Eric Hananoki

Author ››› Eric Hananoki
  • White Nationalists Stand With Trump After Clinton Highlights His Racist "Alt-Right" Ties

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    White nationalist media figures trashed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s speech highlighting Republican nominee Donald Trump’s connections to the racist “alt-right” movement. The racist figures said that the speech will “backfire tremendously” and that it showed Clinton is a “candidate for White dispossession.” They also reaffirmed their support for Trump, who they said represents an “implicit white revolt.”

  • The Complete History Of Donald Trump's Relationship With The White Nationalist Movement

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Donald Trump's presidential campaign has engaged in a disturbing courtship with the racist white nationalist movement that is unprecedented in recent American political history. That effort has taken on new life with Trump's hiring of Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon.

    Bannon oversaw Breitbart News’ attempts to normalize and embrace the white nationalist movement. As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted, Breitbart "has undergone a noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas."

    White nationalist themes have been at the center of Trump's campaign since its inception. He began his campaign by smearing Mexican immigrants as violent criminals and rapists and later called for a ban on Muslim immigration, moves which endeared him to his growing white nationalist support. When Trump attacked the Mexican heritage of an American-born judge and smeared the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier, his white nationalist fans cheered. Trump also initially refused to condemn the support of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. 

    White nationalists haven't only praised Trump from afar: They've rubbed elbows with the campaign. Trump himself has repeatedly retweeted white supremacist messages and accounts, such as “WhiteGenocideTM.” Trump surrogates have directly courted white nationalists by giving interviews to white nationalist media outlets. A “pro-white” radio host received press credentials to cover a Trump rally and the Republican National Convention. And Trump selected the leader of a white nationalist political party to be a convention delegate (he resigned following media exposure).

    White nationalists have used Trump's tacit and direct support to breathe new life into their movement. The movement’s leaders have said they have seen "unprecedented interest" in their activities and message. They have used Trump to fundraise and build up their organizations. And white nationalist leaders say they and their ideas are now "firmly in the mainstream" thanks to Trump.

    The following is a history of the Trump campaign’s disturbing relationship with the white nationalist movement.

    White Nationalist Leaders Are Supporting Trump, Who See Him As Their “Last Stand”

    White Nationalists Have Praised Trump And His Actions Throughout The Campaign

    Trump And His Campaign Have Had Disturbing Interactions With White Nationalists

    White Nationalists Say Trump Has Helped Them Grow Their Movement

    White Nationalist Leaders Are Supporting Trump, Who See Him As Their “Last Stand”

    Associated Press: “Experts Say White Supremacists See Trump As 'Last Stand.'” The Associated Press reported that “Trump and his campaign are expressing ideas similar to those espoused by white supremacists, legal, media and civil rights experts say. In addition, the experts said Wednesday, white supremacists are using the 2016 presidential elections to attempt to control the culture of politics.” From the piece:

    Angelo Carusone, executive vice president of Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group, noted that Trump has retweeted posts from white supremacist accounts on Twitter.

    Twitter is Trump's biggest microphone, and his rhetoric correlates with some of the beliefs of white supremacy organizations and communities, Carusone said.

    Sophie Bjork-James, a Vanderbilt University lecturer and expert in white supremacist social movements, said white nationalists are attempting to increase their numbers through Trump's campaign. [The Associated Press, 8/11/16]

    David Duke: “Voting Against Donald Trump At This Point Is Really Treason To Your Heritage.” David Duke is a white supremacist radio host and former Ku Klux Klan wizard. He is currently running for the U.S. Senate and cited Trump as an inspiration for his run. [BuzzFeed, 2/25/16; Media Matters3/1/167/22/16]

    “Pro-White” Radio Host James Edwards: "Trump Will Be The First Republican Nominee That I Have Ever Voted For." James Edwards is the host of the “pro-white” radio program The Political Cesspool. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and he “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Edwards has written: “For blacks in the Americas, slavery is the greatest thing that ever happened to them. Unfortunately, it's the worst thing that ever happened to white Americans”; “MLK's dream is our nightmare”; and “Interracial sex is white genocide.” [Media Matters, 7/24/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/18/16]

    Hate Publication Leader Kevin MacDonald: "Trump Is Saying What White Americans Have Been Actually Thinking For A Very Long Time." The Southern Poverty Law Center described Kevin MacDonald as “the neo-Nazi movement's favorite academic” who “published a trilogy that supposedly ‘proves’ that Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western societies.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/18/16; Media Matters, 8/27/15]

