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Ralph Reed

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  • On Fox, Laura Ingraham airs a deceptively edited clip of Rep. Ilhan Omar to accuse her of hating religion

    Ralph Reed: “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly” American “than bringing your faith into the public square.”

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On the May 23 edition of her prime-time show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham aired a deceptively edited clip of a speech by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to imply that she opposes people practicing their religious faith, despite the fact that Omar is a practicing Muslim.

    On May 22, Omar gave a speech on the House floor about the wave of anti-abortion bills being pushed in states across the country and criticized the hypocrisy among the “religious right” on such policy decisions. Omar called out “religious fundamentalists” who she said are “trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society.” She mentioned a recently defeated Texas bill that would have opened the possibility of giving the death penalty to people who get an abortion, saying, “If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom.” Omar also listed Republicans whose personal actions contradicted policies that they fought to push on the American public, and said, “How could it be that an entire century has passed [since women got the right to vote] and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.”

    On her show, Ingraham aired the clip of Omar saying, “I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people.” Ingraham also played a clip from earlier in the speech in which Omar criticized “those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith” when they are “the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.” Ingraham mischaracterized her comments by saying, “I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.” Ingraham also questioned Omar’s understanding of what it means to be American, saying, “This is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are.” Her guest, Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, agreed, adding, “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.”

    This isn’t the first time that Fox figures have questioned Omar’s understanding of American values: Hosts have repeatedly doubted Omar’s loyalty to America, going as far as calling her “anti-American” and suggesting that her hijab means that she’s against the constitution. It's also not the first time Fox has deceptively edited a video of a sitting member of Congress to misrepresent their words -- last year, Fox & Friends aired a deceptively edited clip of Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) to claim she was “confused” about Trump’s family separation policy.

    From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Did you know that we were talking about faith and that -- just the fact that we were talking about faith upsets a certain congresswoman. Watch.

    [BEGIN CLIP]

    REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people. Those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.

    [END CLIP]

    INGRAHAM: So I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.

    RALPH REED (CHAIRMAN, FAITH & FREEDOM COALITION): Wow. Wow. So the people who poured out of African-American churches in the 50s and 60s and marched on Washington and sat at church counters because of their faith, because they believe that God's law and natural law required that they be treated the same as whites.

    INGRAHAM: Well America wouldn't have been founded if we didn’t have people of faith who prayed for strength and resolve in every battle, at the end of every war, to bring the country together. I mean, this is -- but this is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are and who we are as a people.

    REED: Of American character. I mean, there are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.

    INGRAHAM: Yeah, and inform who we are. I mean, what’s supposed to inform who we are? You know, Hollywood? Ralph, great conversation, I’m sure it offended all the right people.

    From Omar’s May 22 speech on the House floor:

    REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I rise today to defy the horrifying attacks happening against women’s reproductive rights all across this country. Religious fundamentalists are currently trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society, all with complete disregard for voices and the rights of American women. The recent efforts, like those in Alabama and Georgia, are only the latest in a long history of efforts to criminalize women for simply existing -- to punish us when we don’t conform to their attempts to control us. A new proposal in Texas would go as far as to threaten women who obtain an abortion with the capital punishment. If that were not being proposed by -- If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom. It’s simply unthinkable. But this anti-choice movement isn’t only unjust, it is dangerous because history has proven that when abortion is criminalized, the number of abortions do not simply go down. The number of deaths and injuries to women increase.

    Let’s just be honest. For the religious right, this isn’t simply about their care of concern for life. If they cared about, or were concerned about, children, they would be concerned about the children that are being detained and those that are dying in camps across our borders. Or the children who are languishing in hunger and facing homelessness. This isn’t about religious morality or conviction, because we’ve seen time and time again those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives. I just remember recently, not too long ago, a Republican congressman who had to retire -- Tim Murphy -- because he asked his mistress to abort their baby while pushing for a ban on abortion. Or I remember the anti-LGBT rights Republican Larry Craig who was found soliciting sex in a bathroom in Minneapolis airport.

