From the July 7 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:
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From the July 6 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the July 6 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Politico published inaccurate information about emails between Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal provided to the outlet by an anonymous source who distorted the emails' contents with the intention of damaging the former secretary of state, according to Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The Republican-led committee was formed more than a year ago with the mandate to investigate the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya -- attacks which had already been subject to investigations by the State Department and numerous House and Senate committees. Critics have argued that the committee's actions since its formation demonstrate a "singular focus on attacking Hillary Clinton and her bid for president."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the Committee, writes in a July 6 letter that "a Member of the Committee, a staffer on the Committee, or someone who has been given access to the Committee's documents inaccurately described to the press email exchanges obtained by the Committee in a way that appeared to further a political attack against" Clinton. Cummings describes this as "only the latest in a reckless pattern of selective Republican leaks and mischaracterizations of evidence relating to the Benghazi attacks."
Cummings' letter specifically details inaccuracies in a June 18 Politico story that relied on "a source who has reviewed the email exchange" between Clinton and Blumenthal, a Media Matters consultant and former Clinton White House aide. In its original version, the story claimed:
While still secretary of state, Clinton emailed back and forth with Blumenthal about efforts by one of the groups, Media Matters, to neutralize criticism of her handling of the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, sources tell POLITICO.
"Got all this done. Complete refutation on Libya smear," Blumenthal wrote to Clinton in an Oct. 10, 2012, email into which he had pasted links to four Media Matters posts criticizing Fox News and Republicans for politicizing the Benghazi attacks and challenging claims of lax security around the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, according to a source who has reviewed the email exchange. Blumenthal signed off the email to Clinton by suggesting that one of her top aides, Philippe Reines, "can circulate these links," according to the source. Clinton responded: "Thanks, I'm pushing to WH," according to the source.
The emails were not included in documents originally turned over by the State Department.
Cummings notes that Clinton's email reading "Thanks, I'm pushing to WH" came not in response to Blumenthal's email with the Media Matters links, as Politico indicated, but rather in response to a "completely different" Blumenthal email from nine days earlier "forwarding an article from Salon.com reporting that Republicans were planning to claim inaccurately during the presidential debates that the White House had advance knowledge about the Benghazi attacks and failed to act on it."
The day after publication, Politico updated its story with a correction noting that "A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a Clinton email as a response to the Blumenthal email." As MSNBC.com's Steve Benen notes, "Politico obviously didn't make this up; it relied on a source that provided misleading information, apparently with a specific partisan agenda in mind."
Politico was also wrong to report that Clinton's email was "not included in documents originally turned over by the State Department," according to Cummings. He explained that "that email was turned over to the Select Committee by the State Department on February 13, 2015, marked with Bates number STATE-SCB0045548-SCB0045550. The Select Committee has had that email for four months."
As both Cummings and Benen point out, this is not the first time reporters have fallen from deceptive Benghazi leaks that appear to come from Republican sources. Reporters who relied on sources' characterizations of Benghazi-related documents rather than reviewing them directly have previously had to issue embarrassing corrections.
As more Republicans have officially declared their presidential bids, Fox News' Sean Hannity has solidified his role as a media gatekeeper in the Republican primary. In June, Hannity featured nearly four hours of interviews with declared and potential Republican presidential candidates, far more than any other program on the conservative network. Donald Trump led all candidates in both appearances (10) and airtime (1 hour and 48 minutes) for the month.
Politico's Dylan Byers has dubbed Hannity the "conservative kingmaker," noting that this cycle, "GOP hopefuls have given Sean Hannity dibs on their first interviews as candidates and been rewarded with hour-long 'special events' on his primetime Fox News program."
Since the beginning of June, Hannity has hosted five Republican presidential candidates -- former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, business mogul Donald Trump, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- for these "hour-long 'special events.'" As a result, Hannity surged ahead as the Fox program that devoted the most time to Republican primary candidates in the month of June. The second place show was Fox & Friends (which airs for 3 hours, compared to the one-hour Hannity), with 1 hour and 22 minutes of candidate airtime.
