From the January 7 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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From the January 6 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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From the January 5 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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Fox News co-hosts on The Five argued about whether Donald Trump's prominent appearance on the network's New Year's Eve broadcast was problematic after noting that several other GOP candidates failed to come on the network for longer segments. Co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino explained that other candidates were dissuaded from making longer appearances on the network because it was essentially "the Trump show." In fact, Trump has been granted far more airtime on Fox News than any other candidate during the 2015 primary season, with more than double the amount of airtime as the next GOP candidate. From the January 4 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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Fleeing from terror and indiscriminate violence in parts of the Middle East, millions of people have packed up and left their homes to start safer lives for themselves and their families elsewhere. But if you tuned into Fox News anytime in the last year, you'd think the refugees themselves -- many of them Muslim -- were responsible for the violence. In fact, painting Muslims as terrorists, radicals, and tacit supporters of ISIS, baseless demonization of Islam was the channel's modus operandi in 2015. And it wasn't just right-wing media. CNN also joined the smears, asking a Muslim human rights lawyer if he supports ISIS, questioning a Michigan mayor if she's afraid of her majority Muslim-American city council, and forcing responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris onto an innocent French Muslim.
From berating a teenager for his interest in technology to inventing so-called "no-go zones," watch how the media fearmongered about Muslims in 2015:
As Columbia Journalism Review explains in their annual list of the worst journalism in 2015, the media has a special responsibility to get these stories right and not perpetuate Islamophobia, as inaccurate and "reactionary coverage" can "influence policy makers to take drastic measures under the guise of popular fears."
Right-wing media spent much of 2015 lashing out at celebrities. From seething over celebrities who spoke out against sexism and pay inequality in Hollywood and supported the Black Lives Matter movement, to objectifying female bodies, bashing the Pope, and telling an actress to "deport herself," Media Matters looks back at some of conservative media's most outrageous temper tantrums of 2015:
"Moderate Muslims don't speak out enough against the hijacking of their religion" Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity claimed in his first radio appearance after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
In a year bookended by three major terror attacks against the West, blaming "moderate Muslims" for failing to condemn acts of terrorism has become a hallmark of conservative media coverage. The constant demand for penance -- from Muslims who have nothing to do with the acts of violence -- is a rigged game, aimed at convincing audiences that Islam is dominated by violent extremists.
January's Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris set the stage for a year of anti-Muslim coverage. Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox News' parent company, tweeted that Muslims "must be held responsible" for terrorist attacks "until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer." Fox contributor Monica Crowley echoed his statements, claiming "I haven't heard any condemnation" of the attack from Muslim groups, while right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham claimed that similar attacks wouldn't occur if "most Muslims were against what was happening." When Paris was struck by terror again in November, Fox primetime figurehead Bill O'Reilly called for a "Million Muslim March," adding that people want to "see a mobilization of the good Muslims." Capping off the year of Islamophobic coverage, Fox daytime host Andrea Tantaros used December's terrorist attack by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, California as an opportunity to peddle the myth that Muslims "don't come out and denounce [terrorism]."
But conservative media's calls for "moderate Muslims" to condemn terrorism are disingenuous. Muslim groups and leaders have repeatedly and roundly condemned terrorism. After November's attacks in Paris, leaders from numerous Arab states and Muslim-majority countries called them "heinous crimes" that are "repugnant," and "against all human and moral values." Eleven months earlier, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, religious scholar Reza Aslan said "anyone who keeps saying that we need to hear the moderate voice of Islam, why aren't Muslims denouncing these violent attacks, doesn't own Google." Nevertheless right-wing media routinely ignored these condemnations, choosing instead to criticize Muslims for supposedly not speaking up. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the spokesman from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA condemned the attack on FoxNews.com, yet on the same day Fox News personalities claimed Muslims had not. Sean Hannity doubled down in his attacks against "silent" Muslims days after leaders of predominately Muslim countries, some of the largest Islamic groups in America, and Muslims across the world denounced the November Paris attacks.
And when conservative commentators do acknowledge statements from mainstream Muslim groups, it's often only to ridicule those groups for speaking out. After the December 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), one of the largest Islamic organizations in America, quickly denounced the attack in a press conference after the shooters were revealed to be Muslim. Executive Director Hussam Ayloush reassured the country on CNN that "all American Muslims share with the rest of the country our sorrow today, our shock, and our agony for what happened."
But rather than silencing criticisms, CAIR's response only drew outrage from conservative commentators who labeled the group a "terrorist organization" and "that Muslim group that ain't the best in the world." One Fox guest even went so far as to compare the press conference to "a pedophile sending NAMBLA out to speak for them," while others dismissed the statements as "damage control" and a "media crisis management plan." Frequent Fox guest Dr. Zuhdi Jasser somehow gathered from CAIR's statements that they "inculcate those first steps of radicalization" and see it as "sort of normal behavior."