    Neo-Nazi Site Daily Stormer: "Vote For The First Time In Our Lives For The One Man Who Actually Represents Our Interests." The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website headed by Andrew Anglin that has endorsed Trump and is enthusiastically supporting his campaign. The website regularly defends Adolf Hitler, attacks “kikes,” and has a section documenting the purported “Jewish Problem.” [Media Matters, 8/27/15]

    Hate Group Leader Jared Taylor: "Trump May Be The Last Hope For A President Who Would Be Good For White People." The Southern Poverty Law Center writes that Taylor “is the founder of the New Century Foundation and edits its American Renaissance magazine, which, despite its pseudo-academic polish, regularly publishes proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. Taylor also hosts a conference every other year where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/18/16; Media Matters, 8/27/15]

    Hate Group Leader Richard Spencer: “Trump Thinks Like Me. … Do You Think It's A Coincidence That Everybody Like Me Loves Trump And Supports Him?” Richard Spencer is the head of the white nationalist National Policy Institute. The Associated Press reported that Spencer “matter-of-factly called for removing African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews from the United States” while at the Republican National Convention. [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/18/16; The Associated Press, 7/25/16]

    Stormfront Founder Don Black: “We Are All Pulling For Him, Voting For Him If We Can.” The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that Black is a “former Klan state leader and long-time white supremacist” who created “Stormfront.org, the first major Internet hate site.” [BuzzFeed, 3/25/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/18/16]

    White Nationalist Political Party Leader William Johnson: “I Urge You To Vote For Donald Trump.” William Daniel Johnson heads the American Freedom Party and “has called for a whites-only United States and the deportation of other races and ethnicities.” He also founded the pro-Trump group American National Super PAC, was initially selected as a Trump convention delegate, and issued pro-Trump robocalls in key primary states. [The Washington Post, 5/11/16; Talking Points Memo, 1/9/16

    White Nationalists Have Praised Trump And His Actions Throughout The Campaign

    Early In Primary Campaign, White Nationalists Praised Trump’s Stance On Immigration. Trump’s stance on immigration drew white nationalists to his campaign during the early months of the Republican primary. They said Trump was "doing the Lord's work," remarked that his plan was the "most explicit any presidential candidate has ever been," and said Trump could halt "the speed with which whites are reduced to a minority." [Media Matters, 8/27/15]

    White Nationalist Media Backed Trump's Anti-Muslim Plan. White nationalists praised Trump’s plan "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." They called Trump's proposal "so wonderful" and "100% reasonable" because Muslims purportedly provide "absolutely nothing of value to this once-great nation." [Media Matters, 12/8/15]

    Trump’s White Nationalist Backers Applauded His Racist Attacks On Federal Judge. White nationalists praised Trump’s racist attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel for purportedly being biased because “he’s a Mexican.” They called the judge a “terrorist spic,” claimed “Diversity is not strength, and it above all is not an impartial judiciary,” said the attacks against Trump are because of “Jewish manipulation,” and celebrated that Trump “is waking up” white Americans “from their collective hypnosis.” [Media Matters, 6/7/16]

    White Nationalists Hailed Trump For “Stunning” Anti-Semitic Tweet. White nationalist leaders praised Trump for tweeting an anti-Semitic image attacking Hillary Clinton. They wrote that the tweet represented “dog-whistling by The Leader” about “filthy Jew terrorists,” proof that “Trump is not backing down,” and that it’s “Nice to see Mr. Trump slipping some 'Red Pills' to the American people.” [Media Matters, 7/5/16]

    White Nationalists Praised Trump’s Convention. White nationalists praised Trump and the 2016 Republican National Convention. They celebrated that their tweets were featured in the convention hall, defended Melania Trump’s plagiarism from attacks by “the filthy Jews,” and hailed that the Republican Party “is becoming the de facto white party.” They also praised Trump’s convention speech, stating that they “couldn't have said it better” and “couldn’t be happier”; and said that Trump was focusing on the “negative effects” of immigration and using “codewords” that appeal to whites. [Media Matters, 7/20/16, 7/22/16]

