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CNN Expert: Faith Can Kill, So Biden Admin Needs 'Guidelines' for Religious Vaccine Exemptions

Western Journal

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Most people tend to tune out news programming on the weekends, and that’s a good thing — unless you want to see the unhinged, tone-deaf side of cable news you don’t usually get on weekdays.

Tiffany Cross on MSNBC is one of the go-tos if you suffer from hypotension and need to raise your blood pressure a few notches, for instance. In one memorable episode, she called South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott, who is black, a “token” and said he was the kind of person “Harriet Tubman would have left behind.”

At the same network, Al Sharpton hosts “PoliticsNation,” where the éminence grise of grievance politics grapples with the issues of the day and/or the teleprompter. Over at CNN, Brian Stelter hosts “Reliable Sources;” the network might as well air a show called “Your Favorite Democrat with Roger Stone.”

CNN’s Michael Smerconish is reasonably fair, considering his employers let Mr. Stelter get away with that title. He’s also a ghastly bore, which is why he’s buried away in the Saturday schedule.

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However, he can have guests like Dr. Robert Klitzman, a man who believes faith kills — which is why he wants to put careful “guidelines” on how the Biden administration will handle religious exemptions from the new vaccine mandate.

A segment on Smerconish’s latest show ostensibly dealt with what constitutes a “sincere” religious belief.

Smerconish noted that no major religious denomination has come out in opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine. Never mind the millions of Americans who belong to non-denominational congregations.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, religion includes “religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others.”

“That puts employers in the difficult position of determining what is a legitimate religious belief and what’s a dodge,” Smerconish said.

One can quickly think of a way this problem could have been avoided — not forcing employers to determine what constitutes a sincere religious belief in the first place — but that likely isn’t Smerconish’s take. Instead, we have Klitzman, the head of the bioethics master’s program at Columbia University.

He wants to make sure people aren’t just “checking off the box” to get a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.

Klitzman had previously written an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times that mined much of the same territory, claiming religious exemptions would present a serious impediment to beating the coronavirus.

He, like Smerconish, was perplexed.

“Pope Francis and the national leadership of many churches, including Mormon leaders and the National Assn. of Evangelicals, have strongly endorsed vaccination,” he wrote. “Alas, not all religious organizations are complying.”

That’s the language you want to use. Why won’t you just comply, vaccine-hesitant people?

Klitzman’s bit on Saturday was in the same vein and even went a bit farther, twice drawing a link between faith and death.

Do you support religious exemptions from vaccination?

In fact, he led off with the story of a patient with treatable cancer who “decided that prayer alone and Chinese herbal medicine was going to help her.

“And that is what she pursued instead of medical treatment, and she came back to the hospital not long afterwards and the cancer had basically taken over her body. … So her religious beliefs contributed to her death, unfortunately,” Klitzman said.

Just two sentences later, he used Islamic terrorists as an example of why religious freedom should be curbed and questioned during a pandemic.

“So there are people who say — for instance, there are some Muslims who are jihadists, who say my religious belief is that I should kill infidels,” Klitzman said.

“We don’t say, ‘Fine, you have the religious belief you want to harm other people, go and harm other people.’ So there are limits in our society to how far religious beliefs can go.”

Yes, Klitzman is conflating the decision not to get vaccinated with the jihadist’s decision to kill innocent people. Perhaps this example was spitballed on the fly. Perhaps Dr. Klitzman needs to learn how to spitball better.

He went on to say that “we need to come up with guidelines. I think that the Biden administration and state and local health departments, for instance, need to say, ‘Here is what can be done rather than just checking off a box.'”

“I think people are using it as an excuse,” Klitzman added.

“People are saying, ‘I just don’t want a vaccine, be it because of my political views or I don’t want someone jabbing me in the arm.’ But we need to remember that by not getting a vaccine, we are putting other people in danger.”

