Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Media: The lying pundits with a focus on Jonathan Turley

Alice Stewart died last month.  Who? 




The 58-year-old had spent her life devoted to homophobic causes before suddenly her body was discovered outdoors.  Alone.  Forgotten.  All the gas baggery having escaped from her.


Nothing changed.  The world didn't even stop to mourn which is a example of not just how unimportant she herself was but also of the lack of importance for her profession.  


She was a gas bag.  A talking head.  A pundit.


Proof of how worthless she and profession were came as her peers rushed to find some way to celebrate her.  Their skills being as limited as Alice's were, they couldn't come up with much.  The always ridiculous Dana Bash came up with "a woman's woman."  The anti-choice, homophobe was a woman's woman?  What a strange thing to say.  What exactly happened at the office Christmas party, Dana?

Whatever it was, it was instantly forgettable which is the reality of the bulk of the chat & chews and their awful hosts and awful guests.  Uninformed and, frankly, unattractive.  After all what is the punditry of "public affairs programming"  other than celebrity TV for ugly people?


Which brings us to Jonathan Turley because, quite frankly, aging does kill but not quickly and if we're stuck with him, we should all grasp what a danger he is.

For those who don't know the media personality, Turley started off on what passes for left on corporate television.  He  came up with the rise of  cable talk which vastly expanded the need for talking heads who could jabber away on live TV.  In those early days, Turley was especially popular because he resembled a gargoyle (still does) and cable loved to pull from the uglies -- especially when it came to the left (see the looks challenged James Carville, Paul Begala, Alan Colmes, Paul Glastris, Michael E. Kinsley, Tom Braden, Bob Beckel . . . ).  Like his peer group, Turley's face was never graced with a cute phase.


What once distinguished him from the other potato heads was (a) he seemed to actually listen and (b) he seemed to put some thought into his responses.


 Those were his free range days when he traveled from outlet to outlet before being imprisoned in the veal pen that is FOX "NEWS." They take he network's ill gotten money and, in return, the network takes them, fattening them up.  It's no coincidence that Mother Tucker Carlson was slim on CNN, MSNBC and PBS and no surprise that, even a year after his firing, Mother Tucker still can't drop the pounds.  Or look at their current 'star' Greg Gutfeld -- like Zza Zza always said, at a certain age a gal has to choose between her face or her ass.  Viewers of THE FIVE can be forgiven for wondering these days when Doris Robert took over hosting duties?


When did Jonathan become such a sad and cautionary morality tale?  When he went to work for FOX "NEWS," of course.  You can't be on the devil's payroll without bringing on your own eternal damnation.


And that's how you get today's Turley, by grasping that he's not in purgatory as a way-station to heaven, he's damned to the hell that is FOX "NEWS" and can never return to the world of respectability.

He's a raging whore these days and has devalued his brand.  His once keen mind has dulled, his free for all exchanges have been replaced with talking points.  He's now as dead on air as you imagine he is in the sack.

It's been a sad and slow decay witnessed by America over the last few years.  It also goes to what the fright-wing is currently pursuing and how so many on the left keeping missing it.

MEDIAS TOUCH is a good outlet and produced good content.  But we cringed over one this week where a woman wanted to talk about the assault on women's rights.

We don't think the assault exists?

We know it does.  And it's a good topic for a commentary -- for many commentaries.  But the woman seemed to doubt that or to feel that she needed to shore up the case by citing an attack on Civil Rights.  Citing?  A whispered aside, at best.  And why do that?

There's more than enough reason to make a commentary on the assault on Civil Rights -- many commentaries (and Roland S. Martin regularly does a great job with those commentaries on his own podcasts).  The way the woman utilized this was confusing and weakened her presentation.

If she was attempting to note the reality that the fright-wing wishes to strip all of us of our rights (which is, in fact, true), she left out the LGBTQ+ community and that's a huge omission because that community is and has been the test case for the fright-wing in their efforts to destroy rights and to create a climate of hate.

And it has been with those efforts that the hate mongers have shown their hand; however, too few want to see reality -- or maybe their own latent homophobia prevents them from seeing reality.

