Terrance Heath

Wingnut Week In Review: Blaming the Victim, Again

Filed By Terrance Heath | September 14, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: domestic violence, football, Fox News, NFL, Ray Rice, Ted Cruz, victim blaming, videos

In the biggest elevator video since Beyonce and Jay-Z, the world saw Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knock his fiancé out cold. While the NFL dragged its feet on a response, right-wingers lost no time blaming the victim.

In July, video surfaced of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of his then-fiancé, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. This week, the world found out what happened in that elevator, as further video surfaced of an altercation between the couple that ended with Rice knocking Palmer unconscious.

Cue wingnuts defending the abuser and blaming the victim.

  • First, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros asked why the White House and Democratic leadership weren't taking the lead in condemning the violence depicted in the tape. Then the rest of the conservative movement went to work defending it.
  • Fox & Friends contributor Brian Kilmeade joked, "I think the message is take the stairs," while co-host Anna Kooiman giggled.
  • In an interview on the Steve Malzberg Show, conservative activist Ben Carson warned people not to "jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy."
  • Conservative columnist Michael Reagan complained of the media "lynching" of Ray Rice.
  • Rush Limbaugh complained that the NFL's response to the Rice video is what happens when you are "politically correct, when you're trying to appease everybody." Limbaugh went on to ask: "Are we getting to the point where we're going to have to execute Ray Rice?"
  • Limbaugh later complained that "all this domestic violence stuff" is going to hurt football. "If we keep feminizing this game," Limbaugh said, "We're going to ruin it."
  • On Sean Hannity's show, National Review columnist A.J. Delgado claimed that Ray Rice is the bigger victim of domestic violence, and that Rice's wife "knocked herself out"
  • Fox News panelist Tamara Holder complained that the "anti-testicular police are coming out and just taking this guy's balls and ripping them off," and told Sean Hannity that Janay Rice "played a role in her own assault."

Meanwhile, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has seen a 72 percent increase in calls since the Rice video went public. But the hotline was already struggling to handle calls before the Rice video. The organization, which gets most of its money from the federal government, was hard hit by GOP-driven sequestration cuts.

No wonder Salon's Katie McDunough wrote:

As much as we need to be talking about the NFL's problem with domestic violence, it isn't the only three-lettered organization indifferent to women's humanity. From its position on the Violence Against Women Act to economic and social policies that are destroying the kinds of infrastructure that make it possible for women to leave abusive relationships, the GOP is fostering a culture of permissiveness around violence against women.

That may not bode well for Republicans. Martha Tucker noted this week that as the majority of the population, the majority of registered voters, and the majority of those who actually show up at the polls, women have the power to determine the outcome of almost any election.

The rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week is after the break.

  • Georgia Republicans are in a panic over Democrats registering minorities to vote. State Sen. Fran Millar railed against having Sunday voting at a mall in an area "dominated by African American shoppers" and "near several large African American mega-churches." Millar doubled down in a Facebook post: "I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters." Because black voters are less "educated," of course.
  • Better Georgia released audio of Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, lamenting that Democrats were registering minorities to vote: "Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November."
  • After he said "Christians have no greater ally than Israel," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was booed off the stage at the Washington, D.C. dinner sponsored by In Defense of Christians, a new organization of Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Cruz must have been unaware of the tensions between U.S. evangelicals and Middle Eastern/Palestinian Christians.
  • Cruz also made news when he claimed that an amendment to overturn Citizens United would censor Saturday Night Live. "Lorne Michaels [of Saturday Night Live] could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician," Cruz said on the floor of the Senate.
  • Federal prosecutors rejected right-wing documentarian and campaign fundraising fraud convict Dinesh D'Souza's plea for a reduced sentence, pointing to D'Souza's online activity as evidence that he's not the least bit as sorry. D'Souza must have forgotten that everything he tweets can and will be held against him.
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-Utah) is "ready to kill somebody" over the Senate's failure to extend tax breaks for businesses.
  • Proving how easy it is to pretend to be the president, Glenn Beck "fixed" the VA in an hour, by firing everyone in sight. No word on how many vets receive services after everyone is fired.
  • Pat Robertson warned his 700 Club audience that "girl-on-girl movies" might make young people think they're gay.
  • Fox News corespondent Todd Starnes claimed that marriage equality would lead to people marrying dogs, because "when you do redefine marriage, that means anything goes."
  • In an interview with Newsmax's Steve Malzberg, Jim Gilchrist of the anti-immigrant Minutemen Project lamented that he's unable to take up arms against a "tyrannical" U.S. government that will use both legal and illegal immigration to impose Chinese-style "one-party communism."

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