his definition, Lord's new employer and his CNN colleagues are apparently acting like Nazis. A Nexis search of transcripts reveals that CNN devoted numerous segments to Trump's blood remarks.

    Lord appeared on CNN over the weekend to defend Trump's attack. During one exchange, New Day Saturday host Christi Paul stated that Trump "took on a woman claiming that it was hormonal" and "did it in a sexist way, did he not?" Lord complained: "We have serious problems in this country. And this is what we are talking about?" Fellow conservative CNN commentator Ben Ferguson criticized Trump, saying: "It is absolutely sexist to say that it had to do with hormones of a woman." Lord responded: "This is what political correctness is all about and it's terribly wrong!"

    During Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter responded to Trump's claim that "only a sick person would even think" he was referring to menstruation by replying: "I guess I am a sick person."

    CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny cast doubt on Trump's explanation, stating on Inside Politics: "If this was out of character for him perhaps we could take him at his word but I think, you know, there's a long string of things -- a long string of his comments over the years."

    Lord also claimed that critics of the remark are "sexist." He said: "I would submit to you, it's because this is sexist. They're coming to the defense of a little lady as it were, which is unbelievably sexist. Megyn Kelly, I like her as I said. I think she's a supremely confident, a great reporter. And, you know, clearly, she's being treated by a different standard by a lot of these Republicans." 

  • Right-Wing Media Perpetuate Tired Myth That Frivolous Lawsuits Overwhelm The Courts

    Blog ››› ››› MEAGAN HATCHER-MAYS

    Despite the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States continues to make it increasingly difficult for victims of corporate wrongdoing to bring lawsuits, right-wing media still advance the myth that the court system is in desperate need of "tort reform."

    The idea that American plaintiffs are an overly litigious bunch that take advantage of the federal courts with meritless claims that contribute to grievous economic costs is a common stereotype that is often repeated by the conservative media. It also isn't really true.  But that didn't stop The American Spectator from repeating that idea in the September 2013 issue:

    AMERICAN LAW, AND especially its rules of civil procedure, seem to take it for granted that one of life's chief joys is the opportunity to sue someone else. Getting to court in other first-world countries isn't easy, but broad is the way to the American courthouse.


    The right to have civil cases adjudged by a jury is afforded constitutional protection in the U.S. Elsewhere, civil juries never got off the ground or were abolished as a sensible reform measure.

    Class actions, where lawyers bring a claim on behalf of thousands or millions of unnamed plaintiffs (who seldom see any part of the recovery) are rare outside the U.S.

    It's not surprising that litigation rates are so much higher here than elsewhere. Subsidize something and you get more of it. Differences in legal ethics matter. In America, much more than elsewhere, lawyers are encouraged to advance their client's interests without regard to the interests of justice in the particular case or broader social concerns. American lawyers' professional culture is unique in permitting and implicitly encouraging them to assert novel theories of recovery, coach witnesses, and wear down their opponents through burdensome pretrial discovery. Great stuff if you're a trial lawyer, but non-lawyers pay for this through higher consumer prices and foregone jobs.

    The Spectator claims that the fear of litigation keeps international companies from investing in the American economy. However, it fails to mention that, according to the nonpartisan Center for Justice & Democracy, tort claims (personal injury claims) "represent only 5% of all incoming civil cases today."  Moreover, the court system already has rules in place to block frivolous lawsuits from proceeding.

  • Right-Wing Media Mislead On The "Contraception Mandate" And Religious Freedom


    Right-wing media have mischaracterized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that requires certain preventive health care services be included in employer-provided health insurance at no cost as a violation of the religious freedoms of corporations who object to contraception. In reality, this mandate, currently before the Supreme Court, accommodates religious employers' First Amendment rights without allowing secular, for-profit corporations to skirt federal law, and there is no legal precedent that gives corporations the right to exercise religious freedom.

  • Why Candy Crowley Was Condemned As Terrorist, Assassin And Communist

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Question: If the snap polls, along with the pundit consensus, had indicated Mitt Romney had won Tuesday's debate, would anyone on Fox News have cared what moderator Candy Crowley said while the two candidates discussed last month's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya?

    It's doubtful.

    The hysterical, and at times deeply disturbing, reaction to Crowley's moderator role only erupted as way to explain away Romney's poor showing. Angry that Romney's weak performance might hurt his November chances, conservatives lashed out at the nearest target, Crowley. ("Shut your big fat mouth, Candy.")

    But conservatives didn't simply condemn Crowley's performance as a journalist. ("Disgraceful"!) They spent the week turning her into a mythical figure of liberal destruction; a potentially violent agent (a "suicide bomber") sent by Obama to dismantle the Republican campaign for the presidency. In doing so, unglued commentators attached Crowley to a sweeping campaign conspiracy.

    Is criticizing a debate moderator out of bounds? Of course not. Media Matters found fault with Jim Lehrer's performance at the first presidential debate this year. Is it completely insane to denounce a moderator by likening him or her to a political killer? 

    It is.

  • Right-Wing Media Hype "Really Thin" Accusation That Rahm Emanuel Leaked Cain Story

    ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

    The conservative media is divided on anonymous sources: Some right-wing media figures have been hyping a claim by an anonymous source that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is "likely involved with the sexual harassment" allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. At the same time, however, other conservative media figures have tried to cast doubt on the sexual harassment allegations against Cain by pointing out that they are based on anonymous sources.