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  • NY Times Highlights The Problem With Letting “Those Who Have Demonized” Abortion Dominate The Conversation

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    A New York Times report about a Washington, D.C., hospital’s gag order on an abortion provider demonstrates the pervasive nature of abortion stigma. MedStar Washington Hospital Center barred abortion provider Dr. Diane J. Horvath-Cosper from advocating for greater abortion access, citing fear of anti-choice violence, and the doctor has now filed a civil rights complaint against her employer.

    Hospital officials had issued Horvath-Cosper’s gag order after anti-choice extremist Robert Lewis Dear carried out his deadly attack on the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs last November, according to the Times’ May 2 article. The hospital’s medical director ordered Horvath-Cosper “to end her advocacy” “out of concerns for security,” saying he didn’t want to draw attention to MedStar’s abortion services. Horvath-Cosper responded by filing her civil rights complaint.

    Fears of anti-choice violence are not unfounded. Last summer, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a series of deceptively edited videos baselessly alleging that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue -- earning CMP and its founder, David Daleiden, the title of Media Matters’ 2015 Misinformer of the Year. Although CMP’s work has been largely discredited, the videos sparked an unprecedented spike in the rate of anti-choice violence against abortion providers and clinics.

    Horvath-Cosper knows these risks, but she argued that when providers and advocates “cower and pull back” from public dialogues about abortion, it creates a dangerous vacuum that is filled by “those who have demonized this totally normal part of health care.” As the Times noted, Horvath-Cosper is far from alone in her belief that allowing right-wing media and anti-choice grouyeahps to dominate the conversation about abortion is dangerous. Instead, the paper explained, she is part of a larger group of providers “who argue that silence about their work only feeds the drive to stigmatize and restrict abortion.”

    Abortion stigma is the “shared understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable." This belief is reinforced through media coverage, popular culture, and by many people’s lack of accurate information about the procedure itself. Right-wing media and anti-choice groups have worked relentlessly to capitalize on this lack of public knowledge by consistently demonizing abortion providers and fearmongering about the safety of abortion procedures. Right-wing media have referred to abortion as sickening, “grisly,” “selfish,” and on par with terrorism. They have also attacked abortion providers, calling them “villains” and comparing them to Nazis.

    Despite abortion being both common and overwhelmingly safe, anti-choice groups have consistently attempted to “exploit the stigma of abortion.” Anti-choice legislators have similarly relied on fearmongering about the safety of abortion to pass medically unnecessary restrictions. The consequences of losing access to abortion care are severe. For example, in a study conducted after the passage of Texas’ anti-choice law HB 2, researchers found that 100,000 to 240,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 had attempted to self-induce an abortion, demonstrating that increased barriers to accessing abortion in Texas put women at risk.

    But challenging abortion stigma by encouraging greater public dialogue is not new to reproductive health advocates. The organizations Sea Change, #ShoutYourAbortion, and the 1 in 3 Campaign all encourage people to speak out about their experiences with abortion through a variety of mediums.

    Speaking to NPR, Horvath-Cosper underscored the importance of providers challenging abortion stigma and continuing to provide abortion care when possible. “The message that we’ve all gotten in society is that abortion is shameful, and that people who have abortions should be shamed, and I think that’s something we need to work against,” she said.

    According to ThinkProgress, “if anything, this silencing has further inspired Horvath-Cosper to vocalize her defense of abortion and abortion providers.” As Horvath-Cosper explained in a May 3 press release:

    “Especially at a time when abortion is marginalized and under attack, I’m compelled to speak out about the importance of abortion as a legal and safe medical procedure that’s critical to women’s health,” said Horvath-Cosper in a Tuesday press release. “Abortion has become so stigmatized in this country. As a doctor, I have a responsibility to urge that abortion be recognized as the integral part of women’s medical care that it is.”

    During a conversation with Slate journalist Jennifer Conti, Horvath-Cosper again reaffirmed this commitment. In a text to Conti, Horvath-Cosper wrote: “Our silence has never and will never protect us. Patients deserve better than shame and secrecy.”

  • STUDY: Trump Won The Fox Primary, Doubling Any Other Candidate In Interview Airtime

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump dominated his former rivals for the nomination in interview airtime on Fox News. From May 1, 2015, through Trump’s decisive victory in the Indiana primary on May 3, 2016, the businessman garnered more than 49 hours of interview airtime on the network, more than twice as much as second place finisher Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

    Hours before the Indiana results came in and he suspended his campaign, Sen. Cruz lashed out at 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch and Fox News chief Roger Ailes for purportedly turning Fox News “into the Donald Trump network, 24/7.” He added, “Rupert Murdoch is used to picking world leaders in Australia and the United Kingdom, running tabloids, and we're seeing it here at home.”

    The network has also faced criticism in recent days over its Trump coverage from prominent conservative commentators like radio host Mark Levin, who labeled the network a “Donald Trump super PAC.”

    While Trump publicly feuded with Fox News intermittently throughout the primary campaign, he maintained a sizable advantage in interview airtime on the network. He led all candidates in interview airtime in every month since he formally announced his candidacy in June 2015.

    Overall, Fox devoted 202 hours and 2 minutes to 1,481 original and reaired interviews of the Republican candidates over the last year.

