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McCain Backs Off A Bit . . . But Media Hucksters Hold To Their SB 1062 Deceit

March 20, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Outraged consumer reporters would be clogging the aisles of a grocery store that routinely sold stinking, spoiled food in tightly sealed bags and lied about the posted prices. You thought 90 cents a pound? Actually, $9.90 a pound. Sorry, suckers, you’re stuck with the bill.
So what are consumers of news to think when liberal media massively lie and lie again and seem to think they can get away with it?
Any consumer reporter would leap into action if a fuming mom showed up at the newspaper office carrying two grocery sacks full of garbage and a check-out tape totaling $800.
However, if dripping garbage knowingly is spewed by the newspaper or television station, news consumers apparently are expected to slurp it up, declare it’s delicious, and ask for more.
From pro-life issues to Tea Partiers to the Occupy movement and many more topics, the slant to coverage depends on whether media outlets think the cause is their own or enemies’.
The news hucksters were at it again when they lied themselves blue in the face both in Arizona and nationally about SB 1062, the modest conscience bill at the state capitol here that they loudly proclaimed would mean arbitrary, Jim Crow-style segregation of homosexuals.
The legislative aim was to clarify protections in court for individuals and businesses that don’t want to have to compromise their conscience seriously while serving the public.
But groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the homosexual activists’ Human Rights Campaign, and their media allies painted nightmares of homosexuals being willfully denied basic customer services as they were excluded from society.
A typically loony editorial posted by The Los Angeles Times on February 25 stated that paper’s view the discrimination would reach even farther.
SB 1062 “would make it easier for businesses to evade state laws against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and gender. An owner of a company might have a ‘religious’ objection to interracial marriage or to leadership roles for women, and might refuse to deal with interracial couples or a women’s professional group,” the Times lied and lied.
The simple, commonsense explanations by legal experts were kicked to the gutter by media hysteria.
Kellie Fiedorek, a litigation counsel with the traditionalist Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote in a commentary posted February 26 at the Phoenix area’s Tribune news site:
“SB 1062 merely clarifies Arizona’s existing law to protect Arizonans from any attempt by the government to force them to speak or act in ways that violate their religious beliefs. It safeguards freedom by closing loopholes that have allowed other state governments to punish private citizens for living and working according to their convictions. . . .
“Despite the simple, commonsense purpose of the bill, its opponents have turned it into something it is not,” Fiedorek wrote. “It would not allow a business owner to refuse someone a meal or a taxi ride. There’s a key distinction between selling someone paint and allowing the government to force you to paint a mural with a message that violates your deepest beliefs.”
However, Arizona’s senior U.S. senator, Republican John McCain, gulped down the media garbage, as did many other powerful political and business gullibles. He and they demanded that Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer veto the supposedly bigoted SB 1062. Buckling to the glowering, hysterical attacks, Brewer delivered a veto on February 26.
But McCain was forced to have to start backing off his embarrassing position. It was at least the second time in two years that the internationally known senator fell for this exact type of sophomoric media ruse.
How many more belly flops can McCain endure before his personal dishonor becomes unendurable to a man with a supposedly military sense of honor forged in Vietnamese Communist captivity?
On March 12 writer John McCormack, from the national conservative Weekly Standard magazine, posted an item about McCain starting to back off the reason for his veto demands.
McCormack wrote that when The Weekly Standard questioned the Arizona senator, “McCain was unable to explain how the Arizona bill he opposed was different from a federal law he supported in 1993 — the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” McCain reportedly said he didn’t recall the details of the bill he voted for, adding, “It’s been 14 years — ah — 11 years, so I don’t remember the details.”
However, McCormack wrote, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law 21 years ago by President Clinton after it passed the Senate on a 97-3 vote. Following a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that held RFRA was inapplicable in cases involving state and local laws, Arizona and 17 other states passed their own Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.”
The Weekly Standard writer added that a Stanford law professor and former federal appeals court judge said the recent Arizona bill “would have simply made explicit the longstanding understanding that the RFRA covers businesses and private citizens subject to civil lawsuits,” but the RFRA doesn’t provide any guarantee they’d win the lawsuits.
