Research

Planned Parenthood Is Under Attack In Texas, And Media There Are Failing The Challenge 

Texas media are omitting crucial information in reports on the state’s move to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, including that Texas’ decision was largely based on debunked videos by an anti-abortion activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, and that the move will negatively impact women’s health. In contrast, reporting by online outlets geared toward women put Texas media to shame, explaining that the evidence behind the policy decision is misleading and that the defunding will have dire consequences for women’s health in Texas.

December 21, 2016 3:10 PM EST
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News Reports Uncritically Portray Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson As Climate Change Advocate

Several media outlets reporting on President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state have uncritically described Tillerson as accepting of climate change and supportive of a carbon tax. But these reports ignored scientifically inaccurate claims Tillerson has made about climate change, Exxon’s continued financial support of groups that deny climate science, inconsistencies by both Tillerson and Exxon on whether they truly support a carbon tax, and fierce opposition to Tillerson’s nomination from leading environmental groups -- not to mention the fact that Exxon is under investigation in several states for possibly violating state laws by deceiving shareholders and the public about climate change.

December 16, 2016 3:56 PM EST
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Conservative Media Freak Out Over Facebook’s Plan To Address The Fake News Problem

Right-wing media figures attacked Facebook for announcing that it would partner with third-party fact-checking organizations like PolitiFact and The Associated Press to combat fake news. The freakout from conservative pundits follows their repeated attempts to hijack the term “fake news” in order to discredit mainstream news sources.

December 15, 2016 4:10 PM EST
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Understanding The Fake News Universe

A Guide To Fake News Terminology

The fake news universe is vast and ephemeral, and to some extent its dimensions are unknowable. But Media Matters’ research team spent hundreds of hours trying to map out as much of it as possible. Below is what we’ve learned and how we’ve come to define many of the moving parts that create an ecosystem for fake news to spread and thrive.

December 15, 2016 11:11 AM EST
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Supporters Of Rex Tillerson, Trump's Pick For State, Have Exxon Ties Of Their Own

Mainstream Outlets Tout Support Of Gates, Rice, And Baker, But Ignore Their Stakes In Exxon

After President-elect Donald Trump announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his pick for secretary of state, morning news shows and newspapers noted that prominent figures including James Baker III, Robert M. Gates, and Condoleezza Rice have expressed support for Tillerson, with some mentioning that such support adds credibility to the pick. But those outlets failed to disclose that all three figures have considerable financial ties through their businesses to Tillerson, ExxonMobil, and the oil company’s Russian business ventures.

December 13, 2016 3:03 PM EST
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Here Is How Trump's Media Allies Reacted To CIA Report That Russian Government Intervened In Election To Help Trump

After an anonymous source within the Central Intelligence Agency told The Washington Post the agency has “high confidence” that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 election to assist President-elect Donald Trump, right-wing media outlets quickly sought to delegitimize the allegations by claiming the CIA is too partisan to be trusted, or that the hacking was in reality a “false flag” attack by another actor. 

December 12, 2016 9:47 PM EST
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Right-Wing Media Amplify Hate Group's Attack On Gay Government Official

Right-wing media outlets are parroting the attacks of an anti-LGBTQ hate group on Connecticut’s openly gay comptroller, Kevin Lembo. Lembo recently sent the American Family Association (AFA) a letter asking the group to submit written documentation certifying it complies with the nondiscrimination regulations governing the Connecticut State Employee Campaign for Charitable Giving (CSEC), which allows Connecticut State employees to contribute to qualifying non-profit charities through payroll deductions. Lembo’s office has since been “flooded” with emails and phone calls from AFA supporters.

December 9, 2016 4:49 PM EST
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What Media Should Know About Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Pick To Head The EPA

On December 7, President-elect Donald Trump named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Media should take note of Pruitt’s climate science denial, his deep ties to the energy industries he will be charged with regulating, and his long record of opposition to EPA efforts to reduce air and water pollution and combat climate change.

December 8, 2016 4:42 PM EST
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The Right-Wing Media’s Government Takeover, Via Donald Trump

Trump Has Picked -- Or Considered -- Over A Dozen Right-Wing Media Veterans For His Administration

President-elect Donald Trump has picked -- or considered -- nearly a dozen people who have worked in right-wing media, including talk radio, right-wing news sites, Fox News, and conservative newspapers, to fill his administration. And Trump himself made weekly guest appearances on Fox for a number of years while his vice president used to host a conservative talk radio show.

December 8, 2016 1:04 PM EST
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Reports Show Trump May Have Had Little To Do With SoftBank Deal He Took Credit For

On December 6, President-elect Donald Trump credited his election victory for spurring Japanese telecommunications and technology giant SoftBank to propose a $50 billion investment in the United States, which he claimed would create as many as 50,000 jobs. Later reporting from The Wall Street Journal and others debunked Trump’s boasts, but not before numerous media outlets amplified his unsubstantiated claims.

December 7, 2016 3:32 PM EST
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Here Are 5 People Close To Trump Who Have Propagated Fake News

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and continuing into the transition period, President-elect Donald Trump has surrounded himself with people who have helped propagate fake news, which got more attention than real news did on Facebook toward the end of the election cycle. That list includes two of his sons, his former campaign manager, his pick for national security adviser, and the adviser’s son, who was involved in the transition until recently. The fake news stories they pushed included a piece claiming Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton paid people to protest Trump’s election and a fake claim that Clinton and her campaign were involved in a child trafficking ring.

December 6, 2016 5:10 PM EST
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Pundits Defend Trump’s Dangerous Phone Call With Taiwan’s President

Experts In Asian Pacific Studies And International Relations Warn It “Raises The Risk Of Diplomatic Disaster”

Pundits are defending President-elect Donald Trump’s protocol-shattering phone conversation with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen as “terrific” and saying it will have “no cost to America,” but experts in Asian Pacific studies and international relations warn that the move “does not bode well for US-China relations” and “raises the risk of diplomatic disaster.”

December 5, 2016 2:45 PM EST
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Trump Picks Former Fox News Contributor Ben Carson To Serve As Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development

Carson Has Repeatedly Expressed Opposition To Government Aid For Poor Americans

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Dr. Ben Carson to serve as his secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson, a former Fox News contributor, has repeatedly said he opposes government efforts to eradicate poverty, and he has a long history of making off-color and offensive remarks during his stint with the network.

December 5, 2016 1:57 PM EST
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