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The Fire: Yesterday, FIRE and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief (PDF) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, arguing that a federal district court incorrectly dismissed former Central Lakes College (CLC) student Craig Keefe’s First Amendment lawsuit against the school.
The Washington Post: Last week I blogged about the case of Steven Salaita, an academic who was offered a lateral position at the University of Illinois only to have the offer rescinded, apparently due to Salaita’s penchant for vitriolic tweets about Israel. The University’s action have prompted a debate over academic freedom, and whether it is ever appropriate for universities to consider a professor’s comments outside of class.
The Washington Post: How should faculty hiring committees or university administration view Twitter? Should a professor’s intemperate tweets affect his or her job security? Is tweeting only safe for those of us with tenure? These questions are raised by the decision of the University of Illinois to rescind a job offer to a lateral faculty candidate, Steven Salaita.
News Busters: Planned Parenthood may not have much to do with planning for parenthood – but the organization sure can plan a media strategy.
Get Religion: Ordinarily, quality journalism benefits from solid information, concrete evidence and a healthy dose of skepticism. But certainly, major news organizations can be forgiven when they err on the side of a higher ideal, right? In this week’s example, that higher ideal would be acceptance of same-sex parents.
The Daily Signal: There’s been no shortage of media coverage of a new study that purportedly shows that children raised by same-sex partners fare better than other children. But the actual study is a little more, well, complicated.
Nieman Journalism Lab: “Fifty-six percent of Americans are ‘Like-Minded Believers, who value faith, family, caring for others, and share a concern for the decline in moral values,’ according to an internal Deseret Media Companies study. That’s the audience Deseret News is aiming to capitalize on with its expansion of coverage. Gilbert said Deseret’s coverage, both local and national, is built on six tenets that it says matter to that readership — family, faith, education, care for the poor, values in media, and financial responsibility.”
Ars Technica: “Media groups like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and others told the Ninth US Circuit of Appeals Friday that its February decision ‘arguably expands the concept of copyright ownership in a manner that could allow the subjects of news coverage to exercise veto power over unflattering broadcasts.’”
Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post: “But if you dig deeper in the report, you see that only 14 percent use birth control pills just for non-contraceptive reasons. The 58 percent figure includes people who have added other reasons on top of family planning. Chalif said that Wasserman Schultz did not mean to imply that 60 percent of women used birth control only for non-contraceptive reasons, but it certainly sounded that way when The Fact Checker first noticed her remarks.”
Catholic News Agency: Cardinal Burke’s comments came in his address to Alliance Defending Freedom’s Catholic Media Symposium, held in Rome from March 24-27. . . . Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, said the media symposium ‘comes at a pivotal point for liberty and for people of faith all around the world.’”
Charisma News: “According to a poll commissioned by Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom, 59 percent of likely voters disapprove of the HHS mandate (including 54 percent of women ages 18-44).”
Peter Wehner at The Washington Post: “The story, written by the Post’s Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes, is meant to focus attention on–and raise our concerns about–whether justices with deep (and vocal) religious faith can rule fairly on a religious liberties case.”
Daily Caller: “New York Times reporter James Risen called the Obama administration ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation’ on Friday, explaining that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those that refuse to play along ‘will be punished.’”
Religion News Service: “Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights on Friday (March 21) appealed a federal judge’s ruling that affirmed the right of the New York City Police Department to spy on Muslims based on their faith and ethnicity.”
Ross Kaminsky at The Federalist: “The breadth and depth of suppression of dissent by ‘liberals’ throughout our most important institutions makes clear that this is not a tactic occasionally implemented by a loose cannon or ‘rogue employee in Cincinnati.’ Instead, it is a determined strategy of the entire political left, implying recognition of the inherent weakness and unpopularity of their philosophy and their policies, and the distances they are willing to go to impose both on an unwilling populace.”
Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist: “The Associated Press is a good journalism brand that is being tarnished by shoddy coverage of the pro-life movement even as coverage of pro-choice activists and their arguments could not be more favorable. Let’s hope some higher-ups recognize the need to fix this problem.”
Houston Chronicle: “Attorneys for former television sports analyst Craig James said Thursday that James’ employment discrimination claim against Fox Sports Southwest has been accepted for investigation by the Texas Workforce Commission.”
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative: “The climate that now exists, and that will only grow in intensity, is one in which any dissent from the pro-gay consensus, no matter how nuanced or irenically stated, amounts to ‘hate’ that cannot be tolerated. Error Has No Rights. . . . The eagerness with which pro-SSM folks are willing to believe the absolute worst about those who oppose them is appalling, and when you think about what this is likely to mean for the near future, deeply depressing. For many of them, it is not enough that we are wrong; we must also be purely evil.”
