MSNBC Spews Fake News About Butker Speech To Warn About GOP ‘Misogyny’

News & Politics

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner continued the media tradition of spreading fake news about what exactly Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker told a Catholic college during a recent commencement address. Wagner falsely reported that Butker told the women graduates “their rightful place was in service to men” as her guest, law Prof. Leah Lithman, urged viewers to vote against GOP “misogyny.”

What makes Wagner’s falsehoods even worse is that she previously played the clip of Butker saying that while some of them may get fancy jobs and promotions, he ventured to guess they were mostly looking forward to the families they would raise. That someone would value their family more than their job is not exactly a radical position, but Wagner still lamented, “On Saturday, during a commencement speech at Benedictine College, a Catholic school in Kansas, Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker railed against abortion and IVF, he called birth control ‘unnatural,’ diversity, equity and inclusion ‘tyranny’ and queer pride a ‘deadly sin.’ Then he addressed the women graduates directly telling them that their rightful place was in service to men.”

Wagner rolled on, “Butker verbalized a decades-long conservative project, one that has manifested into real life policy. Already there are 21 states with abortion bands, 31 states where anti-DEI measures have been either passed or introduced and 12 states with anti-LGBTQ laws. The anti-feminist Christian Nationalist agenda is alive and well and it is gaining ground.”

What do “anti-DEI” or “anti-LGBTQ laws” mean? Nobody knows because Wagner didn’t specify. Instead, she introduced Litman and asked, “just to put into perspective the things that Harrison Butker was talking about, I want to read this line from the inimitable Jessica Valenti, this is what she’s writing about, ‘Butker’s remarks weren’t ‘fringe’ or radical’ she says ‘they’re the law, he was simply saying out loud what Republicans have already codified, that women’s role in this country is to bear children and support men who are the actual stars of the show.’ What do you make of that?”

Litman replied, “I think that is a really terrifying statement that captures the current political moment we are living in, the district judge in the case that ordered the nationwide ban on medication abortion, is a judge, who before he became a judge, railed against no fault divorce laws, that actually allow people to get divorced.”

She also lamented, “You have Republican political operatives ginning up theories that would allow them to revive an 1873 Victorian-era law, the Comstock Act, that would prohibit abortion nationwide. These theories are not fringe, they are being propounded by Republican politicians, at the state, local, and federal level and these are the stakes in the upcoming election and likely all future ones as long as the Republican Party leans into the movement for Christian nationalism and the misogyny that underlies it.”

If Wagner were to ask Butker if he viewed being a husband and a father as more important or satisfying than being a professional football player, he would almost certainly say yes, but asking it would upset the narrative.

Here is a transcript for the May 17 show:

MSNBC Alex Wager Tonight

5/17/2024

9:55 PM ET

ALEX WAGNER: On Saturday, during a commencement speech at Benedictine College, a Catholic school in Kansas, Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker railed against abortion and IVF, he called birth control “unnatural,” diversity, equity and inclusion “tyranny” and queer pride a “deadly sin.” Then he addressed the women graduates directly telling them that their rightful place was in service to men.

Butker verbalized a decades-long conservative project, one that has manifested into real life policy. Already there are 21 states with abortion bands, 31 states where anti-DEI measures have been either passed or introduced and 12 states with anti-LGBTQ laws. The anti-feminist Christian Nationalist agenda is alive and well and it is gaining ground.

Joining me now is Leah Litman, law professor at the University of Michigan and one of the co-hosts of the Strict Scrutiny podcast. Leah, thank you for joining me, just to put into perspective the things that Harrison Butker was talking about, I want to read this line from the inimitable Jessica Valenti, this is what she’s writing about, “Butker’s remarks weren’t ‘fringe’ or radical” she says “they’re the law, he was simply saying out loud what Republicans have already codified, that women’s role in this country is to bear children and support men who are the actual stars of the show.” What do you make of that?

LEAH LITMAN: I think that is a really terrifying statement that captures the current political moment we are living in, the district judge in the case that ordered the nationwide ban on medication abortion, is a judge, who before he became a judge, railed against no fault divorce laws, that actually allow people to get divorced.

There are many states that now restrict divorces in cases where people are pregnant. You have Republican politicians on the Supreme Court debating whether states can prohibit abortion in cases where denying women an abortion would jeopardize their bodily organs and major bodily functions. 

You have Republican political operatives ginning up theories that would allow them to revive an 1873 Victorian-era law, the Comstock Act, that would prohibit abortion nationwide. These theories are not fringe, they are being propounded by Republican politicians, at the state, local, and federal level and these are the stakes in the upcoming election and likely all future ones as long as the Republican Party leans into the movement for Christian nationalism and the misogyny that underlies it.

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