Amanda Teuscher

Amanda Teuscher is The American Prospect's managing editor.

Recent Articles

QUIZ: Is This Quote Defending Cosby or Trump?

(Left photo: Penn State; Right photo: Gage Skidmore)

 

Great news for those on the right with victim complexes and deep-seated fears of non-white immigrants: Donald Trump is currently polling in first place among GOP presidential contenders.

It’s proof that even with lethal doses of self-delusion, you can still count on the support of thousands to embrace your racist, nativist beliefs as brave truths, or at the very least, inelegantly phrased facts. And when the P.C. police and liberal media descend, they’ll rally to your defense.

In fact, it’s been a great week for perceived victimhood. Bill Cosby can admit to obtaining quaaludes to give to women, news outlets will report that the drugs were “to have sex” (when, in fact, many would argue that the point of the drugs was to not have consensual sex), and still, famous friends like Whoopi Goldberg will stand courageously by your side—innocent until proven guilty, after all.

Here are some quotes that acknowledge these men as being true victims—can you tell whether it is Trump or Cosby who is being defended?

 

QUIZ

1. “I admire him for at least being honest. … I think for him to own it and to tell the truth at this point is very courageous.”

2. “It looks like they're trying to destroy [him]. What did [he] ever do to tick off some producer at CNN? Or some reporter? Or some assignment? What happened here? … Basically, he started demanding that people start accepting responsibility.”

3. “I really think he is magnificent. I’m almost stunned at how good he’s being especially considering the world he lives in.”

4, “He’s being punished very severely in the press, he’s lost a lot of income, he may lose it all going forward.”

5. “I appreciate [his] scrappiness. … When he is attacked by other people, he counterattacks and plunges forward and delivers more facts to support the statement that he’s made.”

6. “The amount of abuse that [he] has taken, the efforts that have been made to destroy him … it has been serious. It has been an onslaught and he has not buckled. And I'm telling you, whatever you think of [him] and all of this, try to keep that in perspective. Most people would have buckled long ago. Most people would have cried uncle and begged forgiveness … I have an incredible amount of admiration and respect for just this aspect of what [he] has done. Look at what it has cost [him]. Look at the abuse that he has taken and had to take.”

7. “[He] is worth $400 million, and yes, it’s pertinent. That’s four hundred million incentives right there.” 

8. “For all its crassness, [his] rant on immigration is closer to reality than the gauzy clichés of the immigration romantics unwilling to acknowledge that there might be an issue welcoming large numbers of high school dropouts into a 21st-century economy.” (OK, this one is easy, but can you guess who said it?)

9. “I’m slightly anti-anti-[X] because I’m so sick of all the establishment types being so earnest in disdaining him.”

 

Answers:

1. Tourist/local news interviewee, on Cosby

2. Rush Limbaugh, on Cosby

3. Ann Coulter, on Trump

4. Jerry Reisman, entertainment attorney, on Cosby

5. Representative Steve King of Iowa, on Trump

6. Rush Limbaugh, on Trump

7. The website A Voice for Men, on Cosby

8. National Review editor Richard Lowry, on Trump

9. Bill Kristol, on Trump

 

BONUS ROUND: Who said this?

1. “I’ve been down to the border and checked across these places, and the number I come back with 75 percent [of children] are sexually abused on the way to the United States. So I’d say in Donald Trump’s defense, somebody’s doing that to these kids that are being raped and abused and when they’re coming across Mexico it’s a reasonable assumption to conclude that the people who are doing that are Mexicans.”

2. “You want to talk about rape? That’s media rape, right there. You said you would not do that. Since when does your ‘no’ mean ‘yes’? Do you know the definition of ‘no,’ sir? You’ve just raped Bill Cosby. You said you wouldn’t do it. You just did it and then you blamed it on him. My gosh, maybe we should have a lesson on rape.”

 

Answers:

1. Representative King, again

2. Glenn Beck

The U.S. Won the World Cup—Can We Take Women's Sports Seriously Now?

On Sunday night—surely you know by now—the United States Women’s National Team won the World Cup with a high-scoring 5–2 victory over Japan.

What has gotten just as much attention as the match itself—and rightfully so—is the pay disparity between men and women’s sports. The U.S. Women’s Team took home $2 million for their third World Cup victory. Last year, the German team won the Men’s World Cup and took home $35 million, while the U.S. men took home $8 million after being eliminated in the first round of the tournament. The total payout for women in 2015 was $15 million. For the men in 2014, it was $576 million.

Obviously, FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, has ethics in inverse proportion to its hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue—just imagine the NFL operating in multiple countries, with Bond villains at the helm. And FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who last month announced his resignation following corruption investigations, once suggested female players should wear “tighter shorts” to increase popularity (and incorrectly said that women play with a lighter ball). In 2014, a group of international players sued FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association for gender discrimination after it was announced that the 2015 tournament would be played on artificial turf instead of real grass. Any moves toward making international soccer more equitable will clearly not be coming from inside FIFA.

But that of course does not mean criticism of FIFA should cease; nor does it mean we should ignore the very real inequality in U.S. sports. The National Women’s Soccer League’s minimum salary is $6,000, with salary caps for entire teams at only $200,000. In contrast, the MLS minimum is now $60,000. Writing in The Atlantic last month, Maggie Mertens made a compelling argument that support for women’s soccer, or lack thereof, is a feminist issue.

Sports command enormous cultural and capitalist importance, and when players are compensated one-tenth as much as others for the exact same work simply because of their gender, we cannot pretend sports are frivolous, or that they are anything less than a deeply unequal workplace. And if it weren’t for feminist achievements like Title IX, it is doubtful that the Americans would be as dominant on the world stage.

