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Media Separated From Reality at Border

Tony Perkins · Jun. 23, 2018

It’s one thing to tell a story that tugs on people’s heartstrings. It’s quite another to manipulate that story to color people’s view. Of course, the liberal media knows a thing or two about twisting the truth to suit their narrative. And, after days of posting gut-wrenching photos of children at the border, the facts are finally catching up with them. Turns out, the faces of the immigration debate aren’t faces from this crisis at all!

Time magazine is one of the biggest offenders. Its latest cover, a crying toddler staring up at President Trump, was never separated from her mother at all. In what is turning out to be a major embarrassment for Time and the far Left, the little girl’s father went to the press to correct the story, insisting that she and her mom were never separated at the border. To its credit, The Washington Post outed the magazine and pointed out that “the heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.”

And Time isn’t the only outlet taking liberties with the truth. Other outlets have been forced to apologize on-air for using a photo of a caged little boy, after describing him as “ripped from the arms of their mother” by the president’s immigration policy. The propaganda is so out of control that The New York Times took the rare step of shaming the Left in a column, “How Liberals Got Lost on the Story of Missing Children at the Border.” Using a picture of two little boys in a cage as an example, reporter Amanda Taub explains, “This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.”

The real irony is this: No one needs to manipulate the truth to horrify Americans about the situation. There are more than enough nightmarish stories to compel anyone to act — and we should. You’d have to be the Tin Man not to be moved by what’s happening to children before they even get to our borders. People at ground zero, like National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, have seen enough to keep them awake every night of the week. On CNN, he explained the absolutely devastating impact our lawlessness has had on families.

I don’t think everybody understands what’s happening down here. You know, a lot of these kids that are coming here, and put through terrible, terrible situations by their parents… When you see a 12-year-old girl with a Plan B pill, or their parents put her on birth control because they know getting violated is part of the journey, that’s just a terrible way to live. When you see a four-year-old girl traveling completely alone with just her parents’ phone number written across her shirt — I mean, come on now… We had a nine-year-old boy last year have heat stroke in front of us and die with no family around…

Why? Because our refusal to enforce our laws has encouraged parents to gamble with their children’s lives. And despite the media’s anti-Trump drumbeat, the majority of Americans still hold the parents responsible. When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, Rasmussen reports, “54 percent of likely U.S. voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law… [O]nly 35 percent believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent are not sure.”

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order, which makes clear that compassion and upholding the law are not incompatible, you would think there would be political goodwill that could be used to address the overarching issue. Not so. Congressional Democrats aren’t interested in a solution. They’re interested in bypassing immigration laws altogether, regardless of the lives it costs and the havoc it wreaks.

But if they think the American people are on board with that approach, they’re mistaken. By a three to one margin, they reject Obama’s “catch and release” program, which essentially apprehends people at the border and then releases them into the country with a court date that they may or may not ignore. Even Democratic voters don’t agree with the idea, barely giving it 30 percent support.

The compassionate solution is not the status quo. This has, as Donald Trump pointed out, been going on for many decades. “Whether it was President Bush, President Obama, President Clinton — same policies. They can’t get them changed because both sides are always fighting… This is maybe a great chance to have a change.” He’s right — if liberal leaders will set aside their political games long enough to pursue it.

Originally published here.

SPLC Settles for Intolerance

You know a radical sea change is underway when the headline of The Washington Post is: “The Southern Poverty Law Center Has Lost All Credibility.” But a change is exactly what this week’s bombshell demanded after the SPLC admitted to a gross defamation of character. One of the few, unfortunately, that it’s actually being held accountable for.

Marc Theissen is the latest to take the extremists at SPLC to task after including a Muslim reformist on its list of anti-Muslim radicals. Much to SPLC’s chagrin, Maajid Nawaz wasn’t about to sit back and watch the labeling affect his fundraising and personal safety — as the group’s false smear campaigns have done to others. He sued, insisting (rightly), “They put a target on my head. The kind of work that I do, if you tell the wrong kind of Muslims that I’m an extremist, then that means I’m a target.”