What really bothered McCain, McCormack continued, was companies threatening to do serious economic damage to Arizona if the supposedly bigoted SB 1062 became law. He quoted McCain telling Fox News: “Most importantly, it’s the impression it’s creating because it is viewed as discriminatory. I think there’s a back-and-forth argument about whether it is [discriminatory] or not.”
McCain concedes there’s disagreement whether it’s actually discriminatory?
So McCain was more than willing to stab the bill in the back, along with his other knife-wielding establishment biggies in Arizona, rather than reach a factual conclusion?
Well, now. If businesses — let’s hypothesize — were to start saying in the media that they can’t work with Arizona because Sen. McCain is a paid Communist agent, would the senator say that’s a good enough reason for him to resign from the Senate and turn himself in to the FBI? Or would he think the first priority should be to look into the veracity of that very serious accusation?
Arizona conservative Republican political strategist Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on March 17 that McCain didn’t get good information from his staff before voicing his stand.
“McCain basically admitted that he can’t remember the bill he voted for, but he can tell from the question that he likely goofed and urged the veto of a bill that mirrors the bill he voted for,” Querard said in an e-mail. “So he’s hiding behind the idea that it isn’t a question of whether the bill is good or bad, or just or not just, but whether it is good for the economy or not?
“His new approach to legislation appears to be not the bill’s content or merit, but exclusively its economic impact,” he said. “I wouldn’t get too discouraged about that, though, it likely isn’t McCain’s real position either.
“It is just his excuse for blowing it on SB 1062 and falling for the hysteria instead of demonstrating real leadership and defending a good bill that mirrored a bill he . . . voted for before Bill Clinton signed it into law. You can also blame his staff for not giving him better information before sending him out to answer the question,” Querard said.
In a separate statement, a Phoenix-area pro-life official, Joseph Perron, told The Wanderer it’s “most unfortunate” that SB 1062 was “hijacked” by the media over the business issue in “a ‘follow the money’ scenario.”
Perron is president of the Arizona East Valley Action Alliance.
However, a prominent local attorney who long has defended McCain didn’t respond to two Wanderer e-mail requests for comment. After a third e-mail inquiry, he replied that he wasn’t up to speed on the matter.
Almost exactly two years ago, McCain stumbled down a very similar Arizona road when liberal liars’ smears against conscience protection were eagerly gulped down then regurgitated by media. McCain issued a call then, too, for Brewer to veto a bill.
In 2012, Arizona House Republican Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, a conservative, pro-life Lutheran, sponsored a bill to allow employers to opt out of providing abortifacients and contraceptives in health-care coverage if this violated the employer’s religious beliefs.
Nationally, groups including Planned Parenthood and the ACLU whipped up such wild accusations as that Lesko’s bill would allow women to be fired from their jobs for using contraceptives.
On Meet the Press on March 18, 2012, NBC-TV interviewer David Gregory raised the issue with McCain. Just as in the recent 2014 embarrassment, McCain made no attempt to correct the misrepresentation or explain the facts. The senator waved his surrender flag and ran away from the issue.
As The Wanderer reported at that time, McCain told Gregory, “I am confident that that legislation will not reach the governor’s desk. And if it did, it would be vetoed.”
Also as in 2014, McCain used the economy as a reason to attack Lesko’s bill in 2012: “We need to get off of that issue, in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear and get back on to what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.”
Lesko told The Wanderer on March 27, 2012: “I’m guessing that Sen. McCain did not know the details of my bill and he had the wrong information. I do not know what’s in Sen. McCain’s heart.” She added that some in the Republican Party think the GOP hurts itself by defending religious freedom against Obama administration mandates.
McCain achieved the effect of throwing a monkey wrench into the works at the majority-Republican state legislature. And Brewer picked up his tune about the importance of jobs and the economy.
Lesko’s bill, which had seemed headed for passage, had to be reworked and narrowed so that only religiously affiliated employers could exercise a conscience exemption against funding abortifacients and artificial contraception in employee coverage. Brewer signed this version while her office released a statement saying, “It is anticipated that there are few employers who will qualify for this exemption under the bill.”
