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  • Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City

    (He Won't Care)

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    What is Sean Hannity going to do tonight?

    Donald Trump went to Mexico, had a meeting with the nation’s president, and said at a subsequent press conference that he did not bring up the signature issue of his campaign: That he will build a wall along the Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it.

    Hannity doesn’t just support this aim; his fawning treatment of Trump has literally included doing call and response with his Trump town hall audiences about it.

    Seriously you would think this would be embarrassing for Trump.

    On his radio show this afternoon Hannity lauded Trump’s performance during his trip to Mexico City, saying that the Republican presidential nominee’s “strength caused [Mexico’s president] to reach out to him” and that “Trump didn’t back down an inch.” He did not bring up the fact that the presidential candidate apparently declined to let Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto know face-to-face that he is on the hook for Trump’s border wall.

    It’s that sort of naked hypocrisy that has conservatives berating Hannity’s “slavish” and “disgraceful” shilling for Trump.

    UPDATE: It gets worse for Hannity.

  • Fox's Eric Bolling Suggests Mexico And America Work On Border Wall Together To Create Jobs

    Bolling: "That's Probably Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' The Five:

    ERIC BOLLING: You know what you could even do? He could actually have some sort of group dynamic where both countries actually use the laborers to build that wall. That's probably hundreds of thousands of jobs. That's a lot of money going back to Mexico. Not a bad idea. 

    Previously:

    Fox's Eric Bolling Is Donald Trump's Biggest Fan

    Fox's Bolling Defends Trump's "Deportation Force" As "Good For Latinos"

    Fox's Eric Bolling Reprimands GOP Congressman For Not Supporting Trump

  • CNN's Calamity Worsens: Lewandowski Reportedly Prepping Trump For Debates

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Corey Lewandowski CNN contributor and former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is helping the Republican presidential nominee prepare for the upcoming debates, according to a new report. It’s the latest devastating evidence that the network’s ethical nightmare has become untenable.

    Conservative media website Heat Street is reporting that according to sources close to the campaign, Lewandowski is part of the team of conservative media stalwarts involved with “preparing Donald Trump for the debates.” Will CNN allow its political commentator to discuss debates for which he has prepared one of the candidates?

    The conservative news site further states, “If things get more dire for the struggling Presidential candidate, Corey may be at the top of the list of official re-hires,” meaning there may be even more issues with his CNN employment in the future.

    Lewandowski is still on the Trump campaign payroll, and CNN anchors frequently introduce him by noting that he continues to receive severance from his former employer. He reportedly speaks to Trump “almost every day” and has even traveled with the campaign.

    This is neither normal nor acceptable. Trump has effectively offloaded Lewandowski’s salary onto CNN, while gaining an on-air advocate willing to defend literally anything he says, no matter how absurd. That’s why media ethicists and journalists have been condemning CNN's hire for weeks.​

    It’s long past time for the network that claims to be the most trusted name in news to cut ties with Lewandowski.

  • Alex Jones Says He "Personally Talked To" Trump And Encouraged Him To Push Rigged Election Conspiracy Theory

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Genesis Communications Network’s The Alex Jones Show:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): The globalists have made a critical error. They have been operating their ongoing takeover program as if they were still in the 1980s or ‘70s. And they believe that they've had air superiority with the dinosaur collaborator media. Discrediting, or attempting to discredit or spinning true independent media that’s exposing their crimes.

    And they made an even bigger error in the string of them when I came out over a month ago and had a special message to Donald Trump dealing with election fraud -- I personally talked to him as well obviously -- and he didn’t so much do what I told him to do, he already concurred and absolutely was on the same page and was already right there with me or even ahead of me.

    But I encouraged him to basically ignore some of the people telling him not to go with that, and to go all the way because if they stole it from Sanders, and they try to steal it from him nakedly in the primaries and they’ve got a history of it, that Homeland Security was going to go in and probably bring in U.N. observers, to make sure illegals and people could vote, and change the debate away from election fraud, to retail voter fraud, which is individuals cheating rather than the computers being hacked.

    And I said you’ve gotta do it while you’re still way ahead in the polls cause they’re going to start skewing the polls obviously and saying you’re behind -- that’s a standard tactic -- you need to go now with this information so that when you’re actually still ahead you talk about the fraud.

    You'll be ahead all the way through, but they’re going to put out the fake polls that you’re way behind and actually create that perception. And obviously Trump was right there. And Trump did it. That’s why they’re so scared of him. I mean, they are having to put on adult diapers over this guy, okay?

