Tag Archives: rightwing

'An outright lie': Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian bills

'An outright lie': Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian billsTimothy Ginter, who said he had ‘no knowledge’ of Project Blitz, was listed as co-chair of state branch of group behind the campaignAn Ohio legislator who said he had “no knowledge” of a rightwing Christian bill mill called Project Blitz is, in fact, the co-chair of the state branch of an organization behind the campaign.The Ohio state representative Timothy Ginter sponsored a bill called the Student Religious Liberties Act. Opponents argued the bill would provide students with a religious exemption to facts, and would frighten teachers and school administrators into including religion in school functions.The Guardian revealed the bill was nearly identical to one promoted by Project Blitz, a state legislative project guided by three Christian right organizations, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus (CPC), WallBuilders and the ProFamily Legislators Conference. Project Blitz aims to promote and help pass conservative legislation across the US to fulfil its rightwing Christian agenda.When initially approached, Ginter told the Guardian in an email from a legislative aide that he had “no knowledge of ‘Project Blitz’ and has not been working with WallBuilders or the Congressional Prayer Caucus”.However, a screenshot shows Ginter was listed as the co-chair of the Ohio Prayer Caucus, the state chapter of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, as recently as January 2019. Ginter’s former chief of staff, Chris Albanese, is currently listed as the state director of the state chapter of CPC, Ohio Prayer Caucus.“I would call it an outright lie,” said Frederick Clarkson, a senior research analyst with Political Research Associates, and an expert on the Christian right. “The Prayer Caucus in the states are the action arm of Project Blitz – it is Project Blitz,” he said. “When he told you, ‘I’ve never heard of Project Blitz,’ that was a lie,” said Clarkson.The Guardian repeatedly called and emailed both Ginter and the the Republican Ohio house speaker, Larry Householder. Neither responded to these phone or email requests.In a statement at the time, Ginter argued the bill was necessary because, “well-funded groups” were intimidating school officials with “the thread of litigation”. His bill, he argued, would clarify their responsibilities.Ginter also argued the Student Religious Liberties Bill was not a Christian bill, because it does not explicitly mention Christianity. However, the Ohio Prayer Caucus he co-chaired explicitly lays out that it support legislators “who are standing for faith, morality and Judeo-Christian principles”.The Congressional Prayer Caucus also circulated an Ohio Prayer Proclamation. Among its signers are Ginter; the former representative Bill Hayes, who originally sponsored the bill; and the former House speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Rosenberger resigned in 2018 after a search warrant and subpoena revealed the FBI was investigating Rosenberger for corruption involving three payday lending representatives, according to the Dayton Daily News.Prominent defenders of religious liberties, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Anti-Defamation League, oppose the legislation. Republicans in the Ohio House passed the legislation with a party-line vote in November. It has not yet been taken up by the Ohio senate.



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'A circus and a hoax': how rightwing media are covering impeachment