CAIR's condemnations also did little to curb conservative media claims that Muslims weren't speaking out against terrorism. Even while acknowledging CAIR's press conference, a segment on Fox's Outnumbered still claimed that Muslims weren't sending the message that terrorists "are much different than the rest of us."
Many of the same conservative media figures who demanded penance from "moderate Muslims" for acts of terror also repeatedly suggested that Islam and Western society are fundamentally incompatible. Monica Crowley reasoned that Muslims weren't denouncing terror because "in Islam, the good Muslims are the jihadis, so the ones not carrying out violence are looked at as sort of crummy Muslims." Laura Ingraham stoked anti-Muslim fears by citing a faulty poll to falsely claim that Muslims "have a 5,000 percent greater chance of being connected with some type of jihadi group in the United States." Sean Hannity asked if "we have a clash of cultures we've got to consider?" in reference to resettling Syrian civil war refugees in the U.S., adding, "How do we know if they want to assimilate?" Bill O'Reilly called the European refugee crisis "the dramatic Muslim invasion." Fox News figures capitalized on the crisis to stoke fears that Muslim refugees may be terrorists, from Andrea Tantaros claiming "taking Islamic refugees would be suicide" to The Five co-host Eric Bolling saying male Muslim refugees are "going to be easily radicalized by ISIS."
This tactic -- assigning collective guilt and then falsely accusing "moderate Muslims" of being complicit with violent terrorism -- has become a powerful weapon in conservative media's campaign to fearmonger about Islam.
After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Caner Dagli, a professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, pointed out that these demands are "really about political statements and maintaining a certain social hierarchy" and "an act by the powerful assigning collective guilt against the powerless":
This is really about political statements and maintaining a certain social hierarchy. Demanding that innocent Muslims always make new statements about crimes they could not have stopped, from which they do not benefit, and have always condemned anyway, is an act by the powerful assigning collective guilt against the powerless. The critics who want Muslims to "speak out" only grow more demanding when Muslims actually do speak out, because by doing so Muslims have publicly affirmed the right of others to blame them collectively, regardless of whether they are accountable or not.
Such political maneuvers -- and that is what they really are -- increase the leverage that can be exerted over Muslims in public life. Muslim voices are thus uniquely kept out of view unless they are apologizing for some atrocity they had nothing to do with.
Endlessly accusing Muslims of being insufficiently outraged by terrorism helps prime conservative media audiences for a wildly distorted view of Islam. Vox's Max Fisher shed light on the mindset that these tactics breed: "the implication is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise."
That implication has consequences. While right-wing media figures heightened suspicions of the Muslim community, anti-Muslim backlash in America has been on the rise. The FBI reported that in 2014, hate crimes across the board decreased -- that is, except for anti-Muslim crimes, which rose about 14 percent. And according to a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, that trend may be "destined to accelerate."
Just days after the attacks in Paris, a Muslim engineer attended a community forum to present an application for a zoning permit to replace his city's aging Islamic center. A crowd poured into the meeting to harass him. "Nobody wants your evil cult in this town," someone in the hall shouted, "because you are terrorists. Every one of you are terrorists ... Every Muslim is a terrorist, period. Shut your mouth." Vandalism at mosques reached a record high this year with anecdotal evidence suggesting that 2015 "has been one of the most intensely anti-Muslim periods in American history," as nearly twenty anti-Muslim incidents took place over the course of just one week in December.
When conservative media commentators demand that Muslims condemn acts of terrorism and subsequently ignore their voices when they do, they are insidiously suggesting that Muslims condone terrorism. These demands are meant to make audiences suspicious of the idea of "moderate Muslims" and inflate the perception of extremists within the religion. Muslims are then left with seemingly no way to win, no matter how loud or how hard they try.
Fox's Eric Bolling reacted to an argument from The Five co-host Dana Perino that "defunding Planned Parenthood" is problematic by suggesting that the way to solve the problem is to "separate" abortion services from "woman's services." But under the federal 1977 "Hyde Amendment," such a suggestion has been the law for almost 40 years.
Since 1977, the Hyde Amendment has stipulated that federal funds cannot be used to cover the cost of abortion, with the exception of abortions in the case of rape, incest and to protect a woman's life. Federal Medicaid funds are reimbursements for medical services provided to Medicaid patients, such as STD screenings, birth control, and cancer screenings. Although states may use state funds for Medicaid to cover the cost of abortions, 32 states and the District of Columbia follow the federal standards. Title X, another major source of federal funding for family planning services at Planned Parenthood, is similarly prohibited from covering abortions.
During the December 22 edition of Fox News' The Five, however, co-host Bolling claimed the Republicans "haven't figured out" how to "defund the abortion part of Planned Parenthood," and suggested setting up a "Chinese wall."
