|During George Zimmerman's trial for the alleged murder of Trayvon Martin, the media relied mostly on one man for pro-Zimmerman commentary: his friend and fellow neighborhood watch volunteer, Frank Taaffe. It has since come to light that Taaffe is an ex-con and fervent white supremacist who believes that whites and blacks have no business mingling and claims that "the only time a black life is validated is when a white person kills them." He also hosts a white-power podcast. […]
Nevertheless, the cable news networks have continued to give Taaffe airtime. Most recently, CNN's sister network, HLN, has been tapping him for commentary on the case of Michael Dunn, who, like Zimmerman, stands accused of murdering a black teenager in Florida. In the last few days, Taaffe has appeared on HLN at least six times, and he says on his Facebook page that he's slated to make nightly appearances on two HLN shows, Nancy Grace and Dr. Crew on Call, for the remainder of the week. […]
On air, Taaffe has argued that the killing was justified, even if Davis wasn't pointing a firearm, because young black men are prone to violence. […]
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Orange County, Florida, Clerk of Courts, Taaffe has been arrested or faced criminal charges at least a dozen times, including for drunk driving, stalking, domestic violence, and child abuse. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to trespassing after swiping papers from his ex-wife's home, and was sentenced to nine months in jail. HLN and the other networks that feature him make no mention of his criminal record or white-separatist ties. Perhaps during Zimmerman's trial they felt his perspective as the accused's friend and neighbor deserved a hearing, regardless of his shortcomings. But what qualifies Taaffe to comment on the Dunn case—except his own lengthy rap sheet?
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Orrin Hatch claims abortion is '95 percent' of what Planned Parenthood does:
|Sen. Orrin Hatch is a hardcore old-school conservative. For much of recent history he was considered a conservative stalwart in the senate. That's not good enough for modern conservatism, however, which is predicated on being so absolutely batshit regressive that Ronald Reagan looks like a communist by comparison, and so Hatch has had his work cut out for him lately trying to placate a base that considers him a traitor to the cause.
Which might explain statements like this, from Hatch:
It was an assertion so obviously and profoundly false that his office could do nothing but issue a now-famous press statement that his claim was "not intended to be a factual statement." Then, after becoming a national laughingstock (well, more so, anyway) Kyl "revised his remarks" in the congressional record to erase the claim, which you can do if you are a senator, and which I think senators believe alters the fabric of spacetime in such a way as to make the thing not have ever happened. [...]
On today's "encore performance" Kagro in the Morning show, it's Valentine's Day, 2013! Greg Dworkin brings us a collection of stories about the post-election efforts of pollsters to recalibrate the machinery, including their likely voter models, plus some speculation on the crack-up of the Republican Party. Guns are, still in the headlines, as are Wayne LaPierre's latest ravings. We read from Ari Berman's coverage of the appointment of Ben Ginsburg to President Obama's voting rights commission, and FreeThoughtBlogs.com dissection of the ridiculous claim that there were no gun accidents in the time of the Founders.