    I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people because we know those so-called religious politicians, when it comes to their life, their choices, they want to talk about freedom. But when it comes to other people’s lives and other people’s choices, they want to talk about religion. I feel that we must point out how ironic it is that women now are facing these challenges to their freedom in the week that we’re marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. How could it be that an entire century has passed and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.

    Update (6/5/19): On June 4, Ingraham once again played the deceptively edited video to claim Omar opposes people practicing their religious faith.

  • Wash. Post health care newsletter repeats right-wing spin on abortion

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE TULBERT


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Following an avalanche of right-wing media coverage attacking Democratic efforts to protect abortion access at the state level, more mainstream outlets have begun to pick up and promote this anti-choice misinformation. A recent notable example comes from The Washington Post’s health care newsletter, The Health 202, which pushed right-wing misinformation about state abortion measures, medical procedures for abortions later in pregnancy, and Democrats' support for abortion rights.

    On January 22, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the Reproductive Health Act, changing a pre-Roe v. Wade state law that criminalized abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy to allow abortions “when the fetus is not viable” or when there is a risk to the health of the pregnant person. Legislators in Virginia also introduced (and have since tabled) a bill in January that would eliminate some restrictions on abortion care, including reducing the number of doctors required to consent for a patient’s third-trimester abortion from three to one -- removing a medically unnecessary barrier to access.

    Right-wing media responded to these measures with a deluge of inaccurate coverage and extreme rhetoric, including claims that Democrats were endorsing “infanticide.” Right-wing media fearmongering has no basis in reality, but that didn’t stop President Donald Trump from repeating this fictitious talking point in his 2019 State of the Union address and at a recent rally in Texas, where he inaccurately characterized the Virginia measure as allowing providers to “execute the baby” after birth.

    Given the dangers of such extreme rhetoric for abortion providers and clinics, it’s important that media outlets not repeat these lies as if they were facts. But some outlets outside of the right-wing echo chamber did just that, repeating anti-abortion talking points and right-wing misinformation from the president’s State of the Union speech or promoting Trump’s lies in headlines and on social media without providing necessary context or refutation. Here’s how The Health 202 once again served as a conduit for right-wing and anti-abortion media's misinformation:

    The Health 202 newsletter did not push back on the right-wing lie that the New York and Virginia measures allow “infanticide”

    In the February 12 edition of the newsletter, The Health 202 repeated anti-choice allegations that the state measures would “allow the procedure up to the point of birth" and noted that Republicans are "characterizing those measures as permitting infanticide.” The Health 202 also uncritically quoted Trump’s State of the Union claim that the New York law would permit “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth,” an inaccurate talking point Trump previously made during a 2016 presidential debate and repeated to The Daily Caller in an interview before his 2019 address.

    Abortion “moments before birth” or those that could be called “infanticide” are not medical procedures that actually happen. As Forbes’ Tara Haelle explained in 2016, people who have abortions later in pregnancy “are seeking them before a pregnancy reaches full term but often and unfortunately after they have discovered in the second or third trimester some problem with the fetus or danger to the mother.” Personal accounts of third-trimester abortions (which occur after roughly 28 weeks of pregnancy) include stories of ending wanted pregnancies and making painful decisions about quality of life. Other accounts speak of the negative impact that anti-choice restrictions have on the ability to access an abortion, causing unnecessary and dangerous delays in receiving care.

    The Health 202 also inaccurately claimed that there is a lack of support for allowing access to later abortions

    The Health 202 also framed the manufactured right-wing controversy around state abortion measures as a “tricky” issue for Democrats ahead of the 2020 election because “Republicans see a political opening as, they argue, some states have passed laws out of sync with most Americans.” The newsletter also characterized third-trimester abortion as “a procedure that, while exceedingly rare, is nonetheless opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans,” and further alleged that Democrats’ support for abortion is in opposition to “views held by the public, which generally supports abortion rights in the early but not late part of a woman's pregnancy.”