So, if we were to reduce this to an elevator pitch to get shots in the arms of those who are unvaccinated because of a religious belief, real or spurious, here’s Klitzman’s take: “Jihadists kill. Therefore, faith kills. Religion is all an excuse to disobey the government, anyhow. Stop getting in the way, plebs.”

Klitzman’s solution would put the presumption of fakery on religious exemption applicants, forcing them to either prove to the government their religious belief is genuine, take a vaccine that goes against those deep-seated beliefs, or potentially lose their jobs.

This is a pathway to compliance for Dr. Robert Klitzman. This is what’s supposed to foster trust in the vaccines and in the government. Something this counterproductive would almost be funny if it weren’t so serious.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Wire

Covering for Kaepernick: Couric Edited Anti-Kneeling Comments Due to RBG’s Racial Justice ‘Blind Spot’

Western Journal

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Employment apparently isn’t a very appealing prospect to former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric.

After bouncing around the nether regions of the media landscape since she left CBS in 2011 — her last major gig was with Yahoo’s streaming division, which is the mainstream media’s version of the direct-to-video movie — Couric has decided to write a tell-all called “Going There.” It manages to earn the title.

In the book, Couric admits to sabotaging the careers of other female journalists and anchors because she felt threatened.

She said Martha Stewart needed “some healthy humbling (prison will do that … ) to develop a sense of humor.”

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She jokingly implied Diane Sawyer, former host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” would trade sexual favors for interviews. (But don’t worry, Couric didn’t really mean it: “I’m pretty sure I speak for Diane when I say neither of us ever resorted to actual fellatio to land an interview,” she wrote, “but we both engaged in the metaphoric kind — flattering gatekeepers, family members, and whoever else stood in the way of a big get.” Who said ethics in journalism was dead?)

In short, “Going There” has taken Couric from unemployed to very unemployable, and the book hasn’t even come out yet.

As if to put a finer point on the matter, the latest leaked anecdote from the forthcoming tome regarding an interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg manages the impressive feat of infuriating both the right and the left simultaneously.

According to a Monday piece from the Daily Mail, Couric said she selectively edited her 2016 sit-down interview with Ginsburg to omit the liberal icon’s scathing remarks directed at athletes who knelt during the national anthem, ostensibly in the name of “protecting” her.

The interview was done for Yahoo News in October 2016. At that point, two careers were in the process of terminal decline.

One was Couric’s, as she had gone from CBS News to ABC News to the news division of the MySpace of search engines.

The other was that of then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’d placed himself in the midst of a media maelstrom by choosing to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of American-centric injustice; it didn’t help that the controversy this created occurred concurrently with a precipitous decline in the quality of Kaepernick’s play.

However, other athletes joined Kaepernick and anthem-kneeling became A Thing™ in the fall of 2016, albeit as a phenomenon far more controversial than it is five years later. It was against this backdrop that Couric asked RBG what she thought of the athletes kneeling for the anthem.

The interview as published made it clear that Ginsburg wasn’t a fan. “I think it’s really dumb of them,” she said.

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” the justice continued. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”

Couric went further, asking: “But when it comes to these football players, you may find their actions offensive, but what you’re saying is, it’s within their rights to exercise those actions?”

“Yes,” she said. “If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.”

However, according to the Daily Mail, Couric revealed in “Going There” that Ginsburg — the most far-left justice to have ever sat on the high court bench by almost any metric — went even further, saying athletes like Kaepernick were showing “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”

“Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from … as they became older they realize that this was youthful folly. And that’s why education is important,” Ginsburg said.

Do you agree with Ginsburg's comments on anthem protests?

Couric said that while she tried to keep her “personal politics” out of her journalism (do try to stifle your laughter as you read that), she was a “big RBG fan” and felt the remarks were “unworthy of a crusader for equality” like Ginsburg.

She decided to leave the remarks out, obviously. Couric’s reasoning? Ginsburg was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question” and racial justice was a “blind spot” for her. The justice was 83 at the time and died four years later.

