The real one percent, as opposed to the fake one percent touted by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), raised its ugly head in Georgia on Monday, when “conservative” Republican Governor Nathan Deal collapsed under pressure. He vetoed a bill respecting the freedom and rights of Christians and other religious believers who oppose the gay-rights agenda. Big media, Hollywood and other big businesses threatened to pull their operations out of the state if Deal signed the common-sense piece of legislation that reaffirmed First Amendment rights of freedom-of-religion expression.
The legislation would have ensured that pastors could not be forced to perform homosexual marriages.
The media blackmailing the cowardly governor included Viacom, 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate, CBS, Starz, AMC Networks, Netflix, Time Warner, CBS, The Weinstein Company, Sony, Comcast NBCUniversal, MGM, STX Entertainment and Open Road Films.
It turns out the “corporate media,” which are usually demonized as conservative right-wing businesses, are in the back pockets of the homosexual lobby.
Major Hollywood personalities sent a letter on the letterhead of the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign also threatening to take their work out of the state.
“Georgia has become a hotbed of Hollywood activity due to particularly generous tax credits the state extends to film studios,” noted Fortune magazine. So the taxpayers provide benefits for the special interests which then exercise influence over the political establishment elected by those taxpayers in the first place. The city of Atlanta became known as “the Hollywood of the South” because of the taxpayer benefits given to the already overpaid and rich Hollywood stars and their production companies.
Deal was the second Republican governor in a year to buckle to the homosexual lobby. Last year, it was Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence who double-talked his way out of signing a similar bill.
We noted at the time that the 1.6 percent of the population which identifies itself as gay or lesbian had emerged as “power brokers” with enormous economic power over elected officials. These special interests in positions of power in the corporate world simply don’t care whether the rights of Christians are violated in the pursuit of providing special rights for homosexuals.
Deal insisted the bill he vetoed would somehow discriminate against homosexuals. But the Faith & Freedom Coalition countered: “This bill does not, and in fact includes an explicit provision prohibiting discrimination. HB 757 simply protects pastors, churches, and faith-based organizations from being forced to violate their religious beliefs. It also codifies into state law the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which Governor Deal voted for as a member of Congress. The Governor’s veto subverts the will of the people of Georgia, who overwhelmingly supported this bill.”
In an article titled “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said Deal had “capitulated to big business and decided to give the government a blank check to punish Georgia’s men and women of faith.” He added, “Days after a watered-down religious liberty bill sailed through both houses of the legislature, Governor Deal has decided that even the flimsiest of protections for churches are too much for Georgia’s Christians. Like Hollywood and Big Business, he thinks the state should be able to dictate what people believe—and torment those who don’t conform.”
Perkins warned that Deal’s “gutless capitulation” would come back to haunt him because the state’s conservatives “hold the keys to the next three years of Deal’s agenda.”
“Although the legislative session ended Friday,” Perkins added, “Republicans are already floating the possibility of a special session to override Deal’s veto. Contact your leaders in Georgia and urge them to do exactly that. If the governor won’t protect churches, the legislature must.”
Indeed, Georgia State Senator Mike Crane (R) called on his fellow lawmakers to overturn the governor’s veto. “The announcement by Governor Deal is another example of how the political class is bought and paid for by corporations and lobbyists,” he said. “Rather than standing up and protecting the First Amendment, the political class would rather sacrifice those rights to keep the money flowing…Today I am calling for a special session to override the Governor’s veto and protect the First Amendment rights of law abiding and hardworking voters throughout this state.”
In an article accusing Deal of bowing to “elites,” Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said, “If Gov. Deal were honest, he would say that the pressure coming from the corporate elite was overwhelming and that it threatened to cause economic ruin to his state. Even men and women of faith could understand why he would veto the bill. Instead, he justified his veto saying, ‘I do not respond very well to insults or threats.’ That is a lie—he responds very well to threats. Indeed, it is precisely the kinds of threats issued by the NFL, Disney, and Marvel Studios that made him cave: the NFL threatened to deny Atlanta a future Super Bowl, and Disney and Marvel threatened to relocate.”
A CNN article on the veto mentioned in passing that Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, also opposed the legislation.
“At Time Warner,” the company said, “diversity in all its forms is core to our value system and to the success of our business. We strongly oppose the discriminatory language and intent of Georgia’s pending religious liberty bill, which clearly violates the values and principles of inclusion and the ability of all people to live and work free from discrimination.”
This belief in “diversity” allows CNN correspondents such as Jeffrey Toobin, a supposed expert on the Supreme Court, to accept a “gay rights” award from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
On March 31, another NLGJA fundraiser is going to be held in New York City, co-hosted by ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez and ESPN Senior Writer & ABC News Contributor LZ Granderson.
A list of “special guests” for the event is advertised in advance as including:
- Amy Robach, ABC News
- Jason Bellini, The Wall Street Journal
- Kate Bolduan, CNN
- Contessa Brewer, CBS News
- Alisyn Camerota, CNN
- Jason Carroll, CNN
- Michelle Charlesworth, WABC
- Jamie Colby, FOX News
- Carol Costello, CNN
- Frank DiLella, NY1
- Vladimir Duthiers, CBS News
- Harris Faulkner, FOX News
- Melissa Francis, FOX Business
- Willie Geist, NBC News
- Kendis Gibson, ABC News
- Savannah Guthrie, NBC News
- Kimberly Guilfoyle, FOX News
- Tamron Hall, NBC News
- Poppy Harlow, CNN
- Simon Hobbs, CNBC
- Randi Kaye, CNN
- Don Lemon, CNN
- Bryan Llenas, FOX News
- Miguel Marquez, CNN
- Raphael Miranda, WNBC
- Natalie Morales, NBC News
- Vinita Nair, CBS News
- Bryan Norcross, The Weather Channel
- Michaela Pereira, CNN
- Richard Quest, CNN
- Thomas Roberts, MSNBC
- Christine Romans, CNN
- Jeff Rossen, NBC News
- Mara Schiavocampo, ABC News
- Rosanna Scotto, FOX 5 New York
- Brian Stelter, CNN
- Lori Stokes, WABC
- Kris Van Cleave, CBS News
- Cecilia Vega, ABC News
- Ali Velshi, Al Jazeera America
Corporate media sponsors of this event are featured on the website along with their corporate logos. They include Fox News, Bloomberg, CBS News, ABC News and CNN.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]