    In reality, accurate polling on abortion has always been notoriously difficult, and support for both abortion rights and anti-choice restrictions is heavily dependent on how certain questions are asked. As Tresa Undem, founder and partner at the public opinion research firm PerryUndem, wrote for Vox, most “standard measures used to report the public’s views on abortion ... don’t capture how people really think” about the issue, but getting reliable polling on abortion requires asking questions “in a more real and accurate way” that takes into account “how people actually experience abortion.”

    In other words, audiences report greater support for abortion access when polls use real-life examples. Specifically, polls show a drastic drop in support for later abortion bans when people realize that abortions in later stages of pregnancy are often undertaken out of medical necessity or for particular personal circumstances. For example, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study on the Zika virus found that when asked in the abstract about later abortion, “less than a quarter of people (23%) believe women should have access to a legal abortion after 24 weeks.” However, when people were asked about access to a later abortion when a pregnant person had been infected with the Zika virus, “a majority of Americans (59%) believe a woman should have access to a legal abortion after 24 weeks.” As Hart Research Associates found, “Once voters consider the range of circumstances in which abortions would be made illegal under most 20-week abortion ban proposals, a majority of Americans oppose them."

    The newsletter repeated right-wing media’s characterization of Democrats as extreme for supporting access to abortions later in pregnancy

    The February 12 edition of The Health 202 is framed around the right-wing media narrative that Democrats are “out of step with voters on [abortion] ahead of the 2020 elections.” To support this claim, The Health 202 relied on anti-choice misinformation and generalized polling on abortion detailed above.

    Right-wing media and even mainstream outlets continue to push the narrative that Democrats’ “extreme” views on abortions will cause them to lose voters. However, these claims not only mischaracterize those pushing for state abortion measures, but they also misrepresent broader public opinion. Suggestions that Democratic leaders should compromise or tone down their support for abortion rights are also unsupported by data. As PerryUndem found, “Just 8 percent of Democrats would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes abortion,” but “31 percent of Republicans would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights.” Undem told Vox, “By going after the 8 percent of Democrats who want a candidate who opposes abortion, the party risks losing the 71 percent of Democratic voters who want their candidates to support abortion rights.”

    The Health 202 failed to provide the full context on a story related to the New York law that right-wing media have been circulating to inaccurately fearmonger about state abortion measures

    In addition to repeating right-wing talking points, the February 12 edition of The Health 202 also fearmongered about a New York murder case being used to attack the state’s new abortion law. The newsletter mentioned that “an abortion charge was dropped in Queens against a man accused of fatally stabbing his 14-weeks-pregnant girlfriend,” which “reignited criticism by abortion foes who said the measure would eliminate criminal penalties for pregnancies lost due to violence.” The newsletter linked to a tweet from Dennis Poust, the director of communications for the New York State Catholic Conference, who said, “Thanks to the” new abortion law, “it’s open season on pregnant women in New York,” echoing comments about the case from national anti-abortion groups.

    This story has received plentiful coverage from right-wing media, but The Health 202 repeated it without providing the full context required to understand the specifics of the case or how it is being weaponized to spread misinformation about abortion. For example, The New York Timescoverage of the case clarified that “physical attacks that end pregnancies can be prosecuted as first-degree assault,” which carries a longer prison sentence than the charge of “unlawful abortion” under the old law. In addition, the Times reported that “Daniel R. Alonso, the former chief assistant prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, said in an interview on Sunday that charging” the suspect with committing an unlawful abortion “would not have affected [a] potential sentence for murder, which supersedes an assault charge.” The Times also wrote that “Prosecutors rarely used the charge” before the enactment of the New York law “because it did not add anything to the prosecution of a case,” discrediting right-wing media’s weaponization of the case against New York’s new abortion protections.