Much like every other anecdote we’ve heard Couric share in her upcoming memoir, this makes the former “CBS Nightly News” anchor look nowhere near as good as one imagines she thinks it does.

First, yes — in 2021, the suggestion that athletes kneeling for the national anthem to protest vague notions of injustice is disrespectful to the country, to those who have sacrificed for it and to the fans whose expenditures pay their salaries is widely considered heretical and reactionary. In 2016, however, that was not the case.

In fact, as late as 2018, 54 percent of respondents to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll said kneeling for “The Star-Spangled Banner” was “not appropriate.”

Couric’s memory, one might say, is as selective as her editing; it’s not too much of a leap to assume she wasn’t “protecting” Ginsburg so much as she was protecting her own opinion. If one of the country’s leftist heroines was willing to go as far as to say anthem protests show “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life,” maybe it wasn’t Ginsburg who had the “blind spot.”

It’s also worth noting that nowhere in the Yahoo interview (or other contemporaneous sit-downs) did the justice come across as unduly “elderly” — and her response made clear the excuse Ginsburg “probably didn’t fully understand the question” is silly. For that matter, if RBG really were in such a state of decline that she couldn’t properly comprehend the question and Couric was “protecting” her, why was the interview published at all?

The likely answer is that Couric believes none of her own excuses. In this case, her “personal politics” couldn’t allow her to let conservatives have the pleasure of Ginsburg pointing out the obvious when it comes to anthem protesters. She published a narrative, not the news.

It’s worth noting this revelation will have the added bonus of further enraging progressives still unhappy with Ginsburg for not retiring in 2014 when the Democrats had the White House and the Senate.

Her death in September 2020 led to Amy Coney Barrett’s ascension to the high court. After the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ abortion law, that led to tweets like this one from writer Nandini Balial:

Hey, speaking of “dumb and disrespectful.”

Whatever the case, Couric’s memoir is shaping up to be one of the great media miscalculations of recent years, a self-sabotaging tell-all that spills plenty of dirt — and almost all of it about Katie Couric.

She killed the careers of other female journalists because she felt threatened by them. She admits to engaging in “metaphoric” sex acts to get scoops. And now we know she selectively edited an interview when RBG made too much sense.

At this rate, by the time “Going There” is released on Oct. 26, Katie Couric might not even be able to get a gig on TikTok.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Employment apparently isn’t a very appealing prospect to former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric. After bouncing around the nether regions of the media landscape since she left CBS in 2011 — her last major gig was with Yahoo’s streaming division, which is the mainstream media’s version of the direct-to-video movie — Couric has decided to write a tell-all called “Going There.” It manages to earn the title. In the book, Couric admits to sabotaging the careers of other female journalists and anchors because she felt threatened. She said Martha Stewart needed “some healthy humbling (prison will do that … ) to develop a sense of humor.” She jokingly implied Diane Sawyer, former host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” would trade sexual favors for interviews. (But don’t worry, Couric didn’t really mean it: “I’m pretty sure I speak for Diane when I say neither of us ever resorted to actual fellatio to land an interview,” she wrote, “but we both engaged in the metaphoric kind — flattering gatekeepers, family members, and whoever else stood in the way of a big get.” Who said ethics in journalism was dead?) In short, “Going There” has taken Couric from unemployed to very unemployable, and the book hasn’t even come out yet. As if to put a finer point on the matter, the latest leaked anecdote from the forthcoming tome regarding an interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg manages the impressive feat of infuriating both the right and the left simultaneously. According to a Monday piece from the Daily Mail, Couric said she selectively edited her 2016 sit-down interview with Ginsburg to omit the liberal icon’s scathing remarks directed at athletes who knelt during the national anthem, ostensibly in the name of “protecting” her. The interview was done for Yahoo News in…

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Aaron Lewis Unleashes on Dems: They’re ‘Responsible for Every F***ing Scar That Exists’ on America

Western Journal

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Musician Aaron Lewis shredded the Democratic Party as he performed a new country anthem during an acoustic set in Texas last week.

