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  • Trump Campaign Created Its Own News Show "To Circumvent Mainstream Media"

    After Retreating To Fox News, Trump Campaign Finds A Way To Get Favorable Media Coverage By Just Doing It Themselves

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    After retreating to more favorable right-wing media outlets, Donald Trump’s campaign will now air a nightly Facebook Live show, as “a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media.”

    Trump created a similar event on Facebook Live to stream the pre-and post-debate coverage of the third presidential debate last week that journalists said could be a “preview” of Trump launching a television news network.

    Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly claimed that the media is biased and rigging the election against him, and on October 23, his campaign announced a plan to break up media conglomerates that have criticized him.

    Recently, Trump has steered from more mainstream news outlets, retreating to Fox News to help him push his campaign message.

    Wired’s Issie Lapowsky reported the event’s launch and noted  that media figures are already calling Trump’s nightly news show “a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November.” From the article:

    Tonight, the Trump campaign is kicking off a show that will air on the candidate’s Facebook page every night at 6:30pm ET via Facebook Live from the campaign war room at Trump Tower. The show will be hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to the campaign, Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator for Glen Beck’s TheBlaze, and Cliff Sims, another Trump adviser. In tonight’s inaugural episode they will interview Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway and adviser Jason Miller.

    The series, which will stream Trump’s rallies directly each night and feature pre-and post-event commentary, comes on the heels of the campaign’s debate night Facebook Live last week, which brought in more than 9 million views.


    Members of the media quickly seized on the event, calling it a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November. Despite reports that his son-in-law has been talking to media dealmakers about Trump TV, Trump himself has denied he has any interest in such a thing.

    Epshteyn says this nightly Facebook Live stream is simply a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media Trump so publicly loathes. “We all know how strong the left wing media bias is. This is us delivering our message to voters,” he says. “It has nothing to do with Trump TV. It’s about using 21st century technology and communication in a way that’s effective.


    Of course, it’s not the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign’s jobs to be objective purveyors of the news, and Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale acknowledges as much. “It’s an extension of our ad programs and our social media posts,” Parscale says. “The only difference is we’re going to broadcast it live.”

    Just don’t call it Trump TV.

  • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Calls Sean Hannity “A True Propagandist”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden criticized Fox News’ Sean Hannity, commenting that Hannity “has entered the pantheon of a true propagandist,” after the Fox host expressed his admiration for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which has released stolen emails of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    Hannity wrote in an October 21 tweet that “In 10 yrs, [WikiLeaks] has gotten nothing wrong & no one’s been killed bc of the info released. #freejulianassange #freeinternet for all.” Although Hannity previously called for Assange’s “arrest” for what he described as “waging” a “war against the US,” Hannity admitted that “the only reason” he “likes Assange now is” because he promised to leak private emails from Clinton’s campaign staff.

    Hayden responded to Hannity’s tweet calling him “a true propagandist,” and said that Fox News has “given up any semblance of conservatism and focused on an almost visceral hatred of all things Clinton and Obama.” From The Daily Beast’s October 24 post:

    In a scorching statement, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden blasted Fox News host Sean Hannity for his newfound love of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. “In 10 yrs @wikileaks has gotten nothing wrong & no one’s been killed bc of the info released. #freejulianassange #freeinternet for all,” Hannity tweeted over the weekend, continuing his recent trend of praising the man he once said was “waging war” on the U.S. and deserved to be arrested. In response, Hayden told Brookings Institute senior fellow Benjamin Wittes in a statement: “Hannity has entered the pantheon of a true propagandist.” Additionally, he wrote, “Fox News has almost entirely jumped the shark. They have given up any semblance of conservatism and focused on an almost visceral hatred of all things Clinton and Obama.” The four-star general—who has served in positions under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama—concluded that Hannity reminds him a Bulgarian political official he met in the 1980s who, when asked what truth is, told Hayden, “Truth is what serves the party.”

    Hannity has dedicated his coverage of the 2016 presidential election to propping up Donald Trump’s campaign. He has attempted to justified his numerous softball interviews with for Trump by arguing, that he’s "not a journalist,” he has attacked anyone who has criticized Trump, openly admitted on air that he will vote for Trump, and even lashed out at a Fox News colleague for pointing out Trump’s media retreat to Hannity’s show.

  • Sean Hannity Brings Supermarket Tabloid To Life By Inviting Clinton “Fixer” To Fox News Prime Time

    Hannity Hypes National Enquirer Story That “Fixer” Helped "Secret Sex Freak" Hillary Clinton Set Up "Illicit Romps With Both Men And Women"

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Sean Hannity will host Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged “Mr. Fix it” on his Fox News show October 24. Reports about the man’s “key role in some of the Clinton’s dirties schemes” come from the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid with a history of launching smear attacks against the Clintons.