Breitbart: “Contrary to what many in the mainstream media have claimed, the conservative Christian group that backed and drafted Arizona’s Religious Freedom Law has not been pouting since Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the measure. In fact, the organization is actually celebrating the fact that 123 of the bills it has supported since its inception in 1995 have been signed into law.”
Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary: “What happened in Arizona was that the growing support for gay marriage was used to delegitimize anyone who sought to carve out some legal space for those disagreed on religious grounds and the affair snowballed into a national furor that drowned out opposing arguments. What Toobin and other liberals would like to see is the same process apply to Hobby Lobby and other religious believers who see the ObamaCare mandate as violating their liberty by painting them as opponents of women’s rights.”
Rachel Lu at Crisis Magazine: “The level of exaggeration and mendacity in the media coverage of this legislation is jaw-dropping even for those of us who are familiar with the media’s strong biases. . . . serious religious believers of all stripes should perhaps be alarmed by the readiness with which the secular left calls to mind the legally enforced segregation of yesteryear. Is it not clear by now that many on the left would like to see unrepentant religious believers relegated to a similarly second-class status?”
Wisconsin Journal Times editorial: “Joseph La Rue and Kerri Kupec of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped develop SB1062, wrote the following in a commentary last week for the Arizona Republic: ‘Elaine, however, did not refuse the women because they identify as homosexual. She declined to photograph the ceremony only because she didn’t want to promote a message at odds with her sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage.’”
Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist: “[O]ne of the most interesting things about modern media’s deep hostility toward the religious, their religions, and religious liberty in general is that press freedom in America is rooted in religion. . . . Moving forward nearly 300 years, we have a press that loathes and works actively to suppress this religious liberty, as confident in being on the ‘right side of history’ as they are ignorant of natural rights, history, religion and basic civility.”
Erik Wemple at The Washington Post: “Greg Scott, a spokesman for the pro-S.B. 1062 group Alliance Defending Freedom, decries a wave of ‘distortion’ in the media coverage of the bill. ‘In a lot of the coverage,’ says Scott, ‘the media wasn’t as curious as it should have been about what the bill actually did.’ When asked about some outlets’ use of ‘anti-gay’ to describe the legislation, Scott replied, ‘When you slap a label like that on a bill that has nothing to do with that, it’s meant to stoke emotion and really bury the chance for a reasoned debate about an important issue.’ Nor have supporters of the legislation had ‘equal time’ in media coverage, as have its opponents, says Scott.”
The Dallas Morning News (AP): “Former television college football analyst Craig James is complaining to the state that his firing by Fox Sports Southwest was an act of religious discrimination . . . James alleges a national Fox Sports spokesman told The Dallas Morning News that James was terminated from Fox Sports Southwest for religious beliefs against same-sex marriage.”
More information is available from the Liberty Institute here.
Andrew Johnson at National Review: “Erin Burnett called on Doug Napier with Alliance Defending Freedom, a group supporting the bill, to recall the struggles of the civil-rights movement. Crossfire co-host Van Jones used Friday’s closing monologue to point to segregationists’ use of the Bible to justify slavery, just as someone in Arizona might cite their faith.”
Ryan T. Anderson at Heritage: “The headline reads ‘A License to Discriminate.’ And the New York Times editorial board goes on to claim that Arizona has just passed ‘noxious measures to give businesses and individuals the broad right to deny services to same-sex couples in the name of protecting religious liberty.’ The Times got it wrong.”
NewsBusters: “The anchor, who recently extolled rapper Macklemore’s pro-LGBT agenda ‘Same Love’ track, and raved about NFL hopeful Michael Sam’s coming out, blasted guest Kellie Fiedorek and the organization she works for, the Alliance Defending Freedom, for their social conservative agenda – or as he spun it, ‘trying to protect Christians who feel this kind of exclusionary belief.’”
Kellie Fiedorek discusses Arizona SB 1062 on CNN with Brooke Baldwin | MP4 runs about 8:04 mins.
Doug Napier appeared on Erin Burnett’s CNN show to discuss Arizona’s SB 1062 | MP4 video runs 6:34 min.
Peter Corbett and Laurie Merrill at The Arizona Republic: “Supporters say the bill, written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit.”
