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MEDIA WATCH--Aisha Mills, the powerhouse Black lesbian who previously led the LGBTQ Victory Fund, is not to be trifled with. Former Fox News host Eric Bolling found that out the hard way.

During a BBC debate, Mills’ sharp retort to Bolling’s handwringing left him so upset he stormed out when Mills refused to apologize to him for being offended by what he had said.

During a discussion about Major League Baseball’s (MLB) decision to yank the All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to the state’s draconian new voter suppression laws that are aimed at disenfranchising the votes of people of color, Bolling was very concerned about Black folk.

Not that their civil rights were being violated, but that moving the game to Denver will hurt minority-owned businesses in Atlanta who would have benefited from the game.

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MEDIA WATCH--In the wake of major league baseball abandoning Georgia to protest their new voter-suppression laws, a GOP that incessantly rants about "cancel culture" has continued its death spiral with increasingly crackpot attacks on things they used to love they now want to cancel - baseball, corporations, free speech, OMG the Easter Bunny - with sinister portents pickleball, apple pie, water polo or  barbecues could be next. (Photo above:  Fidel at (communist) bat.)

MLB's conscientious decision to re-locate their All-Star Game and draft, made after always-dangerous "thoughtful conversations" with players and management, has shifted the focus of right-wing hysteria against all things "woke" from football - always suspect given all those black guys, never mind that SOB Kaepernick - to, shockingly, "America's game," even though it's still pretty white so you'd think it would be okay.

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MEDIA WATCH--Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is quietly signaling that he may vote against the Equality Act as sources say that he’s telling colleagues that a massive rightwing call-in campaign has him scared. 

During his campaign, President Joe Biden said that he would sign the Equality Act in his first 100 days in office. But 71 days in and it doesn’t have a clear path in the Senate. Several moderate Republicans have come out against it, and now there’s doubt that even all Democrats support it.

The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation, extending discrimination protections to LGBTQ people. The bill is popular – 70% of voters support it and even most Republicans support banning discrimination against LGBTQ people – but Christian conservatives fiercely oppose it, arguing that not being allowed to discriminate would violate their religious freedom.

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MEDIA WATCH--Women know that our progress is often characterized by two steps forward, one step back.

For women of color, the obstacles are even greater. And so, as the Biden-Harris administration makes a groundbreaking effort to nominate more women of color to high-level positions, the backlash has been swift and vicious. (Photos above: Deb Haaland (left) and Marcia Fudge (right) / Shutterstock)

Anyone watching cable news will know this already, having seen the strident ad campaigns against an early Justice Department nominee, Vanita Gupta. Gupta is in the vanguard of what we hope will be an historic wave of women of color nominated by the new administration to positions in the executive branch and — importantly — on the federal bench, too.

Gupta is an extraordinarily qualified individual who’s come under fire. So have other extremely qualified nominees — like Deb Haaland (confirmed as Interior Secretary), Marcia Fudge (confirmed as Housing and Urban Development Secretary), and Kristen Clarke (nominated to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division).

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MEDIA WATCH-Last week, the NAACP wrote a letter to the NFL making a request for the good of humanity: stop giving money to fucking Fox News.

Okay, that wasn’t their exact phrasing, but it captures the spirit close enough. And who could fault them? No matter how much you want to pretend Fox News doesn’t exist, the propagandist network is indeed growing more dangerous by the day, and more organizations need to confront that reality. No matter the issue — race relations, the 2020 presidential election, or the ongoing pandemic — day and night they bombard their viewers with racism, sexism, and xenophobia while ignoring mass shootings that don’t fit their narrative. (Fox News couldn’t even be bothered to carry the Boulder Police’s press conference after Monday’s mass shooting.) And their newest tactic is promoting anti-vaccination conspiracy theories that will contribute to the massive (and still rising) coronavirus death toll.

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MEDIA WATCH-To Your Unborn Royal Majesty,

Please forgive me for the protocol breach of writing you in utero.

