Check out the latest right-wing (false) freakout, with Fox “News” (in air quotes) hysterically hyping the story of a supposed threat by “activists” for “Roe v. Wade protests outside Catholic churches on Mother’s Day.” In fact, Fox “News” provides very weak evidence for that claim, including:
- Fox “News” mentions a group called “Ruth Sent Us,” which Fox “News” says “has a TikTok account with more than 20,000 followers, initially posted a video of a group of women wearing costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’ walking into what appears to be the front of a Catholic Church during Mass.” Right, so? Where’s the threat exactly? And no offense to “Ruth Sent Us,” but that’s not exactly a major group, on par with Planned Parenthood or NARAL or whatever. In fact, I doubt almost anyone had ever heard of them before the Fox “News” story mentioned their name.
- Also, Fox “News” reports: “Other activist groups including “Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights,” “Pro Choice with Heart,” “Strike for Choice” and others are calling for protests between May 8 and May 15. ” So yes, “Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights” does seem to be calling for “rally outside of churches” on May 8. But note that this is a group with just 2,641 Followers on its Twitter account, and that almost all their protests are planned for public spaces, such as the Philadelphia City Hall, the Houston Fed Building, etc. Which is their right under the First Amendment, of course. Same thing for the other groups Fox “News” mentions. And other than that…what’s the story here, exactly? That American citizens want to exercise their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and express themselves by speaking up for what they believe? And again, no offense, but who are these groups exactly?
Anyway, as is typical with the right wing, what they do is to mostly (or fully) invent a “story,” filled with “outrage” (in quotes because it’s usually very cynical by the right-wing media, which presumably knows exactly what they’re doing), involving some random “left-wing” individual or group (usually very small and obscure), then amplify the “story” through their right-wing ecosystem of social media, radio and TV. And then, they motivate right-wing Republican elected officials like Virginia AG Jason Miyares to jump in as the supposed heroes against whatever “threat” they’ve ginned up.
For instance, check out Miyares’ statement, below, in which he picks up on the Fox “News” story and runs with it, railing against the “extreme left,” as well as the “reprehensible leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion” (but not mentioning the substance of that opinion, which is an extremist assault on women’s reproductive freedom in this country), then ramping up the fear of “protests inside and outside of Catholic parishes this Sunday,” then leaping to the rescue by claiming he will fight this “threat to Catholic Masses this Sunday,” blah blah blah.
So…where to even begin with this nonsense? See below for responses, including:
- Del. Marcus Simon, who writes: “This divisive parroting of fictional right-wing bot accounts is beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General. Search Twitter for related terms, you will find thousands of right-wing bot accounts repeating the “warning,” & not a single tweet urging people to protest…The Attorney General is either being duped or has made a conscious decision to participate in an organized disinformation campaign designed to divide us and pit Virginians against one another. There is no evidence for the alleged conduct he is vowing to protect people from.“
- Former Del. Jay Jones, who says: “As a practicing Catholic, I’m disappointed to see @JasonMiyaresVA pushing right-wing propaganda after a challenging week for maternal healthcare. But yet again he’s playing politics. And if you really believe in limited government, stay out of people’s private decisions. Period.“
- Cindy/VAPLAN, who asks, “When is [Miyares] going to start actually serving the people of the Commonwealth?”; adding, “Incredibly disturbing to see this.” and “PLEASE get thee a copy of the Constitution. The First Amendment protects us from THE GOVERNMENT blocking speech or exercise of religion. The 1st Amendment is not about a fake right-wing propaganda campaign on Twitter alleging people will peacefully protest somewhere.“
All true about Miyares, not that he gives a crap. Which brings us back to the November 2021 election, where somehow , Virginia voters chose (albeit by a VERY slim margin) to replace the superb, professional, highly competent AG Mark Herring with this clown. What on earth was anyone who voted for Miyares thinking?!?