DANA PERINO: A couple of things though, Planned Parenthood, they bring up the defunding Planned Parenthood. Here's the box that Republicans are in. So when you're in a competitive primary, and you have to run to try to win that, you have to deal with what your party wants, okay? That party might want repeal. But Planned Parenthood defunding, that actually polls so negatively for the GOP. It has about, funding Planned Parenthood has about a 65 to 70% approval rate so that makes it very difficult then when you switch to go to a general election. Where I think Hillary Clinton is more vulnerable than they will admit is on Obamacare. If you look at Kentucky, for example, where we had a special election in 2014, the Republican candidate was not expected to win, he was down by about a touchdown, he won by about a touchdown. And this has the Democrats worried, because that and all the exit polls was mostly about Obamacare.
GREG GUTFELD: Eric, Why can't they discuss the topic of national security?
ERIC BOLLING: It's a lose for them. She just highlighted all the things that they think they're winning. Dana points out Planned Parenthood. There is a way to defund the abortion part of Planned Parenthood. But the Republicans haven't figured out how to do that. Just separate the two. There's women's services and there's abortion. You want to fund women's services, knock yourself out. Just don't meld them. It's so easy, it's a Chinese wall.
Right-wing media spent 2015 defending, praising, and peddling several of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's debunked falsehoods, which PolitiFact rounded up as one big "lie of the year."
Fox News has a long history of promoting sexism on-air, and 2015 was no different. Media Matters rounded up the 10 most cringe-worthy instances of sexism that happened on Fox this year -- as well as a bonus cringe-inducing moment from CNN.
From the December 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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From the December 14 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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FWD.us, an advocacy group focused on comprehensive immigration reform, founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has released a video revealing the impact that mass deportation policies proposed by GOP presidential candidates and championed by right-wing media figures would actually have.
FWD.us, as other critical voices have explained, noted that the negative consequences of deporting 11.3 million immigrants, would include incurring in a 600 billion dollar cost, the destruction of millions of families, the creation of a police state, and the potential waste of miles and miles of agricultural products.
Yet many right-wing media figures have lauded Donald Trump's mass deportation proposal, including Rush Limbaugh who said Trump didn't go "far enough." Sean Hannity dismissed criticism of Trum's mass deportation plan as an "emotional argument," while Fox's Eric Bolling claimed that Trump's deportation force would be "good for Latinos."
Co-hosts of Fox News' The Five denied the existence of an anti-Muslim "backlash" in the United States, saying that they "haven't seen a lot of it" and that had the Obama Administration conducted more surveillance of Muslims "they wouldn't have to have these conversations about telling us to be tolerant." The comments came shortly after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States -- including by U.S. citizens seeking to re-enter the country.
Trump drew widespread criticism on the afternoon of December 7 for his call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," including Muslim-American citizens currently abroad.
During the next hour, co-hosts Jesse Watters and Kimberly Guilfoyle sought to criticize Obama administration's call for tolerance toward Muslims by denying the existence of discrimination against people of that faith. Watters asserted, "Let me know if you see any Muslim backlash, I haven't seen a lot of it." Guilfoyle added, "I mean, who's vilifying any of the Muslims. Who's doing that?" Co-host Juan Williams subsequently pointed to Trump's statement. From the December 7 edition of The Five:
JESSE WATTERS (CO-HOST): Let me know if you see any Muslim backlash, I haven't seen a lot of it. The president wasn't really worried about anti-police backlash or anti-Tea Party backlash or anti-Christian backlash when those institutions were being smeared and denigrated. In fact, there were actual backlash against those institutions. We had the Chick-Fil-A shooter going up, shooting up the place over gay marriage. You had the Tea Party being targeted by Obama's own IRS. You had cops being executed in New York. I didn't hear a lot about backlash then.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Yeah, but they're just assuming horrible facts, not in evidence in actions on behalf of the American people, saying, I mean, who's vilifying any of the Muslims. Who's doing that? They are really talking about this and putting it as the top of the framework, because these are talking points straight out of the White House from President Obama and Valerie Jarrett and that's why they put Loretta Lynch there to like babysit [FBI Director James] Comey so he doesn't like get out of line when he's trying to answer questions to the press and god forbid admit it, say that this is terrorism. The president knew that it was terrorism and he didn't want to say it. He was compelled and forced to tell the truth.
JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): So let me just respond to you. What about Donald Trump today saying we shouldn't admit any of the Muslims?
ERIC BOLLING (HOST): We're going to get to that in a minute.
WILLIAMS: So your point is, nobody is vilifying--
GUILFOYLE: But if you want to use the opportunity and try and vilify and go after Donald Trump who is not Commander-in-Chief, he's not President of the United States...
WILLIAMS: No you said nobody is...
GUILFOYLE: Barack Obama is. That's why, that's who I am talking about.
From the December 7 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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