    White Nationalists Loved Trump’s Attacks Against Muslim-American Gold Star Parents. White nationalists praised Trump for his “rightful” attacks against Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan. Khizr Khan delivered a convention speech honoring son Humayun Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq, and criticizing Trump. White nationalists said that Trump’s anti-Muslim comments prove he’s “the real thing,” claimed the fallen soldier was a “terrorist” infiltrator, and called for the Khans to be deported. [Media Matters, 8/2/16]

    White Nationalists Rejoiced At Trump’s Hiring Of Breitbart News Chief Stephen Bannon. The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that under Bannon, Breitbart.com “has undergone a noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas.” The Daily Beast similarly wrote that “Bannon did a lot to normalize the racist, anti-Semitic world of the alt right.” VDare’s Peter Brimelow praised Bannon’s hiring in the Daily Beast, saying that “Breitbart emerged as a nationalist site and done great stuff on immigration in particular.” Richard Spencer also approved of the hiring, stating, “Breitbart has elective affinities with the Alt Right, and the Alt Right has clearly influenced Breitbart.” The Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin supported Bannon’s hiring, stating that “Breitbart has, over the last year, gone from Fox News-style cuckism to full-on Stormer-tier on most issues (not the Jews, of course).” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 4/28/16, Daily Beast, 8/17/16; Daily Stormer, 8/18/16

    Trump And His Campaign Have Had Disturbing Interactions With White Nationalists

    Trump Has Repeatedly Retweeted White Supremacist Accounts. The New York Times wrote of Trump’s penchant for promoting white nationalists on Twitter:

    But on the flatlands of social media, the border between Mr. Trump and white supremacists easily blurs. He has retweeted supportive messages from racist or nationalist Twitter accounts to his nine million followers. Last fall, he retweeted a graphic with fictitious crime statistics claiming that 81 percent of white homicide victims in 2015 were killed by blacks. (No such statistic was available for 2015 at the time; the actual figure for 2014 was 15 percent, according to the F.B.I.)

    In January and February he retweeted messages from a user with the handle @WhiteGenocideTM, whose profile picture is of George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. A couple of days later, in quick succession, he retweeted two more accounts featuring white nationalist or Nazi themes. Mr. Trump deleted one of the retweets, but white supremacists saw more than a twitch of the thumb. “Our Glorious Leader and ULTIMATE SAVIOR has gone full wink-wink-wink to his most aggressive supporters,” Mr. Anglin wrote on The Daily Stormer.

    In fact, Mr. Trump’s Twitter presence is tightly interwoven with hordes of mostly anonymous accounts trafficking in racist and anti-Semitic attacks. When Little Bird, a social media data mining company, analyzed a week of Mr. Trump’s Twitter activity, it found that almost 30 percent of the accounts Mr. Trump retweeted in turn followed one or more of 50 popular self-identified white nationalist accounts. [The New York Times, 7/14/16]

    Trump Repeatedly Refused To Denounce David Duke. Trump created an uproar when he repeatedly refused to disavow David Duke for supporting his campaign. Trump later bizarrely blamed a “bad earpiece” for failing to denounce Duke during the interview. [CNN.com, 2/29/16; Washington Examiner, 2/29/16]

    Trump Refused To Denounce Neo-Nazi Supporters Who Threatened Reporter. During a May interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Trump if he would denounce anti-Semitic death threats against a reporter who wrote a profile of Melania Trump. Trump refused to condemn the threats, saying he was unaware of them and adding, “I don’t have a message to the fans. A woman wrote a article that was inaccurate.” [Media Matters, 5/6/16]

    Trump Selected White Nationalist Leader As Delegate. As Mother Jones noted, the Trump campaign selected “William Johnson, one of the country's most prominent white nationalists,” as a convention delegate from California. Johnson later resigned following criticism, and the Trump campaign blamed a "database error" on the selection. [Mother Jones, 5/10/16]

    Trump Campaign Was Forced To Return Donation From Johnson. The Trump campaign accepted a $250 donation in September from Johnson and returned it after Media Matters and People for the American Way criticized Trump. [Media Matters, 3/11/16]

    Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host James Edwards At The RNC. Several members of Congress and Trump campaign official Gary Berntsen gave pro-Trump interviews to James Edwards and his “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool during the Republican National Convention. [Media Matters, 7/24/16]

    Trump Campaign Gave Press Credentials To James Edwards. Trump's campaign gave press credentials to Edwards and The Political Cesspool to cover a Tennessee rally in February. [Media Matters, 3/1/16]

