Right Opinion

CNN = Contrived News Network?

Tony Perkins · Oct. 17, 2019

When Gallup released its latest poll on the media, a lot of people were surprised the press had any scrap of credibility left to talk about. But despite all of the bias and fake news, an astonishing 41 percent of Americans still trust the media. Well, one thing’s for certain, James O'Keefe would say, they must not be watching CNN.

The Project Veritas founder and president, who launched the Be Brave campaign for industry whistleblowers, is giving Americans plenty of reason to doubt the network news. A new undercover video, the same one O'Keefe teased at VVS, is blowing the lid off of the culture of anti-Trump hatred that rules at CNN. To most of us, the idea that CNN — or any mainstream media outlet — is slanted against conservatives isn’t exactly a groundbreaking revelation. What is shocking, however, is that the president of a network is so violently opposed to this administration that he’s “aggressively” deciding what the public hears.

And that isn’t just offensive to conservatives, James explains. Cary Poarch, who worked at the network’s D.C. bureau, isn’t a Republican by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, in the primaries, he voted for Bernie Sanders. But he was so “disgusted” by CNN, James explained on “Washington Watch,” that he felt compelled to expose it. “He was just grossed out by what he saw,” O'Keefe remembers. So much so that he wore a camera for five months, recording dozens of meetings with President Jeff Zucker as he pushed his far-Left political agenda. “Most of the colleagues that he recorded were basically saying [that] it’s the Jeff Zucker show… And they’re not doing legitimate newsgathering. And while we all suspected this, while we maybe knew it or at least could use our intuition to know this, none of us ever have been able to prove it.” Cary did, and he lost his job.

“These are the sort of anonymous heroes inside of our institutions who want to blow the whistle,” James explained. “And that’s not an easy thing to do, right? Because you have to you have to betray the confidence of your colleagues for the public’s right to know. And that’s what journalism is.”

What Cary found was just how deeply entrenched Zucker’s animus is. “The president of CNN is [literally] whispering into the ear of people while they’re on the air.” He’s telling them to “knock off” their friendliness to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), to prepare “softball interviews” for Democrats, they even allude to an “anti-Trump crusade.” That’s hardly the stuff of journalistic integrity.

“There’s one irate moment in this tape,” James shares, “where Jeff Zucker in his editorial meeting… says, ‘Forget about that. Just focus on impeachment.’ …He’s telling people to focus on a certain thing. And that’s a little surprising as the head of a massive media company not to let journalists bubble up what the story actually is, but to kind of tell them as if you’re running ‘The Apprentice…’ One of the employees… called it a game show — a joke.”

Unfortunately, none of this is isolated to CNN. Increasingly, what we’re seeing is a media who isn’t reporting the story — they are the story. These are agenda-driven opinion channels masquerading as real news. That’s why it’s more important than ever for Christians to look for information in alternative sources that share their worldview.

A good place to start is “Washington Watch.” If it doesn’t air on your local Christian or conservative station, call them and ask them to carry “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” In the meantime, download the Stand Firm App, so that you can listen each day at 5:00 p.m. (ET).

Originally published here.

Measuring the Dem Mentions of Abortion

If you’re looking for the most outrageous part of Tuesday night’s debate, close your eyes and point to any part of the transcript. The better question might be: is there any part of the Democrats’ agenda that isn’t outside the American mainstream? From creating a White House office of baby killing to recruiting soldiers with HIV, the moments of primetime sanity were few and far between.

When the curtains closed on the Houston debate in September, California Senator Kamala Harris (D) complained that she didn’t get a chance to show off her abortion radicalism. Tuesday night, she got her wish. She and the group of would-be presidents spent more than 1,800 words explaining how devoted they are to annihilating children in the womb. Only one stood out: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). In a country where 92 percent want to ban late-term abortion, she was the only Democrat running for our highest office who agreed.

Even to “pro-choicers,” a third-trimester limit on abortion — which is really the barest of unborn protections — should be a no-brainer. And yet, Gabbard comes out of Tuesday’s debate like a hero for opposing what — until recently — would have been common ground for both parties. In a liberal culture where infanticide is the new abortion, heartland Democrats are grasping at anything that doesn’t smack of abortion extremism. Over at Democrats for Life of America, leaders begged moderators to “facilitate a real debate” about what restrictions on the procedure — if any — the candidates would agree to. “Does the party have a message to 20 million pro-life Democrats other than, ‘Drop dead?’”

Turns out, they don’t. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) even took the opportunity Tuesday to exalt abortion to a holy status, calling it a “sacrosanct ideal” on par with liberty. “And so,” he went on, “I’m going to deal [with this pro-life momentum in the states] by elevating it like we have with other national crises to a White House-level position. And I will create the Office of Reproductive Freedom and Reproductive Rights in the White House and make sure that we begin to fight back on a systematic attempt that’s gone on for decades to undermine Roe v. Wade.” This is how Cory Booker plans to get elected — by dedicating an entire government agency to the slaughter of innocent children?