The Post-Standard (Syracuse): “La Rue, legal counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, says that a lack of clarity in the New Mexico law allowed for Huguenin to be sued for exercising her beliefs. He writes: ‘No Arizonan should be forced to choose between making a living and living free. An amended bill that provides a safeguard from laws that violate our First Amendment freedoms — while still letting government enact laws necessary to the common good — is a sensible one.’”
The Arizona Republic: “The bill, written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit.”
SB 1062 forcing Brewer to consider issues tied to faith, discrimination | The Arizona Republic (video)
The Arizona Republic: “The bill was written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy — one of the most influential lobbies at the state legislature — and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.”
Andrew Johnson at National Review: “In an interview with Kellie Fiedorek, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that aided in the creation of the controversial Arizona bill protecting businesses’ freedom to provide services in line with their religious beliefs, Cuomo badgered Fiedorek “to be honest” about the bill’s motives, which he claimed was to discriminate against gay customers.”
Politico: “The Federal Communications Commission will amend a proposed study of newsrooms in South Carolina after outcry over what some called “invasive questions,” the commission’s chairman said Friday.”
Ajit Pai at The Wall Street Journal: “The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories. Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country . . . The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about ‘the process by which stories are selected’ and how often stations cover ‘critical information needs,’ along with ‘perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.’”
Reuters: “U.S. District Judge William Martini in Newark, New Jersey, threw out a lawsuit brought by several New Jersey Muslims who claimed the New York Police Department illegally targeted them for undercover monitoring solely because of their religion.” | Hassan v. City of New York, (D NJ, Feb. 20, 2014)
Doug Mainwaring at American Thinker: “Information and opinion cascades (also Cass Sunstein and Timur Kuran) promulgated by the Left are meant to overwhelm and intimidate. They cause otherwise freethinking individuals to engage in preference falsification (choosing to publicly deny one’s true thoughts and values in order to maintain a positive standing within whatever social group they happen to find themselves in) due to the threat of social isolation.”
Politico: “A collection of groups pushing to open the Supreme Court to television coverage is trying something new: television advertising. The Coalition for Court Transparency is rolling out a 30-second TV ad this week with a modest local cable buy in Washington, D.C.”
Associated Press: “While several Olympic sponsors have spoken out against Russia’s restrictions on gay rights ahead of the Sochi Winter Games, Chevrolet is rolling out two ads during the U.S. broadcast of the opening ceremony on Friday that feature gay couples.”
LifeSiteNews: “‘Same Love’ was nominated for Song of the Year at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, but lost out to Lorde’s ‘Royals.’ But it’s the on-stage performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis that had people talking Monday morning, after 33 couples – many of them gay and lesbian – got legally ‘married’ during the performance, with rap artist Queen Latifah presiding.”
Politico: “The Washington Post announced a new partnership with the law and public policy blog The Volokh Conspiracy on Thursday, just hours after confirming that Ezra Klein, its star policy blogger, would be leaving to start a new venture.”
One News Now: The Media Research Center reports that Internews, a global non-profit media organization founded in 1982 by self-described Marxist and anti-war protester Soros, has received more than $364 million from the State Department and USAID since 2002 (see breakdown below). That accounts for 80 percent of the organization’s funding, primarily in the form of federal grants.
Stephanie Gray at Bell Towers: In the first 2 minutes of TED Talk “The Antidote to Apathy,” Dave Meslin masterfully points out that we often mistakenly conclude that those who don’t respond to our messages are apathetic. In reality, what appears as a problem of indifference can actually be a problem of packaging. In other words, as Meslin says, “People do care, but… we live in a world that actively discourages engagement by constantly putting obstacles and barriers in our way.”
David Horsey at LA Times: I confess my intent is to be provocative by dragging Phil Robertson into another cartoon at a moment when the “Duck Dynasty” controversy seems to have simmered down. But, after all, provocation is the whole point of political cartoons and, now that I’ve got everyone’s attention, I want to share some thoughts about cartoons, religion and free speech.
Christian Post: Recently, the Amazon page for Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality by Linda Harvey was removed from the commercial website
CNSNews: Chris Stone, founder of the group that created the IStandWithPhil petition signed by over 265,000 people in support of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, says his group “remains uncertain of A&E’s true intent” and will continue to monitor the cable channel until it clarifies “what they mean by tolerance, inclusion and mutual respect.”