    Donald Trump Jr. Gave Interview To James Edwards. Donald Trump Jr. gave an interview to white nationalist leader James Edwards. The interview aired on the Liberty RoundTable, which is hosted by Edwards’ syndicator and guest host Sam Bushman. Edwards appeared on the program as a guest and questioner. The Trump campaign later claimed they were not aware of Edwards’ views; Edwards hit back at the campaign by claiming that the interview happened because "a press agency that's scheduling interviews for" Trump Jr. reached out to him. [Media Matters, 3/3/16]

    Trump’s Convention Displayed Tweets From White Nationalist Accounts. The Republican National Convention displayed tweets from white nationalist accounts on its ticker. The tweets came from the accounts “@Western_Triumph” and VDare.com. [Time, 7/22/16]

    Trump Adviser Retweeted An Anti-Semitic Message. Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is advising Trump’s campaign and was reportedly considered as a potential running mate, shared a tweet that read, "Not anymore, Jews. Not Anymore." Flynn later apologized, claiming it “was a mistake.” [CNN.com, 7/24/16]

    Trump Surrogates Promoted Campaign In Interview With Neo-Nazi. Diamond and Silk, two YouTube personalities who serve as surrogates for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, promoted his candidacy in an interview with neo-Nazi and Trump supporter John Friend. Friend believes the Holocaust is "one of the most egregious and outrageous falsehoods ever perpetrated," "Jews Did 9/11," and Adolf Hitler was "the greatest thing that's happened to Western civilization." [Media Matters, 3/24/16]

    White Nationalists Say Trump Has Helped Them Grow Their Movement

    Politico: “White Supremacist Groups See Trump Bump.” Politico reported in December of Trump and white supremacists:

    The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s.

    As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement.

    “Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,” said Stormfront founder Don Black, who reports additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show, in addition to the site’s traffic bump. Black predicts that the white nationalist forces set in motion by Trump will be a legacy that outlives the businessman’s political career. “He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point.” [Politico, 12/10/15]

    Politico: Experts Say “Trump Is Energizing Hate Groups And Creating An Atmosphere Likely To Lead To More Violence Against American Muslims.”

    Meanwhile, analysts from the two leading organizations that track violence against minority groups say Trump is energizing hate groups and creating an atmosphere likely to lead to more violence against American Muslims.

    According to experts at the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center who monitor hate groups and anti-Muslim sentiment, Trump’s call on Monday to halt the entrance of Muslims to the United States is driving online chatter among white supremacists and is likely to inspire violence against Muslims. [Politico, 12/10/15]

    N.Y. Times: “Trump Has Galvanized The Otherwise Marginal World Of Avowed White Nationalists.” The New York Times wrote in July:

    Some are elated by the turn. In making the explicit assertion of white identity and grievance more widespread, Mr. Trump has galvanized the otherwise marginal world of avowed white nationalists and self-described “race realists.” They hail him as a fellow traveler who has driven millions of white Americans toward an intuitive embrace of their ideals: that race should matter as much to white people as it does to everyone else. He has freed Americans, those activists say, to say what they really believe. [The New York Times, 7/13/16]

    Wall Street Journal: “White Nationalists See Advancement Through Donald Trump’s Candidacy.” The Wall Street Journal reported in May:

    White nationalists are hailing Donald Trump’s elevation to presumptive Republican presidential nominee, while also trying to boost their own political profiles and activity.

    Although Mr. Trump has spurned these extreme groups’ support, the level of interest within them for the White House candidate rivals that for segregationist George Wallace, who won five states in the 1968 election, and for conservative Republican Pat Buchanan, who denounced multiculturalism in the 1990s.

    Mr. Trump is being heralded by these groups for his proposals to bar Muslim immigrants, deport millions of people living illegally in the U.S., and build a wall along the southern border. [The Wall Street Journal, 5/17/16]

    Daily News: “Trump’s Racist Rhetoric Emboldens White Supremacist Groups, Neo-Nazis Spouting Hate On The Internet.” New York Daily News reported in December that Trump’s “decision to push divisive rhetoric and policy has opened the door for an array of white supremacy groups, that suddenly feel emboldened and legitimized by Trump’s hateful bombast, to rejoin the national conversation.” [New York Daily News, 12/10/15]

    Washington Post: “White Supremacist Movement Is Seizing On Donald Trump’s Appeal.” The Post reported:

    Rachel Pendergraft — the national organizer for the Knights Party, a standard-bearer for the Ku Klux Klan — told The Washington Post that the KKK, for one, has a new conversation starter at its disposal.

