MSNBC: GOP ‘Religious Argument’ on Barrett a ‘Straw Man’ (Fact Check: It Isn’t)

The hack journalists at MSNBC on Monday have adopted the Democratic talking point that no one would dare question the faith of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and it’s a “straw man” to think anyone would. But it’s not a straw man and the religious bigotry started right there on MSNBC seconds after Barrett was nominated. 

Todd began the allegations of strawman burning by declaring that Republicans actually want Democrats to apply such a test to Barrett because that would help them politically, “Most of the Republican senators saying that they don’t want to see a religious test put to her, almost trying to create a controversy that isn’t as controversial as I think some on the right are hoping politically it’ll come to, when it comes to the memberships and religious memberships she has.”

The haughty Todd dismissed any idea that Democrats would investigate the judge’s Catholic faith: “And there’s a part of me that’s listening to the Republicans creating this straw man on the religious argument. Some of it I feel like is being done out of fear. What are they afraid of?” 

He derided, “Are they afraid of this spotlight, too? ‘Hey, this is happening.’ It’s not happening…. What are they afraid of here?” 

Earlier, Garrett Haake argued, “For Republicans, you saw them trying to burnish the judge’s credentials a little bit. You saw a bit of war being waged against straw men, in terms of attacks that have not come on her religious credentials, her religious faith.”

He then immediately contradicted himself, “There’s some reference back to comments made by Diane Feinstein in her original confirmation hearing as a circuit court judge there. I think you see the battle lines being drawn quite clearly, Chuck.”

In 2017, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein hatefully sneered at the judge’s court of appeals nomination: “The dogma lives loudly within you.” 

On September 26, 2020, DURING Barrett’s speech accepting the nomination, a MSNBC graphic alerted, “A Catholic, Barrett is a member of Christian organization People of Praise.” As I said at the time, imagine if the cable network had taken the trouble to tell audiences that someone was Jewish, Muslim or another faith? 

Six minutes after the speech ended, anchor Nicolle Wallace launched into a bigoted attack: 

When judge Barrett was… under scrutiny for her last appointment, information came out about her time and her relationship with a Christian organization called People of Praise. Now, this is some of what we know about that group, some of what was scrutinized last time she was evaluated. Members of the group, People of Praise, swear a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant to one another, and are assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, called a head for men and a handmaid for women. 

Not only are Republicans not burning strawmen, NBC and MSNBC have been at the forefront of such attacks on Barrett’s religious beliefs and affiliations. 

This segment was sponsored by Citi

Here is a transcript of the October 12 coverage:

MSNBC

MSNBC Special Coverage: Barrett Confirmation Hearing

11:38 AM ET

CHUCK TODD: Most of the Republican senators saying that they don’t want to see a religious test put to her, almost trying to create a controversy that isn’t as controversial as I think some on the right are hoping politically it’ll come to, when it comes to the memberships and religious memberships she has.

11:40

GARRETT HAAKE: For Republicans, you saw them trying to burnish the judge’s credentials a little bit. You saw a bit of war being waged against straw men, in terms of attacks that have not come on her religious credentials, her religious faith. There’s some reference back to comments made by Diane Feinstein in her original confirmation hearing as a circuit court judge there. I think you see the battle lines being drawn quite clearly, Chuck. 

12:17 PM ET

MIKE MEMOLI: What they don’t want to be talking about is whether or not to expand the Supreme Court. The Biden campaign saying, again, they are not going to engage in these questions. They view it, one, as putting the cart before the horse. They don’t know if they will have a Senate majority of Democrats to be able to have that conversation. They really want to focus on the idea this is a Supreme Court seat that should be for voters to decide. They should choose the president before the president then chooses the justice of that’s why the Biden campaign has been reluctant to talk about. I know you’re talking about, Garrett was talking about the strawman arguments Republicans are making, including about this religious test Democrats say they are wanting to impose. The Biden campaign likes to remind as Senator kamala Harris did during the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden, if elected, will be the second Catholic president in United States in American history. They think they can brush that argument away pretty quickly, Chuck. 

CHUCK TODD: Mike Memoli on the road there. Mike, thanks very much. Ari Melber, you think about these larger questions about the law quite a bit. There’s part of me that’s listening to the Republicans there creating the strawman on the religious argument. Some of it I feel like is being done out of fear. What are they afraid of? Are they afraid of this spotlight, too? It’s almost as if they’re saying “This is happening,” it’s not happening. There seems to be some — you create a barrier because you’re worried about people walking into that barrier. What are they afraid of here? 

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