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Media Outlets Forced to Backtrack After Trying ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Smear on Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Media Outlets Forced to Backtrack After Trying ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Smear on Judge Amy Coney Barrett

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’.”

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:

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.”

Reuters also went the “Handmaid’s Tale” route with Judge Barrett in a piece noting her “religious community [is] under scrutiny”:

As was the case with Newsweek, Reuters changed the headline and the body of the piece after the backlash that erupted:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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. —


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To turn this around a liberal that thought we were circling the wagons for a pick that has yet to be made. Don’t you people think you should get a pick before you tear her down??

    Another Voice in reply to 2smartforlibs. | September 23, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    If any of those “people” truly wanted to honestly opine on Judge Barrett, all with a true interest would benefit listening to a speech given May of 2019 at Hillsdale College. She is already on record for many positions that are being posed about her and will be challenged at any hearing. She spoke specifically on who she is and how she has attained a point in her life that has brought her to having an honor for achieving an appointment to become a Federal Judge. I don’t believe she envisioned the possible appointment by being placed on a list for the SCOTUS.
    If your interested, it’s worth giving your time.

    MattMusson in reply to 2smartforlibs. | September 24, 2020 at 9:37 am

    The Media is praising Joe Biden for being a good Catholic and
    Condemning Amy Barret for being a good Catholic.

Nothing to do with religion—it’s for other reasons that when I look at Amy Barrett I see John Roberts Lite.

A weak point of modern conservatism is that such a large chunk of it makes decisions about a potential Justice based almost solely on abortion policy. Nothing else seems to matter. Unfortunately, empires do not rise or fall because of abortion policy. When survival of a republic is on the line, there are a few other factors which are also important. I’d be reluctant to sacrifice everything else just because someone has the right opinion of Roe v Wade.

    Well, the clinic ovens matter, and everything (e.g. diversity, feminism, redistributive change) progresses… evolves from there.

      henrybowman in reply to n.n. | September 23, 2020 at 11:34 pm

      That’s one viewpoint. Here’s another.

        People evolve. Evolution follows a fitness function. It’s chaotic beyond a limited frame of reference. It’s life. We do our best to navigate, and do this by identifying principles and striving for order. We set priorities, and realize that we may, and likely will not, realize everything, but we strive, anyway.

“…treating Barrett’s Catholic faith with the same reverence they do Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Islamic faith…”

What we Catholics need is a few of our own terrorist groups. Maybe then we can generate some reverence for our faith.

    filiusdextris in reply to Rab. | September 23, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Our kingdom is not of this world, so the weeds must grow among us.

    Milhouse in reply to Rab. | September 23, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    You used to. Your popes have spent the last few decades apologizing for them.

    Oh yeah! I remember when they when the protestants and catholics used to make the news all of the time, in Ireland. If memory serves, and that is not a given, seems like the 60s were all the rage for virtue signalling, and whatnot.

    Roberts is regrettable and I am not getting the best sense about Kavanaugh, either.

    For now, we take our blessings as we find them. Amy is nice to look at. Ted Cruz would be a better deal.

      Milhouse in reply to NotKennedy. | September 23, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      The IRA were technically Catholic, but not religious. They were Marxists who happened to use Catholicism as a proxy for the proletariat.

      Actual Catholic terrorists used to exist, centuries ago.

        gibbie in reply to Milhouse. | September 23, 2020 at 8:53 pm

        I always thought that centuries ago they were Jew haters “who happened to use Catholicism” as a proxy for Christianity.

        Have you heard of the forced conversion of the Idumeans?

          Milhouse in reply to gibbie. | September 23, 2020 at 11:02 pm

          No, they were officially sponsored and authorized by the Church, which absolved them of any crimes they committed on their mission. And it wasn’t just Jews, it was also Cathars, Hussites, Huguenots, and all sorts of other people the Church decided had to be culled or eliminated.

          But that was a long time ago. The Roman Church is not like that any more.

          gibbie in reply to gibbie. | September 24, 2020 at 12:21 pm

          Ah. I think you’re confusing the Roman Catholic Church with The Church. Which is not to say that a true Christian never sins against God. However, if I committed an atrocity in the name of Milhouse, I doubt you would consider it fair for people to blame you for it.

          Milhouse in reply to gibbie. | September 27, 2020 at 1:30 am

          Huh? The topic is whether there were ever Catholic terrorists. Not “Catholic” like the Marxist IRA, but actual Catholics acting out of their Catholic beliefs. And the answer is yes, there used to be. They were endorsed by and acting for the Roman Catholic Church. At the Pope’s orders. That makes them very Catholic indeed. Thankfully that is ancient history, and the RC Church has since repented and is not like that any more.

    henrybowman in reply to Rab. | September 23, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    That’s true. If the last two decades of American politics has proven anything, it’s that nothing engenders political respect and outright deference like beheadings, vest bombings, and mob arson.

does Biden call her a real catholic?