The Supreme Court is a dishonest and crooked body that has handed down outrageous rulings over the last four years.  And, yes, DOBBS is one of those outrageous rulings.  So were the rulings in ALEXANDER V SOUTH CAROLINE NAACP and SFFA V HARVARD/UNC.  They are disgusting rulings that ignored precedent and trashed settled law.  

But the worst attack on Americans came in 303 CREATIVE LLC V ELENIS. 

And this is where Turley comes in.  He had already begun his flirtation with The Federalist Society.  Within a few years, his exposure had led to full blown hate.  He began offering pro bono help behind the scenes to many offensive and disgusting cases.  On CREATIVE LLC, he began insisting that Lori Smith -- the homophobe -- was being denied her religious right to practice homophobia.  He worded differently but that's the reality.

Lori was a known liar who had no standing to sue and her case was a joke that only became more outrageous after the verdict when it was learned that the person she cited in court papers as having requested she make a same-sex wedding site for him (a) never made that request, (b) was straight and (c) was married to a woman and had been for over 15 years. She's just a cheap little liar and you have to wonder how she justifies that in her so-called faith?

The verdict in that case created two sets of citizenship.  Straight people are entitled to all rights but gay men and lesbians only have rights if those rights do not offend the homophobia of some religious nutcase. That's what the verdict was. 

Turley went all in on that case and you can read his Tweets and his columns -- even if he kept hidden his interactions with Lori Smith's attorneys.  With DOBBS and the other cases?

He was less vocal and had to keep things hidden.  In our society, sadly, you can fully attack the LGBTQ+ community and get away with it. Turley and the fright-wing know that they have to step more lightly when it comes to attacking others.  So with attacks in other areas, these are steps to eliminating rights.  Steps.  Affirmative action has largely been struck down in college admissions due to the Crooked Court. DOBBS?  It, as Turley repeatedly insisted, turned the issue over to the states.  Many of these states,Turley failed to note, had already prepared for this day and had laws in place to destroy reproductive rights.

They chip away at a specific right.  But with Lori Smith's case, they went back to overturning equality and all the decisions that involved equality over the Court's history to argue that gays and lesbians only have rights if 100% of America agrees they should have them.

That's what they want to do with reproductive rights and with Civil Rights but they know they have to move slowly there.  And part of the slow move is to lie and attack the rights of women and people of color in an attempt to soften public reaction to the coming onslaught.

The fakery is part of the process and the plotting and scheming start long before we're aware of it.



Ryan Grim speaking with Lauren Windsor on this week's DECONSTRUCTED (THE INTERCEPT):

RG: And so the last time we had you on CounterPoints, the show I do on Wednesdays and Fridays, that one was one that panned out. You were talking to a member of Congress who was friends with Amy Coney Barrett before she was nominated, before she was confirmed is my memory, correct me if I’m wrong. And he said, she has told me that she wants to be the deciding vote on overturning Roe v. Wade. Do you remember that one?

LW: It was Mike Johnson, actually. 

RG: Oh, that’s right, Mike Johnson! Because at the time, I’m like Mike Johnson, some backbench nobody. Now he’s speaker of the House.

LW: Yeah, well, so he was at a conference, it was Rick Santorum, his Patriot [Voices] lobby day on the hill, but he was one of the speakers and we were asking about abortion-related stuff. And he [said], “Yeah, we’re making progress.” And I remember this was back in 2021, mind you, and I haven’t reviewed that in a while, but it was essentially, “We’re making progress. And when we have the court, I think that Amy Coney Barrett will be the one to author the opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.”


Coney Barrett wanted to be the deciding vote in overturning ROE?  That's a detail she shared with the fright-wing but not with the American people or the Senate during her confirmation hearing.

No there, she said things like, "I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come."  And she lied, "I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it, applying all the factors, reliance, workability, being undermined by later facts in law, just all the standard factors. And I promise to do that for any issue that comes up, abortion or anything else. I'll follow the law."  But she didn't follow stare decisis -- that would have required respecting precedent.  And she lied and misled the American people and the Senate (grounds for removal from the bench) because she'd already revealed to insiders before being nominated that it was her goal to be the deciding vote in overturning ROE.