    The Enquirer reported that “Hillary Clinton’s shady Mr. Fix It will tell all on TV tonight” as he joins Hannity to reveal his identity:

    The man who’s rocked Washington, D.C., will join Sean Hannity on tonight’s episode of “Hannity” — airing on the FOX News Channel at 10 p.m. EST — to reveal his true identity at last.

    Viewers will finally see the face of the Clinton insider who’s finally speaking out to tell voters the truth about the former First Lady and current presidential candidate.

    As The ENQUIRER reported, this man played a key role in some of the Clintons’ dirtiest schemes: the plot to take down Bill Clinton mistress Monica Lewinsky, sleazy deals to buy women’s silence, and so much more.

    In a series of stories about the purported “fixer,” the Enquirer alleged that “Hillary Clinton is a secret sex freak who paid fixers to set up illicit romps with both men AND women.” The man claimed to have been hired by the Clintons for $4,000 a month in cash, “paid by a third party” to hide “what effectively was the Clintons’ open, polyamorous marriage.” The man claimed to have kept the stories quiet in part because of Bill Clinton’s health, but said he was coming forward because of negative attention Republican nominee Donald Trump has received for his treatment of women:

    I have kept these secrets for a quarter-century because Bill Clinton had become an elder statesman with heart trouble and Hillary Clinton seemed to be focused, at last, on the business of doing her job — for better or for worse.

    I am coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received. Nothing I have heard comes close to the sexual and moral corruption of the Clintons — many of which have yet to be revealed.

    Predictably, the liberal media is focusing on one man’s alleged misdeeds and ignoring another’s proven sins.

    The Enquirer, one of the few publications to endorse Trump, repeatedly published false stories about Trump’s opponents during the primary election. During the primary, the Enquirer falsely connected Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. (and Sean Hannity refused to disavow the story). The tabloid also claimed that Jeb Bush used cocaine on the night his father became president and that Ted Cruz has had affairs with multiple women.

    During the general election, the Enquirer published baseless claims that Hillary Clinton’s health is so bad she will “be dead in six months.” Sean Hannity repeated the tabloid’s allegations, even inviting doctors on his prime-time show to discuss conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health.

    It is unclear whether Fox News has independently verified the “fixer’s” identity, and Hannity’s FoxNews.com website says only that “a reported Clinton 'fixer' speaks out.” The National Enquirer has been the only national media outlet to report on the unnamed “fixer,” but Hannity has made it clear that he is not a journalist and will do whatever it takes get Trump elected. 


  • Conservative Media Run With Wall Street Journal's Nothingburger Of A Clinton Pseudo-Scandal

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media are hyping a Wall Street Journal article that attempts to scandalize the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email use by tying political donations made by Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to a 2015 state senate candidate whose husband later became involved in the FBI investigation. Journalists mocked and poked holes in the “embarrassing” story that has “literally nothing” to it. 

  • WSJ Botches Its Latest Attempt At Scandalized Clinton Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    The Wall Street Journal botched its latest attempt to scandalize the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails by tying political donations made by Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee to the wife of an FBI official. The FBI said it was not a conflict of interest because the FBI official wasn’t part of the investigation until after his wife’s run for office. Journalists took to Twitter to mock the Journal’s report, calling it “embarrassing.”

    In an October 23 article titled “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife,” the Journal reported, “The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.”

    The piece went on to explain:

    Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

    The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

    While the headline suggests scandal, the reporting in the piece fails to support any claim of impropriety. The article notes that McCabe’s involvement in the Clinton email case “wasn’t seen as a conflict or an ethics issue” by the FBI “because his wife’s campaign was over by then and Mr. McAuliffe wasn’t part of the email probe.” The piece also acknowledges an FBI statement that said McCabe “‘played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind’” for his wife’s campaign. Additionally, the article notes that according to the FBI statement, it was “‘months after the completion of her campaign’” that “‘then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.’”

    The piece was widely derided by journalists on Twitter for its flimsy claim and its attempt to implicate McAuliffe:

    The Journal has a history of hyping non-stories about Clinton, particularly regarding the Clinton Foundation. This piece comes shortly after Politico’s Joe Pompeo reported that many in the Journal’s newsroom, which is owned by the Rupert Murdoch-chaired News Corp., are disappointed with the “‘galling,’” “‘absurd,’” and “‘flattering’” treatment the paper has given Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.