Despite initial reservations about the seriousness of his candidacy, Trump took the lead as the Republican presidential hopeful with the most time on Fox for June, with a total of 1 hour and 48 minutes spread over 10 appearances. Trump faced heavy backlash over offensive remarks he made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential announcement, but was repeatedly defended by Fox News personalities and given a platform to defend himself on the network.
Univision, a Spanish-language media conglomerate, dropped Trump's Miss USA Pageant. Trump, meanwhile, responded by suing the media company for $500 million. NBC and Macy's followed suit: NBC has reversed course on airing Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, and Macy's will remove Trump brand merchandise from its stores.*
Overall, Hannity has aired the most interview time with Republican candidates, with 4 and a half hours since May.
Trump holds a strong lead over other candidates in airtime on the network since May, with 2 hours and 39 minutes -- nearly an hour more than the next candidate, Fiorina, who has spent 1 hour and 53 minutes on the network so far.
June saw a slight jump in appearances from May, with 73 over May's 68; however, Fox spent 4 more hours on the Republican presidential candidates in June than the network did in May. Nearly 12 hours were devoted to the candidates in June while only 8 hours were spent on the candidates in May. This brings the Fox primary's total time to just more than 20 hours over 141 candidate appearances.
Most Total Airtime: Donald Trump (1 hour and 48 minutes)
Most Total Appearances: Donald Trump (10 appearances)
Fox Show With The Most Total Candidate Airtime: Hannity (3 hours and 57 minutes)
Fox Show With The Most Candidate Appearances: Fox & Friends (14 appearances)
Softball Question(s) Of The Month: On the June 30 episode of the O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly asked Trump whether he believes NBC has an "anti-conservative bias":
O'REILLY: All right. Last question. Do you believe there is an anti-conservative bias at NBC? You worked for them a long time.
TRUMP: Absolutely. You have sleepy eyes Chuck Todd who does "Meet the Press" which is failing in the ratings. You have all sorts of bias. MSNBC -- nobody watches it but it's a total disaster in terms of bias. I mean you absolutely have a tremendous bias.
So much so that I told my daughter, my daughter came up to me -- Ivanka. She said "Dad what do you think?" I said well, I would love you to be a conservative Republican but in terms of your life it's a lot easier to be a Democrat who happens to be liberal. Because I will tell you can go through life a lot easier.
We have to fight like hell but we're going to make the country great again.
Previous Fox Primary Reports
For this study, we used FoxNews.com's "2016 Presidential Candidate Watch List."
Media Matters searched the Nexis database and our internal video archive for all guest appearances on Fox News Channel and Fox News Sunday for the 16 declared and potential presidential candidates in question: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.
For programs where a transcript was unavailable, we reviewed the raw video.
Charts by Oliver Willis. Additional research by Media Matters' research staff.
*Separate from his work at this organization, Media Matters' Angelo Carusone has led a campaign urging Macy's to drop Trump.
From the July 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the July 5 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:
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Right-wing media are seizing on a New York Times report that misleadingly stated that Paul Begala sought "talking points" from the State Department before a CNN appearance to discuss Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state to attack the CNN contributor as biased. But in the email in question, Begala actually requested a "briefing," not talking points.
The Washington Times misleadingly cited a government factsheet to claim that a "U.S. policy" could authorize the confiscation of Hillary Clinton's personal email server. In fact, the authority to which the Times refers explicitly notes that its "advisories are NOT binding upon U.S. Government departments and agencies."
On July 1, the Times published an article headlined "Admission Of Hillary's Classified Emails Opens Door For Feds To Seize Her Servers." The report suggested that because some information on Clinton's State Department emails has now been retroactively classified, the NSA could seize the private server on which she stored the emails in order to "destroy" it.