    You might call it a “Trump card.”

    It involves, say, walking into a coffee shop or sitting on a train while carrying a newspaper with a Donald Trump headline. The Republican presidential candidate, Pendergraft told The Post, has become a great outreach tool, providing separatists with an easy way to start a conversation about issues that are important to the dying white supremacist movement. [The Washington Post, 12/21/15]

    Anti-Defamation League: “Trump’s Rhetoric Resonates With White Supremacists.” The New York Times wrote in July:

    “Trump’s rhetoric resonates with white supremacists,” said Joanna Mendelson, an investigative researcher with the Center on Extremism, a branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    “They’ve been essentially energized about Trump’s candidacy, and they’ve been very vocal about their support of Trump and his policies on immigration and globalism,” Mendelson said.

    In February, the ADL published a list of 10 prominent white supremacists who actively support Trump. Then, in April, it urged the candidate to drop the phrase “America First” as a campaign slogan, pointing out it had been used by Charles Lindbergh, a prominent Nazi sympathizer, in the 1940s. [The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, 6/2/16]

    White Nationalists Are Using Trump’s Campaign For Fundraising. White nationalist websites like VDare.com and American Renaissance have been using Trump’s candidacy to raise money. Fundraising solicitations hail Trump for spurring "unprecedented interest in" white nationalism and putting their ideas "firmly in the mainstream." [Media Matters, 1/12/16]

  • Dirty Trickster Roger Stone Said He Advised Trump On Hiring Of “Very Good Friend” Stephen Bannon And Debates

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone said he advised Trump on upcoming debate negotiations and the hiring of fellow dirty trickster Stephen Bannon. Stone is one of the most disreputable people in American politics: He’s advocated killing “cunt” Hillary Clinton, attacked opponents with racist and sexist slurs, and pushed conspiracy theories about the Clintons murdering their opponents.

    Trump overhauled his presidential campaign by hiring Bannon and new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Stone has collaborated with Bannon and Breitbart.com on toxic conspiracy theories. He’s used his platform at Breitbart to smear Gold Star father Khizr Khan as connected to terrorism and to claim that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is “most likely a Saudi spy.”

    Stone appeared on the August 17 edition of WIOD’s Fernand Amandi Show​ and praised the new hirings, stating: “Steve Bannon’s a very good friend of mine. I write for Breitbart, as you know. He’s an enormously capable guy with great political instincts.” Stone added he was “in favor of these additions. I have spoken in favor of them internally over the last couple days.” 

    Stone also claimed that campaign chairman Paul Manafort -- Stone’s former business partner -- was not demoted. He suggested claims to that effect “may be the Corey Lewandowski spin, but it’s just not accurate. Manafort’s not going anywhere. Spoke to him this morning, he’s very pleased with this expansion. He was in favor of it, I was in favor of it.”

    The Trump ally also said that he’s advised Trump to push for third party candidates like Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein to be included in the debate because they’re on enough ballots.

    For more on Trump adviser Roger Stone, read Media Matters’ comprehensive guide.

    Listen to Stone’s interview on Miami’s WIOD below:

  • Trump Ally Roger Stone’s War Against RNC Head Reince Priebus: “Penis F*ck-Up,” “RINO,” “Should Be Prosecuted”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Longtime Trump confidant and adviser Roger Stone has regularly attacked RNC chairman Reince Priebus, labeling him a corrupt “douchebag” and calling for him to be “prosecuted.” Media outlets have been reporting on strained ties between the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s struggling presidential campaign.

    BuzzFeed recently reported that “Some are advising that the Republican National Committee, which is running its planned robust field operation, cut off money to the Trump campaign and focus on other races — something that an RNC staffer acknowledged to BuzzFeed News could be a possibility.”

    Politico also reported that “Priebus has been working aggressively to coach Trump into being a more disciplined candidate” and “has warned that if Trump does not better heed this persistent advice to avoid dustups driven by his rhetoric, the RNC might not be able to help him as much — suggesting that money and ground resources might be diverted.”

    Politico added that “Within the Trump campaign, there has been suspicion for months that the RNC already has not been as supportive of its nominee as it could — and should — be, according to operatives in and around the campaign.”