They plot and they scheme and they come up with outrageous rulings undermining the image of the Court and the trust in it.

Jonathan Turley's happy to whore for The Crooked Court and does so regularly. 

He's supposedly an expert on the Court.  But what he Tweets and writes about really doesn't bear that out, now does it?

In the 90s, if Clarence Thomas had been exposed for all the bribes he's received, Turley would have been all over it.  Alito's recordings released this week where he's revealing his bias?  He would have been all over that too?

But he's a paid whore for FOX "NEWS" and an agent of the fright-wing now so he ignores these actions -- huge actions, huge news stories.  

It's like when he was trashing Antifa near daily in his Tweets as a violent group trying to silence others while ignoring the two years of the Proud Boys attacking drag queens at libraries for story time.  He didn't even note it when it took place in DC.  July 21, 2022, Brandon Tensley (CNN) was reporting:

The drag queen Panda Dulce was at the San Lorenzo Library in California when members of the extremist group the Proud Boys barged in.

They interrupted Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), where performers read books to kids as a means toward literacy and compassion for others, and, per Dulce, slung insults such as “groomer.” One man’s T-shirt instructed, “Kill Your Local Pedophile.” 

A month later, Dulce is still reeling from the confrontation.

“The right’s alarmist, downright fascist bias of who should or should not exist will never override the indisputable reality that we (LGBTQ people) do exist,” she told CNN.

What happened to Dulce wasn’t a unique incident in the context of our present day. In recent weeks, some conservative politicians and right-wing groups have directed their fury at drag, insisting that children must be shielded from a supposedly pernicious art.

A bookstore in the DC area said that protesters interrupted DQSH at one of its events just this past Saturday. Last week, protesters in Houston staged a demonstration outside a drag show at Hamburger Mary’s, a popular restaurant and queer institution. The agitators were with Protect Texas Kids, a nonprofit organization that baselessly claims that LGBTQ people and their allies are “indoctrinating” children, among other things.

In June, in response to a celebration in West Palm Beach that advertised a “drag show for kids” – part of Pride on the Block, which included arts and crafts, cooking classes and a variety of other youth activities – Florida Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini stated on Twitter, “I will be proposing Legislation to charge w/ a Felony & terminate the parental rights of any adult who brings a child to these perverted sex shows aimed at FL kids.”


In 2023, the Proud Boys launched another attack in DC as Christopher Wiggins reported for THE ADVOCATE.  We're emphasizing DC because there's no way he missed these attacks since he teaches at George Washington University in DC.

And let's grasp also that this is the same opiner who has a fit when someone heckles a college speaker on campus.  This is a personal affront to Turley and he frets over it constantly.  

But when Proud Boys show up and threaten violence, that's not anything to worry about or write about in Turley's fright-wing world.

He's a pundit who is bound and determined to destroy the country.

Which is why he needs to be watched and why he needs to be called out for his hypocrisy.

He also needs to be called out for his stupidity.

Several long conversations took place between us and two friends at SIMON & SCHUSTER over the weekend.  They're the publisher of his upcoming book: THE INDISPENSABLE RIGHT: FREE SPEECH IN AN AGE OF RAGE.  And they have a tale to tell that's so much more interesting than anything in Jonathan's book.

For starters?  

The book presold on its title which they thought would make the book fly off the book shelves.  (Shelves?  They're in denial.  We each bought a book on Monday in hard cover at a book store.  By contrast, we generally purchase 15 online and they're KINDLE versions.)  

Turley was hoping to have an insta-book -- a volume of pages that he padded out by republishing his online columns.  S&S made clear to him that they didn't think a book of content already available for free online would sell nor would it justify the advance he was given for the book.

From there, things just got worse.  "He's not much a writer, is he?"  One asked us, noting that they'd never seen more editorial control over a book by an already published writer. 

He was a good writer once.  But he got old and he got sloppy and he makes pop cultural references that are incorrect because he fails to fact check and his memory's faded on the culture points he was taught in college.  

There was a lot of arguing over various passages with Turley acting the diva.  "If the book doesn't sell," we were told, "we're done with him.  Never again.  It was too much work to produce something so sleight and unimportant."