I would rather see a Roberts light then a RGB lite. Since I am not choosing, I am stuck with whoever it is. Lets me glad it is not Biden picking.

The Handmaid’s Tail is pinned on women to keep them barefoot, available, and taxable, chanted with gay glee at the clinic of the unknown child.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Democrats are Running Scared!

Jerry Nadler Appears To Poop His Pants On Live TV…

Margaret Atwood is an author who for all of her accolades, is incredibly overrated.

    Milhouse in reply to p. | September 23, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I liked The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s a fantasy, and the religion it’s based on doesn’t bear much resemblance to anything calling itself Christianity in our universe. I thought it was a good example of its genre, but it’s not nearly as good as Heinlein’s Revolt in 2100, or even Sheri Tepper’s The Gate to Women’s Country.

    The trouble is that Atwood didn’t mean it as a fantasy. She had (and has) no clue at all about Christianity (any variety), and seriously thought the religion she was writing (or wronging) was a plausible variety of it. Sarah Hoyt makes mincemeat of this delusion.

    Atwood, having spent some time in New England, viewed it as a hub of Christian fundamentalism. And having spent no time at all with sincere Christian believers, views the faith as a mirror image of Islam.

    She points out that Heinlein was careful to make it clear that the religion in 2100 is not Christianity, or any variant thereof. It’s a fantasy religion that doesn’t exist in this universe.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | September 23, 2020 at 11:45 pm

      Leftists throw fits against “theocracy,” then can’t keep their lips off Islamic butt.
      Atwood views Christianity, which she thinks treats women like chattel, as a mirror image of Islam, which does treat women as chattel. I guess that’s one definition of “mirror.”

      I don’t understand how anyone could downvote Milhouse’s comment.

WaPo sold Newsweek to Harman Media for $1.

This proves Harman Media overpaid

Hey, hope = praise.
Silence = violence.
Ignorance = strength.
Come on, everyone can play, think up one of your own!

I watched couple episodes of ‘Handmaid…’

Sure seemed liked Islam to me.

Men with GUNS, all powerful, women ‘accomplices’, hanging dead bodies in the street and other ‘lower’ women covered head to to with NO power…

Men and women are equal in rights and complementary in Nature. We’re not kids anymore. Reconcile.

She should have her children sitting behind her during the hearings and every time the Dem Senators attack. She should remind them that they are sitting right there and that she should expect more decorum from our leaders because whether our youth are sitting in the room or in front of computers and televisions, our leaders should act like they are speaking directly to our fairest citizens.

The joke, if you can call it that, is that this is all based on one interview where Atwood was leaving through her clippings file and pulled out an article on People of Hope. She never said her book was inspired by the group — and indeed, it could not have been, since the article was published several months after the book.

And so it begins! Can’t wait for all the slimy slugs to slide out from under their rocks with a string of Sexual Allegations from both sexes (there’s only two you know)!

Margaret Atwood has engaged in revising the history of her book over the years, as she has raked in a boatload of new money from it with the opera, and the mini-series. But I recall very clearly that when the book first came out she said it was her vision of what a country would be like with Jerry Falwell as its leader, reacting to the establishment of Falwell’s Moral Majority organization and its influence on American politics, which surged around the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. The book came out in 1985. At the time I don’t remember her making any reference to any Catholic “boogah-boogah” groups whatsoever.

I’m Catholic, of a very traditional sort, and have no interest at all in Judge Barrett’s mode of Christian community or worship. But I haven’t found anything remotely weird or threatening about her group. This whole business is reminiscent of Dan Brown writing complete BS about Opus Dei in his stupid book “I Know Nothing Whatever About Leonardo Da Vinci”. Frankly, as someone who’s known people in Opus Dei for decades, their customs and commitments strike me as more peculiar than anything People of Praise does. Over many years of association, I’ve never been the least bit drawn to joining Opus Dei, and felt zero pressure from them to sign on. But for all their quirks, they remain some of the most generous and devout people I’ve ever met.

My suspicion is that some of this pre-game warm-up to a Barrett confirmation hearing is framed around the fact that (like Opus Dei) her People of Praise operate small private Christian schools — places that give a good academic foundation, and protect kids from social engineering and sexual grooming. This anti-establishment educational project is like poison to libs, and is enough to make them hate her as much as they do Betsy de Vos and the Bad Orange Man.