Issues ››› Elections
  • Washington Times Revives Myth That DOJ Disenfranchised Military

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In a February 14 editorial, the Washington Times revived the false smear that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department intentionally blocked military ballots, because "military voters tend to be Republican and the administration that's dragging its feet on their behalf is Democratic." From the Washington Times:

    MOVE was supposed to fix the broken system, but the Justice Department publicly encouraged states to seek waivers from MOVE's requirements, was extremely tardy in sending information to states about how to comply and then failed to adequately monitor compliance. It's not coincidental that military voters tend to be Republican and the administration that's dragging its feet on their behalf is Democratic. While the department slept, a volunteer team of law students for the private Military Voter Protection (MVP) Project caught seven states in noncompliance. A lawsuit from MVP - against a ballot plan already approved by Justice - forced full accommodation for military voters from Maryland. On Oct. 29, federal district Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that the plan approved for Maryland by the Justice Department"unconstitutionally infringes the right to vote" of overseas personnel.


    On Oct. 28, before the election took place, Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, wrote to Mr. Perez, complaining, "Whether or not the department's efforts have been robust, the results certainly are not." Mr. Lungren is chairman of the committee holding today's hearing. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his team at Justice are about to find out that the new Republican majority won't sit still for mistreatment of U.S. servicemen like former House Speaker Pelosi's leadership did.


    Fox now promoting GOP activist Adams' false claim DOJ is "ignoring" military voting law

    Fox fearmongers again about nonexistent military disenfranchisement

    Another Fox News voting rights story collapses

  • Ethics Crisis: Fox Nation Ratchets Up Speculation About Palin's Presidential Run

    Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    There has long been an ethics problem at Fox News -- the network employs five potential Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Rick Santorum, and Sarah Palin. The presence of these potential candidates has raised questions about when it becomes inappropriate for Fox to continue paying contributors who are clearly benefiting from exposure on Fox. The unspoken deal seems to be that they can push their agendas and promote themselves on Fox, as long as they are not explicitly running for office. (Fox has allowed them almost unrestricted access to its airwaves.)

    Ironically, Fox has exacerbated this ethics problem by continually speculating on its own employees' potential runs, especially Palin's. This speculation has become more and more concrete over time. Yesterday, Fox Nation posted the following:

    Fox Nation: Palin Hires Chief Of Staff...Strong Indication of 2012 Presidential Run

    Fox News seems as eager to put doubts about her candidacy to rest as any other news outlet. It even featured her on its "12 for 2012" series on presidential candidates, giving her "5 to 1" odds of getting the Republican nomination.

    Media Matters has estimated that the time given to Fox's presidential candidates is equivalent to $55 million in free advertising.

    When is this going to stop?

  • Santorum Suggests He Might Participate In Fox's Presidential Debate As A Fox Employee


    Former Sen. Rick Santorum suggested yesterday that he wouldn't have to give up his current Fox News employment if he wanted to participate in the network's upcoming presidential primary debate, so long as he hasn't officially declared his candidacy.

    "I don't think you have to be a candidate to be a part of the debate, at least that's my understanding," Santorum said when asked by Media Matters at CPAC if Fox should require contributors to terminate their Fox employment before participating in the May 5 South Carolina debate.

    Santorum, a Fox News contributor who's testing the waters for a presidential run, added that he doesn't think it's a conflict of interest to be a part of the Fox debate. Watch:

  • Adams Strikes Out Again Trying To Pin Obama's DOJ As Racist

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

    Conservative wannabe-whistleblower J. Christian Adams is banging the (same) drum again, repeating claims that his former employers, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama's Department of Justice, are unwilling to protect the rights of white voters. Republicans sent him invitations to testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he's scheduled to speak at CPAC, and now The Washington Times has provided him another opportunity to advance his fabrications, and therefore presumably his stature as a conservative icon, in his latest diatribe intended to promote the New Black Panther Party phony story.

