Fox News host and right-wing pundit Tucker Carlson got a lot more than bait & tackle when he entered a fishing shop in Montana this weekend. A viewer in the store ripped into Carlson over his politicking and politicization of COVID-19, with the incident caught on camera.
The video in question landed on Instagram July 22. In it, a Montana fisherman named Dan Bailey approached and confronted Carlson over his spread of toxic misinformation. Carlson pulls Bailey aside and speaks to him in a hushed voice, intimating that he wants their confrontation to remain discreet. Bailey doesn’t seem to care.
“Settle down son,” Carlson says, trying to escape.
“Son? Don’t call me son,” Bailey seethes.
In the Instagram post, Bailey added a bit more context to his rage. “It’s not everyday you get to tell someone they are the worst person in the world and really mean it,” he wrote. “What an @sshole! This man has killed more people with vaccine misinformation, he has supported extreme racism, he is a fascist and does more to rip this country apart than anyone that calls themselves an American.”
Well, we have to agree. Tucker Carlson has a long and documented history of sucking up to right-wing politicians–in particular Donald Trump–and spreading false and discredited information about COVID-19 which has caused vaccine hesitancy to fester. Already the United States is seeing rising numbers in COVID diagnosis, almost exclusively in unvaccinated citizens.
Toronto police have admitted they made a “series of mistakes” after the body of a trans woman, Alloura Wells, was found at the bottom of a ravine in 2017. Wells’s body was found in Toronto’s Rosedale Ravine in August 2017, the month after friends noticed she was missing, but she was not reported…
Despite behind-the-scenes objections, the U.S. Senate on July 22 confirmed the nominations of two openly LGBT appointees to top Pentagon posts. The vote, by voice vote without objection, confirmed transgender Shawn Graham Skelly of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense and lesbian Gina Ortiz Jones of Texas to be Under Secretary of the Air Force.
Skelly, 55, a retired U.S. Navy pilot and former deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Command, served as a special assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics during the last three years of the Obama administration. She was also part of the Biden transition team and co-founder of an LGBT national security group called Out in National Security.
Jones, 40, a former intelligence officer and captain in the U.S. Air Force, served in Afghanistan and as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. She has recently run two campaigns for a U.S. House seat representing San Antonio, losing by close margins.
Annise Parker, president of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, said the confirmation of Skelly and Jones to “key leadership positions” will “transform perceptions of LGBTQ people within the ranks of the U.S. military, but also among the leaders of militaries we work with around the world.”
“While they were confirmed because of their unquestionable qualifications and experience,” said Parker, “they symbolize our continued progress and will further disrupt any lingering notion that LGBTQ people are somehow unfit to serve.”
Jennifer Dane, executive director of the Modern Military Association of America, a pro-LGBT group, praised Skelly’s “exceptional military career” and work for the Obama administration and said Jones “represents diverse intersections of minority groups and her visibility at the top echelons of leadership is exactly what our communities need.”
“We look forward to working with them both to ensure honor, dignity and respect are extended to all military members,” said Dane.
Disrespect in the background
There were no voiced objections to either Skelly or Jones during their June 16 confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. But ahead of the hearing, at least one Republican senator derided President Biden’s more pro-LGBT military as “emasculated” and “pansies.” And several of his Republican colleagues said they were concerned about “far left” agendas.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stirred controversy in May when he took issue with a U.S. Army recruiting video that featured a female soldier who has two moms. The two-minute video features Corporal Emma Malonelord, who operates Patriot Missile Defense weapons. In the mostly animated video, Malonelord explains what inspired her to join the Army. She describes having “fairly typical” childhood, notes that she had two moms who served as “powerful role models,” and says she finished at the top of her class in high school. She shares the experience she had when one of her parents was paralyzed in an accident and had to struggle with rehab before she could walk again and have a wedding ceremony with Malonelord’s other mother.
The Malonelord video was one of five the U.S. Army began posting on YouTube to encourage enlistment from a wide range of people. It focuses on five servicemembers—three women and two men, animated in a kind of superhero action figure presentation. An Army press release says the video was intended to make clear the Army is comprised of “real people with hopes and dreams, fears, aspirations, families, friends, and obstacles to overcome.” But the Army Times reported that the video was heavily “disliked” on YouTube, prompting the Army to shut down the comment section on all five.
Cruz, who has not served in the military, posted a message on Twitter May 20, showing the U.S. Army recruiting ad along with one from Russia. The Russian ad depicted its military as an all-white, all-male group of buff soldiers doing push-ups, parachuting, and looking somber and ominous. Cruz’s Twitter post commented, “Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea,” implying, apparently, that he sees the Russian image as superior.
