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If you didn't think it could get any worse at the Charlotte Observer than their editorial board arguing that girls should just get over their fears of seeing male genitalia in women's locker rooms and other public facilities, you were wrong.
Just two days after the horrific terrorist attack by an Islamic extremist that left 49 dead and over 50 more injured at a gay night club in Orlando, Charlotte Observer faith and values writer Tim Funk wrote a piece on the tragedy from the perspective of ... Republican rhetoric over the state's controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” and how perhaps it should be “toned down”:
Will the bloody deaths of dozens of people in Orlando’s LGBT community change the politics – or at least the tone of the political rhetoric – in the state that gave the country HB2?
Will the debate about who can use which bathroom seem quaint after chilling narratives out of Orlando about gay men hiding in the bar’s bathroom in hopes of escaping the notice of a gun-wielding terrorist whose father told police he had been outraged at the sight of two men kissing?
The comparison between the concern of women over who will be allowed into their bathrooms, fitting rooms, and locker rooms is especially repugnant. The bathroom issue has nothing to do with gays and everything to do with predators pretending to be transgender in order to get access to vulnerable women and children in gender-specific public facilities. It's a legitimate concern, and not one that Mr. Funk and the biased paper he writes for should ever conflate with the murderous intentions of psychopathic killers.
The CO is owned by McClatchy Company, and the McClatchy DC Bureau was not to be outdone on the issue of finding a supposed “link” between Republican rhetoric and legislation and the Orlando murders. In a piece with the headline, “Hundreds of bills to curb LGBT rights preceded Orlando attack. Is there a link?”, they wrote:
In the six months before the weekend massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, more than 200 bills had been introduced at the state and local levels to restrict the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
While other motives may have inspired the attack, which killed 49 people, advocates say the rate of hate crimes against LGBT people goes up when there is a debate over their rights.
The sponsors of the various bills say they are not intended to promote violence against LGBT people.
The article went on to promote the assertions from the activist left that such bills are indirectly responsible for violence against gays, even though they don't include a shred of proof, while the rest of the article was McClatchy calling on Republican legislators in various Southern states to go on record as saying that their intentions regarding their respective pieces of legislation were not to inspire bloody massacres like what happened in Orlando on Saturday. Because we just need to make sure:
“We can’t control what everybody says or what everybody thinks,” Republican Rep. Julia Howard, of Mocksville, North Carolina, who sponsored the [NC] bill that became law.
Republican state Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam said HB2 is in no way a law that promotes violence against LGBT people. Critics of HB2 who say the law is discriminatory against LGBT people are wrong, Stam said.
What does not appear anywhere in the article? Numerous quotes from leaders in the Islamic community condemning a brutal slaughter carried out by a radical Islamist who pledged loyalty to ISIS while doing it. Apparently, McClatchy believes Republicans should be made to answer for violent attacks regardless of who commits them, while the news outlet itself works to make excuses for the actual attackers. Fascinating.
In a related piece at the CO, here was the original headline Tuesday morning on a story noting how some local Chick-fil-A locations in Orlando stepped up to help a community in mourning:
After they were called out, the headline was changed to read “anti-gay rights,” which is not much of a change but at least it's something. But isn't it disturbing how Christians doing something good can be framed in such an ugly way? They might as well have written, “In spite of the fact that the company's stance on gay marriage might have inspired the gunman, local Chick-fil-As pitched in...” Disgusting, really. No shame whatsoever. As if those opposed to gay marriage are somehow immune from feeling sorrow, grief, and compassion when LGBT people in their communities are hurt or killed.
And at McCatchy Co.'s Raleigh News and Observer, the editorial board, after blaming the NRA and a “cowardly Congress,” called for a “full repeal” of HB2, using the Orlando murders to insinuate that North Carolina GOP legislators will now bear the blame of deliberately making matters worse for a grieving LGBT community in the aftermath of Saturday's tragedy:
Now, after the tragedy in Orlando, HB2 looks even more like a gratuitous, cruel slap at gays, lesbians and transgender people. It is all the more embarrassing to North Carolina than it was – and it was plenty embarrassing.
Also blaming Republican “rhetoric” this week for the massacre at the Pulse night club was WRAL North Carolina Capitol bureau chief Laura Leslie. In a series of now-deleted Facebook posts, Ms. Leslie made her stance very clear on who she blamed for the Orlando murders: HB2 proponents:
While it's important to support the right of journalists to have and express personal opinions on current news and events, they might want to be careful how public they are about it, especially if they've been involved in daily reporting on the issue they've just ranted about. The Daily Haymaker, which was first to report on Leslie's diatribes, has more screen captures of her contempt for Republicans and their responses in the aftermath of Orlando.
If Ms. Leslie, Mr. Funk and the CO/RNO editorial boards are truly concerned with rhetoric, they should start with their own. “Rhetoric matters” should also apply to journalists and news outlets in general, in particular those who despicably equate sensible positions against allowing men in women's changing facilities to hating gays and inspiring “homicidal homophobia” against them.
The activist leftists in the North Carolina mainstream media would love to control the post-Orlando narrative as a way of guilting and shaming the people, most of them decent-minded and many of them Christian, who support HB2. Unfortunately for these journos, their hypocritical lectures on rhetoric will not lead to healing, just more division.
That generally happens when good and decent people who just want to protect themselves and their families are made out to be complicit in bloody rampages which they had nothing to do with.