'A circus and a hoax': how rightwing media are covering impeachmentTelevised impeachment hearings will probably spur more negative news cycles for Trump. Except on conservative mediaThe Fox News offices in New York City on 11 October 2019. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/ReutersTelevised public impeachment hearings on Donald Trump start on Wednesday and are likely to grip America with a litany of damaging testimony.Transcripts of private hearings already show witnesses testifying about the same basic scenario: Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate his potential rival in the 2020 election Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked in the country. That has spurred weeks of negative news cycles for Trump. When those same witnesses are grilled live on television it is likely to only get worse for the president.Except on conservative media.The themes advanced by conservative commentators have been wildly supportive of the president and hostile toward impeachment, often painting an alternative reality of a brutal, bullying, illegal and unfair plot against Trump.Jeanine Pirro, on her eponymous Fox News show, recently groused: “There’s been a lot of talk about constitutional crises – but the only constitutional crisis right now is the lawless attempt to impeach the sitting president.”Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs celebrated a Republican protest saying, “the Republicans, God bless them for actually doing something. I am so impressed.” He also described the inquiry as the “illegal efforts of the radical Dems who are holding secret hearings in their attempts to unseat the president”, Columbia Journalism Review noted.On the far-right news website Breitbart, some of the recently trending topics were “Hoaxblower Madness” – a reference to the anonymous whistleblower, whose complaint ultimately spurred the impeachment inquiry. One Breitbart headline about the House intelligence committee chair, Adam Schiff, claimed: “Adam Schiff Makes Up New Rules for Impeachment Inquiry; Restricts Republican Witness Questions.”The lead story on One America News Network’s website on Friday afternoon (nestled between two links to the same story on “abortions targeting down syndrome fetuses”), featured a headline on the ousted Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, that reads: “Report: Yovanovitch Committed Perjury According To Newly Discovered Emails.”But despite their crusading on behalf of Trump and his supporters and their campaign to stop it, the public phase of the impeachment enquiry will still get mass coverage. The live proceedings are expected to be a ratings bonanza for television networks as well as a traffic boon for news websites – including the conservative media groups attacking it.This would be in keeping with audience trends during other major congressional hearings in US history. Seventy-one per cent of Americans watched the 1973 Watergate hearings, reported Reuters.Public testimonies have also proven a hit in the Trump era: approximately 19.5 million Americans watched the ex-FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Trump. More than 20 million viewed Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony after she accused the then supreme court nominee of sexual misconduct. But this intense demand for coverage raises a question for the conservative press. How do pro-Trump outlets – in keeping with their audience’s tastes – handle a story that’s inherently negative for him?Fox News Channel “will present wall-to-wall live coverage surrounding the House permanent select committee on intelligence’s first open impeachment hearings”, the company said in a statement. Bret Baier, the Fox News chief political anchor, and the news anchor Chris Wallace, will lead this coverage.Charles Herring, the president of One America News, said they will be “providing wall-to-wall coverage of the impeachment hearings”.“It is difficult to avoid when the actual hearings are happening on live television – even for Fox,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican political consultant and Trump critic. “They’ll cover it.”But viewers will find the time of day will influence Fox’s coverage. Fox News’ daytime programming deals with news; while primetime programming boasts a conservative lineup of opinion-driven hosts like Trump cheerleaders Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Pirro. So, in effect Fox will serve up two doses of impeachment coverage: one largely factual, and the other wildly skewed in favor of Trump.“The Fox audience is bifurcated. The daytime Fox audience is not the same as the audience that’s tuning in at night,” Wilson said. “There are still some hard news reporters at Fox, and they’re not happy. They’re dealing with this reality distortion field.”But meeting conservative viewers’ demands has made Fox “dependent” on Trump “for an audience that exists only because of him”, Wilson said.According to a new study by progressive Crooked Media and Change Research, 89% of Republicans who watch Fox News are against impeachment because they don’t think the key facts in the Trump-Ukraine controversy are true. The share dips to 59% for Republicans who don’t watch Fox, the survey of 971 registered voters said.“The old conservative audience is gone. The old conservative audience are not what turns into Fox now,” he said. “They are there to watch the Trump show – the reality TV presidency.”The conservative media plays a key role in Trump and his allies’ defense strategy. As the testimony in the impeachment inquiry has so far consistently shown the existence of a “quid pro quo” attempt with Ukraine, attacks on it by Republicans have largely focused on the process itself, not the facts it’s uncovering.That has been echoed on conservative media, providing a vital echo chamber for Republican talking points.“I think what they’re going to do is kind of attack the process,” said Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant and Forbes contributor, explaining their motif would be “This is a circus and that this is just a hoax.”And the ultimate aim of all this is clear: shoring up Trump’s base as the 2020 election looms into view.If the Republican base remains supportive of Trump, reporting that caters to it “will help stabilize the base, will help keep him in place”, said Thomas E Patterson, the Bradlee professor of government and the press and author of How America Lost Its Mind.“As long as the base holds, the Republican Senate, assuming he gets impeached in the House, Republican senators will almost to the person not vote for conviction,” he said. “I think the rightwing media are important to the issue of Trump’s survival and they’re going to do their damndest to make sure he’s not going to get convicted.”



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Spy chief says right-wing radicalism spreads in Germany

Spy chief says right-wing radicalism spreads in GermanyThe head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said on Tuesday that militant right-wingers were mixing with less radical conservatives, blurring the lines to make extremism more acceptable and harder to detect. Speaking less than three weeks after a man who had published a racist and anti-Semitic manifesto shot two people near a synagogue in Halle, Thomas Haldenwang added that lone attackers were also an increasing threat. “The proverbial ‘right wing corner’ which allows for a clear distinction between extremists and the conservative camp, no longer exists,” said President of the BfV domestic intelligence agency Haldenwang in a parliamentary hearing.



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Right-wing pastor says Trump supporters will 'hunt down' Democrats when he leaves office

Right-wing pastor says Trump supporters will 'hunt down' Democrats when he leaves officePresident Donald Trump's supporters will "hunt down" Democrats and bring "violence to America" once the president leaves office, according to right-wing Christian pastor and conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles.On his apocalyptic TruNews programme, captured by Right Wing Watch, Mr Wiles said the president's impeachment or "however he leaves" office will inspire "veterans, cowboys, mountain men" and "guys that know how to fight" to bring "violence to America" by hunting down Mr Trump's political enemies.