    And obviously Trump has his own experts that were telling him the same thing. He’s really smart, he understands how things operate. They already tried to steal it from him, he stood up and contested it so he got it. Sanders didn’t, so he lost it.

    And then Trump comes out two days after I talked to him and after I put the message out. I talked to him that day, and then I came in I called Rob Jacobson up he was on that weekend I said, “We’re shooting a video of a message to Trump,” I said it’s really a message to the people -- I’ve already delivered the message to Trump that day.

    Previously:

    Trump’s Conspiracy Theorist Allies Take Victory Lap Over Candidate’s “Rigged" Election Comments

    “Totally Synced”: How Donald Trump And Alex Jones’ Conspiracy Theory Movement Speaks With One Voice

    Alex Jones: “It Is Surreal To Talk About Issues Here On Air And Then Word-For-Word Hear Trump Say It Two Days Later”

  • Fox Hosts Attack CNN’s Brian Stelter and Univision’s Jorge Ramos For Calling On Media To Improve Coverage Of Trump

    Harris Faulkner: “Everybody's Looking For Their Moment, And They're Going To Do It With A Series Of Gotcha Questions”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:

    SANDRA SMITH (CO-HOST): So much for an impartial media. According to the Washington Examiner, several media figures actively lobbying their peers to challenge Donald Trump more aggressively when interviewing him or his surrogates. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who has had some high profile scrapes with Trump saying, quote, “I think in this case neutrality is really not an option. I think we have to take a stand and in this case, Donald Trump is a unique figure in American politics. We haven't seen this in decades since probably Senator Joe McCarthy.” And this from CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, quote, “We can't just let it seep into the discourse like it's normal. We have to stop and fact check and contextualize. Right now it’s the Republican candidate for president who is trying to delegitimize our democratic process without proof. It is unpatriotic for any journalist or any interviewer to help him.” Harris, go to you first on this.

    HARRIS FAULKNER (CO-HOST): That makes me uncomfortable because it really tells me that, first of all, everybody's looking for their moment, and they're going to do it with a series of gotcha questions, which is exactly why the American public says that they don't trust journalists right now. They think that we're all cut from that cloth. But the other thing that’s really nasty about this whole thing is that they're not going to apply that to both sides. Like if they want that kind of -- I call it apoplectic, but I guess there's another word we could use that is nicer than that, but it just seems out of line -- then apply it equally. If they're going to do that, if they’re going to act -- 

    SMITH: Is there a double standard that exists? 

    GUY BENSON: There's always a double standard with Republicans and Democrats. It may be more pronounced this year for a number of reasons. And I'm all for the media very aggressively going after Trump and following up and holding him to account, but they have to do it to Hillary Clinton as well. 

    [...]

    RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY (CO-HOST): If you think it's bad on the English side of the media, let's talk about Spanish-language media. They are so ideologically liberal and they’re unapologetic.

    FAULKNER: You can hear it from Jorge.

    CAMPOS-DUFFY: You hear it from Jorge, who is really the spokesperson for all of Spanish media in a lot of ways. And let me tell you this, there's an opening -- at least on the English side of news, we have Fox News, which is fair and balanced, it gives people a different perspective. There's nothing like that on the Spanish side, and that is why not just Donald Trump but all Republicans have had a difficult moment.

    Previously:

    Jorge Ramos Urges Fellow Journalists Not To “Stay Silent On Donald Trump”

    After Jorge Ramos Makes Multiple Interview Requests, Trump Asks Him For Money

    Univision's Jorge Ramos Reminds Audiences That Trump Continues To Deny His Interview Requests

    Sean Hannity Attacks Jorge Ramos For Pointing Out Trump's Bigoted, Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

  • NRA News Dismisses LGBT Students’ Safety Concerns Over Texas' New Campus Carry Law

    NRA News Host: LGBT Students Shouldn't Be Afraid "Unless They Have Been Living In A Cave Somewhere"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s radio show dismissed personal safety concerns raised by LGBT students at the University of Houston following Texas’ August 1 adoption of a law allowing concealed guns to be carried on many parts of public college campuses.

    Cam Edwards, the host of NRA News’ Cam & Company, cited a Buzzfeed article where a University of Houston student, who self-identifies as transgender and intersex, expressed fear of being shot if someone was angered by their use of gender-neutral pronouns.  