    Roger Stone, one of Trump’s longest-tenured allies and advisers, has been perhaps the harshest critic of Priebus in the nominee’s orbit. Stone heads a pro-Trump super PAC after working for the campaign last year. He regularly meets with Trump and his senior staff, and is a former business partner of campaign head Paul Manafort. Stone has repeatedly demonstrated that he has Trump’s ear on strategy.

    Stone for years has attacked Priebus as corrupt, a “loser,” a “douchebag,” a Republican In Name Only, and a “f*ck up.” He also habitually refers to Priebus as “Reince Penis.” Here are some of Stone’s attacks against Priebus over the years on his Twitter account:

  • Fox News Promotes Executive Who Reportedly “Played An Integral Role” In Covering Up Sexual Harassments Claims

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Fox News announced today that the network is promoting senior executive vice president Bill Shine to co-president of Fox News. Shine reportedly “played an integral role in the cover up” of sexual harassment allegations against former chief Roger Ailes and has been described as Ailes’ “foot soldier” and “right-hand man.”

    Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes last month for sexual harassment. Her lawsuit spurred numerous other women to come forward with similar claims against Ailes, who subsequently left the company. Fox News announced “a new senior leadership team and management structure today, naming Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Senior Executive Vice President Bill Shine to serve as Co-Presidents effective immediately.”

    21st Century Fox head Rupert Murdoch praised Shine in a press release announcing the move, stating: “Bill Shine has developed and produced a signature primetime that has dominated the cable news landscape for 14 of his 20 years with FOX News. His leadership and keen eye for programming has played a fundamental role in the success of both FOX News and FOX Business Network.”

    New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman -- the leading source on the Ailes scandal -- reported that Shine “played an integral role in the cover up of these sexual harassment claims.” He explained on CNN that Shine “pushed women into confidential mediation, signing nondisclosure agreements in exchange for their contracts to be paid.” Sherman also reported he was told that Shine “played a role in rallying the women to speak out against Roger Ailes’ accusers and lead this counter narrative to try to say don't believe Gretchen Carlson, the allegations. If that is indeed the case, that again is -- the Murdochs will have to say this is a guy, these are managers who helped enable and try to protect Roger Ailes, who presided over this culture.”

    Sherman reported that Shine played a key role in the silencing and “smearing” of “Rudi Bakhtiar, who says she was fired from Fox News after complaining about sexual harassment.” Sherman reported that during negotiations, “Shine attempted to portray Bakhtiar as a low-performing journalist”:

    During the negotiations, which took place at Asen’s law firm’s Washington office, Shine attempted to portray Bakhtiar as a low-performing journalist. But the mediator was not convinced. The tape Shine played “showed how good I was,” says Bakhtiar. “It was me doing live shots, one after another. Bill had to keep saying, ‘Well, let me forward a little.’ The mediator just looked at him and looked at me and says, ‘You’re very good.’” (Shine did not respond to a request for comment.)

    Sherman also reported that Shine played a role in handling allegations by Andrea Tantaros, who says she was “taken off the air after making sexual-harassment claims against Roger Ailes.” Tantaros said through her lawyer “that both she and her agent told Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine, senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, and general counsel Dianne Brandi about episodes of Ailes’s alleged harassment.” When she reportedly met with Shine to discuss her claims, Shine allegedly told her, "‘Roger is a very powerful man,’ and that she ‘should not fight this.’ … After making more complaints to Shine and Scott over the course of the next year, Tantaros was suspended from the network in April 2016.” Fox's attorneys denied Tantaros' allegations, and Shine told Politico through a spokesperson, “Andrea never made any complaints to me about Roger Ailes sexually harassing her.”

    Shine also reportedly played a role in the handling of Laurie Luhn, a former booker who reportedly received a $3.15 million settlement and was allegedly “sexually harassed and ‘psychologically tortured’ by Roger Ailes for more than 20 years.”

    NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik tweeted earlier this month, “Some within Fox News tell me programming/opinion EVP Bill Shine, an Ailes confidant, knew of misconduct & ensuing complaints by women” and noted, “In @gabrielsherman's epic & damning piece on allegations by former booker Laurie Luhn, Shine played key role.”

    Politico reporter Joe Pompeo tweeted that in “FNC succession talks, one source told me, Roger/Rupert had always agreed on Bill Shine.”