That’s not a situation, as Theissen points out, to take lightly. “In 2010, it placed the Family Research Council (FRC) — a conservative Christian advocacy group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage — on its ‘hate map.’ Two years later, a gunman walked into the FRC headquarters with the intention to ‘kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces.‘ He told the FBI that he had used the SPLC website to pick his target.”

After being linked to two shooters (including SPLC Facebook fan and congressional baseball gunman, James T. Hodgkinson), you’d think the mainstream media would get the hint. The FBI, U.S. Army, and Obama Justice Department did, backing away from the group’s resources after complaints that it was simply smearing individuals and organizations that didn’t agree with SPLC politically. Finally, that practice of reckless labeling came back to haunt it. SPLC was forced to fork over nearly $3.4 million in a legal settlement to Nawaz, but the price to its legitimacy is much steeper.

Unfortunately, the settlement that the SPLC reached with Nawaz is not likely to deter it from smearing others — $3.4 million is a drop in the bucket for the center, which raised $132 million between November 2016 and October 2017 and has a $477 million endowment, including a reported $92 million in offshore accounts. Sliming conservatives is big business.

The only way to stop the SPLC is if people stop giving it money and the media stop quoting it or taking it seriously. The SPLC once did important work fighting the Ku Klux Klan. But when it declares Maajid Nawaz, the Family Research Council, Ben Carson and Charles Murray as moral equivalents of the Klan, it loses all integrity and credibility.

Originally publish here.

Victory Is Sweet for Colorado Baker

The road to freedom was a long one for Christian baker Jack Phillips — but the journey may finally be worth it. Back in Colorado after his impressive Supreme Court win, business is booming. After seven justices upheld Jack’s right to exercise his religious liberty in running Masterpiece Cakes, more than 400 people came to the shop to celebrate.

“We have had so many people coming by to support us as the case has gone on,” Jack told The Christian Post, “and there has been an outpouring of love and support since the decision came down. The state’s targeting of my beliefs cost me 40 percent of my business and forced me from 10 employees down to four. But we’re so happy to be busy doing what we do best at our shop.” Sales and orders, Jack says, have tripled since the June opinion. (His attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom even posted a video of the long lines.)

“Since we won, we’ve seen far more support than negativity. Even people who don’t believe what I do about marriage — including many who identify as LGBT — have been so encouraging. Tolerance is a two-way street. If we want freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to those with whom we disagree. Most people get that.” To the protestors who showed up at the shop earlier this month, Jack was the picture of kindness. “I offered them cookies and told them to stop by anytime.”

More than anything, he can’t wait to start taking custom wedding cake clients again. When his case was working its way through the courts, Jack had to put that side of the business on hold, costing him as much as 40 percent of his income. Now, with the Supreme Court’s blessing, he can get back into the creations that made him want to become a baker in the first place. “People have been praying across the country and around the world,” he explains emotionally, just so he can have that opportunity. “It is just phenomenal. Our God is so good.”

Unfortunately, not everyone in the wedding industry has gotten the good news they’ve been waiting for. Our friends Aaron and Melissa Klein, who have been battling for the freedom Jack just won, were just informed by the Oregon State Supreme Court that it would not be taking their case. Like Phillips, the Kleins were hauled into court by a same-sex couple who insisted Melissa should be forced to make a custom cake for their wedding, even if it violate her faith. Ultimately, the Kleins faced so many fines and threats that they were forced to close their shop altogether — cutting off the family of seven’s livelihood.

Now, staring down a $135,000 penalty, the Kleins attorneys at First Liberty Institute are hoping to take the fight back to a familiar place: the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the justices refused to broaden their ruling to people like Aaron and Melissa, First Liberty is going to give them the chance to reconsider. “No one in America should be forced by the government to choose between their faith and their livelihood. But that’s exactly what happened to our clients, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein.” Please be in prayer for them as they fight to provide for their family in a state that refuses to recognize their freedom.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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