President Obama noted that analysis of the George Zimmerman trial has led to a misguided focus on black crime rates. Indeed, the right-wing media have repeatedly hyped black crime statistics in the wake of the trial, often without acknowledging factors contributing to the problem and perception of black men as criminals.
The persistent right-wing talking point that immigration reform would bring in anywhere from 11 million to as many as 30 million new Democratic voters has definitively been exposed as a myth.
The charge, pushed by Fox News, rests on the bogus allegation that because the Senate immigration reform bill includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, those new citizens would then be eligible to vote for Democrats.
As Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote in a syndicated column arguing that "illegal alien amnesty violates our founding principles," "Unrepentant amnesty peddlers on both sides of the aisle admit their plan is all about votes and power." She continued:
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain continues his craven, futile chase for the Hispanic bloc. Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez is openly salivating at the prospect of millions of new illegal aliens -- future Democratic Party dependents of the Nanny State -- who could be eligible for Obamacare and a plethora of other government benefits despite clear prohibitions against them.
On Fox, contributor Monica Crowley echoed the argument, claiming that the Senate immigration reform bill "has nothing to do with immigration." She added: "The Democrats have played this brilliantly. This is about flooding the zone with new Democratic voters so they can get a permanent voting majority."
From the June 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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From the June 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Fox News personalities have seized on the brutal killing of a soldier in London to rail against immigration, claiming that immigration policies are partly to blame for the attacks. Conservative media figures similarly used the Boston bombing to condemn immigration and undermine immigration reform.
Conservative pundit and frequent Fox News guest Ann Coulter complained that the "ethnic composition" of the U.S. is shifting away from European-Americans, due to too much immigration from "the Third World."
In her May 22 blog that Human Events also published, Coulter warned that the immigration reform legislation being debated in the Senate is poised "to turn the country into Mexico," asking why the U.S. can't be "more or less the ethnic composition that it always was":
Why can't the country be more or less the ethnic composition that it always was? The 50-1 Latin American-to-European ratio isn't a natural phenomenon that might result from, say, Europeans losing interest in coming here and poor Latin Americans providing some unique skill desperately needed in our modern, technology-based economy.
To the contrary, it's result of an insane government policy. Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act was designed to artificially inflate the number of immigrants from the Third World, while making it virtually impossible for anyone from the nations that historically provided our immigrants to come here.
Pre-1965 immigrants were what made this country what it was for a reason: They were the pre-welfare state immigrants. From around 1630 to 1966, immigrants sank or swam. About a third of them couldn't make it in America and went home -- and those are the ones who weren't rejected right off the boat for being sick, crippled or idiots.
Coulter went on to write "I wouldn't want that many Japanese! I wouldn't want that many Dutch (not that there are that many Dutch)!" before asking if there was "a vote when the country decided to turn itself into Mexico."
This is not the first time Coulter has invoked "Third World" language to fearmonger over U.S. immigration. In a July 18 blog post that Human Events and Free Republic re-ran, she argued that, "Just like California, the United States is on its way to becoming a Third World, one-party state."
Over the objections of their own legal experts, right-wing media continue to argue the alleged Boston bomber should be denied constitutional rights unlike the hundreds of terrorists before him who have been successfully tried and convicted.
Prominent right-wing media figures have advocated a wide range of unconstitutional treatment for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old U.S. citizen accused of complicity in the Boston marathon bombing and subsequent murder of a police officer. Echoing GOP politicians from Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) to Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN), right-wing media have called for Tsarnaev to be denied the constitutional protections regularly given to domestic or foreign terrorists in this country, both before and after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Fox News hosts have suggested using torture on Tsarnaev because not all American citizens are "worthy of the constitutional rights that we have." The Wall Street Journal joined the dangerous clamor (fueled by Graham and Bachman) to indefinitely detain Tsarnaev in military custody as an "enemy combatant." Conservative pundit Ann Coulter told Fox's Sean Hannity she wanted authorities to "shoot up the boat" when they found Tsarnaev unarmed and "get him an automatic death penalty there."
When the Department of Justice initiated criminal proceedings against Tsarnaev, right-wing media turned their ire upon Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama for not preventing the federal judge from following the law. National Review Online's John Yoo accused the president of the "elevation of ideology over national security." Fox host Megyn Kelly continues to pretend "the public safety exception to Miranda lasts only 48 hours." A Washington Times columnist called for President Obama's impeachment because he is "unwilling" to protect America.
Fox News is leading the right-wing media chorus baselessly claiming Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the apparent bomber in the Boston Marathon attacks, should be indefinitely detained as an "enemy combatant," even though legal experts maintain it is unlikely he qualifies for this designation.
