Blog

  • Why Is NBC Nightly News Broadcasting From Trump Tower?

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    NBC Nightly News will be anchored tonight from Trump Tower, where Lestor Holt will interview Donald Trump, in the latest example of how the television news media has bent over backwards to accommodate the presumptive GOP nominee. It’s unclear why NBC News would go to Trump’s office instead of demanding that he travel the half-mile south to their studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

    On Twitter, the news drew surprise and criticism:

    Cable and broadcast news programs have frequently allowed Trump unprecedented opportunities to regularly call in to their programs, rather than appearing in person or by satellite -- a practice that has drawn criticism from media critics and prominent journalists.

  • Trump Campaign Hires Ben Carson, Fox's Former Favorite Candidate, To Head VP Selection Committee

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Former Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson will reportedly be included on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “committee to handle the selection process” of a vice presidential running mate. Fox helped launch Carson’s own failed presidential campaign while he served as a network contributor despite the extreme comments he repeatedly made on the network.

    Carson, who suspended his own presidential campaign several months ago, endorsed Trump in March. According to a May 4 report in The New York Times, Trump has indicated that he'll include Carson on his vice presidential selection committee.

    Much like Donald Trump, Carson had a beneficial relationship with Fox News. As a network contributor, Carson was encouraged by Fox figures to launch his own bid for the White House. Sean Hannity hosted Carson on his Fox News show and asked him if he would ever run for president, then announced, "I would vote for you in a heartbeat." Carson even thanked Fox News in a 2014 speech for providing him a platform to push his own beliefs, saying, “We’d be Cuba if there were no Fox News.”

    Fox frequently defended Carson during his presidential campaign, following Carson’s lead and claiming that media were unfairly scrutinizing his past. In November 2014, Fox News reportedly terminated Carson's contract, yet the announcement came over a month after Fox News senior vice president Neil Cavuto told Carson on air, "I think you're running for office now."

    Carson has a history of making extreme and inflammatory comments. He has claimed that the outcome of the Holocaust would have been different “if the people had been armed,” fabricated a story about being admitted to West Point, said he believes Joseph built Egypt’s pyramids to store grain, and compared advocates of marriage equality to pedophiles.

  • Trump Ally Roger Stone Attacks “Talentless Buffoon” Ed Rollins For Signing With “Fraud” Pro-Trump Group

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Roger Stone is attacking fellow Donald Trump super PAC strategist Ed Rollins as a “talentless buffoon” who is working for a group that is a “fraud” and "scam." Rollins, who also works as a Fox News contributor, previously attacked Stone as “a little rat” whom nobody in politics trusts.

    Rollins is a longtime political consultant who worked for Ronald Reagan, Ross Perot, and Michele Bachmann. He recently signed on as a strategist for Great America PAC, a pro-Trump political action committee that aims to “grow the burgeoning Movement behind Donald Trump and merge the grassroots with the business community.”

    Stone is a longtime adviser and friend to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He speaks frequently with Trump, worked as a paid adviser to his campaign last year, and helped place operative Paul Manafort in a top campaign position. Stone heads the super PAC Committee to Restore America's Greatness and the related 527 group Stop The Steal. Stone has a history of spouting violent, sexist, and racist rhetoric against politicians and media figures, including calling for the killings of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

    Stone and Rollins have been feuding for years. Rollins told The New Yorker in 2008 that “Roger was a fringe player around town. He always had this reputation of being a guy who exaggerated things, who pretended he did things. Roger was never on Nixon’s staff, was never on the White House staff. I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him. Roger was always a little rat.”

    Stone appeared on the May 4 edition of The Alex Jones Show and said he needed to alert Trump supporters that Great America PAC is a "scam" and "fraud." He then suggested Jones' followers ignore solicitations from the group. 

    He reacted on Twitter to Rollins’ hiring by calling him “a talentless buffoon” and labeling the PAC “a fraud.” He added that “Rollins is an incompetent buffoon who can't find his ass with both hands.”

    Stone has accused Rollins of hating Trump and trying to ingratiate himself into his campaign. He tweeted in February, “@FoxNews wrong! @EdRollins is a life-time @realDonaldTrump hater who still doesn't know his ass from his elbow” and “pathetic clown @EdRollins re-cycled my op-Ed today in fruitless bid to get on @realDonaldTrump  Payroll #talentless #hack.”  

