Newsweek's Attempt to Smear Potential SCOTUS Pick Amy Coney Barrett Fails Spectacularly

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 9:52 AM
Newsweek's Attempt to Smear Potential SCOTUS Pick Amy Coney Barrett Fails Spectacularly

Source: Robert Franklin /South Bend Tribune via AP,

Newsweek published a story on Monday where the author claimed a Catholic group potential Supreme Court pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett belongs to was the inspiration for "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. It turns out that was not the case.

"How Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise group inspired 'The Handmaid's Tale'" was the first headline for Newsweek's story, which went on to detail Barrett's connections with the People of Praise group. The whole thesis of the story was that the People of Praise group inspired Atwood's book about a future United States of America under the rule of religious fanatics where women are less than second-class citizens. 

"Amy Coney Barrett, a favorite to be President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is affiliated with a type of Christian religious group that served as inspiration for Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale.

"Barrett, a devout Catholic, and her husband both belong to the People of Praise group, current and former members have said, according to The New York Times. Their fathers have served as leaders in the group.

"The charismatic Christian parachurch organization, which was founded in South Bend, Indiana in 1971, teaches that men have authority over their wives. Members swear a lifelong oath of loyalty to one another and are expected to donate at least 5 per cent of their earnings to the group."

Newsweek has since changed the headline to "How Charismatic Catholic Groups Like Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise Inspired 'The Handmaid's Tale'" due to the fact Atwood has never specified which group was the inspiration for her book, which went on to become a series on Hulu. 

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The publication then inserted the following correction:

"This article's headline originally stated that People of Praise inspired 'The Handmaid's Tale'. The book's author, Margaret Atwood, has never specifically mentioned the group as being the inspiration for her work. A New Yorker profile of the author from 2017 mentions a newspaper clipping as part of her research for the book of a different charismatic Catholic group, People of Hope. Newsweek regrets the error."

Barrett is considered to be the frontrunner for President Trump's pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last Friday. Trump said he would officially announce Ginsburg's replacement later this week.