    The content of the latest Adams column is nothing new. He begins by claiming that scurrilous DOJ enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are sufficient to make the Act unconstitutional under a theory of unequal enforcement on the basis of race... if only the U.S. Supreme Court were made aware of what's going on at DOJ (guess where Adams comes in?).

    Adams repeats the bogus claim that the Obama administration's actions in Noxubee County, MS, show that the DOJ engages in a racial double standard with regard to enforcing election laws. He opines in The Washington Times:

    Eric H. Holder Jr.'s Justice Department has become notorious for enforcing election laws with a racial double standard. From the corrupt dismissal of the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case to the refusal to enforce voter integrity laws, Mr. Holder's tenure has been politicized and race-based.

    The Supreme Court may be surprised to learn that the Justice Department refuses to conduct any analysis under Section 5 when the racial minority is white, as is the case in many towns and counties covered by Section 5.

    This failure to enforce the law equally is not simply a theoretical problem. There are real victims.

    During the George W. Bush years, the department brought and won a discrimination case in rural Noxubee County, Miss., against a black official who used fraud and lawlessness to discriminate against the white minority. Yet when a submission under Section 5 was made by this same wrongdoer to facilitate continued discrimination in 2010, the Holder Justice Department didn't even review the discriminatory proposal under Section 5.

    Why not? Because Mr. Holder's Justice Department believes as a matter of policy that its resources should not be used to enforce Section 5 on behalf of white victims.

    However, as we've noted, this is entirely inaccurate. What the DOJ actually did when the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee submitted their request was state that only the "Referee-Administrator" assigned during the Bush years had standing to make a determination. The Justice Department then asked the court to prohibit those plans from moving forward. DOJ stated that by submitting the request in the first place, the defendants were in violation of the Bush-era injunction, concluding:

    The Defendants have violated the Remedial Order in this case in two ways. First, the Defendants have assumed electoral duties that this Court has exclusively reserved for the Referee-Administrator. Second, the evidence surrounding the Defendants' decision to implement this new party loyalty standard indicates that, like the party loyalty standard previously implemented by Defendants in Noxubee County, its genesis is one that is, at least in part, racially motivated.

    DOJ also sought to extend the injunction against the NCDEC and their leader, Ike Brown, specifically citing potential harm to white voters. The DOJ filing read:

    The current effort by the Defendants is a part of the same pattern of behavior described by the Court in its liability opinion, in which Mr. Brown was seen to combine partisan motives with underlying racial motives. In the liability opinion, the Court noted that the list of 174 voters Mr. Brown threatened to challenge on party loyalty grounds included only white voters, despite the presence of black voters who met the terms of his party loyalty standard. Brown, 494 F. Supp. 2d at 476. These facts established that Mr. Brown's actions were motivated in part by racial concerns.


    The United States therefore respectfully requests that the Court enjoin the Defendants from making any attempt to enforce the provisions of their "Motion to close Democratic Primary."

    There's no doubt that, as a career attorney and a conservative, the strength of Adams' personal brand depends upon the credibility of his Holder/DOJ attacks. Unfortunately for him, the DOJ's actions in the Noxubee case are in fact a "smoking gun" of proof that the administration is keeping a just and vigilant eye on the concerns of all U.S. voters, regardless of race.

  • FOXLEAKS: Fox Caught Scripting Socialism Attack

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    "Isn't that what they do in socialist countries?"

    Steve Doocy's question sounded like a spontaneous reaction to what he apparently saw as the threat Barack Obama would pose to freedom of the press.

    It wasn't.

    The Fox News host's inflammatory question had, in fact, been scripted the night before in an email sent by a Fox producer.

    The incident, which occurred on the October 27, 2008, edition of Fox & Friends, came during what appears to have been a network-wide campaign to tie Obama to socialism in the month leading up to the presidential election. Internal Fox documents obtained by Media Matters and a review of the network's pre-election coverage show that Fox hosts, producers, and other journalists were involved in the effort.

    October 27 was also the day that Fox's then-deputy managing editor Bill Sammon sent an internal email referencing what he described in the subject line as "Obama's references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists in his autobiography, 'Dreams from My Father.' " Sammon appeared on multiple Fox shows to discuss his "research" and also wrote a FoxNews.com piece about Obama's "affinity to Marxists."

    The events leading up to Doocy's "socialist" question began four days earlier, when WFTV (ABC's Orlando affiliate) anchor Barbara West interviewed Joe Biden. During the interview, West suggested Obama's infamous exchange with "Joe the Plumber" -- in which Obama had advocated, "spread[ing] the wealth around" -- was a "potentially crushing political blunder."

    West then asked: "You may recognize this famous quote: 'From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.' That's from Karl Marx. How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?"

    "Are you joking?" asked a stunned Biden. "Is this a joke?"

    "No," said West. "That's a question."

    In response to West's interview, the Obama campaign reportedly cancelled a planned appearance by Jill Biden on WFTV and told the station, "This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election."

    On the evening of October 26, a Fox producer named Elizabeth Fanning emailed an outline of the next morning's Fox & Friends to numerous staffers at the network. The document, obtained by Media Matters, listed five separate segments about the WFTV interview that were scheduled for the October 27 show. For each segment, the document listed an identical series of questions, including: "Isn't this what happens in communist countries?"

    And that's almost exactly what Doocy said on the air. Interviewing Fox contributor Michelle Malkin, Doocy asked, "Isn't that what they do in socialist countries?"

  • FOXLEAKS: Bill Sammon's October Surprise

    How A Top Fox Editor Tried To Tie Obama To Socialism

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    During the final days of the 2008 presidential race, Bill Sammon used his position as a top Fox News editor to engage in a campaign to link then-Sen. Barack Obama to "Marxists" and "socialism," internal Fox documents and a review of his televised appearances show.

    On October 27, 2008, Sammon sent an email to colleagues highlighting what he described as "Obama's references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists" in his 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father. Shortly after sending the email, Sammon -- then the network's Washington deputy managing editor -- appeared on two Fox News programs to discuss his research and also wrote a FoxNews.com piece about Obama's "affinity to Marxists" that was disseminated throughout the conservative blogosphere.

    From: Sammon, Bill
    Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 1:02 PM
    To: 069 -Politics; 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com)
    Subject: fyi: Obama's references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists in his autobiography, "Dreams from My Father." Plus a couple of his many self-described "racial obsessions"...

    * "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists." (Obama writing about his time at Occidental College in "Dreams.")

    * After his sophomore year, Obama transferred to Columbia University. He lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, venturing to the East Village for "thesocialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union," he recalled, adding: "Much of what I absorbed from the sixties was filtered through my mother, who to the end of her life would proudly proclaim herself an unreconstructed liberal."

    * After graduating from Columbia in 1983, Obama spent a year working for a consulting firm and then went to work for "a Ralph Nader offshoot" in Harlem. "In search of some inspiration, I went to hear Kwame Toure, formerly Stokely Carmichael of SNCC and Black Panther fame, speak at Columbia. At the entrance to the auditorium, two women, one black, one Asian, were selling Marxist literature."

    During this period, according to Obama, he began a serious romantic relationship.

    * "There was a woman in New York that I loved. She was white," Obama wrote in "Dreams." "We saw each other for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in her apartment, sometimes in mine. You know how you can fall into your own private world? Just two people, hidden and warm. Your own language. Your own customs." But Obama said their relationship was doomed by the racial difference. "I pushed her away," he recalled."The emotion between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing from ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart."

    * In June 1985, Obama was interviewed in New York by Marty Kaufman, a community organizer from Chicago. Obama recalled: "There was something about him that made me wary. A little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."

    By that evening, the subject line of Sammon's email had been inserted -- word-for-word -- into show notes written in preparation for the next morning's Fox & Friends, which featured an appearance by Sammon.

