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Is Apple CEO Tim Cook A 'Hypocrite' for Calling Out 'Religious Freedom' Bills But Not Anti-gay Countries? - VIDEO


Many on the right certainly think so.  

Incensed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence bowing under corporate pressure from Cook and other business leaders by signing a "fix" to his state's discriminatory "religious freedom" law, a number of right-wingers pounced on what they saw as an example of left-wing hypocrisy. 

In a CitizenLink video, Focus on the Family's Stuart Shepard called out Cook for recently boasting about Apple's "fantastic new home in China" but this week slamming "religious freedom" bills as "dangerous" in a WaPo op-ed

Said Shepard:

"Mr. Cook, if China is 'fantastic' could you at least bring Indiana up to 'okay'?"

FiorinaFormer Hewlett-Packard CEO and likely GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, told The Wall Street Journal that there was "nothing objectionable" with Indiana's original "religious freedom" law and that Cook and other CEOs had engaged in "a level of hypocrisy here that really is unfortunate."

“When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he’s in, including China and Saudi Arabia,” Fiorina said Thursday. “But I don’t hear him being upset about that.”

Bernard McGuirk, an executive producer of Don Imus' radio show and frequent O'Reilly Factor guest, took things a step further by branding Cook a "bigot hypocrite" on Fox Business Network this week: 

“You have this hypocrite, this bigot hypocrite, Tim Cook, who is running his mouth about the whole thing. He sells products to Iran. He sells products to Saudi Arabia where they execute people if they’re gay...he won’t allow these religious people to exercise their freedom...he doesn't allow this Orthodox Jewish guy to refuse service that's the whole point of the law is to allow him to exempt himself from certain situations."

Calmer heads, such as The Washington Post's opinion writer Jonathan Capehart, dispute the validity of these criticisms and claim Cook is merely navigating the waters of today's corporate landscape. 

Watch Capehart's op-ed video "Stop Accusing Apple CEO Tim Cook for Gay-Rights 'Hypocrisy'"AFTER THE JUMP...


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Mike Pence Cites Selma Anniversary Participation on 'FOX & Friends': 'I Abhor Discrimination' — VIDEO


Indiana Governor Mike Pence appeared on FOX & Friends this morning again drawing false comparisons between Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and legislation that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama signed years ago.

Pence was also asked by Steve Doocy about accusations that the law is also racist.

Pence's response was to invoke Selma:

"Five years ago my wife and my family walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis when I co-chaired the pilgrimage to mark the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. I abhor discrimination. If I was in a restaurant and saw a business owner deny services to someone because they were gay, I wouldn’t eat there anymore. Frankly, that’s how most Hoosiers are.”

He adds, "there was never any intention in this law to create a license to discriminate.”

If the bill is not about discrimination, why was Pence flanked by anti-gay activists who have worked for years to demonize gays and lesbians when he signed it?


Pence also published an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal repeating his talking points, "I abhor discrimination."

"I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore...As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it."

Continue reading "Mike Pence Cites Selma Anniversary Participation on 'FOX & Friends': 'I Abhor Discrimination' — VIDEO" »

Satirical Cartoonists Fined For Magazine Cover Suggesting Turkish President Is Gay

Ozer Aydogan and Bahadir Baruter, two Turkish cartoonists working for the satirical paper Penguen, have been slapped with significant fines for creating a caricature of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggesting that he’s gay.

Penguen_erdogan_kapakThe two artists penned a front page picture for the magazine’s August issue last year depicting the president meeting with a governmental official while making a an ‘O’ with his free hand near his groin. The gesture, according to Hurriyet Daily News, is commonly associated with gay men and is often used to insult other people.

The artists’ trial went to court earlier this month and within days both were charged with 14-month stints in prison. Because of their civil behavior in court, the initial charges were lowered once down to 11 months and 20 days and then once again to 7,000 Turkish Lira.  

Though neither of the cartoonists were present for their trials, they’ve explained publicly that the intention behind depicting Erdoğan making the symbol wasn’t to draw attention to his sexuality, but rather to highlight how his office had made a habit of harassing journalists and other critics.

In 2006 Erdoğan sued Penguen for some 40,000 Lira for publishing a cover in which he was depicted as a number of different animals. Erdoğan has also gone after slightly less high-profile figures, threatening a former Miss Turkey winner for criticizing him on Instagram and sending police to the house of a teenager who tweeted his negative opinions of the president.

CNN And Local Michigan CBS Affiliate Broadcast Transphobic Segment On Planet Fitness: VIDEO

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CNN and WNEM, a Michigan-area CBS affiliate, have been doing their part to prove that oftentimes the media doesn’t know the first thing about how it should talk about trans-identified people.