The emails in question are part of a collection of the former Secretary of State's official business correspondence, which was conducted on a non-government email account, and which the State Department is currently reviewing and releasing to the public. According to the Times, the classification of "two dozen" of her thousands of emails could "trigger a U.S. policy that authorizes the government to take control of her private server and sanitize the contents":
The State Department on Wednesday conceded that two dozen of Hillary Clinton's emails did contain classified information, a fact that could trigger a U.S. policy that authorizes the government to take control of her private server and sanitize the contents.
A former senior intelligence official told The Washington Times the policy also requires the government to check other Internet paths her secret information could have taken.
The procedures are spelled out by the National Security Agency's special panel on controlling leaked secrets, called the Committee on National Security Systems. It published a policy, "Securing Data and Handling Spillage Events," that fits Mrs. Clinton's unauthorized private server kept at her home while she was secretary of state, according to the retired officer's reading of the regulations.
From the July 1 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom:
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Mainstream media consistently fail to question GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie's self-promotion as a "straight talking" "truth-teller," but he consistently lies and misrepresents his record in interviews and speeches.
A new Media Matters study has found that outside of MSNBC, major broadcast and cable television outlets are failing to fact-check climate science denial by presidential candidates 75 percent of the time. But it's worth taking a closer look at how television program hosts have handled their face-to-face interviews with presidential candidates, since these high-profile interviews often get a substantial amount of attention and can shape media discussions for days or even weeks to come.
So how are TV hosts responding when presidential candidates spout climate science denial in real time? It depends which channel you're watching.
Several months into the 2016 presidential campaign, the media is frequently failing to fact-check statements by presidential candidates denying the science of climate change. Seven major newspapers and wire services surveyed by Media Matters have thus far failed to indicate that candidates' statements conflict with the scientific consensus in approximately 43 percent of their coverage, while the major broadcast and cable news outlets other than MSNBC have failed to do so 75 percent of the time.
From the June 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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The Associated Press' (AP) report on a meeting between lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) completely ignored the nationwide controversy Bundy sparked in 2014 when he made a series of racist comments about "the Negro." Paul himself repudiated Bundy at the time for his "offensive" commentary, a fact that was also missing from the AP article.
According to the AP, Bundy and Paul met during a June 29 campaign event in Mesquite, Nevada. Bundy said of Paul to the AP, "In general, I think we're in tune with each other." Politico additionally reported that the two men spoke for 45 minutes.
In its report, AP described the April 2014 armed standoff between Bundy supporters and federal law enforcement agents as "one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years," but made no mention of Bundy's infamous racist commentary or that Paul had previously condemned him:
Paul's meeting with Bundy recalled one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years.
Hundreds of armed supporters joined Bundy in April 2013 to stop a roundup of his cattle near Bunkerville about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The Bureau of Land Management says he owes more than $1 million in grazing fees over more than 20 years. Bundy argues the federal government has no authority there.
Indeed, in April 2014 violence nearly broke out as armed militia members pointed guns at federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management over Bundy's decades-long refusal to pay grazing fees for his use of federal land despite several court orders. (While the AP article presents the question of whether Bundy owes fees as an open question, journalists who have covered the Nevada rancher's legal dispute say his claims are baseless.)
Significantly, the AP article made no mention of the major controversy after The New York Times reported on racist remarks made by Bundy. In comments to supporters about "the Negro," Bundy suggested that African-Americans may have been better off as slaves and that "[t]hey abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton." After the Times' report, Media Matters posted video of Bundy's comments, and Bundy's champions in conservative politics and media largely fled his cause.
Sen. Paul was among those who condemned Bundy, releasing a statement saying that the rancher's "remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him." While the AP excluded mention of the controversy and Paul's previous rebuke of Bundy, those details made it into reports on the meeting between Bundy and Paul by Politico and CNN.com. Politico reported that "Paul's presidential campaign did not respond to a request to explain why he held a private meeting with Bundy 14 months" after the controversy.
Watch video of Bundy's infamous comments below: