ABC News is the latest news outlet to peddle the narrative associating a Christian group SCOTUS frontrunner Judge Amy Coney Barrett belongs to with “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
During Thursday’s broadcast of “Good Morning America,” ABC News correspondent Tom Llamas noted how Barrett is a “devout Catholic” who is supported by “religious conservatives and anti-abortion activists” amid the contentious battle to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Also under the microscope- Barrett’s link to a small, charismatic Christian community called People of Praise,” Llamas reported. “According to its website, many of its members choose to make a lifelong commitment to the community- a covenant. Members are assigned a personal adviser, men were called ‘heads’ and women were called ‘handmaids,’ but those titles have since changed to ‘leaders.'”
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He then invoked the iconic Margaret Atwood novel and popular Hulu drama, which was previously suggested by other news outlets that Barrett’s group inspired the book and TV series.
“Amid speculation that the group may have inspired the novel and Emmy Award-winning drama ‘The Handmaids Tale,’ but author Margaret Atwood is saying that’s not accurate, telling ABC News there were several inspirations,” Llamas continued.
The popular series and book depict an American dystopia in which a totalitarian society forces fertile women, known as handmaids, into child-bearing slavery.
Llamas later appeared to, as NewsBusters pointed out, leave the door open about a potential link between People of Praise and “The Handmaid’s Tale” since Atwood’s notes that guided her in writing the famous novel are “locked in a closed library due to COVID.”
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The author told ABC News, “I hesitate to say anything specific… for the major influences on the book, I certainly did not confine myself to one sect or group. So I don’t think this is a thread can be legitimately used in this way.”
ABC News isn’t the first media outlet to link People of Praise and “The Handmaid’s Tale” while reporting on Barrett. Newsweek issued a correction after running a headline directly tying the Christian group to the Atwood novel. Other outlets including Reuters and Refinery 29 similarly pushed the narrative.