    Sherman tweeted of the Fox News announcement: “First thoughts on Fox News leadership announcement: this is Ailes's existing management team.” CNN media reporter Brian Stelter wrote: “So the twin promotions send a message from Murdoch: that the cable news channel does not need an infusion of new leadership at the top.”

  • Shocked Media Figures Condemn Trump’s “Second Amendment People” Remark

    Media Also Criticize Trump Campaign’s "Nonsensical" Explanation For Remark

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said at a rally that if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people maybe there is, I don’t know.”

    Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and ally, previously called for Clinton to be “brought to justice - arrested, tried, and executed for murder.” Another Trump adviser, Al Baldasaro, has said that Clinton should be "shot for treason"; the Secret Service subsequently investigated him.  

    Numerous media figures reacted with shock, condemning Trump's remarks and questioning whether the Secret Service would investigate him. Media figures also took issue with the Trump campaign’s “spin” that Trump was just talking about Second Amendment people “voting.”

    Here is a sample of the media reaction from across the political spectrum:

    UPDATE: This post has been updated with additional reactions.

  • Trump Ally Roger Stone: The Clintons Recently Had Four People Murdered

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Roger Stone, a longtime ally and adviser to Donald Trump, is spreading the conspiracy theory that the Clintons recently had four people murdered, including anti-Clinton writer and Holocaust denier Victor Thorn.

    Stone tweeted on August 9: “Four more dead bodies in the Clinton's wake. Coincidence? I think not.” He then embedded an image headlined “4TH MYSTERIOUS DEATH CONNECTED TO THE DNC IN LESS THAN A MONTH” which featured photos of Democratic staffer Seth Conrad Rich, United Nations official John Ashe, process server Shawn Lucas, and anti-Semitic writer and Clinton “researcher” Victor Thorn.

    Snopes.com noted that conspiracy-mongers have “latched on to the tragic murder of young DNC staffer Seth Rich to spread false information about his killing,” including that he was headed to an FBI meeting. The site added that conspiracy theorists have also been citing the death of Ashe but “a federal prosecutor's office affirmed Ashe's legal troubles were in no way connected to Clinton.” The site also noted that conspiracy theorists have “associated Lucas with a sinister plot linked to Hillary Clinton by asserting that he was the 'lead attorney' in the DNC lawsuit, but he was just one of the process servers who delivered papers to a DNC office.”

    Stone currently heads the pro-Trump super PAC Committee to Restore America’s Greatness after working for Trump’s campaign last year. He regularly talks with Trump and his senior staff. Trump has previously used Stone's advice, including that the election would be rigged in November to favor Clinton.

    Stone wrote in his book The Clintons’ War on Women that the Clintons are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of roughly 40 people. The book is dedicated to Thorn and repeatedly cites his purported research on the Clintons.

    Thorn worked for the virulently anti-Semitic publication American Free Press. The site announced Thorn’s death on August 1; a staff write-up stated that Thorn’s family said “there was no evidence of foul play at the scene and that Thorn most likely took his own life.” 

    Thorn wasn’t just an anti-Clinton writer; he was also a prominent Holocaust denier and anti-Semite. Thorn wrote the book The Holo­caust Hoax Exposed: Debunk­ing the 20th Century's Biggest Lie, which claims to expose "the mythology surrounding 'concentration camps,' the truth about [concentration camp gas] Zyklon B, Anne Frank's fable, how the absurd 'six million' figure has become a laughingstock, and the betrayal by maniacal Zionists of their own Jewish people that led to their deaths." Thorn also blamed a "Jewish plot" for the 9/11 attacks.

    Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the Daily Dot that “Thorn was akin to being a Nazi and was certainly a Nazi apologist.” Despite that background, Stone dedicated his book to Thorn -- and now he’s claiming the Clintons killed him.

  • Trump Ally Roger Stone Accused Paul Ryan Of Secretly Working For Hillary Clinton

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is now publicly feuding with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally who has been influencing his campaign strategy, previously accused Ryan of corruption and secretly working for Hillary Clinton.

    Trump recently committed “an extraordinary breach of political decorum” when he told The Washington Post that he’s not ready to endorse Ryan for re-election. Trump also praised Ryan’s primary challenger and Politico reported today that “a group of former Trump campaign hands is quietly working to defeat the House speaker in his primary election next week.”

