Watchdog Group Banned from YouTube After Anti-Gay Chaplain Complains About YouTube Comments

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On Thursday afternoon, Right Wing Watch, an offshoot of the progressive group People for the American Way that monitors the public statements of prominent figures on the religious right, had its YouTube account suspended at the request of an anti-gay former Navy chaplain who is running for a seat in the Colorado legislature. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who left the Navy in 2006 and has had a second career as an evangelical activist, sent out a triumphant press release heralding the news under the tag “David takes down Goliath.” YouTube told Right Wing Watch it was being suspended because it had violated Klingenschmitt’s copyright, but the chaplain’s statement suggests he had another motive for filing the complaint: Right Wing Watch had done nothing to stop threats on his life from its “followers”:

Three of those posts, still active on YouTube as of 16 Aug, call upon RWW’s followers to kill Chaplain Klingenschmitt:
1.       can we murder this fu**
2.       I don’t think he’s a fetus. So yeah, you could murder him and still be pro-life.
3.       Another white a** cracker pu*** that needs a .45 Caliber renovation.
 
Three other followers of RWW stated they wished the Chaplain would die, or had been murdered by an abortionist, or praised the demon of murder.
4.       What a pathetic little bi***. Can’t wail till these people die out.
5.       Don’t diss the “deamon of murder”, I’ve met him. He’s not a bad guy.
6.       This guy is a sh** person and would have been better if he was aborted.

In a blog post, Brian Tashman, a writer and researcher for the Right Wing Watch, confirmed the cancelation of the group’s YouTube account and said Right Wing Watch had filed an appeal.

The catch is that the threats against Klingenschmitt weren’t made by anyone affiliated with Right Wing Watch—they were made by YouTube commenters. Given the often viral nature of Right Wing Watch‘s videos, and the often volatile nature of YouTube’s commenters, crazy comments seemed almost inevitable. I asked Klingenschmitt if this meant that he was responsible for the YouTube comments on his own site. “When I become aware of something or it’s brought to my attention, I will delete things that are inflammatory,” he said. “I’m not responsible for the initial posting but if I am alerted and don’t do anything, I am responsible.”

It’s not hard to see why Klingenschmitt, who kicked off his first political campaign in October, wouldn’t want Right Wing Watch‘s videos online. He told Colorado activist Will Perkins* that if gays are allowed to marry, “then they would be able to adopt the children of heterosexuals and therefore that increases their ability to recruit.” He described the message of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens, thusly: “The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death.” And he suggested that demonic spirits were controlling President Obama—and Madonna.

But Klingenschmitt isn’t the first conservative to ask Right Wing Watch to take down a video, and the previous cases suggest his victory will be a short-lived. In September, YouTube denied a request from Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network to take down a clip of the influential evangelical pastor suggesting that gay people wear special knife-rings that transmit AIDS to random people they meet.

*This post originally misidentified Klingenschmitt’s guest.

 

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,”

– See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated#sthash.yyy7hkuO.dpuf

 

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,”

– See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated#sthash.yyy7hkuO.dpuf

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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