Militarily detaining U.S. citizens apprehended in this country as "enemy combatants" for acts of terror is extremely rare and constitutionally questionable. Former President George W. Bush transferred the last U.S. citizen held in such a fashion to federal criminal court rather than have the Supreme Court rule on the matter. President Barack Obama, while not explicitly disavowing his authority to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants," has publicly determined the practice to be unwise and contrary to American tradition and law.
Despite the legal uncertainty of the practice, Fox News host Sean Hannity declared that Tsarnaev should be held as an "enemy combatant" because "the evidence is obviously out there." From an interview with right-wing commentator Ann Coulter on the April 22 edition of Hannity:
Conservative media figures are using the Boston Marathon bombings to pressure lawmakers to halt attempts at immigration reform, the details of which were released last week by eight bi-partisan members of the Senate known as the "Gang of Eight." By suggesting that immigration reform could facilitate future terrorist attacks, right-wing media are attempting to obstruct legislation that a majority of Americans support.
From the April 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Ann Coulter has drawn criticism in recent days over a so-called joke she made about killing Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Coulter's remarks follow a pattern of invoking murder against her political opponents.
In an April 10 column, Coulter wrote, "MSNBC's Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals. (Let's start with Meghan McCain!)" The column drew harsh criticism from Cindy and Meghan McCain, who accused Coulter of only living "to spread hate and negativity." Coulter subsequently defended her comments on the April 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, claiming "everyone laughed" when they read the joke.
Coulter's remarks should come as no surprise. Coulter has routinely resorted to violent rhetoric against those with whom she disagrees:
In a June 2011 appearance on Hannity, Coulter said of the massacre at Kent State: "That's what you do with a mob."
In June 2009, Coulter said she "didn't really like to think of" the murder of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller as murder, adding: "It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester."
In September 2001, Coulter wrote of Muslims: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
In August 2002, Coulter said, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
In an August 2009 interview on Hannity, Coulter said that Zeke Emanuel, the brother of Chicago mayor and former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, "is on my death list."
In January 2006, Coulter said, "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee." She added: "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
Fox News figures are dismissing the voices of the families who suffered in a mass shooting in Newtown, CT by claiming they're being used and exploited by Democrats, discounting the efforts they have made to encourage Congress to pass stronger gun laws.
On April 11, the Senate overcame a Republican-led filibuster that tried to block the beginning of debate on stronger gun laws with a 68-31 vote. The impetus for the new gun proposals was driven by the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 victims dead, most of them young children. President Obama had been urging Congress to act to strengthen guns laws in response to the shooting for some time.
According to several Fox News figures, Obama has been using the families of the Newtown shooting victims as props for a political agenda.
On April 11, Fox News host Sean Hannity called the effort to strengthen gun laws "naked exploitation of dead children and grieving families," while his guest Ann Coulter said that Democrats are "play[ing] with these victims." The previous night, Hannity stated that the president "is once again using families of tragedy as props for his agenda." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said on his April 11 radio show that Obama is "using the Newtown families to push for background checks." Fox News White House reporter Ed Henry similarly said on April 9 that "for the second straight day, the White House used the victims of the Newtown tragedy to make their case." On his April 9 radio show, Fox News host Mike Huckabee suggested that taking some of the relatives of the Newtown shooting victims to Washington, DC on Air Force One to make their case for stronger gun laws was "an exploitation of those parents."
Such an attitude does a disservice to the many Newtown families that want tougher gun laws in the wake of their tragedies. Several of the families appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes on April 7 to discuss what kind of gun violence prevention measures they would like to see signed into law, saying that universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines were important. After the vote that broke the GOP's threatened filibuster, more than 30 families of Newtown victims released a statement criticizing those who tried block an up-or-down vote on new gun legislation, saying that "[t]he senators who have vowed to filibuster this bill should be ashamed of their attempt to silence efforts to prevent the next American tragedy."
From the April 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
Fox Nation has taken down a post it previously highlighted in which Ann Coulter joked about the death of Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
On April 10, Fox Nation linked to a column by Ann Coulter under the headline "Coulter: Liberals Go Crazy For The Mentally Ill." In the post, Coulter wrote, "MSNBC's Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals. (Let's start with Meghan McCain!)"
After the post was highlighted across various outlets, Fox Nation pulled it from its website. A cached version of the website shows that Fox Nation's original post included Coulter's joke about McCain's death:
Following Coulter's post, Meghan McCain responded on Twitter, saying, "Apparently Ann Coulter made a joke about me being killed in a recent column. I should expect nothing less but disgusted regardless."
From the March 14 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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