And that was in the early conversations.  Their opinion of the book only nose dived further after they supplied us with copies and we gave them a page-by-page review of all the problems with the book, all the errors on the pages.  

It's our hope that when the book comes out, real book reviewers as well as journalists on the left, will note how Turley types but doesn't write -- nor does he comprehend.

Take Anita Whitney.  She's identified, by him, in the book as Charlotte Anita Whitney.  Many paragraphs later, he refers to "Anita Whitney" but never notes that she went by that her entire life.  Rather strange when she was a very well known American -- a Socialist who became a Communist who was convicted for being a Communist and saw that conviction reach the US Supreme Court for review (the conviction was upheld).  She was a leftist and a women's rights activist (a vice president of The League of Women Voters).

Turley types that she went to "fine private schools."  Yes, she did.  When not in public schools.  See, she went to both -- a fact that escapes Turley despite the fact that this is all covered in the groundbreaking book NATIVE DAUGHTER by Al Richmond -- groundbreaking and highly praised book.  Turley refers to her as "the young girl from the west" when she goes off to Wellesley.  This is how he refers to an adult woman -- and this is why students reviewing his teaching performance rate him so low, semester after semester.  The term Turley struggles to find is "woman."

Anita Whitney was an 18-year-old woman when she started her studies at Wellesley.

Turley types away delivering a lot of fiction passed off as fact.  Such as here:

After graduating in 1889, Whitney and other alumna were invited to go for a short visit at the Settlement House at 95 Rivington Street in New York.  It was more of a field trip than social work for the affluent young ladies.  

Interesting and smug -- and wrong.

As Turley portrays is, the visit is some sort of post-graduation trip made in 1889.  The trip was 1893 and part of the Wellesley class reunion of that year. Equally true, per Alice Whitney's own statements, while she was at Wellesley, many of her classmates were doing volunteer work.

He wants to write that she defied expectations of marriage and children.  Whose expectations?  The author's expectations?  She graduated, at the age of 22, from Wellseley in 1889.  She was 23 in 1890 and the average age of marriage in the US at that time was . . . 23.  Who exactly does Turley believe was pressuring her to get married?  Her decision had already been made and her family and friends knew it.

There was no pressure on her to marry nor did her family thinks he would.  And upon returning to California, a detail he leaves out, she became a child probation officer -- a first in California. He skips this just like he skips her political transformation.  It's all kind of vague in Turley's writing but in reality it was the California earthquake and fire of 1906 that brought her into working with labor unions and her work in a relief camp found her at odds with corporate interests.  If you're trying to explain how she moves from student to Socialist (1914) to Communist (1919), you can't leave out what she observed first-hand and what underscored her growing sense that her work prior to 1906 had no lasting value.  


And we can't leave out the speech she gave that led to her arrest and then conviction -- a conviction that would be upheld by the Supreme Court.  That's kind of an important speech and it's the whole point of including her in the book.  So maybe get the date right?  Turley says she delivered the speech on November 29, 1920.  But she gave it on November 28, 1919.  In fact, she was arrested on November 28, 1920 for the speech so she couldn't have given it the day after.  Multiple errors appear when he's supposedly covering the court case.   And he writes, "A reporter who served as a witness later admitted that he was ordered by police to falsely claim that a red flag was draped over the American flag onstage."


No, reporter Ed Condon is not someone who "later admitted" this fact, he admitted it on the witness stand in his courtroom testimony, admitted that the police -- specifically Inspector Fenton Thompson instructed him to lie to the jury.   And the flag was in a cabinet and we've got three pages -- including this issue being raised yet again in the trial when Whitney's attorney moved for a dismissal (see THE SAN JOSE EVENING NEWS, February 20, 1920 front page report "Whitney Defense Claims Frame Up").

Turley leaves out so much and invents so much more.  It's why he wanted to republish his columns, this isn't a scholarly book or even a factual one.  He's supposed to be a college professor and a legal scholar but he's written a sack of garbage that is incredibly shallow while at the same time being deeply problematic.

Jonathan Turley is a menace who plays fast and loose with the truth on FOX "NEWS" and who is selective in his outrages.  The way you check a dangerous person like that is to expose them as the liar that they actually are.

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