    On the August 30 edition of Cam & Company, Edwards dismissed the student’s worries, as well as those of other LGBT students mentioned in the article, saying he feels “horrible” for those students because “they don't have to feel that way and yet they’re being told by anti-gun professors, they are being told by anti-gun media, they are being told by anti-gun activists that oh yes, absolutely, they should feel this way, they should be scared of concealed carry holders.”

    “Unless they have been living in a cave somewhere in Texas and they only emerged to go to college, they've been hanging around concealed carry holders virtually their entire life if they grew up in Texas,”  Edwards continued. (While discussing the article, Edwards mistakenly cited it as appearing in The Houston Chronicle rather than Buzzfeed.)

    Edwards never read from sections of the Buzzfeed article, where multiple LGBT students talked about how they “regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented,” especially from extremists who hold hateful protests on campus, and expressed concern that guns can be carried at the school’s LGBT center:

    Some of the students thought about protesting, but they didn’t think it would be safe. “We would also out ourselves in the process, which isn’t safe for many of the LGBT students on campus,” [student Robyn] Foley added. “Especially now.”

    [...]

    Many of the LGBTQ students told BuzzFeed News they regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented — both from fellow students and from non-student religious protest groups on campus, which the students refer to as “Hell Yellers.”

    Many non-student religious groups, including one called Bulldog Ministries, show up on UH’s campus during midterms and finals and yell at students, the students at the LGBT center told BuzzFeed News.

    On Bulldog’s website, men can be seen in various locations in Houston holding signs reading, “WARNING: drunks, homosexuals, abortionists, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, witches, idolaters, HELL AWAITS YOU.”

    [...]

    Foley said they have had slurs yelled at them and been “intimidated” on campus before. Other LGBT students said they have had similar experiences.

    According to news reports analyzed by the Violence Policy Center, since May 2007, 885 people have been killed by concealed carry permittees, including 48 people in Texas. The gunman who committed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history on June 12 by targeting an Orlando LGBT nightclub was licensed to carry a gun in public.

     
  • On CNN, RNC Hispanic Communications Director Admits They "Don't Know For Sure" What Trump’s Immigration Plan Is

    Helen Aguirre Ferré: "This May Not Be The Speech That's Going To Deal With The Entire Process Of Immigration Reform"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's At This Hour with Berman and Bouldan

    JOHN BERMAN (HOST): You were part of that meeting that Donald Trump had with Latino Republicans where people left thinking -- they left the meeting thinking that maybe he was open to the idea of some kind of legal status for some of the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States. Do you think that Donald Trump will open that door tonight in his speech? Will he open the door to some kind of legal status for some of the 11 million undocumented workers here? 

    HELEN AGUIRRE FERRÉ: What Mr. Trump's been very clear about is that there's going to be no citizenship and no amnesty and we know that. He's been --

    BERMAN: Does that mean legal status then? 

    AGUIRRE FERRÉ: -- very clear about border security. But what we are going to look at is that -- but you know what, but I think we're not -- I think what this speech is going to be about is how to deter illegal immigration, and that is not going to be taking into account and -- we don't know for sure, but deterring illegal immigration is the first important step that needs to be addressed before you can get into the other very complex parts of immigration reform. This may not be the speech that's going to deal with the entire process of immigration reform, but will be very clear about how to deter illegal immigration. We used to be a country where we applauded legal immigration, but we turned a blind eye to illegal immigration, which really just compounds the problems that we have. So focusing on making legal immigration easier will come at some point, but how to deter illegal immigration is paramount and is going to be addressed tonight.

    BERMAN: Well, we are waiting to see if he does address the legal status issue for the some 11 million undocumented immigrants.

  • GOP Strategist: Trump Has Been “Existing In This Sort Of Sean Hannity-Rush Limbaugh Bubble”

    Rick Wilson: Trump’s Meeting With Mexico's President Will Be “A Dumpster Fire”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall:

    TAMRON HALL (HOST): How do you see this meeting [between Donald Trump and Mexico's president] playing out today? 