    Once again, The Health 202 allowed right-wing media to frame the story through selective inclusion of quotes

    The Health 202 quoted at length from right-wing figures, all of whom perpetuated the right-wing narrative that Democrats are “extreme” on abortion. While the newsletter did feature quotes from three Democratic 2020 presidential candidates, it did not include any from the doctors, medical experts, or pro-choice advocates mentioned in the original reporting the newsletter linked to, who could have provided better context and more accurate framing of this important issue.

    This isn’t the first time The Health 202 has relied on selective quotes to carry water for anti-abortion and right-wing media talking points. The Health 202 has previously featured imbalanced coverage of abortion-related issues, giving anti-abortion groups an uncritical platform to spread misinformation outside of the right-wing media bubble. In some cases, anti-abortion groups have even touted their inclusion and prominent placement in The Health 202 as evidence that anti-abortion viewpoints are garnering wider mainstream media credibility and attention -- using the publication to give otherwise inaccurate commentary about abortion a veneer of credibility.

    As anti-abortion groups and right-wing media ramp up their efforts ahead of the 2020 elections, media outlets should not be serving as conduits for faulty rhetoric and inaccurate right-wing talking points.

  • Fox Contributor Robert Jeffress Defends Trump Despite Sexual Assault Boasts

    Pro-Trump Evangelical Leaders Confirm To The Daily Beast That They Still Support GOP Nominee

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress was one of several right-wing evangelical leaders who reconfirmed their support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump despite the recent discovery of a 2005 recording of Trump profanely bragging about sexual assault.

    An explosive October 7 article from Washington Post reporter David Farenthold revealed video and audio of Trump bragging during a private conversation “in vulgar terms about kissing, groping, and trying to have sex with women” with or without their consent. The revelation of the nominee’s apparent admission that he had committed sexual assault set off a firestorm of criticism of the Republican nominee from journalists and political commentators, as the recording corroborated what has been alleged about Trump for years  

    Despite this torrent of criticism and the flight of would-be supporters, several of the far right conservative evangelical leaders who have been supportive of the GOP nominee for months remain solidly behind him. According to an October 7 report from Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff, right-wing leaders Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, and David Bozell believe “the audio won’t change how conservative voters view the candidate,” and Fox contributor Jeffress is “still voting Trump.” From The Daily Beast:

    The fact that Donald Trump said in 2005 that he could grab women “by the pussy” because he’s famous doesn’t seem to be changing how social conservative leaders feel about him.

    Evangelicals who opposed him before still aren’t fans. And the ones in his camp aren’t phased by the recording. That’s because this isn’t about how much they like the brash billionaire; it’s about how unflinching they are in their opposition to Hillary Clinton.

    “People of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defund Planned Parenthood, defend religious liberty and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” said Ralph Reed, who heads the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “A ten-year-old tape of a private conversation with a talk show host ranks low on their hierarchy of concerns.”

    Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, said the comments were “lewd, offensive, and indefensible.”

    But, he added, he’s still voting Trump. He said he moderated a meeting between the candidate and Evangelical and Catholic leaders, and he was forthright about his hesitations about Trump’s moral

    “I said at that time, with Trump sitting next to me, I would not necessarily choose this man to be my child’s Sunday School teacher,” [Robert] Jeffress said. “But that’s not what this election is about.”

    He added that he doesn’t think Hillary Clinton is morally superior to Trump.

    Both Ralph Reed and Robert Jeffress are members of Trump’s anti-LGBT and anti-choice “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board” and Jeffress is a long-time Fox News contributor. David Bozell spent 11 years at the right-wing Media Research Center, which serves as a prominent clearinghouse for misinformation parroted by right-wing media outlets.

  • New Evangelical Advisory Board Disproves Trump’s Claim Of Being An LGBT Ally

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Nearly a week after declaring himself a “real friend” to the LGBT community, GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump participated in a “conversation” with hundreds of conservative Christians organized in part by two anti-LGBT hate groups. Then his campaign announced an “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board,” a 26-member group featuring several well-known anti-LGBT extremists who have a well-documented history of opposing LGBT equality and making inflammatory comments, such as calling LGBT families “discombobulated, Frankenstein structures” and blaming the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on marriage equality.

  • Conservative Media's Birth Control Talking Points Make Their Way To The Supreme Court

    Blog ››› ››› MEAGAN HATCHER-MAYS

    As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the next big reproductive rights case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, some of right-wing media's favorite talking points about women and sex have made their way into amicus briefs filed with the Court.

    On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hobby Lobby, a case that could allow secular, for-profit corporate employers to impose their religious beliefs about birth control on employees by blocking their right to obtain contraceptives on company insurance plans. A ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby would not only significantly impact the religious freedoms of employees who have no moral objection to preventive health services like birth control, it would have a sweeping effect on years of corporate law precedent. But that hasn't stopped conservative, religious, and anti-reproductive rights groups from filing amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in favor of Hobby Lobby's position, parroting arguments often heard in right-wing media.

    In a recent article in Slate, legal expert Emily Bazelon detailed how many of these amicus briefs, filed largely by religious conservatives, voiced arguments from a bygone era when it comes to reproductive rights. Bazelon wrote, "If it sounds like I'm describing a 1960s enraged sermon about the pill, I guess that's the point[.] I could be":

  • NBC's David Gregory Ignores Guest's CPAC Smear Comparing Obama To George Wallace

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Ralph Reed

    Meet the Press host David Gregory invited conservative activist Ralph Reed to comment on the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) event just held outside Washington, D.C., but never mentioned Reed's comparison of President Obama to segregationist George Wallace during his CPAC speech.

    On March 7, Reed said during his speech at CPAC:

    REED: And in Louisiana right now, this administration is trying to block the right of minority children to receive state aid to attend either a religious or a charter school where they are safe and where they can learn. Fifty years ago, George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and said that African-American students couldn't come in. Today, the Obama administration stands in that same schoolhouse door and refuses to let those children leave. It was wrong then, it is wrong now, and we say to President Obama, let those children go.

    As Mother Jones reported, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made a similar comparison at CPAC. Wallace was famous for being pro-segregation as Alabama governor and in 1968 ran as a presidential candidate for a third party whose platform opposed civil rights. A Wallace staffer explained that "race and being opposed to the civil rights movement and all it meant was the very heart and soul of the Wallace campaign." And Wallace's 1998 Washington Post obituary stated that he "vilified blacks" in his campaign.

    But in the approximately seven minutes Reed was on a Meet the Press panel that discussed CPAC and Republican politics, neither Gregory nor anyone else mentioned Reed's smear of Obama. Watch:

  • By Beck's own logic, his friend Ralph Reed is a Maoist

    Blog ››› ››› NED RESNIKOFF

    Today, Glenn Beck's news website TheBlaze.com released a video compilation of clips from several public talks Soros had given, under the hyperventilating title: "OPEN SOCIETY: SOROS EXPLAINS THE ANTI-CAPITALIST, PRO-MARXIST TACTICS HE USES TO FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM COUNTRIES." On his Fox News program, Beck promoted the video -- which he said was put together by "the journalists at the Blaze" -- and aired a clip showing, in Beck's view, that Soros wants to bring about a one-world government "the Marxist way."

    Here's what Soros said in the clip about anticipating Britain's withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism:

    SOROS: I precipitated the event which occurred I think the next day or within two days. So, in a way, it works as in the Marxist way. Marxist theory is that you can accelerate the course of history by anticipating it correctly. And I think he's -- in that particular instance -- he is right. It really works that way.

    Oh no!!!

    The operative phrase here is "in that particular instance." Soros is clearly not commenting on any other component of Karl Marx's philosophy. But Beck seems to think that just quoting someone approvingly equals an endorsement of that person's entire world view.

    That would be a ridiculous standard to hold people to even if Beck applied it consistently. Lucky for Beck's friends, it doesn't apply to them.

  • Sean Hannity reportedly joins Glenn Beck as a self-proclaimed vessel for God

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Apparently Glenn Beck isn't the only Fox News figure that thinks God speaks through them. According to a report by The New Republic's Bradford Plumer on Ralph Reed's return to prominence after being linked to con man Jack Abramoff, Reed told a gathering in Washington, D.C. that Fox News' Sean Hannity convinced him to come back to the political fray. Considering Hannity's long history of GOP boosterism, this is not particularly notable. What is notable how Reed claims Hannity accomplished this:

    "Broken" was once the perfect word to describe Reed's career. In 2006, his campaign for Georgia's lieutenant governorship imploded after investigators revealed his work with con man Jack Abramoff. Reed, the choirboy-faced moralist, had been secretly lobbying on behalf of an Indian casino, and the press was quick to write his political obituary. But after Barack Obama swept into the White House on the strength of a high-tech political organizing juggernaut, friends implored Reed--the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and one of the key architects of the GOP congressional takeover in 1994--to get back in the game. As Reed tells his audience at the Mayflower, a phone call from Sean Hannity persuaded him. "I wanted to know that this was not me," Reed says, "that this was not any ambition of mine. I wanted to know that this was the Lord." Reed breaks into a sly grin as he recounts Hannity's response: "Ralph, God is speaking through this phone line right now, and he's using me to deliver the message."

    Apparently, after Reed returned to politics, he chose to help Hannity's Fox News colleague (and self-proclaimed fellow vessel for God) Glenn Beck assist with the founding of the Black Robe Regiment. Beck has since invited his "friend" Reed onto his radio show to thank him for his role in the 8-28 rally.

    Reed was actually not the only Abramoff-linked figure involved with Beck's 8-28 rally. Black Robe Regiment member and repeated Beck guest Rabbi Daniel Lapin is the man whom Abramoff reportedly "credits" with "introducing him to" Tom DeLay.

    To recap: God is supposedly speaking through Fox News hosts, and he's telling them to help rehabilitate the political prospects of people linked to convicted felon Jack Abramoff.

    (via)

  • "Restoring Honor" is a de facto tea party event

    Blog ››› ››› SEAN EASTER

    Discussing Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally today on CSPAN, Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition said, "This is not a tea party event. It is not a political event."

    Whether officially a tea party event or no, tea party infrastructure has been heavily involved in the rally's promotion, logistics, and attendance. According to an August 27 ABC News article, "FreedomWorks, which organized last year's Tea Party extravaganza in Washington, D.C. and is planning another rally on Sept. 12, is helping Beck's team with promotion and logistics." Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler is quoted in the article, saying, "I can't find anywhere that people aren't coming from to go to this event. Our members are coming from all over the country."

    Indeed, members of both FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots have organized bus trips to "Restoring Honor."

    As explained on a page of the Tea Party Patriots website, "Tea Party Patriots will be coordinating the volunteer marshalls for the 8/28 Restoring Honor event at the Lincoln Memorial." An August 24 Politico article reported that Beck requested that the tea party group assist with planning the rally:

    At the request of Beck's team, which lacked the organizational infrastructure or logistical know-how to pull off Saturday's march, Tea Party Patriots agreed to help promote the march among its 500,000 e-mail subscribers and to provide 400 volunteers to staff it, a requirement before the National Park Service would issue a permit.

  • Conservative media follow GOP talking point, declare co-ops identical to public plan

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Conservative media figures including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ralph Reed, and Mark Steyn have advanced the GOP talking point that health care cooperatives are, in Hannity's words, "basically the same thing" as the public option "with a new packaging." But mischaracterizing cooperatives as identical to the public option ignores numerous economists who have argued that cooperatives will be less effective than a public option.