    In addition to more than doubling Cruz’s airtime total, Trump had more than three times as much interview airtime on the network as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was the last challenger to drop out of the race on May 4, 2016:  

    In what ended up being the final month-and-change of the nomination fight, Trump again lapped the field in interview airtime on Fox News. From April 1 through May 3, Fox News aired 7 hours and 49 minutes of interviews with Trump, compared to 3 hours and 54 minutes for Cruz and 2 hours and 21 minutes for Kasich.

    Trump’s airtime generally trended upward over the course of the campaign, as more of his rivals dropped from the race (click to enlarge):

    (Note: The final month in the above chart includes interview time from all of April and the first three days of May, 2016.)

    Sean Hannity -- who has recently been criticized for favoring Trump over Cruz and Kasich -- featured by far the most interview airtime with candidates since the beginning of the study, with almost 50 hours. (Including interviews reaired by the network, Trump’s received far more interview airtime on Hannity than Cruz or any other candidate -- full data is below.)

    Breakdowns for candidate time appearances by month and by Fox News program are below. (Click to enlarge.)

    (Note: Red times represent the candidate who had the most total time on the corresponding show.)

    Previous Fox Primary Reports

    May 2015
    June 2015
    July 2015
    August 2015
    September 2015
    October 2015
    November 2015
    2015 Overview
    January 2016
    February 2016
    March 2016

    Methodology

    For this study, we used FoxNews.com's "2016 Presidential Candidate Watch List." Jim Gilmore's inclusion in the study began after his formal announcement on July 30. The following candidates' data collection stopped when they each ended their respective campaigns: Rick Perry (September 11), Scott Walker (September 22), Bobby Jindal (November 17), Lindsey Graham (December 21), George Pataki (December 29), Mike Huckabee (February 1), Rand Paul (February 3), Rick Santorum (February 3), Chris Christie (February 10), Carly Fiorina (February 10), Jim Gilmore (February 12), Jeb Bush (February 20), Ben Carson (March 4), and Marco Rubio (March 15).

    Media Matters searched the Nexis database and our internal video archive for all guest appearances on Fox News Channel between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and Fox News Sunday for the three presidential candidates current for April through May 3: Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Donald Trump.

    This study includes all original appearances between May 1, 2015, and May 3, 2016. Repeat appearances were counted if they aired on a new day. Appearances during early morning post-debate specials were counted.

    Charts by Oliver Willis. Additional research by Media Matters' research staff.

  • Fox Darling Scott Brown Accuses Elizabeth Warren Of Being “Drunk” After She Blasted Trump’s “Toxic Stew Of Hatred”

    Fox News Has Promoted Brown As A Potential Running Mate For Trump

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Fox News contributor Scott Brown criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for a series of tweets condemning GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, alleging that Warren was “drunk tweeting” and accusing her of being unable to “stand on her own two feet.” Brown, who lost his 2012 Senate race to Sen. Warren and whose political ambitions have long been boosted by Fox News, has been openly pushed by the network as a potential vice presidential running mate for Trump.

    Scott Brown, a former Republican Senator for Massachusetts, was hired by Fox News in 2013 after a failed Senate campaign, and left the network soon thereafter to run for office in New Hampshire. During his 2014 Senate bid, Brown received widespread support and praise from Fox, often with no disclosure of his prior affiliation with the network. Following his Senate loss in 2014, Brown re-joined as a contributor. Fox hosts have regularly hyped Brown, who is still a Fox News contributor, as a potential running mate for Trump during the 2016 presidential primary.

    During a May 4 interview with Boston Herald Radio, Brown criticized his former rival Elizabeth Warren after she took to Twitter to slam Trump’s “toxic stew of hatred & insecurity” and pledged to “fight my heart out” to ensure Trump’s “racism, sexism, and xenophobia” “never reaches the White House.” Brown “lauded Trump and hit back at Warren in harsh terms,” according to Boston.com. Brown asked if Sen. Warren was “drunk tweeting” and slammed her tweets as “irrelevant,” writing, “She had her chance to make a difference … All she does is yell and criticize and demean and belittle people instead of working for the people of Massachusetts”:

    As America began to come to terms with Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched into a series of tweets criticizing the businessman’s “toxic stew of hatred and insecurity.”

    A day later, the man she beat to become the U.S. senator from Massachusetts fired back at Warren.

    “Is she drunk tweeting now?” Scott Brown said.

    The comment came in an interview with Boston Herald Radio on Wednesday in which Brown lauded Trump and hit back at Warren in harsh terms.

    “First of all, what she said is completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter,” Brown said. “She had her chance to make a difference. She hasn’t even bothered to endorse anybody, so it just is a continuation of her phoniness and her inability to make decisions that really have her stand on her own two feet.”

    Brown has addressed questions about his own tweeting in the past. In 2013, the former Republican senator posted a series of misspelled, dismissive tweets on a late night. “bqhatevwr,” he infamously wrote. Critics at the time questioned whether Brown was drunk when he sent the mangled tweet.

    “I rarely drink, the last time I was ever drunk was my bachelor party,” he said at the time, according to the Washington Post.Herald Radio host Jaclyn Cashman on Wednesday agreed with Brown’s questioning of Warren’s drinking habits.

    “I envision her with a glass of Chardonnay in Cambridge,” she said, as Brown laughed. “I guarantee that she was half in the bag tweeting last night.”

    Brown, who endorsed Trump for president, said Warren had not accomplished anything of note in office.

    “All she does is yell and criticize and demean and belittle people instead of working for the people of Massachusetts,” he said. “If it’s the new norm to go down there and yell and scream at people and divide people, she’s doing a great job at that.”

     
  • 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!”