    Stone has also tweeted that Rollins should be dead, Fox News head Roger Ailes may have “lost his mind” by hiring Rollins, “anyone dumb enough to hire Ed Rollins is too dumb to be President,” and Rollins “is the biggest asshole in American Politics.”

  • El Wall Street Journal Pinta Erróneamente A Los Puertorriqueños Como "Refugiados" En Su Propio País

    Los Puertorriqueños Son Enteramente Ciudadanos Americanos

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON English language version

    El Wall Street Journal advirtió que la crisis de deuda desplegada en Puerto Rico podría crear un "éxodo" de "refugiados puertorriqueños” a los Estados Unidos que votarían por los Demócratas y se aprovecharían de los beneficios públicos – completamente ignorando su estatus como ciudadanos americanos, con todo el derecho de vivir y trabajar en cualquier parte del país según deseen.

    El 2 de mayo, el New York Times informó que el gobierno de Puerto Rico no cumplió con el pago de $399 millones de dólares de una deuda total de $422 millones de dólares que tiene el país ante acreedores y tenedores de bonos. Según el Times, el gobierno de San Juan ya hizo cortes severos a los servicios públicos para millones de residentes de la isla, pero todavía no es capaz de reconciliar el déficit de los ingresos creado por una recesión prolongada que ha debilitado la economía puertorriqueña. Puerto Rico no será capaz de pagar sus obligaciones sin una intervención del Congreso que le permita reestructurar su deuda.

    En una columna del 2 de mayo, el Wall Street Journal hizo un llamado al Congreso a que ayude a Puerto Rico a cancelar y reestructurar su deuda, pero solo para evitar “una anarquía y un rescate financiero clandestino” que resultaría en “miles de puertorriqueños huyéndo a los Estados Unidos", donde dependerían de la "limosna de los servicios gubernamentales". El Journal dijo que la crisis de deuda podría resultar en un “éxodo” de “refugiados puertorriqueños” mudándose a otra parte de los EE. UU. y votando en las elecciones federales. El periódico especuló que si el Congreso actualmente controlado por los Republicanos no ayuda a la isla, se le otorgaría el voto puertorriqueño “a los Demócratas en los años venideros”. Traducido del Wall Street Journal (énfasis agregado):

    Un nuevo informe del Instituto de Estadísticas de Puerto Rico muestra que el éxodo de la población de la isla está acelerando con una cifra neta de 64,000 puertorriqueños mudándose a los EE. UU. en 2014. La mayoría son jóvenes – la media es 29 años y el sueldo $13,000 – buscando una vida mejor. Mientras muchos encontrarán empleo eventualmente en los EE. UU., sus sueldos inicialmente serán suficientemente bajos para calificar para Medicaid, vales de comida y vivienda pública. Sus hijos asistirán a escuelas públicas.

    Los refugiados puertorriqueños también podrán votar. En 2014, Florida (23,297) fue el destino más popular para los puertorriqueños seguido por Texas (5,019) y Pennsylvania (4,304). Virginia (1,664) y Ohio (1,553) se clasificaron como noveno y décimo. El Presidente Obama ganó Florida con un margen de aproximadamente 74,000 votos en 2012 – hay más de un millón de puertorriqueños viviendo en ese estado – y 537 votos decidieron la elección presidencial de 2000.

    Inactividad por parte del Congreso relegaría la isla a una parálisis económica, y le relegaría los votantes de Florida y Puerto Rico a los Demócratas en los años venideros. 

    La decisión de la junta editorial de desprestigiar a millones de ciudadanos americanos llamándoles "refugiados" es irresponsable.

    Puertorriqueños mudándose a otra parte de los Estados Unidos no son “refugiados”; son ciudadanos americanos, y se les otorgó de manera oficial la ciudadanía americana el 2 de marzo de 1917. Los derechos completos de ciudadanía se extendieron más tarde a “todas las personas que nacieron en Puerto Rico el día 11 de abril de 1899 o después de esta fecha.” Si algunos residentes de Puerto Rico eligen mudarse a través de los Estados Unidos en búsqueda de mejores oportunidades económicas, tienen todo el derecho de hacerlo.

    Millones de puertorriqueños están sufriendo de la confluencia entre la codicia corporativa y la mala gestión burocrática en la isla, como explica el Huffington Post. El programa de HBO Last Week Tonight también ha expuesto las circunstancias precarias creadas por el estatus de Puerto Rico como territorio estadounidense, en vez de un estado completamente incorporado, y destacó la importancia de ayudar a Puerto Rico a reestructurar su deuda.