Lewis played his most recent single, “Am I the Only One,” a ballad about the state of the nation in the coronavirus era.

In doing so, he shared his thoughts on what Democrats are doing to life and liberty, going so far as to tell the crowd that they are responsible for every “scar” on our battered country.

The Staind frontman and popular solo artist, known for his poetic and reflective music, broke into a long diatribe that was not fit for radio as he ripped Democrats for dividing and destroying America.

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“I really look back on this timeframe in history and wonder how we were allowed — how we allowed such ridiculousness to happen in this country,” he said during an Oct. 7 show in Grand Prairie, Texas. “We’ve allowed a virus that was created by man to destroy the entire fabric of mankind.”

WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.


Strumming his guitar, Lewis told the raucous crowd, “See, I liked American history at school. I paid close attention in that class. Yeah, but did we all pay attention? Because if we all paid attention in our f***ing history classes, we would know that the Democrats are responsible for every f***ing scar that exists on this country.

“Let’s go through history, shall we, real quick? Every American Indian massacre. Every f***ing slave aside from eight that was ever owned in this f***ing country was owned by f***ing Democrats.

“Every segregational law, every racist law, every Jim Crow law, every f***ing KKK meeting was done by the g*****n Democrats,” he said, to wild cheers from the audience.

“Can we please embrace history so we don’t f***ing repeat it? Please! Go look it up yourself. Please, I’m begging you, do not take my word for it. Get off Google and go look it the f*** up yourself.

“The Democrats are responsible for every f***ing scar that exists on this country. Period. The f***ing end. I implore all of you, please go look it up yourself. I don’t want you to believe me,” he said.

“I don’t want you to think that just because I have this microphone what I’m saying is true. I want you to go and look it the f*** up yourself. Find out for yourself. Wake up.”

After concluding a verse of the song, Lewis asked his audience to recall the riots that overtook America last year. He obliterated the leftist activists who used the unrest to go after cultural landmarks and lit up those who supported and enabled them.

“So last year during those riots that the Democrats sponsored, that the Democrats supported, that the Democrats bailed criminals out of jail for, that our vice president created a fund to bail out the people that were committing crimes during riots — those statues they were tearing down? … They’re all Democrats,” he said.

“Every statue they just tore down, all of them, they’re all Democrats. Isn’t that something? Ain’t that something? Just think about that for a second,” he said before continuing the song.

Lewis has gravitated toward country music in recent years. He has also clearly gravitated toward politics.

His music has endeared him to rock fans for its sincerity and beauty. Lewis isn’t done being sincere, even if he’s not always so eloquent.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Musician Aaron Lewis shredded the Democratic Party as he performed a new country anthem during an acoustic set in Texas last week. Lewis played his most recent single, “Am I the Only One,” a ballad about the state of the nation in the coronavirus era. In doing so, he shared his thoughts on what Democrats are doing to life and liberty, going so far as to tell the crowd that they are responsible for every “scar” on our battered country. The Staind frontman and popular solo artist, known for his poetic and reflective music, broke into a long diatribe that was not fit for radio as he ripped Democrats for dividing and destroying America. “I really look back on this timeframe in history and wonder how we were allowed — how we allowed such ridiculousness to happen in this country,” he said during an Oct. 7 show in Grand Prairie, Texas. “We’ve allowed a virus that was created by man to destroy the entire fabric of mankind.” WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive. Strumming his guitar, Lewis told the raucous crowd, “See, I liked American history at school. I paid close attention in that class. Yeah, but did we all pay attention? Because if we all paid attention in our f***ing history classes, we would know that the Democrats are responsible for every f***ing scar that exists on this country. “Let’s go through history, shall we, real quick? Every American Indian massacre. Every f***ing slave aside from eight that was ever owned in this f***ing country was owned by f***ing Democrats. “Every segregational law, every racist law, every Jim Crow law, every f***ing KKK meeting was done by the g*****n Democrats,” he said, to wild cheers from the audience. “Can we please embrace…

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