Although McCain is a big buddy of Arizona’s corrupt establishment as well as liberal media from coast to coast, he certainly has built no reservoir of goodwill among the Grand Canyon State’s grassroots Republicans.
As 2014 began, both the state Republican organization and leadership in six of Arizona’s 15 county parties, including dominant Phoenix’s Maricopa County, censured him for violating basic GOP principles.
Meanwhile, weakness to bullies only encourages them to more aggression.
Not at all satisfied that Brewer vetoed SB 1062 on February 26, the state’s largest daily newspaper, the unreliable Arizona Republic, continued its attacks, including posting yet another opinion piece, by local liberal pollster Michael O’Neil on March 7. O’Neil alleged that extremist legislative Republicans, having produced SB 1062, force ashamed Arizonans to tell others, “We are really not that crazy.”
The March 9 Republic front page kept pushing the propaganda line with a spin-heavy piece about “discrimination,” including a quotation from the president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Glenn Hamer:
“What I think it really means is that the culture of this state is a welcoming one. Companies want to have the ability to recruit from the widest pool of talent available, and any sort of legislation that interferes with that, and is going to be seen as unwelcoming, is something that you are going to see businesses unite to challenge.”
Then on March 11 the Republic posted a story suggesting hypocrisy, saying that although Brewer vetoed the bill, her own staff had worked with its supporters to help develop the legislation. “There is, however, no indication the governor or her staff anticipated the outrage or economic threats the bill’s passage would provoke until the eve of its final vote,” the story added.
Not a strong movement conservative willing to stand up to a howling media mob, Brewer soon announced she wouldn’t run for another gubernatorial term. In fact, there already was a constitutional question whether she could.
Instead, reported Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, Brewer wants to spend time promoting big-tent, “pragmatic” politicians, not “ideologues.”

Thoughtful Analyses

There were many pointed commentaries exposing the frauds of deceivers like The Arizona Republic and its wolf packs. However, major daily liberal newspapers still write the “first draft” of history when fast action is being demanded. By the time more sober analysis arrives, political, social, or cultural decisions already have been made.
Still, to mention only two of various thoughtful analyses:
Libertarian hero Doug Bandow wrote on March 3 at The American Spectator site about “The ingrained intolerance of liberal tolerance.”
“Despite the public hysteria generated by the Arizona legislation, it merely expanded existing law which bars government from imposing a ‘substantial burden’ on religious practice without a ‘compelling state interest’,” Bandow wrote. “That hardly seems unreasonable. What is unreasonable is the obvious desire of so many people to interfere with religious faith with which they disagree.
“Worse is the refusal of politicians like Gov. Brewer to stand for freedom of conscience,” he wrote. “Worst may be the wild applause she received from the left, for which promoting ‘tolerance’ has become a cover for spreading virulent intolerance, as well as from the unprincipled right, including corporate America and establishment politicians led by failed GOP presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney.”
And philosophy professor Rachel Lu, Ph.D., wrote at the Crisis magazine site on March 3:
“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. . . .
“It is important to understand that SB 1062 emphatically did not give religious business owners carte blanche to refuse any kind of service to anyone. They could claim protection under RFRA, but there was no guarantee that they would win,” Lu wrote. “Fear-mongering journalists warned that, under SB 1062, homosexuals could be turfed out of restaurants or stores at the drop of a hat. In truth, it’s extremely unlikely that that would ever happen.
“It’s hard to see how anyone could successfully persuade a court that serving a sandwich to a homosexual person constituted a substantial burden on his religious exercise,” she continued. “And even if the (hypothetical) Muslim drug store owner successfully argued that he was burdened by the need to serve unveiled women, the desperate antibiotic-seeking mother could still make an excellent case that his refusal to serve her constituted a serious hardship for her, in which case he would lose.”
If anyone should fear being treated like second-class citizens under “Jim Crow” laws, Lu concluded, it’s “we, the faithfully religious.”

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