    El Journal inspirando temores sobre los llamados ““refugiados” puertorriqueños” se ajusta al discurso que los medios de derecha impulsan sobre la supuesta amenaza que representan inmigrantes y refugiados. Las cadenas noticiosas de derecha suelen preocuparse de que los refugiados absorberán los recursos del gobierno, y de que los Demócratas usarán programas de beneficios del gobierno para inclinar las preferencias de los inmigrantes hispanohablantes hacia su lado. Pero la decisión del Journal de pintar a los puertorriqueños como “refugiados” – en vez de los ciudadanos americanos que son – está estableciendo un nuevo estándar de bajeza para los conservadores.

  • Alex Jones Celebrates Trump Victory By Telling George Will: “Blow What Little Is Left Of Your Brains Out”

    Jones Appears To Have Deleted The Video From His YouTube Account

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Radio host Alex Jones, a top Donald Trump ally and leading conspiracy theorist, celebrated Trump’s likely clinching of the Republican nomination by calling on Trump critic George Will to kill himself.

    Jones is a conspiracy theorist who believes the government was behind the 9/11 attacks and other national tragedies including the Oklahoma City bombing and shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT. Trump and his campaign have been courting Alex Jones and his audience. Trump appeared on Jones’ December 2 program and told Jones: “Your reputation's amazing. I will not let you down." Jones claimed he has private conversations with Trump and that the Republican front-runner "listens to what we say." Jones has also teamed up with Trump ally Roger Stone, who is a frequent guest on Jones’ program and is working with Jones for pro-Trump protests at the Republican National Convention. 

    In a rambling YouTube video posted on the night of Trump’s victory in the Indiana Republican primary (h/t Right Wing Watch's Brian Tashman), Jones proclaimed that Trump “is a symbol of nationalism, a symbol of Americana, and a symbol of rebellion against tyranny. And everything the political whores, the presstitutes could do, blew up in their stinking, traitorous faces.” The video appears to have since been removed from Jones' official YouTube account.

    Jones attacked media outlets like Fox News and CNN, claiming they feature “hot blondes crossing and uncrossing their legs, sexually titillating the teleprompter,” and said they have tried to throw the kitchen sink at Trump. 

    He also attacked Washington Post (which is “openly run by the CIA, look it up”) columnist George Will for his criticisms of Trump, calling Will “Ted Bundy” with a “cute little haircut … classic serial killer look.” Jones continued by claiming Will is a “constitutional rapist. This man is literally mounting America, raping it in the ass, and telling us how great he is.” He then directed Will to “look in the mirror, realize you’re a traitor, and do the right thing, and put a .357 Magnum to your head, and blow what little is left of your brains out all over yourself, OK? You traitor, you Benedict Arnold, you piece of filth.” 

    Jones warned his audience that the establishment may still try to “steal the election” from Trump, and said he’s going to be at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with Roger Stone “to make sure the popular vote in this country counts."

    Jones later said Trump had picked up “our story” about Sen. Ted Cruz’s father supposedly being linked to John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Jones said that observers had “major, major, major freak-outs” at Trump over the Cruz story.

    The conspiracy theorist also responded to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld’s assertion that Trump is pivoting into an "Alex Jones" presidency with his conspiracy theories. Jones claimed that he has a better reach than Fox News and other media outlets, and “my sponsorship’s exploding, my listenership’s exploding.”

    Jones concluded by literally applauding Trump supporters, telling them: “Congratulations to all the Trump supporters that saw through the hype. Congratulations to people who stood up to the Democrat and Republican system. Congratulations to everybody that understands how epic a time we’re living in. Whether Trump’s real or not doesn’t matter -- this is all a massive test of the will of the people. So I want to salute you, and understand we’re on the path to victory. … You are the resistance.” 

  • RedState Editors: With Trump As GOP Nominee, Senate Should Confirm Merrick Garland

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Editors of the conservative RedState blog are warning that since Donald Trump is now the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president, Senate Republicans should move to confirm Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland “before it is too late.”

    Redstate Managing Editor Leon H. Wolf, who has said that he will never vote for Trump, wrote in a May 4 post that Garland “is not a great choice, but is not a terrible one, either.” He continued that Senate Republicans should thus confirm Garland rather than allowing Hillary Clinton to name her own nominee after what he depicted as Trump's almost certain defeat in November. Fellow editors Ben Howe and Dan McLaughlin have also expressed support for the position. Wolf concluded:

    In fact, if I were the Republicans, my main concern right now would be that Barack Obama would withdraw Garland’s nomination today. The fact that Merrick Garland still exists as an option right now is a gift that should not be squandered.

    The calculus has changed – confirm Merrick Garland before it is too late.

  • Trump Tours Morning Shows To Hype Conspiracy Theory From National Enquirer

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Hours after he was declared the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump took to the broadcast network morning shows to defend a conspiracy theory from the National Enquirer, the tabloid with which Trump has a cozy relationship.

    Trump took a victory lap early on May 4 after Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign and Trump was declared the presumptive GOP nominee, giving interviews on NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. During the interviews, which took place over the phone, hosts asked Trump about a conspiracy theory he pushed from the National Enquirer, which claimed that Cruz’s father was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald three months before Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Trump had hyped the conspiracy theory on his May 3 phone-in appearance on Fox & Friends. During the May 4 interviews, Trump continued to push the conspiracy theory as “a major story in a major publication,” and he falsely claimed that the Cruz campaign “didn’t deny” the allegations.

    Reporters have slammed the conspiracy theory as “inflammatory,” and even conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called it “kooky” and “absurd.”

    CNN’s senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, pointed out that this is not the first time Trump has repeated “something from a highly questionable source as if it’s fact,” noting that the “Enquirer has a checkered history.” After the tabloid asserted on March 23 that Cruz was “hiding FIVE different mistresses,” Trump defended the publication, saying that while he had “no idea whether or not” the Cruz affair story “is true or not,” the National Enquirer was “right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others.”

    Trump has a cozy relationship with the National Enquirer. In March, the publication gave the nod to Trump in its first ever presidential endorsement. Trump has also written for the tabloid on multiple occasions. According to New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, Trump and David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, “have been friends for years.” In 2013, Trump tweeted that Pecker should become the CEO of Time magazine, writing, “nobody could bring it back like David!”

  • Trump Kicks Off General Campaign With Phone Interviews

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Donald Trump phoned in to the morning news programs on ABC, MSNBC, NBC, and Fox News for interviews following his victory in the May 3 Indiana primary, which cemented his role as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the general election. Journalists and media critics have called out cable and broadcast news shows for allowing Trump this “shocking” “advantage,” and several programs -- including CBS’s morning show -- have banned the practice.

    Trump’s most recent round of phone interviews is only the latest example of a newly common type of media malpractice unique to the candidate. The practice of letting a presidential candidate largely eschew on-camera interviews in favor of phoning in is unprecedented in American politics. News networks have overwhelmingly allowed Trump -- and Trump only -- to call in to Sunday morning political talk shows. In total, Trump conducted 69 phone interviews on news programs in the first 69 days of 2016.

    In March, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Meet The Press announced they would no longer allow Trump to phone in for interviews, joining Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday. During that same month, the six major broadcast and cable news networks allowed Trump to phone in for 39 of his 63 interviews. On ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and Fox News, more than half of Trump's interviews were conducted by phone.

    Media critics and prominent journalists have criticized the media’s willingness to grant Trump phone interviews, noting that the practice "is a signal of the extent to which the television cable networks contort themselves to accommodate Trump." Trump’s phone interviews have given him an obvious advantage over his rivals, allowing him to ignore hosts' visual cues and body language, dodge or shout over interviewers' questions, and avoid awkward confrontations.

    To sign Media Matters’ petition calling on media outlets to take away Trump’s special phone privilege, click here.

  • BuzzFeed’s Editor-In-Chief Slams Media For Giving Credence To Trump’s Lie He Opposed Invasion Of Iraq

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith lambasted media outlets and reporters for allowing GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump to “lie to their face” about his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, ignoring the evidence showing that in 2002 Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed throughout the GOP presidential primaries that he opposed the Iraq invasion, using his alleged opposition to attack his GOP rivals and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. But BuzzFeed’s “Andrew Kaczynski unearthed an audio recording of [Trump] saying he supported” the invasion in 2002. Despite releasing audio evidence, media outlets, including “CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Washington Post” have all either reprinted Trump’s lie, or allowed him to claim he opposed the invasion without pushback.