But lack of interest in women’s sports is still the reason given for lack of pay equity—and for lack of coverage. And what follows this excuse is a shrug of shoulders at what appears to be circular problem: If fans were more interested in women’s sports, there would be more coverage; if there were more coverage, fans would be more interested. But I don’t buy it.

Sure, the bars were less crowded in D.C. than they were last summer for the men’s World Cup. But I was heartened by the sight of so many men in U.S. jerseys at watch parties, and of male friends leaping from chairs to throw arms up after a goal. More than 25 million viewers tuned in on Sunday night—more than any soccer match (men or women) in U.S. history, and more than the recent NBA Finals. As Dave Zirin points out in The Nationpeople are watching women’s sports (when they can), and enjoying it. It is the broadcasters clinging to the sexist idea that no one does—or should—care about female athletes that has, as one 25-year study found, kept attention to women’s sports averaging around just 5 percent of total coverage. Just as it is the fault of FIFA and women’s leagues all over the world that don’t pay their players fairly, it is also the fault of sports journalists and publications that choose to ignore those athletes, or, as that same study notes, offer coverage with a distinct lack of excitement. Not everything has to have the same intensity as Andrés Cantor’s “Gol!” calls, but just imagine if women's sports got half the production value of the NBA draft.

Of course, there is one point that I haven’t yet addressed, and that is that the style of play is very different between men and women’s soccer. On this, I will concede.

 

The Latest Target of 'Religious Freedom' Advocates: Reproductive Rights in the Nation's Capital

A House committee has voted to overturn a local D.C. law that prevents discrimination based on employees' reproductive choices.

(Photo from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah is the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which voted late Tuesday night to disapprove the District's Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. H ere’s a riddle for all you students of the American political system: You are an elected representative, and you would like to curry favor in your home district among right-wing conservatives. One way to do this is to pass a local law sanctioning discrimination against LGBT citizens and women who choose to use birth control, under the guise of “religious freedom.” But you’ve recently discovered that such a law can backfire pretty spectacularly. Just look at poor Mike Pence, Republican governor of Indiana, regarded as presidential material not long ago. What other tactic, besides sanctioning religion-based discrimination, could you use? Well, if you’re a member of Congress, you’ve got the people of the District of Columbia to whom you can teach a thing or two; they’re not...

Step One, Acknowledge Climate Change. Step Two, Recognize It's Our Fault.

Posted by guest-blogger Amanda Teuscher

The past couple weeks have been a bit of a mixed bag in the debate about climate change and environmental policy.

On April 1, Governor Jerry Brown imposed water restrictions on California for the first time—a 25 percent usage reduction meant to alleviate the state’s historic drought (which one recent study indicated was worsened by climate change). On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced an initiative that connects global warming to public health concerns such as asthma.

Then there was the news in The Washington Post that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the influential conservative state policy organization, was threatening legal action if activist groups continued telling all ALEC’s rich friends like Google and Facebook that ALEC denies climate change. This is a bit rich considering its work protecting the interests of fossil fuel industries (as Ari Phillips at ThinkProgress writes, “Whether the group acknowledges climate change is somewhat beside the point if it doesn’t want to do anything about it.”), but it did prompt Dana Milbank of the Post to say, “There is no denying it: Climate-change deniers are in retreat.

That all might sound like great news for environmentalists—enemy retreat is a good thing. But science-deniers weren’t the only enemies of environmental regulation; they were just a convenient cover. On Tuesday, David Roberts at Grist offered a sobering analysis of the demise of the debate over climate science, saying the shift away from denying the broad scientific consensus that global warming was real was “not because any flood of solutions is forthcoming, but because the science fight has become a distraction from the real work, the important work, which is blocking solutions and protecting the interests of the wealthy.”

Roberts claims that conservative efforts to scare the public away from environmental regulation rely on the same government-is-evil arguments conservatives use on economic issues. It makes sense—with more young voters considering the anti-science wing of the GOP to be backwards and a little out of touch, it’s better to drop the denialism cover. Even Senator Rand Paul, in his quest to appeal to younger voters, voted for an amendment stating that climate change is real, and (partly! just partly) human-made. (Don’t worry, though; if elected, he’s probably not actually going to do anything about it.)

But it might be even easier than focusing on the anti-government-intervention argument, because it turns out you don’t have to actually say you think humans caused it—the necessary step connecting acknowledgment of climate change to public push for proactive environmental policy. And conservatives might be able to continue to get away with that because less than half of the country believes climate change is caused by humans, according to a statistical model from Yale and Utah State University, and only about a third of Americans believe that there’s agreement among scientists. In the researchers’ maps depicting this consensus (or lack thereof) by congressional district, it’s easy to see why real proactive legislation might not be in the immediate future.

It’s really an effective strategy: Just say you know there’s a problem, but a problem that was naturally inevitable, and then you don’t have to do anything about it because, well, what could you possibly do? You could even go so far as Republicans have in California (including possible presidential candidate Carly Fiorina), who are boldly saying that environmentalists are the real culprits behind the state’s drought.

And really, that could be how the debate about what to do about climate change manifests in 2016, specifically in the Republican primary. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both voted "no" on that climate-change amendment earlier this year, denying that people have anything to do with global warming. If a majority of Americans aren't going to tell them they should—or even can—do anything about climate change, appearing to be anti-science is unlikely to hurt their political fortunes.

Then again, yesterday was a cold day in the nation’s capital—hovering in the 40s—which still matters when there’s a certain chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who uses snowballs as evidence that global warming is a hoax.

 

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