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Shrugging off Trump, FBI tackles right-wing extremists

Shrugging off Trump, FBI tackles right-wing extremistsOne man had three assault rifles, extra-large magazines and a gas mask. Another had over 18 weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, AR-15s, and a grenade launcher. Earlier this year, the two might not have drawn the attention of US law enforcement.



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Right-wing leader threatens to return to Portland every month after 13 arrested in weekend violence

Right-wing leader threatens to return to Portland every month after 13 arrested in weekend violenceThe leader of the Right-wing protesters who were embroiled in violent clashes with Left-wing counter-demonstrators in Portland over the weekend has threatened to return to the city every month. Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the “Proud Boys”, escalated the long-running feud between white supremacists and Antifa, a loose coalition of Left-wing and anarchist groups, which has brought mayhem to the streets of a number of American cities. He said his group would stage further demonstrations until Ted Wheeler, the mayor of the Oregon city, moved against Antifa. “The path forward for Mayor Wheeler is simple, free your city from the grip of Antifa, take direct and meaningful action,” he said. At least 13 people were arrested and six were injured in Saturday’s clashes which saw police seize an array of weapons including bear spray, metal poles, batons and curtain rods.  Some of the Right-wing protesters, who included members of the paramilitary “Three Percenters”, who pledge to resist attempts to “curtail constitutional rights”, wore body armour,. Portland Police deployed all of its thousand officers to keep the peace in the city. The standoff was the latest in a series of clashes reflecting the growing polarisation of American politics. Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019 Donald Trump, who was following developments from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, appeared to lay blame on Antifa for the violence, when he posted on Twitter. “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR’,” the president wrote. “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Demonstrator surrounded by police amid violent clashes in Portland, Oregon Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images A Senate resolution, designating Antifa as a domestic terrorist group, has been proposed by Ted Cruz, a conservative Republican from Texas. Mr Trump’s tweet was described as “not helpful” by Mr Wheeler. “This is a potentially dangerous and volatile situation, and adding to that noise doesn’t do anything to support or help the efforts that are going on here in Portland.” The US president finally bowed to pressure to condemn white supremacists after the mass shooting at El Paso earlier this month, which claimed 22 lives. But in the past he has been reluctant to do so, notably after the August 2017 violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia when Heather Heyer who was killed when a car was driven into a group of people protesting against a “Unite the Right” rally. Mr Trump was heavily criticised when he said there were “very fine people on both sides”.



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Police make arrests as right-wing, anti-fascist groups rally in Portland

Police make arrests as right-wing, anti-fascist groups rally in PortlandA rally by hundreds of supporters of the right-wing Proud Boys organization was met by a similar number of “antifa” opponents, and isolated clashes broke out between both sides and between antifa and police as the gathering wrapped up. At the peak of the demonstrations there were an estimated 1,200 protesters on the streets of the downtown district, said Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw. Charges against those in custody would include disorderly conduct, interfering with police, resisting arrest, and unlawful use of a weapon, she said at a news conference.



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Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protestsMore than two dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Federal Protective Service, were in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday to help police there monitor a right-wing rally that’s expected to draw demonstrators from around the U.S. Self-described anti-fascists have vowed to confront the rally while leaders from the far right urged their followers to turn out in large numbers to protest the arrests of six members of right-wing groups in the run-up to the event. In a video he livestreamed on Facebook, Gibson accused the police of playing politics by arresting him but not the masked demonstrators who beat up conservative blogger Andy Ngo at a June 29 rally that drew national attention to this small, liberal city.



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Germany steps up warnings about right-wing Identitarian Movement

Germany steps up warnings about right-wing Identitarian MovementGermany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) classified the Identitarian Movement as an extreme right-wing group on Thursday, a sign that authorities are increasingly worried about radicals with anti-Islamic and racist views. The murder last month of a prominent regional politician by a suspected neo-Nazi shook Germans and prompted the interior minister to warn that right-wing extremism was a threat to Germany’s democratic system. The Identitarian Movement has not been directly linked to the killing, but the intelligence agency said the group discriminated against non-Europeans and Muslims and as such was incompatible with the constitution.



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Right-wing protesters, 'antifa' clashes bring chaos to streets of Portland, Oregon

Right-wing protesters, 'antifa' clashes bring chaos to streets of Portland, OregonOrder was restored to the streets of Portland, Oregon, after protests that clogged streets, crippled public transit and left at least 8 people hurt.



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