Newsweek and Reuters made a beeline for Judge Barrett’s Catholic faith in their respective articles, with Newsweek alleging without evidence that Barrett’s “People of Praise group inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.”
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Two national media news outlets issued significant retractions Tuesday after being called out for publishing erroneous hit pieces about potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
As Democrats are already doing and will continue to do if she’s nominated, Newsweek made a beeline for Barrett’s Catholic faith in their article, alleging in the original headline and subsequent piece that Barrett’s “People of Praise group inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.'” A tweet showing that headline is still up:
How Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise group inspired 'The Handmaid's Tale' https://t.co/OxxMXJaq8t
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 21, 2020
The headline and piece have since changed, and a correction to the story was issued by Newsweek because, as it turns out, they have no evidence whatsoever to back up their original claim.
Here’s the revised headline (as of this writing):
How Charismatic Catholic Groups Like Amy Coney Barrett’s People of Praise Inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
And here’s their “correction”:
This article’s headline originally stated that People of Praise inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. The book’s author, Margaret Atwood, has never specifically mentioned the group as being the inspiration for her work. A New Yorker profile of the author from 2017 mentions a newspaper clipping as part of her research for the book of a different charismatic Catholic group, People of Hope. Newsweek regrets the error.
You’d think that a correction of that magnitude would shame editors into pulling the entire piece. But as the updated headline indicates, Newsweek is going to do whatever they can to keep hope alive that “People of Praise” was the basis for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Your correction refutes the ENTIRE article how have you not just retracted the entire thing? pic.twitter.com/reD2aE5vsL
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) September 22, 2020
Reuters also went the “Handmaid’s Tale” route with Judge Barrett in a piece noting her “religious community [is] under scrutiny”:
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) September 22, 2020
As was the case with Newsweek, Reuters changed the headline and the body of the piece after the backlash that erupted:
— Jerry Christmas (@JerryDunleavy) September 23, 2020
In third (?) version of this article, this absurd assertion has been eliminated. Amazing that it ever got by an editor. https://t.co/PMzePdF0Ka
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) September 23, 2020
There is no explicit acknowledgment of the re-write, just a little note that it was "updated an hour ago." So I have a short update on my post too https://t.co/tmyZ8RPNyW
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) September 23, 2020
David Harsanyi noted the disconnect between what the media was alleging about Barrett and who she actually was:
After all, Barrett’s knuckle-dragging misogynistic religious fanatic husband has only let the poor woman out of the house twice. Once, to serve a 15-year stint as a law professor at a highly prestigious university. And again to slave away as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Let us also pause to point out how the media’s/left’s scrutiny of a person’s faith largely depends on what political party they belong to:
Joe Biden= "devout Catholic"
Amy Coney Barrett= "handmaid's tale" https://t.co/m2zSS32yqw
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 22, 2020
Predictably, other news outlets ran with the original story done by Newsweek, ensuring the myth that Barrett wants America to morph into a real-life version of “Handmaid’s Tale” will endure in leftist circles for decades to come:
A false Newsweek story that had be corrected spread to Yahoo, Reginery 29 and now Reuters even after the correction.
And the fact checkers are AWOL. But remember it’s pizza emojis that is the problem with spread of mass information pic.twitter.com/1D8KwNpSl1
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) September 22, 2020
As to what “People of Praise” are actually all about, Daily Wire did some digging:
The problem? People of Praise’s “handmaids” are little more than spiritual advisors, according to sources familiar with the 1,700-member group that spoke to The Daily Wire.
Daily Caller investigative editor Peter Hasson also weighed in with some first-hand experience:
People of Praise members send their high school age kids to high-poverty areas like Evansville, Indiana every summer to serve the poorest of the poor. That’s who they are.
Watching fellow journalists launder “Handmaid’s Tale!!!11!!” takes is so gross it’s almost hard to believe
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) September 22, 2020
Does the fact that both Reuters and Newsweek thoroughly embarrassed themselves with their discredited “reports” mean other media outlets will tread more carefully on this subject in the future? Nope:
Am told that at least two more major news organizations are working on stories about Barrett’s religious beliefs.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 23, 2020
And even if the media did decide to show some restraint, Senate Democrats have made clear they have no intentions of treating Barrett’s Catholic faith with the same reverence they do Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Islamic faith:
Mazie Hirono is a member of the Judiciary Committee and suggests Democrats could (once again) attack Amy Coney Barrett’s faith.
“Asked if her religious views should be off-limits if Barrett comes before the committee again, Sen. Mazie Hirono said: ‘No.’” https://t.co/VJ2ZhtvoVK
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) September 23, 2020
So what are the unintended consequences of all the media’s/left’s bad-faith attacks on Judge Barrett should she be picked as the nominee? A Republican base that is galvanized – big time:
If the left seeks to unify, mobilize, and invigorate conservatives with the same fevered pitch as the Kavanaugh hearing, attacking Judge Barrett's Christian faith strikes me as a good way to do it. https://t.co/t4Z2NdZwvP
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) September 22, 2020
President Trump said yesterday he would be announcing his Supreme Court nominee Saturday at 5 pm EST. Stay tuned.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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