At the NCAA, Intimidation Is the Name of the Game

At the NCAA, Intimidation Is the Name of the Game

At the NCAA, Intimidation Is the Name of the Game

April 14, 2021

In case companies hadn't noticed, now isn't exactly a good time to drop a bombshell about radical politics. Either the NCAA hasn't been paying attention to the massive uproar in Georgia, or they don't seem to grasp the intensity of the pushback. Either way, most Americans (including the moderate ones), are fired up about the abuse Republicans are taking over election reform -- and this time, they don't mind saying so. That's bad news for a woke collegiate sports association who's used to dangling a few championship games in front of states and getting their way.

When the NCAA first tried this stunt -- way back in 2016 -- it was meddling in the North Carolina privacy bill. Now, five years later, they're upping their extremism by joining the fight against girls' sports. In a statement Monday, the association reminded everyone that their loyalty isn't to women's rights but to "transgender student-athletes," the smallest fringe group of competitors in America. This commitment, they claim, is "grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition." What it's not grounded in, normal people will argue, is science, morality, common sense, or true equity.

In what are meant to be ominous tones, the NCAA warns that it is "monitoring" the states that are taking a stand against this wildly unpopular agenda and vowing to only host events in the places that share their absurd views on gender. To their surprise (and thanks, in large part, to the awakening that's happened after Georgia), most legislators have had one response: good riddance. Whatever power the NCAA thinks it holds over these elected officials has been dramatically diminished the more entitled and radical Left's policy demands become.

To ordinary Americans, it's illogical to force girls to compete against biological men. Once you step outside of the Washington, D.C. bubble and talk to people in both parties, they'll agree. As polling across the spectrum shows, it's one of the strongest areas of bipartisan consensus in the nation. Some surveys, like Scott Rasmussen's Just the News Daily Poll, show Democrats agreeing with Republicans by a 50-25 percent margin. On the Right, it's no contest, almost everyone (81 percent) wants their daughters to be able to compete on a level playing field for titles, scholarships, and opportunities.

Even more liberal outlets, like Politico in its Morning Consult Poll, pointed out that this is a culture debate that isn't really a debate. Across gender, party, and generational lines, protecting women's rights makes sense in most people's minds "So let's dispense with the notion that transgenderism as pushed by corporate media, Big Tech, Hollywood, and corporate America is somehow 'mainstream,'" the Federalist's John Daniel Davidson insisted. "It's not even close to mainstream."

Of course, if the NCAA had been paying attention to the sweeping condemnation of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) for vetoing her state's sports bill, they might understand why leaders didn't take too kindly to the association's warning. "The NCAA likes to threaten Florida and other states. Well, here's a threat to the NCAA," Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) thundered back. "The American people are not going to allow biological males to compete in women's sports. It's not going to happen. If you keep threatening the public with your woke elitist psychobabble, the NCAA will not last much longer. Florida cannot be replaced, but you can be replaced."

Other leaders in places like Kansas, where bills are racing through the legislature to protect girls, Republicans are putting the NCAA in its place. State Senator Ty Masterton (R) fired back, "Republicans in the Kansas Senate will not cower in the face of such intimidation and inflammatory rhetoric. We will not back down in defense of fairness in women's sports. We will not sell out decades of progress by women for a few days of a basketball tournament. We will continue to engage in this debate with scientific facts, civility, and respect."

No one, Texas's Valoree Swanson (R) said, is going to fall for these intimidation tactics anymore. "This is about fairness and common sense," the Lone Star rep insisted. "I am proud to stand with our female athletes in Texas, and I refuse to abandon them. Biological males are free to compete in sports in Texas, but not in sports exclusively for girls." One Florida legislator turned the tables on the NCAA, calling out their horrible treatment of girls in the latest collegiate tournament. Maybe they should learn to treat their own athletes with "dignity and respect," state Rep. Chris Latvala (R) argued. "The women's basketball tourney had subpar facilities and COVID testing and volleyball tournaments wasn't even going to have announcers for the first two rounds."

But hypocrisy from these Big Business hostage-takers is exactly what Americans have come to expect, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) pointed out on "Washington Watch." Just look at how these same sports leagues and CEOs act in China, she argued. They're boycotting Georgia for making democracy safer and happily operating in countries that don't have democracy or human rights. "The MLB, the PGA, the NFL, the NBA, all of your sporting leagues should do what they're there to do: play ball... The activism like this is just astounding." And frankly, she said, "It's not good corporate governance." No one -- least of all an America sports association -- should willingly put female athletes at a disadvantage. "We should all [be able] to say this is not right," she insisted. Girls deserve "the right to compete and excel."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

CNN's Anti-Truth Bias Exposed

April 14, 2021

You'd think by now Leftists would know better than to capture their candid comments on-camera. But the investigative geniuses at Project Veritas, in their ongoing marathon round of Liberal Scandal Whack-a-Mole, have squarely hit on another doozy. The latest victim, to no one's surprise, is CNN, once again.

The undercover video recorded CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester, who recited, "I 100 percent believe that if it wasn't for CNN, I don't know that Trump would have got voted out." Way to be humble, Charlie. Of course, there's two ways for cable news to drive a politician out of office. One is to fairly report on a corrupt politician's egregious abuses of the responsibility voters have placed in them. For example, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo could have asked his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, why he was forcing elderly people with COVID into nursing homes.