    The information in Sammon's email wasn't exactly breaking news. He had already published essentially the same research about Obama's 1995 memoir a year earlier in his book Meet the Next President. But Sammon, who has since been promoted to Washington managing editor, believed the "biased" media were failing to question Obama's purported links to radicals and socialism. Sammon also believed Sen. John McCain's campaign could gain momentum by capitalizing on those links.

    For weeks, Sammon had used Fox's airwaves to promote efforts to tie Obama to socialism. On October 14, 2008, Sammon said that Obama's "spread the wealth" remark to Joe the Plumber "is red meat when you're talking to conservatives and you start talking about spread the wealth around. That is tantamount to socialism."

    Sammon repeated the "tantamount to socialism" line about Obama's remark later that day, stating: "That's anathema to conservatives. That's the same as saying spread the misery around. That's basically tantamount to socialism. And that bothers a lot of people. So I think if McCain is going to have any chance of moving ahead, he's got to turn this economic discussion from something that's been hurting him for the last couple of weeks to something that can help him by focusing on what to do about the economy in the future."

    On October 21, 2008, Sammon appeared on Greta Van Susteren's show, where he referred to Bill Ayers "talking about being a Marxist." Sammon then said, "I have read Barack Obama's books pretty carefully, and he in his own words talks about being drawn to Marxists. ... Now all this stuff's coming out about whether he's a socialist. I don't know why anyone is surprised by it, because if you read his own words and his sort of, you know, orientation coming up as a liberal through college and as a young man, it's not a huge shock."

    Sammon appeared on Fox & Friends' October 25, 2008, program and said that the McCain campaign "has now picked up this socialism word on their own, and they're running with it. I think it's their one opportunity that they have to turn this economy into something that actually works for their campaign because as you know, for weeks the economy has been killing the McCain campaign and I think this helps them."

    Then, on October 27, 2008, the Drudge Report posted audio of a 2001 radio interview with Obama. Fox News and conservative commentators distorted the interview, with some falsely claiming that Obama said it was a "tragedy" that the Supreme Court had not pursued "redistribution of wealth."

    It was in this context Sammon sent his "Marxism" email to journalists at Fox.

    Less than 90 minutes after sending the email, Sammon appeared on the October 27, 2008, broadcast of Fox's Live Desk -- one of Fox's supposedly straight news daytime programs -- to discuss, in co-anchor Martha MacCallum's words, how "quotes that you found earlier in one of Barack Obama's books" relate to questions about whether Obama's policies are "socialism." Sammon said Obama was "drawn to Marxists" and "socialists." Sammon declared that Obama had been posturing "as a moderate" when "his heart is really towards the hard left."

  • Napolitano Baselessly Cries Corruption In Decision To Allow Emanuel To Remain On Ballot

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    On Fox News today, Fox's senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano attacked the Illinois Supreme Court decision that Rahm Emanuel met the residency requirements to appear on Chicago's mayoral ballot. Napolitano said in order to be elected, the judges have to be "approved by the same political machine that is approving and supporting and promoting Rahm Emanuel. So, don't think of judges in Illinois as serious scholars devoted to the Constitution and the rule of law. They're politicians in black robes." Napolitano also opined that Emanuel did not meet the residency requirements.

    But completely undermining Napolitano's claims that the decision was dictated by the Chicago political machine is the fact that three of the seven Illinois Supreme Court justices who unanimously decided that Emanuel's name should appear on the ballot are Republicans: Justice Robert Thomas who wrote the lead opinion; Justice Lloyd Karmeier; and Justice Rita Garman.

    Furthermore, NPR's David Schaper reports that Law Professor Dawn Clark Netsch, who "played a key role in redrafting the Illinois Constitution in 1970" say that the Illinois Supreme Court's unanimous decision was "the right call."

  • UPDATED REPORT: Fox News' $55 Million Presidential Donation

    ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    Last year, five potential Republican presidential candidates (Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum) who also serve as Fox News contributors or hosts appeared on the network for more than 85 hours. Media Matters for America estimates this time to be worth approximately $54.7 million in free advertising.