Archive for the ‘Freedom of Speech’ Category

Already beset with a reputation for manipulating media and “fearing” coverage, the White House had a match tossed into its communications department Thursday when a local TV reporter aired an apparent claim that reporters routinely submit their questions in advance of the daily presidential press briefing.

By the time talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh picked up the story, Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney and some reporters in the White House press pool were denying the claim by Catherine Anaya of KPHO-TV in Phoenix, the local CBS affiliate.

Limbaugh declared “this is the kind of thing that upsets the soap opera narrative inside the Beltway.”

After airing clips of her broadcast and weighing her story against the denials, Limbaugh noted that Anaya seemed “star struck” by her visit and “didn’t sound capable of making something up, or inventing it.”

He characterized the reporter as “just ignorant enough to be trusted.”

“She either misunderstood what she saw or misunderstood what she was told,” Limbaugh said. “But, even when she was telling the story, ‘Oh, yeah, and sometimes the press secretary gets the questions in advance” – as if there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way – she didn’t sound like she thought anything wrong about that. She’s just fascinated at how it all works.”

The talk host predicted Anaya would soon be pressured to retract her story.

Read more here.

One Direction’s Liam Payne took heat on Saturday after turning to Twitter to express support for “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson.

Payne indicated that he is a “big fan” and sent out “huge love” to Robertson, adding that he has “huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold.”

Read more here.

Retired boxer Evander Holyfield has sparked international anger after publicly airing his opposition to homosexuality.

The 51-year-old athlete, who is currently starring on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the U.K., recently said on the show that being gay isn’t normal, that “it is a choice” and that same-sex attraction can be fixed.

The conversation that sparked international debate — and a reprimand from “Big Brother” producers — unfolded when his co-star Luisa Zissman, an entrepreneur, was chatting with Holyfield about homosexuality and athletics during Sunday’s episode, The Daily Mail reported.

“I think it’s really bad that no-one stands up and says it in the sporting industries,” Zissman said of the failure of some gay boxers to “come out.” “I think it’s good to be open about that because it’s normal.”

Holyfield, though, disagreed.

“What would be good about it? … That ain’t normal,” he said of homosexuality.

From there, the conversation became somewhat contentious, with Zissman noting that she didn’t think the chat should continue. Regardless, the debate progressed.

“If you were born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do, you go to the doctor and get it fixed back right,” Holyfield said of homosexuality.

But Zissman countered the notion that same-sex attraction is fixable, claiming that “it’s not a choice.”

“Yes it is a choice, come on,” Holyfield rebutted.

Read more here.

The latest twist in the “Duck Dynasty” controversy involves poultry, but this time it’s connected to chicken, not ducks.

Just two days before Christmas, an unnamed group launched a social media-based campaign to show support for Duck Commander Phil Robertson. The National Chick-Phil-A Day Facebook page is asking the show’s fans or those who want to support Robertson, to eat at Chick-fil-A restaurants on January 21.

The invitation tells supporters; “Stand For Free Speech. Sit For Good Food.” It goes on to include a couple of simple instructions on what to do on the day:

1. Wear your Duck Commander or camouflage gear.

2. Eat at Chick-fil-A.

The event page connected to the Chick-Phil-A Day post about the January 21 dine-in already has tabulated more than 42,000 RSVPs.

The Facebook page created to spread the news about the grassroots campaign / protest is quick to point out that the event is not affiliated with Chick-fil-A restaurants.

On Christmas Day, the gossip website TMZ reported on the National Chick-Phil-A Day movement but said “Chick-fil-A says Chick-Phil-A was created by an ‘independent group’ … though at this point, no group has come forward to take credit.”

Read more here.

Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service was caught this year targeting conservative groups with harassment that included invasive probes into the content of prayers and unwarranted delays.

That issue is being worked out in court. But the IRS, nevertheless, remains on the attack, proposing new regulations that would silence the president’s critics.

Mathew Staver, founder and chief counsel of Liberty Counsel, said that after “being caught intentionally targeting conservative groups in the prior two elections, now the president wants his IRS to totally silence the voices of his political adversaries.”

New rules proposed in the Federal Register, Staver said, are “designed to silence and greatly restrict the activities of Liberty Counsel Action and other 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organizations during the upcoming election year.”

Read more here.

Just one day after Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality earned him an indefinite suspension from “Duck Dynasty,” the reality show star has received a strong show of support from the governor of his state and others.

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal called it a “messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the state of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.” Jindal said in a statement. “I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

Robertson told GQ Magazine in an interview that he didn’t understand why someone would choose to have sex with a man instead of a woman.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” Robertson said.

Read more here.