Deseret News: The essence of judicial tyranny is when a single, unelected federal judge declares the laws and constitution of an entire state null and void with an opinion clothed in the barest of legal precedent. Late on Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby overstepped judicial bounds, ignored the weight of settled precedent and insulted Utah’s electorate by striking down Amendment 3 to Utah’s Constitution, the provision that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
“As Utah tries to stay same-sex unions ruling, historians say marriage has evolved in response to social need, ethics.” | Salt Lake Tribune
Brooke Adams at the Salt Lake Tribune: The state of Utah so far has banked much of its legal argument against same-sex marriage on the assertion that such unions threaten the traditional, “age-old and still predominant,” form of marriage: heterosexual, monogamous marriage.
LifeNews: A woman with the message “I AM GOD” painted on her body jumped up on the altar and screamed in the middle of a Mass on Christmas at Cologne Cathedral, the home of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cologne and one of the tallest cathedrals in the world.
Chris Adamo at Renew America: Real America is understandably abuzz over the Phil Robertson Controversy. Robertson, the patriarch of the Arts and Entertainment Network series “Duck Dynasty,” has been accused of every possible crime against humanity ever since word of his interview with GQ magazine, containing his blunt assessment of homosexuality as sin, became known to the public.
Ducking the real issues: A&E misfires in aiming at the First Amendment | Doug Napier at Washington Times
Doug Napier at Washington Times: Feathers have flown in every direction over the announcement by A&E of its suspension of Phil Robertson from the “Duck Dynasty” TV show for daring to express an opinion of his own. Those following this story have landed in of one of four main camps, but only one camp really understands the import of what is happening.
WorldNetDaily: Arts & Entertainment Network, a little more than a week after announcing it was putting Duck Commander Phil Robertson of the immensely popular “Duck Dynasty” television show on hiatus over some comments he made, is backing down.
AP: Egypt’s Interior Ministry says security forces have arrested journalists working for the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera network over alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, the leading Islamist group that was last week branded as a “terrorist” organization.
Doug Napier at Patheos: Free Americans should share Mencken’s disdain for the repression of competing ideas and rally to defend the freedom to disagree, as recognized by our First Amendment. Of all the people who should understand this are the decision-makers at A&E who rely on their ability to broadcast freely every day.
Catholic Culture: He withdrew after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination characterized Legatus as “a rabid anti-LGBT organization.”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: If you thought Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty is being treated unfairly by A&E, then you have to get a load of what is happening in Italy with regards to media treatment of dissenting views on homosexuality. The government has just issued a new set of guidelines for journalists for how to treat “LGBT” people.
Daily Caller: The suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty is outrageous in a nation that values freedom, according to social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist Camille Paglia. “I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.
LA Times: It is a clearly Christian symbol on government-owned land, and the Supreme Court should order its removal.
Erick Erickson at Red State: Christians were once told they did not have to look or listen. The militant gay rights movement and the secular left will not abide by their own prescription. Those who dissent or think differently must be silenced.
Suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson a Threat to Free Marketplace of Ideas? | Christian Post
Christian Post: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) condemned the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E Network as a threat to the free marketplace of ideas. “This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching,” Doug Napier, ADF’s senior vice president of Legal, said in an official statement. He attacked the suspension as a violation of America’s culture of free speech . . . “Alliance Defending Freedom exists to preserve and protect free speech and to stand against these types of meritless attacks upon freedom,” Napier proclaimed.
Baptist Standard: Southern Baptist leaders Russell Moore and Al Mohler, as well as advocacy groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, also came to Robertson’s defense, saying he should not be suspended for voicing his views.
TheNewsStar.com (Gannett): And the Alliance Defending Freedom, which describes itself as a non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, weighed in on Robertson’s side. “America’s long tradition of free and open discussion about important cultural issues is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” said Doug Napier, senior vice president of legal. “This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching.
Maureen O’Connor of OH Supreme Court at LA Times: One of the top federal appeals courts this month took a major step forward in opening the historically opaque federal judicial system to the public by expanding the use of cameras. When will the Supreme Court follow suit and finally allow cameras in its courtroom?
Austin R. Nimocks at Alliance Defending Freedom: One would think that First Amendment beneficiaries, like A&E, would jealously guard free speech rights, especially those belonging to its own stars. But as with advocates of homosexual behavior, their idea of “tolerance” is apparently best characterized as a one-way street.
The Guardian: Exam to be based on 700-page manual that prohibits published reports from featuring comments that go against party line.
Ryan T. Anderson at National Review: These and other laws are creating a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that we are created male and female, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage. These state and local laws are used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.
John Nolte at Breitbart: Absolutely nothing “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson said here even comes close to bigotry, unless you want to claim that he is also bigoted against heterosexuals . . .