Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

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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GOP Senate Candidate Complained of Lack of Muslim Movie Villains

| Tue Jan. 14, 2014 4:00 AM PST

Political correctness is keeping Hollywood from properly stigmatizing Muslims—so said Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel. He issued this complaint during a 2006 episode of Right Side Radio, a syndicated show McDaniel hosted for three years before being elected to the state Senate in 2007.

"It's funny how the movies have portrayed themselves lately and how the video games have portrayed themselves lately," McDaniel said in the segment. "There's one person that cannot be a villain in Hollywood, ever. One group that cannot be villains. Who is that? [Cohost: The Muslims.] Yeah, isn't that neat? They'll go out of their way to find some Russian white guy that's just nuts, and he's the terrorist, which I've never seen that. But the Muslims, they've just disappeared from Hollywood's radar."

"I think the true enemy is Ron Howard and Andy Griffith," he joked. (The remarks were first reported by a local politics blog, Dark Horse Mississippi.)

McDaniel didn't have it quite right. Islamic extremists played the roles of terrorists in seasons two, four, and six* of the television show 24; the Showtime series Sleeper Cell; and a variety of movies, including Syriana, The Kingdom, Rules of Engagement, The Siege, True Lies, and Zero Dark Thirty. The Muslim-as-villain has been such a long-standing stereotype that a 1998 New York Times story reported on the difficulties Arab American actors faced in obtaining roles beyond that as hijackers.

Other audio clips unearthed by Dark Horse Mississippi feature McDaniel warning about the dangers of the "homosexual agenda" and describing a grand plan by Democrats to make "homosexual marriage and polygamy completely legal in all 50 states." Speaking before the 2006 election, McDaniel rattled off a "parade of horribles" that would come to pass if Democrats ("the party of sex on demand") took control of Congress; these included "new social taxes, new social programs," and "new hate crime laws for homosexuals."

In another episode of his radio show, McDaniel mocked San Francisco lawmakers who had decried an ad campaign depicting a white woman wrestling a black woman, under the slogan "White is coming."

"They're elite," he said of the city's residents, before taking a shot at the city's LGBT community. "Right next to gender misidentification is IQ, I suppose. That's gonna get me in trouble."

Last week, Mother Jones reported on a promotional clip from Right Side Radio in which McDaniel blamed rising gun violence on hip-hop. As he put it, "It's a problem of a culture that values prison more than college; a culture that values rap and destruction of community values more than it does poetry; a culture that can't stand education."

*Correction: This story originally misidentified the villains in season five of 24.

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate's Group Compared Obama to Hitler, Stalin

| Mon Jan. 6, 2014 10:24 AM PST

On Tuesday, Ohio businessman Ted Stevenot will announce he would challenge Gov. John Kasich in May's Republican primary. Stevenot is, by his own admission, a relative newcomer to state politics and has not run for a major office before. His main credential prior to entering the race was his 10-month stint as president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, a statewide network of tea party groups. The OLC's agenda tracks closely with similar tea party groups in other states: It opposes the Common Core natural curriculum standard, it worries that the state's elected Republicans are too soft on President Obama, and it likes guns.

But the group has a habit of expressing its views in inflammatory ways. A photo posted to its Facebook page (see above) last January, shortly before Stevenot took over, compares Obama to a collection of notorious dictators, including Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler, because of their shared habit of occasionally appearing in photos with children. Another image recommends using assault rifles against "the people who try to take them away"—in this case, the federal government:

Ohio Liberty Coalition/Facebook

And here's the president of the United States, after being punched in the face:

Ohio Liberty Coalition/Facebook

Stevenot has accused Kasich of being too close to Obama, because the governor used federal funding to expand the state's Medicaid program. He's not leaving himself open to a similar charge.

Update: Stevenot has dropped out of the race, leaving Ohio tea partiers without a candidate.

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