And yet, as far as Booker is concerned, the biggest “existential threat in America” isn’t war or terrorism — or even the Left’s pet crisis in climate change. It’s the future of Planned Parenthood. “We’re in a state, [Ohio], that has had two Planned Parenthoods close.” But if that’s hurt business, you wouldn’t know it. Thanks to taxpayers’ half-billion dollars in forced donations, the “nonprofit” still has enough in the tank to spend a record $45 million on next year’s elections. If you want a snapshot of the industry’s priorities, that’s it. As Abby Johnson said, if Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s health, they’d be putting that $45 million into their clinics. And judging by the state of their facilities, they could use it!

But Booker hardly cornered the market on abortion extremism. As far as Kamala Harris is concerned, pro-life leaders are “outdated and out of touch, mostly men who are telling women what to do with their bodies… There needs to be accountability and consequence.” Her idea? Use the Department of Justice to block and overturn state pro-life laws. She called it “pre-clearance.” We call it lawless overreach. Then, of course, there were the usual nods to the Democratic platform — promises to make Roe v. Wade permanent law, abolish the Hyde amendment, appoint pro-abortion justices, and export abortion to other countries.

In the basket of crazy ideas tossed around before the debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vowed to overturn the president’s transgender military policy and clear the way for people infected with HIV to enlist. Unfortunately for her, there’s no such thing as a constitutional “right to serve” in the military. As former Defense Secretary James Mattis pointed out: “The vast majority of Americans from ages 17-24 — 71 percent — are ineligible to join the military for medical, mental, or behavioral reasons…” But then, people like Warren aren’t interested in the facts or the potential harms of the far-Left position. All they care about is using the military to advance their fringe agenda at the very real expense of national security.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the Democrats’ position on religious freedom or liberty, don’t bother. The time they spent on the topic just about sums up how much concern the party has for it: Zero. With headlines full of concern over Syrian Christians, Uyghur Muslims, the Hong Kong protests, and so much more, an entire stage of candidates can’t be bothered to pause for one second and talk about one of the true life-or-death issues of our time.

President Trump was right. Speaking to the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, he warned, “On every front, the ultra-Left is waging war on the values shared by everyone in this room.” A few years ago, he pointed out, you could say you believed in the freedom of religion, “and it would have been sort of routine. Today, you say it and you get standing ovations.” Why? “Because we’re under assault.” And if the 12 liberals standing on that stage get their way, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Originally published here.

Parents Flip a Lid on School Bathroom Policy

Jasper, Georgia isn’t a big town. At last count, it had about 3,800 residents. So it was a big deal when 900 of those people squeezed into the Pickens County High auditorium determined to stop Jasper from becoming the next stop in the march for transgender bathrooms.

For the small community, the time for polite conversation was over. The residents packed into the special school board meeting were angry. They’d already made accommodations for the two students who identified as another gender, setting up single-person restrooms for anyone who wanted them. The trouble is, these kids weren’t satisfied with that compromise.

In a fiery meeting that pit Superintendent Carlton Wilson against most of the town, moms and dads like Nathan Barfield were furious that his two children are being made uncomfortable because a handful of students want access to any bathroom. “Most people won’t say anything because they fear retaliation,” he fumed. “[But] accommodations have already been made for transgender students. This is nothing but a political stunt to gain attention!” A raucous applause broke out, punctuated by a series of “Amens!” “Once you give into this, you’ll open the floodgates,” warned another mom.

In places like the U.K., where this sort of gender free-for-all is commonplace, parents are distraught about the rise in their kids’ anxiety. Some girls are staying home so they don’t have to use the bathrooms with boys. Others are risking bladder infections by not drinking. Here in the U.S., even liberal parents are calling it a “bathroom crisis.” The Atlantic, not to be confused with a conservative magazine, is the latest to sound the alarm, publishing a long feature from George Packer called, “When the Culture War Comes for Your Kids.”

He tells the story of sending his son to a public school in New York City to expose him to more diversity. There, a single girl in the second grade “had switched to using male pronouns, adopted the initial Q as a first name, and begun dressing in boys’ clothes.” Within two years, he writes, “almost every bathroom in the school, from kindergarten through fifth grade, had become gender-neutral. Where signs had once said boys and girls, they now said students. Kids would be conditioned to the new norm at such a young age that they would become the first cohort in history for whom gender had nothing to do with whether they sat or stood to pee. All that biology entailed — curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs — was erased or wished away.”

“The school didn’t inform parents of this sudden end to an age-old custom, as if there were nothing to discuss. Parents only heard about it when children started arriving home desperate to get to the bathroom after holding it in all day. Girls told their parents mortifying stories of having a boy kick open their stall door. Boys described being afraid to use the urinals. Our son reported that his classmates, without any collective decision, had simply gone back to the old system, regardless of the new signage: Boys were using the former boys’ rooms, girls the former girls’ rooms. This return to the familiar was what politicians call a ‘commonsense solution.’ It was also kind of heartbreaking. As children, they didn’t think to challenge the new adult rules, the new adult ideas of justice. Instead, they found a way around this difficulty that the grown-ups had introduced into their lives. It was a quiet plea to be left alone.”

In Jasper, the parents were fortunate. They won. Superintendent Wilson saw the outpouring of opposition and reconsidered. But despite all the Trump administration has done to put these decisions back in communities’ hands, there will always be a small army of activists who try to slip this indoctrination into your district. When that moment comes, make sure you’re prepared. Read through FRC’s “A Parent’s Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education” and make sure to watch these powerful stories from people at VVS who’ve suffered at the hands of this agenda.

Originally published here.

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

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