    Smith also highlighted how the media, led by the Times’ Maureen Dowd, have also added this “fake fact” into a “fake narrative” that Trump is more of a “dove” on foreign policy than Hillary Clinton, ignoring that Trump’s claim he opposed the invasion has been debunked, that he has has refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Europe, and has floated military engagement with Iran.

    In his May 3 article, Smith implored media reporters to “stop letting [Trump] lie to their face about the most important policy call of the last 20 years,” writing, “Donald Trump did not oppose the invasion of Iraq” and “there’s no evidence that he’s ever been a ‘dove'”:

    One of the great stories of 2016 is how Donald Trump hacked the media: How he learned from the New York tabloids and The Apprentice; how he dictated terms to the weakened television networks; how he used Twitter and won Facebook.

    Those are complex questions that we will argue about for decades.

    Here is a simpler one: Could reporters stop letting him lie to their face about the most important policy call of the last 20 years?

    Donald Trump did not oppose the invasion of Iraq. Further, there’s no evidence that he’s ever been a “dove” — and a great deal that he’s been an impulsive supporter of military intervention around the world.

    We know this because BuzzFeed News’s intrepid Andrew Kaczynski unearthed an audio recording of him saying he supported it. You can listen to it above. The audio quality is clear.

    In the recording, made on Sept. 11, 2002, when it mattered, Howard Stern asked Trump whether he supported the invasion. His answer: “Yeah, I guess so.” On the war’s first day, he called it a “tremendous success from a military standpoint.”

    It was the most recent in a series of belligerent statements about Iraq. In 2000, he opined at length in his book how U.S. airstrikes did nothing to stop Iraq’s WMD programs and said it “is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion” in the context of a new war. He said many times in the late 1990s and early 2000s George H.W. Bush should have toppled Saddam during the Gulf War.

    Trump’s opinions during that period have all the force and thoughtfulness of a man who isn’t paying much attention and whose opinion doesn’t matter. His support for the war is also totally unambiguous.

    And yet, since Kaczynski found the audio recordings, most of the leading American media organizations have either repeated Trump’s lie or allowed him to deliver it unchallenged. That includes CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

    This fake fact is the basis for a fake narrative, crystallized in a Maureen Dowd column over the weekend christening “Donald the Dove.”

     

  • USA Today Gives Anti-LGBT Hate Group A Platform To Attack Target's Inclusive Bathroom Policy

    Blog ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

    USA Today featured an op-ed by the president of anti-LGBT hate group American Family Association (AFA), who attacked Target's LGBT nondiscrimination policy for restrooms by peddling the widely debunked "bathroom predator" myth. USA Today failed to identify AFA as a recognized hate group to its readers.

    On May 2, USA Today published an op-ed by AFA President Tim Wildmon, titled "Why you should boycott Target," which was written in response to the editorial board’s opposition to laws that “perpetuate the myth that transgender people are predators.” AFA is the group responsible for launching a boycott against Target over the store's policy of allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In the column, Wildmon criticized Target's nondiscrimination policy, peddling the widely debunked myth that there is “potential danger” when men are able to access the women’s room:

    For the entirety of its history until recently, Target had bathrooms and fitting rooms designated for men and for women.

    Why? Why the distinction by Target and every other retailer in every civilized country?

    The answers are twofold and quite simple. First, the vast majority of people are uncomfortable using the bathroom while a stranger of the opposite sex is present. Second, most people understand the potential danger inherent in allowing men access to women and children in a private setting — where harassment, voyeurism or even abuse can occur.

    Wildmon also questioned the motives of transgender people, saying that they only want to "make a point" by using a restroom that aligns with their gender identity:

    Of course, there is a simple solution to this controversy for Target. Gender-specific facilities (men’s bathrooms/fitting rooms, women’s bathrooms/fitting rooms) would be maintained, and a single-occupancy, unisex option would be provided for the transgendered community. As someone has recently noted, a transgendered man, for example, who walks past a unisex restroom in order to enter the woman’s bathroom is not primarily interested in relieving himself. He wants to make a point.

    Like many other media outlets reporting on the Target boycott, USA Today failed to identify AFA as a hate group to its readers, even while giving the group a national platform. The AFA has been designated an anti-LGBT “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to its history of anti-gay extremism, including blaming gay men for the Holocaust, supporting criminalization of gay sex, and asserting that being gay is a “poor and dangerous choice."