Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy


Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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Watchdog Group Banned from YouTube After Anti-Gay Chaplain Complains About YouTube Comments

| Fri Nov. 8, 2013 12:31 PM EST

On Thursday afternoon, Right Wing Watch, an offshoot of the progressive group People for the American Way that monitors the public statements of prominent figures on the religious right, had its YouTube account suspended at the request of an anti-gay former Navy chaplain who is running for a seat in the Colorado legislature. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who left the Navy in 2006 and has had a second career as an evangelical activist, sent out a triumphant press release heralding the news under the tag "David takes down Goliath." YouTube told Right Wing Watch it was being suspended because it had violated Klingenschmitt's copyright, but the chaplain's statement suggests he had another motive for filing the complaint: Right Wing Watch had done nothing to stop threats on his life from its "followers":

Three of those posts, still active on YouTube as of 16 Aug, call upon RWW's followers to kill Chaplain Klingenschmitt:
1.       can we murder this fu**
2.       I don't think he's a fetus. So yeah, you could murder him and still be pro-life.
3.       Another white a** cracker pu*** that needs a .45 Caliber renovation.
Three other followers of RWW stated they wished the Chaplain would die, or had been murdered by an abortionist, or praised the demon of murder.
4.       What a pathetic little bi***. Can't wail till these people die out.
5.       Don't diss the "deamon of murder", I've met him. He's not a bad guy.
6.       This guy is a sh** person and would have been better if he was aborted.

In a blog post, Brian Tashman, a writer and researcher for the Right Wing Watch, confirmed the cancelation of the group's YouTube account and said Right Wing Watch had filed an appeal.

The catch is that the threats against Klingenschmitt weren't made by anyone affiliated with Right Wing Watch—they were made by YouTube commenters. Given the often viral nature of Right Wing Watch's videos, and the often volatile nature of YouTube's commenters, crazy comments seemed almost inevitable. I asked Klingenschmitt if this meant that he was responsible for the YouTube comments on his own site. "When I become aware of something or it’s brought to my attention, I will delete things that are inflammatory," he said. "I'm not responsible for the initial posting but if I am alerted and don't do anything, I am responsible."

It's not hard to see why Klingenschmitt, who kicked off his first political campaign in October, wouldn't want Right Wing Watch's videos online. He told Colorado activist Will Perkins* that if gays are allowed to marry, "then they would be able to adopt the children of heterosexuals and therefore that increases their ability to recruit." He described the message of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens, thusly: "The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death." And he suggested that demonic spirits were controlling President Obama—and Madonna.

But Klingenschmitt isn't the first conservative to ask Right Wing Watch to take down a video, and the previous cases suggest his victory will be a short-lived. In September, YouTube denied a request from Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to take down a clip of the influential evangelical pastor suggesting that gay people wear special knife-rings that transmit AIDS to random people they meet.

*This post originally misidentified Klingenschmitt's guest.


“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated#sthash.yyy7hkuO.dpuf


“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated#sthash.yyy7hkuO.dpuf

#YOHO: This GOP Lawmaker is Trying to Impeach Eric Holder

| Thu Nov. 7, 2013 11:46 AM EST
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

In his first year in Washington, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) has distinguished himself by suggesting that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and arguing that an unprecedented default would be good for the global economy because "the creditors that we owe money to around the world would say, 'You know what, they're getting their house in order.'" (Eds. note: They wouldn't say that.) Now he has a new plan: Impeach Attorney General Eric Holder over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' disastrous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" program. Holder has already been formally censured by the House, but according to Yoho, a group of Republican congressmen wants to take the next step. If he and his allies were to succeed—and they won't—it would make it the the second time in US history that a cabinet member was impeached, and the first since 1876. Per Politico:

"It's to get him out of office — impeachment," Yoho said, according to the Gainesville Sun, adding "it will probably be when we get back in [Washington]. It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not."

Yoho cited frustration over the botched "Fast and Furious" program - in which federal agents allowed guns to "walk" to Mexican drug cartels as part of an investigation - as one of the main motivations for the impeachment push. That sting operation failed, and weapons tied to the Fast and Furious program were found at the shooting scene when a Border Patrol agent was killed in Dec. 2010.

As the young people say these days: #YOHO.

Maybe Ken Cuccinelli Shouldn't Have Built His Campaign Around Sodomy

| Tue Nov. 5, 2013 7:00 AM EST

In retrospect, maybe the sodomy part was a mistake. Republican Ken Cuccinelli goes into today's gubernatorial election in Virginia expected to lose to Democrat Terry McAullife, a man who almost missed the birth of a child to attend a fundraiser and once downed shots of Puerto Rican rum on morning television. The Most Quoted Man in Washington, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato, has summed up the election as two people "running against the only people they could beat"—and Cuccinelli, well, couldn't.

Why? There were a lot of contributing factors: McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli by about $14 million, living up to his reputation as a relentless fundraiser. Cuccinelli's swan dive coincided with the government shutdown in October, which was especially painful to Virginians. A third-party candidate, Robert Sarvis, took up a protest vote that might otherwise have gone to Cuccinelli. And both Cuccinelli and sitting GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell were tied to a slow-burning political influence scandal.

But perhaps the simplest explanation for Cuccinelli's struggles is that Virginians found him and his running mate, E.W. Jackson, to be uniquely unlikable politicians fixated on uniquely unappealing issues.

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