Meghan McCain‘s husband, Ben Domenech, co-founder and publisher of the extreme-right, anti-LGBTQ blog The Federalist, is being sued and she’s not happy about it.
“My husband made a joke on Twitter and now you’re all paying for the government to sue him,” McCain tweeted yesterday, along with a video of Domenech explaining the lawsuit against him.
My husband made a joke on Twitter and now you're all paying for the government to sue him. ?https://t.co/hGDTy8APwk
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 24, 2022
Feel free to watch the video yourself. Or, we can summarize it for you…
Basically, in 2019, Domenech, tweeted a “joke” threatening the people who work at his LGBTQ hate blog that if they ever tried to unionize he would send them “back to the salt mine”.
FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I'll send you back to the salt mine
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) June 7, 2019
Domenech wrote the tweet on the same day of a walkout by union employees at Vox Media.
In response, the National Labor Relations Board filed a formal charge against FDRLST, Media, LLC, claiming the tweet constituted an “unfair” labor practice.
In 2020, a National Labor Relations Board administrative judge determined the timing of the tweet was, indeed, meant to be a “threat” to Domenech’s employees and, therefore, violated federal labor laws.
“Obviously, the FDRLST employees are not literally being sent back to the salt mines,” Judge Kenneth Chu said in his ruling. “Idioms have, however, hidden meanings.”
“In viewing the totality of the circumstances surrounding the tweet, this tweet had no other purpose except to threaten the FDRLST employees with unspecified reprisal, as the underlying meaning of ‘salt mine’ so signifies.”
For the last two years, the case has been slowly working its way through the court system and is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Here’s how folx have been responding to Meg’s tweet about the whole thing…
Why do people think that freedom of speech it without consequences? He was free to say what he said. However that doesn’t mean it’s without consequence. That’s like saying making death threats is freedom of speech & there shouldn’t be consequences for it.
— Luna (@greenbug68) March 24, 2022
It’s always just “a joke” when someone’s called out on their poor judgement and/or a consequence looms before them.
— kassandra lang (@fembratt) March 24, 2022
I’m sure his employees told him it was real funny, because what else are they going to do without a union?
Every employer should know the law, and I’m sure he does: he just hates having it apply to HIM.
Which is very much on-brand.
— Randy Winn (@rewinn) March 24, 2022
My husband made an inappropriate “joke”, which could reasonably be viewed as an illegal threat, and now he’s facing consequences which makes me mad.
— MainelyJules 💚🌈🌻 (@MainelyJD) March 25, 2022
— Boldly Blue (@BoldlyBlue) March 24, 2022
Oh no! The consequences of my actions.
— Mike Nagel (@MJNags) March 24, 2022
Do you experience any joy? Just curious
— Anya Alvarez 🏌🏾♀️ (@anya__alvarez) March 24, 2022
Rich people really don’t want to pay people a living wage, they will spend whatever it takes to bust unions so they can pay people peanuts.
— Lou Ellen Johnson (@lejohnso) March 25, 2022
I never find Ben funny.
— Marty & mom 🇺🇸🇺🇦🐕🦺🐈⬛🐈⬛ (@colleengrott) March 25, 2022
Welp I’m glad he didn’t blame Joe for once. pic.twitter.com/RtDM7vKwe1
— Babs (@Basia1953Babs) March 24, 2022
In addition to making “jokes”, Domenech has a looooong history of making disparaging remarks about queer people on Twitter, and he once had to issue an apology to SCOTUS Justice Elena Kagan for trying to out her. And his website regularly publishes homophobic and transphobic hit pieces.
McCain, who claims to be an LGBTQ ally, has never publicly denounced her husband’s antigay remarks or addressed the fact that she personally profits from the money he makes from peddling anti-LGBTQ hate speech.
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.