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New Republic editor defends as ‘fact’ his claim that ‘Muslim life is cheap’

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Under fire from prominent journalists, the top editor of the influential magazine New Republic on Monday apologized for suggesting that Muslim Americans be denied First Amendment rights, but stood by his broad claim that members of the Islamic faith don’t much value human life.

“[My] other sentence is: ‘Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.’ This is a statement of fact, not value. In his column, [the New York Times’ Nick] Kristof made this seem like a statement of bigotry,” wrote Marty Peretz, TNR’s editor-in-chief, in a blog post titled: “An Apology.”

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“The idea that in remarking upon the cheapening of Muslim lives I was calling for the cheapening of Muslim lives, as some have suggested, is preposterous,” Peretz defended. “There is no hatred in my heart; there is deep anxiety about the dangers of Islamism.”

In his Times column Saturday, Kristof excoriated Peretz’s September 4 blog post, elevating the controversy over the TNR editor’s initial remarks. “Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews?” Kristof wrote. “How do America’s nearly seven million American Muslims feel when their faith is denounced as barbaric?”

The issue of American attitudes toward Muslims has lately been elevated in the national discourse due to widespread public opposition to the planned Islamic center several blocks from Ground Zero and one Florida pastor’s now-canceled plans to publicly burn copies of the Quran on September 11.

“[A]t some point,” Kristof added on his Times blog, “criticisms morph into racist stereotypes and slurs, and the suggestion that Muslims don’t value human life and maybe don’t deserve First Amendment protections is just that, a slur. It should be offensive to all of us.”

The Peretz comments were also criticized by, among others, James Fallows of the Atlantic as unrepresentative of US mainstream journalists and by the UK Guardian as an example of “hatred” against Muslims taking root in American public discourse.

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Peretz has for years come under fire from a host of journalists and commentators for ostensibly painting all Muslims with a broad brush of negativity. He, however, maintains that his sentiments are legitimate and not based in intolerance

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, a relentless and vociferous critic of Peretz, argued in March: “Marty Peretz spits out the most bigoted sentiments of this type — and he’s been doing this for years, as is well known — and very little happens, because, for multiple reasons, this specific type of [anti-Muslim] hate-mongering remains basically permitted in American political discourse.”

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Mitch McConnell just gave Democrats a huge gift — by publicly tainting any acquittal of Trump: columnist

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It seems all but inevitable that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will end with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mustering the votes to block conviction, no matter what the evidence says and no matter whether Democrats successfully bring in new witnesses and documents.

But McConnell has already handed a victory to Democrats in one key aspect, wrote columnist E. J. Dionne for the Washington Post. His handling of the trial has removed any possibility that impeachment will bolster the president's approval — and emboldened Democrats to take their case to the American people as hard as they can. Indeed, wrote Dionne, Democrats "owe a debt" to McConnell.

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Here is how Jason Crow ‘pulled rank’ on John Roberts — and exposed the Chief Justice’s bias

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Former Army Ranger Jason Crow repeatedly drew upon his experience serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his prosecution of President Donald Trump as an impeachment manager.

Crow, who was awarded the Bronze Star and retired as a Captain, attended law school after his military service before successfully winning a seat in Congress during the 2018 midterm elections.

Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation magazine, explained how Crow pulled rank on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Mystal broked down how Crow put Roberts in his place with the subtle question of whether senators were getting restless and needed a break.

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Rape trial told Harvey Weinstein a ‘seasoned’ predator

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Harvey Weinstein was a "seasoned" sexual predator and rapist who abused his power as a movie-producing titan to prey on vulnerable aspiring actresses, prosecutors said Wednesday as his trial heard from its first witness.

Weinstein, wearing a dark suit, shook his head as New York Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast painted a picture of a 300-pound (140 kilogram) bully who violently raped, humiliated and manipulated several women, leaving them traumatized for years.

His defense team hit back by saying the fallen film producer engaged in consensual relationships with his accusers, including a "loving one" in which the woman called Weinstein "her casual boyfriend."

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