Cruz’s post got 33,500 “Likes” but also many stinging criticisms. Some included photos of Cruz kowtowing to President Trump and suggesting Cruz is an expert on emasculation. Most criticized the senator for expressing a preference for the Russian Army.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to have a sitting Senator degrading the service of a woman who raised her hand, volunteered, and is currently serving honorably,” said one Twitter response. Another called Cruz’s post “disgusting,” saying he was “Actively cheering for an adversary to make a domestic political opponent look worse.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) posted a Twitter message in response to Cruz, saying, “Holy crap. Perhaps a U.S. Senator shouldn’t suggest that the *Russian* military is better than the American military that protected him from an insurrection he helped foment?” She was referring to the January 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol which forced the evacuation of Congress as it was about to certify the election of President Biden. Cruz was a big promoter of then President Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election had been “stolen” from him.
Cruz quickly attempted to answer his critics, saying they were “lefty blue checkmarks” and that he wasn’t attacking the U.S. military.
“We have the greatest military on earth, but Dem politicians & woke media are trying to turn them into pansies.”
“Ted Cruz is a bigot and a joke and has no business questioning the strength of LGBTQ servicemembers or veterans when he hasn’t served himself,” said Elliot Imse, a spokesman for the LGBTQ Victory Institute.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told CNN that servicemembers “represent the United States of America” and “ought to look like America….” He criticized Cruz’s remarks as enabling Russia and China to “capitalize on talking points like that.”
A group of 30 Republican members of Congress also targeted the Malonelord video. In a May 25 letter to Austin, the group said the Defense Department’s post-insurrection efforts to eradicate “extremism” within its ranks is, instead, rooting out servicemembers “who will not affirm far-left doctrines.” They specifically criticized the Malonelord video because it “features a lesbian wedding” and “depicts ‘two moms’ raising a child.”
Former MP Ann Widdecombe has denied she is homophobic, claiming the “melodramatic” media has repeatedly misquoted her. The “social conservative” has made countless anti-LGBT+ comments over the course of several decades, while she repeatedly voted against any advancements in LGBT+ rights during her…
JD Vance, a GOP candidate for the Senate in Ohio, has floated the bizarre idea that people with children should get more votes. He says they have a greater stake in the future.
Vance is a venture capitalist who also became a bestselling author with the publication of his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy. It looked back on his upbringing in Appalachia and was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie last year.
More recently, Vance has turned his attention to a career in politics. He hopes to take the Senate seat that will be vacated next year by fellow Republican Rob Portman.
Speaking to a conservative conference on Friday organized by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). Vance said that a lot of the problems in the US are down to the “childless left”. These people, claims Vance, have no “physical commitment to the future of this country.”
Vance, the father to two kids, highlighted Vice-President Kamala Harris, the transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, Senator Cory Booker, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as examples.
He said, “Why is this just a normal fact of … life for the leaders of our country to be people who don’t have a personal and direct stake in it via their own offspring?”
It should be noted that Kamala Harris is a stepmother to two kids from her husband, Doug Emhoff’s previous marriage.
Vance continued: “The Democrats are talking about giving the vote to 16-year-olds. Let’s do this instead. Let’s give votes to all children in this country, but let’s give control over those votes to the parents of the children.”
Answering whether that meant that “non-parents don’t have as much of a voice as parents” and “that parents get a bigger say in how democracy functions”, Vance said the answer was yes.
“When you go to the polls in this country as a parent, you should have more power, you should have more of an ability to speak your voice in our Democratic republic, than people who don’t have kids,” he said.
“Let’s face the consequences and the reality; if you don’t have as much of an investment in the future of this country, maybe you shouldn’t get nearly the same voice.”
Vance went on to praise Hungary’s far-right, anti-LGBT President Viktor Orbán, for encouraging married couples to have children.
Orbán is currently trying to introduce a widely-criticized anti-gay propaganda law in Hungary. Within the Eastern European country, said Vance, “they offer loans to newly married couples that are forgiven at some point later if those couples have actually stayed together and had kids.
“Why can’t we do that here? Why can’t we actually promote family formation?”
The Washington Post’s Dave Wiegel mockingly said Vance might want to check out the Democrats’ child tax credit if he thinks that a good idea.
Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy, who happens to have nine children, said, “it is absolutely true that people like AOC, Pete Buttigieg — you can name the left-wing politicians, people who think that we should legalize marijuana because they don’t have kids and they don’t really have a stake in what that looks like. I agree with him 100% that they don’t have a stake in the game.”
She added that although agreeing with Vance’s thinking, she didn’t think it was a “feasible” idea.
JD Vance made headlines earlier this month when he praised former President Trump, reversing a position he took in 2016.
Back then, Vance said he would not be voting for Trump and posted a string of anti-Trump tweets. These have now been deleted. He told Fox News in early July, “Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016. And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy.”
He now believes Trump was, “a good president. I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak.”
Both Portman and Vance have been regarded as fairly centrist Republicans. It appears Vance may now be taking a more right-wing position on issues if he holds up Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, and Trump, as good role models.
Vance’s ideas received short shrift from many online.
This is ridiculous and offensive. Married 31 years and could never have children; been a teacher for 30 years. Thanks for reminding me of the saddest thing in an otherwise wonderful marriage, though.
Ok. Because you can’t have empathy or concern for the health and safety of fellow Americans if they’re not blood relatives?!? That perspective says a lot about his ability to emotionally connect to folks who aren’t already members of his tribe.