Creepy handmaid? Washington Post floats strategy to derail Amy Coney Barrett nomination
October 12, 2020 (NewsBusters) — The Washington Post pushed the Religious Extremist button on Wednesday's front page with a story headlined "Barrett long active with insular Christian group: Community preached subservience for women, former members say."
Beware! The abortion-boosting feminists warn Amy Coney Barrett belongs to a charismatic, mostly Catholic group that reeks of patriarchy!
A 2010 People of Praise directory states she held the title of 'handmaid,' a leadership position for women in the community, according to a directory excerpt obtained by The Washington Post.
Also, while in law school, Barrett lived at the South Bend home of People of Praise's influential co-founder Kevin Ranaghan and his wife, Dorothy, who together helped establish the group's male-dominated hierarchy and view of gender roles.
The lead reporter on the Post story was Emma Brown — a reporter who wrote about Christine Blasey Ford's unfounded sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist — whose book Justice On Trial exposed the vicious smearing of Kavanaugh — tweeted: "Democrats are laundering their (admittedly weak) anti-religious smear of Amy Coney Barrett through Emma Brown, the same reporter they used to launch their massive and media-coordinated anti-Kavanaugh operation that so many Americans found so despicable."
So the usual Schumer-soldier hit squads at the Post and The New York Times can't accuse Barrett of beer-soaked high-school sexual assault, so they'll try her creepy belonging to a "charismatic Christian community" that preaches "subservience for women."
A pull quote on page A-20 establishes the theme:
"It is important for you to verbalize your commitment to submission: —Jean DeCelles, wife of People of Praise co-founder Paul DeDelles, in a 1980s talk given to women that was reprinted in a 2015 magazine issue.
Brown & Co. hyped the "handmaid" lingo, although they had to note the group dropped in after all the Handmaid's Tale propagandizing:
In 2010, Barrett was one of three handmaids in the South Bend branch's northwest area, according to the directory obtained by The Post. She and 10 other area handmaids were overseen by the branch's principal handmaid...
Connolly said in an email that the group replaced the title of handmaids with "women leaders" in 2017.
Connolly said in a 2018 statement that the title was dropped out of a recognition that its meaning had "shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years." The phrase took on a particular meaning in popular culture after Margaret Atwood's dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale was adapted for television in 2017. Atwood said in a tweet last month that she was inspired by "a different but similar" group.
Conservatives are pushing back on this sleaze campaign, as Mary Margaret Olohan at the Daily Caller noted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the word "handmaid" is used all over the Bible. "It was good enough for the Virgin Mary. But now, because one liberal author put it in the title of an anti-religious novel in the 1980s, the press tries to imply that one of the most brilliant and powerful women in the legal world is anti-woman."
The Post doesn't push the Religious Extremist button when they're covering Democrats like radical Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). They complain right-wingers dig into her personal life (which they're totally not interested in now, since Omar wrecked her white campaign strategist's marriage).
Conservative blogs dug into her complicated marital history. She and the father of her three children split temporarily in the 2000s but still filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was legally married to someone else.
It may sound odd, but it's true. Emma Brown was more generous in her eulogy to Puerto Rican terrorist Lolita Lebron than she is to Judge Barrett.
Published with permission from NewsBusters.