But after watching your parents—Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—tell their Santa Barbara County neighbor Oprah Winfrey that you are expected this summer and will be biologically female, I’ve been thinking about what your arrival might mean for California.

We Californians, whether we realize it or not, need you. Because the next great start-up here must be our very own monarchy. And you would be the perfect person to serve as our very first queen.

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MEDIA WATCH--The most dramatic change in American capitalism over the last half century has been the emergence of corporate behemoths like Amazon and the simultaneous shrinkage of organized labor. The resulting imbalance has spawned near-record inequalities of income and wealth, corruption of democracy by big money, and the abandonment of the working class. (Photo above: Jeff Bezos, chairman and founder of Amazon.com and owner of the Washington Post, addresses the Economic Club of New York, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

All this is coming to a head in several ways.

Next week, Amazon faces a union vote at its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. If successful, it would be Amazon's first U.S.-based union in its nearly 27-year history.

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MEDIA WATCH--A Japanese court has ruled that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. While the ruling is being celebrated, it doesn’t mean that marriages can start being performed immediately. 

Four other court cases are working their way through the system and the decision by the Sapporo District Court is expected to influence the outcomes.

The court ruled that sexual orientation, like race, is not a matter of individual preference and therefore denying same-sex couples the same benefits as straight couples is unconstitutional.

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MEDIA WATCH--Talk about turning the bleak page: On his first day as Attorney General, the honorable, long maltreated Merrick Garland was movingly welcomed by an applauding crowd of jubilant DOJ employees and survivors of the last regime visibly relieved to witness the return of competence and normalcy. 

Garland, 68, began his career at the DOJ in the 1970s under Jimmy Carter; he described his first interview there at 26 as "awe-inspiring." He already stood out among peers for his integrity: As valedictorian at his high school graduation, he departed from his prepared remarks to give an eloquent oration on the 1st Amendment after an earlier speaker enraged the audience by condemning the Vietnam War. 

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MEDIA WATCH--In hopes of spurring wary Americans to get the COVID vaccine, two national ad campaigns launched Thursday starring all four former presidents - Obama, Bush, Clinton, Carter - who along with their wives urge people, "The science is clear...This is our shot...Now it's up to you."

A joint project of the Covid Collaborative and the Ad Council, a nonprofit that produces PSAs, the ads feature a one-minute spot showing them all being vaccinated, and a 30-second one of Clinton, Bush and Obama at Biden's inauguration, where Obama calls the vaccine "the first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward."

Noticeably missing from this pageant of good will and commonality is the former guy, who secretly got vaccinated this winter. He issued a "statement" proving that once a sick, racist, subhuman ghoul, always a sick, racist, subhuman ghoul: "I hope everyone remembers when they're getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China virus) vaccine, that if I wasn't president you wouldnt be getting that beautiful "shot" for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn't be getting it at all.

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MEDIA WATCH-The White House warned states that are considering anti-transgender bills this year that those bills are illegal under federal law.

“The president believes that trans rights are human rights and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of sex. Not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing.

Psaki was asked about President Joe Biden’s views on the dozens of states that are considering anti-transgender laws. According to HRC’s latest count, 37 bills have been proposed in state legislatures that would ban transgender girls and women from playing school sports.

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MEDIA WATCH--White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is a master at shutting down “gotcha” questions from right-wing reporters. Owen Jensen of the EWTN Global Catholic Network found out the hard way.

Jensen asked Psaki about the Equality Act, landmark civil rights legislation that would protect LGBTQ people, women, and the disabled from discrimination. The bill is opposed by the religious right who have been making wild claims about “religious freedom” and transgender teenagers.

“There’s pro-life groups, right now, who are very concerned about the phrase ‘pregnancy discrimination’ in the Equality Act — you’re familiar with that, I’m sure — that it would force doctors to perform abortions even if it violates their conscience,” Jensen said. “There are also concerns the bill would force doctors to perform gender transition surgeries and sterilizations, again, even if the violates their conscience.”

“What does the president — President Biden — say about those concerns?”

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