Earlier this week we brought you the story of Yvette Cormier, a Midland, Michigan woman who took it upon herself to harass and badger Carlotta Sklodowska, a transgender member of her local Planet Fitness gym. After mistakenly identifying the transwoman as a man, outing the woman to other gym members, and attempting to have the woman kicked out of the gym, Cormier found herself banned from the location for violating Planet Fitness’s “No Judgement Zone” policy.

In a recently produced local television segment WNEM reporter Gino Vicci sat down with Cormier to hear her side of the story and allow her the space to make her arguments. Unsurprisingly, her justifications smack of transphobia and hostility.

“I was stunned and shocked,” Cormier said of the first time she saw the transwoman. “He totally looked like a man. He was not dressed like a woman at all.”

FitnessThe real issues at hand with the segment are WNEM’s questionable production and CNN’s decision to rebroadcast the footage nationally. Throughout WNEM’s original coverage, Vicci retells Cormier’s story and repeatedly refers to the harassed transwoman as a ‘man.’ In addition to Cormier the segment includes opinions from three other Midland Planet Fitness patrons asked to weigh in on Cormier’s expulsion. The specific question Vicci asked patrons was worded so as to deny the validity of a trans-person’s assertion of their gender identity:

“We asked them if they would be comfortable with sharing the locker room with the opposite sex or at least the appearance of the opposite sex.”

HASSELBECKThe responses, as one might expect, were resoundingly negative. As easy as it would be to write off their comments as being borne out of a small-town, conservative mindset, there is something to be said for the way that journalists handle stories like this. In many ways Fox News’s approach to the story has been similar to WNEM’s. In a recently aired episode of Fox & Friends Elisabeth Hasselbeck repeatedly misgenders Sklodowska and gives credence to the opinions of Dr. Keith Ablow, a frequent Fox contributor who purports to be a psychiatrist but spent most of his time on-air spouting nonsense.

“It's tough to speak about because we're so politically correct now that we get tongue tied. We can't say the obvious, which is this is craziness,” said Albow. “You're kicking out members because they feel uncomfortable that someone who seems to be a man to them and is genetically is looking at them naked when they're unclothed as women? That's craziness.”

While this sort of rhetoric has become the hallmark of much of Fox’s reporting on LGBT issues, the larger story highlights the power that verbal violence against trans-people can have. Gino Vicci has since made half-hearted apologies for repeatedly identifying Sklodowska as a man, but WNEM’s continued coverage of the local Planet Fitness has turned the gym’s decision to stand up for trans-rights into a cause for alarm.

Since WNEM’s first transphobic segment, station reporters have gone back to the gym to gather opinions from other people, but the damage of introducing the story as a man’s intrusion into the women’s locker room has already been done. We could all stand to learn from WNEM’s example and try harder to better share stories focusing on trans lives to more productive ends.

Watch the original segment from WNEM reporter Gino Vicci and the Fox & Friends discussion, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "CNN And Local Michigan CBS Affiliate Broadcast Transphobic Segment On Planet Fitness: VIDEO" »

Roy Moore Tries to School President Obama on the Legality of Gay Marriage in Alabama: VIDEO


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace today to discuss same-sex marriage's arrival in Alabama. While Moore spent most of the interview attempting to explain the legal underpinnings of his continued fight against marriage equality, he also had a response message for President Obama - who spoke up about the reincarnated George Wallace during a recent Buzzfeed interview.

Said Moore:

"But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand, is that a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that — it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges."

Wallace also asked Moore whether or not he would abide by the Supreme Court should it decide this year that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. 


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Mayor Of Paris Announces Plans To Sue Fox News: VIDEO


Between giving bigot Bill Donohue a platform to spout his hatred and glibly comparing a fight for LGBT rights to the abominable attack on Charlie Hebdo, Fox News has done anything but handle political discussion around Paris, France with the objective professionalism one would expect from a station that dares call itself a "news" source. In fact, their coverage has reached such an offensive point that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced plans to sue the media giant.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour broke the news over Twitter:

BREAKING: Paris is going to sue @FoxNews after image of Paris was “insulted” and “prejudiced,” Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo tells me.

— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 20, 2015

And Hidalgo further expressed her disdain to her followers:

Je suis bien sûr choquée par la bêtise stigmatisante de Fox News : @BilldeBlasio et moi irons d'ailleurs dans le 19e cet après-midi

— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) January 20, 2015

Which roughly translates as: "I am of course shocked at the stigmatizing stupidity of Fox News. Bill DeBlasio and I will be at the 19th [District] this afternoon."

You can watch an interview between Amanpour and Hidalgo on CNN Money AFTER THE JUMP...

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