    RICK WILSON: I see this meeting playing out as being a dumpster fire on top of a giant mountain of burning tires. There is very little condition that Donald Trump comes out of this where he doesn't, first off, lie about what happened in the meeting. He is going to say, "The Mexicans agreed to everything I want. They're building the wall -- we’re building the wall. They're paying for it." And then the Mexicans are going to blow him up. This is a guy who has -- he's been very accustomed to existing in this sort of Sean Hannity-Rush Limbaugh bubble for the last few months where no alternative reality impinges. But this is a real deal with an actual head of state of a foreign power. And he's going to have to go there and he can't just lie his way out of it. He can't just say, "Oh, they've agreed to all my terms. The Mexicans are now writing a check for me at this very moment to build my magical wall." And the problem is more broadly, he's trying to, quote, unquote, "appeal to Hispanic voters." But he's about to give a speech tonight that is pure Stephen Miller, that is going to be the same story that he's told before where he's talking about Mexicans as practically genetically criminals and they're rapists and all this other stuff to appeal to his base. And I don't think he's going to get anywhere with Hispanic voters in this country by continuing to be so divisive and by having to live up to what his crowds desire versus what would be smart politically. He’s not a guy with any compassion in his soul so it's going to fall very flat. 

    Previously:

    A GOP Strategist Explains How Donald Trump Knows Anti-Semites And White Nationalists Are "The Center Of His Play" 

    Donald Trump’s Probable Immigration Plan Will Be Ripped Straight From Right-Wing Media

    Sean Hannity And Donald Trump’s Immigration Townhall Focuses On Fearmongering

    Limbaugh: Trump And I Say "Similar Things" About Immigrants, And Now He's "Changed The Entire Debate"

  • Fox Ignores Report That Trump’s Modeling Agency Encouraged Immigrants To Work Without Documents

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Fox News ignored a report from Mother Jones revealing that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, “profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here.” The report got attention from MSNBC and CNN, where it was discussed as a “particularly awkward” point of hypocrisy for Trump ahead of his speech on immigration.

    Mother Jones published the report, titled “Former Models For Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules And Worked Illegally, on August 30, one day before Trump is scheduled to give a policy speech on immigration. According to the report, one model who was represented by Trump Model Management said that the agency is “the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few.” Another model added that “Trump has been fooling American voters with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, given that his own agency had engaged in the practices he has denounced.” Mother Jones also reported that the models “said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting”:

    Two of the former Trump models said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: "If they ask you any questions, you're just here for meetings."

    Organized efforts to evade laws regulating immigrant work were added by Congress, according to the American Bar Association, to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in 1996 outlawing “any act that violates section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (entitled 'Bringing in and harboring certain aliens'), provided that the act is done for financial gain.”

    In the 24 hours after the report was published, CNN and MSNBC devoted several segments to the allegations, highlighting the discrepancies between Trump’s immigration proposals and the ways his own business practices reportedly abused the immigration system. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Trump’s running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence if the report “point[s] out the hypocrisy” of Trump’s call to end or place severe restrictions on the H-1B visa program. CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg pointed out that the story highlighted “some inconsistencies between what Donald Trump is saying and what he's actually done in his business career.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called the report “particularly awkward,” given that Trump is “trying to reclaim what’s supposedly [his] signature issue, right, [his] hardline stance on illegal immigrants.”

    Fox News did not cover the report or its findings in the 24 hour period after it was published.

  • Trump Flies To Mexico, Trump's Traveling Press Corps Left Behind In America

    Trump's Campaign Manager Used The Trip To Bash Clinton's Accessibility To The Press

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Media figures criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's "distressing" decision to leave his traveling press corps in the United States as he travels to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump's "alarming" treatment of the press throughout his presidential campaign has included revoking entire outlets' press credentials, taunting and insulting the press at campaign rallies, and promising to "open up our libel laws" if elected.

    The Trump campaign's decision to leave their press behind is inconsistent with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway's claim that a joint press conference she said Trump would hold with Peña Nieto during the trip should be looked at "in direct contrast" to Hillary Clinton. (It was later reported that Trump was "not expected to take questions in Mexico, despite his campaign manager insisting this morning he would.)"

    According to Politico's Hadas Gold, "reporters were 'seething'" on a call with the Trump campaign because "the campaign is leaving the press behind on its big trip to Mexico on Wednesday":

    Just one day after a traveling print pool was put in place for Donald Trump's campaign, the campaign is leaving the press behind on its big trip to Mexico on Wednesday.

    The last-minute trip to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was announced on Tuesday. And while there is a charter plane for the press traveling with Trump, their plane was directed to Phoenix where Trump will later give an immigration speech.

    [...]

    On the daily call with Trump communications director Jason Miller, reporters were "seething," one source on the call, who asked not to be named because the call is off the record, told POLITICO. According to the source, the campaign only told the five-network television pool about the opportunity to cover the meeting around 3 a.m. While some reporters were weighing chartering their own plane to Mexico, they decided against it partly because the campaign did not indicate there would be a press availability until Conway's comments this morning.

    This post has been updated.