The other method is to twist the facts and craft a misleading narrative -- as Chester put it, "propaganda." For instance, the network consciously tried to portray Joe Biden as young and healthy, and Donald Trump as old and ill. In reality, Biden is four years older than Trump. Chester explained, "[Trump's] hand was shaking or whatever, I think" -- that, by the way, demonstrates the network's attitude toward facts -- "We brought in so many medical people to tell a story that was all speculation, that he was neurologically damaged, and he was losing it. He's unfit to, you know, whatever. We were creating a story there that we didn't know anything about. That's what, I think that's propaganda." Compare that with their Biden coverage: "We would always show shots of him jogging and that [he's] healthy, you know, and him in aviator shades," said Chester.

It's common knowledge that CNN wasn't friendly towards Trump. Over the last four years, it invested countless hours to non-stop coverage of the latest anti-Trump talking point. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta earned notoriety for his abusive, confrontational manner during press briefings. What's news here is how frankly they are willing to admit it. After this, CNN viewers must know they're allowing themselves to be hoodwinked. Or perhaps CNN viewers were never under any illusion that the network reported the straight facts. Perhaps they simply tuned in because they heard what they wanted to hear.

The media's bias problem affects more than just CNN, and many Americans have caught on. According to a new Gallup study, 86 percent of Americans believe media outlets are politically biased, with 56 percent of Americans saying their own go-to news source has "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of bias. Maybe this helps explain why a record 33 percent of Americans in 2020 put no trust at all in mass media to report the news fairly and accurately -- up from 28 percent only the year before.

It's tempting to be discouraged by the media's transparent hypocrisy. But that's exactly the wrong takeaway, and here's why: God isn't surprised or alarmed. He predicted through Paul, "the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). So he exhorts Timothy, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). Now is the time to stand, to boldly proclaim the truth, to not be intimidated or silenced by the world's constant barrage of falsehood. Will you stand with me for the truth?

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Is the Vaccine Passport a Good Idea?

April 14, 2021

By FRC's Ruth Moreno

Last week, President Biden announced that every American adult age 18 or older will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine by no later than April 19. Already, over 75,000,000 American citizens, or 22.7 percent of the population, have been vaccinated. As more and more individuals receive the vaccine, there has been growing conversation about whether or not proof of vaccines, or "vaccine passports," should be installed to help ensure that those who haven't been vaccinated and thus may be carriers of the coronavirus are not able to spread it outside their home state or country.

The Biden administration has ruled out federal participation in such programs, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki reporting on April 6 that the administration intends to leave the decision to the states. "The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," Psaki told reporters at a briefing.

Although the federal government has decided to take a step back from the debate over vaccine passports, the jury is still out over how many states, and which ones, will decide to mandate them. Tuesday on "Washington Watch", Tony Perkins and Governor Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.) discussed the potential benefits and drawbacks of restricting travel between states for the unvaccinated. While incentivizing people to get the vaccine may increase vaccination rates and thus bring down coronavirus cases, the idea of a government-mandated vaccine passport raises questions as well regarding the freedom and privacy of individuals.

Ricketts has already decided that his home state of Nebraska will not be mandating that American citizens provide proof of vaccination before entering the state. When asked about his concerns about government vaccine passport programs or requirements, Ricketts explained why he's decided that at least for Nebraskans, the rewards of such programs do not outweigh the risks. "Just on a basic level, any sort of vaccine passport would violate our freedom of movement," he said on the "Washington Watch."

Prior to the pandemic, frequent traveling between states for work, school, visiting family and other purposes was the norm for many Americans. Mandating proof of vaccination for purposes of travel would be only one step short of mandating vaccination itself, as it would force many Americans into a position where they would have to either receive the vaccine or face serious limitations in their ability to live their lives as they see fit.

Ricketts also expressed his concerns about privacy, and pointed out that for some people, the thought of the government sharing their medical information through a vaccine passport system might actually be a barrier toward getting the vaccine, not an incentive.

Ricketts and Tony also discussed the possibility of businesses in the private sector creating vaccine passport programs. If installed, businesses could bar unvaccinated people from entering places like movie theaters of concert halls or getting on airplanes. Once again, this would result in a de facto vaccine mandate. It is for this reason that Ricketts said he is working in Nebraska to keep businesses and other institutions including schools and colleges from requiring proof of vaccination before participation in activities.

Whether they come from state governments or the private sector, Ricketts pointed out that vaccine passports would also pose a problem for the immunocompromised and those who cannot receive them for other medical reasons. It is unclear different kinds of vaccine passport systems might handle exemptions.

There are also many unanswered questions, some involving quite slippery slopes. Across the pond, one Financial Times commentator has asked whether we are setting ourselves up for digital health or ID cards, and whether such certificates or passports "only be required for international travel or [whether they] could they be needed for getting a job, attending a football match, or buying some milk." Further, "vaccine passports have the potential to block people from essential goods and services and exclude those who lack identification or do not own or cannot afford a smartphone."

Governor Ricketts said that the best way to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and balance both freedom and safety will be through education, not mandates from either the government or the private sector. Instead of forcing people to get the vaccine, the Nebraskan governor hopes that most people, especially those in vulnerable populations, will receive it voluntarily.

"The right answer is to educate people on why they should get vaccinated and work on getting that done as broadly as possible. And when we get enough people vaccinated, that's when the virus won't be able to transmit. That's really how we work our way through this pandemic."