    Stone currently heads a pro-Trump super PAC after working for the campaign last year. He regularly meets with Trump and his senior staff, and is the former business partner of campaign head Paul Manafort. Stone has repeatedly shown that he has Trump’s ear; Politico recently reported that Stone was “pleased Trump was seemingly following his outside advice” when Trump claimed the general election would be “rigged” to favor Clinton.  

    Trump’s attitude toward Ryan follows numerous attacks by Stone against the Wisconsin Republican. During the May 9 broadcast of his radio program, Alex Jones claimed that Ryan was trying to steal the Republican nomination from Trump. He then said that “little rat bastards” Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are “on record” backing Hillary Clinton and “they’ll steal the money, and then they’ll scuttle the campaign and give it to Hillary.” Stone responded that Jones is “absolutely right” and Karl Rove is helping them.

    ALEX JONES: It shows their arrogance that they think they can try to steal it even though it already backfired on them when they tried to publicly sell it. If Paul Ryan said he’d rather have Hillary and so has the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, on record, then they have no place at the head of the RNC. They have no place as the speaker. No place as the Senate majority leader. I say get on the offense now. I understand Trump is giving them a chance to back off. And they need to just remove themselves because look, they’ll steal the money, and then they’ll scuttle the campaign and give it to Hillary. That’s their stinking plan, they’ve admitted it. These little rat bastards have admitted it. Mr. Stone, am I wrong?

    ROGER STONE: No, you’re absolutely right, and Alex this is the insidious hand of Karl Rove.

    Jones’ Infowars.com website headlined Stone’s segment: “Trump Insider: Paul Ryan Working For Hillary, Trying To Steal RNC Money.” Stone in May also accused Ryan and RNC chairman Reince Priebus of hatching a plan to “extort Trump” at the Republican convention.

    Stone has also repeatedly attacked Ryan on Twitter. Before the Wisconsin presidential primary, Stone tweeted: “Walker-Ryan Machine in Wisc in high gear against @realDonaldTrump adept at vote stealing says expert Richard Charnin.” In March he tweeted, “No doubt the lobbyist funded Romney-Ryan-Bush-Rubio-Cruz wing of the party will try to steal the nod from @realDonaldTrump - They will lose.” And in December he wrote: “Paul Ryan is Boehner with a beard- spending bill bi-partisan treachery. Only @realDonaldTrump can clean up this mess.”

  • After He Made Birther Remarks, CNN's Corey Lewandowski Nightmare Is Now A National Embarrassment

    Dozens Of Media Figures Slam CNN And Lewandowski For Birther Debacle

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNN and contributor Corey Lewandowski continue to embarrass themselves, this time as Lewandowski wondered on-air if President Obama was “brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn't from this country.” Dozens of media figures slammed the former Trump campaign manager and CNN for allowing “birther crap” on its airwaves.

    Lewandowski appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon on August 2 and defended former boss Donald Trump’s obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate and college transcripts, asking: “Did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn't from this country?”

    Lewandowski’s idiotic remarks came shortly after CNN president Jeff Zucker publicly defended the network’s hiring of Lewandowski, claiming “he’s done a really nice job.” Numerous media experts have criticized Lewandowski’s hiring on ethical grounds since he has a reported non-disparagement agreement and he is “still receiving severance from the Trump campaign” while working for CNN. Media Matters president Bradley Beychok sent a letter to Zucker last month detailing the numerous ethical concerns surrounding Lewandowski.

    Lewandowski embracing birtherism in 2016 should be the last straw for the network. Back in 2009, CNN was heavily criticized for employing “publicity nightmare” Lou Dobbs, who repeatedly pushed questions about President Obama’s birth certificate. CNN eventually parted ways with Dobbs, who now works for Fox. Will CNN finally do the same with Lewandowski and his disastrous tenure?

    Dozens of media figures responded to the remarks with criticism of Lewandowski, CNN, and Zucker. Here is a sampling of the media reaction:

  • White Nationalists Love Trump’s Attacks On The Khan Family: “God Bless Donald Trump,” Deport The Khans

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric continues to excite white nationalists, who are praising his “rightful” attacks against Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan. The racist pundits say that Trump’s anti-Muslim comments prove he’s “the real thing,” claim fallen soldier Humayun Khan was a “terrorist” infiltrator, and want the Khans to be deported.