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Conservative media and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are revisiting the debunked right-wing media pseudo-scandal of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party to defend Trump’s assertion that “large scale voter fraud” will affect the election.
After the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, a video went viral of two members of the New Black Panther Party standing outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day. One was a registered Democratic poll watcher; the other held a nightstick. Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the incident after Republican poll watchers complained (no voters ever alleged that they were intimidated by the men). Later, under Obama’s administration, the DOJ obtained a default judgment against the member carrying the nightstick and dropped the case against the poll watcher, the organization, and its leader.
Bush’s U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which at the time was packed with conservative activists, responded to the conclusion of the case by opening an investigation, even though the Republican vice chairwoman of the commission called the case “very small potatoes” and criticized the “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges.” Nevertheless, J. Christian Adams, an activist Republican member of the commission, went on a lengthy crusade against Obama’s Justice Department for dropping the charges, resigning and claiming the decision showed unprecedented, racially charged corruption.
Adams found a friendly and eager platform for his position in Fox News, particularly with host Megyn Kelly. In 2010, Fox News devoted at least 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime in two weeks to the phony scandal, including more than 3.5 hours on Kelly’s America Live. Adams admitted that he had no first-hand knowledge of the conversations leading to the decision.
One year later, an internal investigation at the Justice Department found that “politics played no role in the handling” of the case and that “department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment.” Fox News spent only 88 seconds covering the debunking of a phony scandal of its own creation. Kelly spent only 20 seconds of her show covering the report.
But the damage was already done, and the obsessive coverage of the non-event has bubbled back up in the 2016 presidential election.
On October 17, Trump tweeted, “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day.” As they tried to play defense for their candidate, right-wing media figures invoked the faux New Black Panther scandal. CNN’s paid Trump surrogates Kayleigh McEnany and Scottie Nell Hughes got in on the action, with McEnany claiming that Trump “doesn’t want a scenario where there's New Black Panthers outside with guns, essentially like intimidating people from coming into the polls” and Hughes saying that “voter suppression happened when the Black Panthers stood outside the election room.” (CNN’s Kristen Powers retorted, “There was not a single complaint from a single voter.”)
Conservative radio hosts joined in, with Mike Gallagher asserting that “in Philadelphia we know all about the New Black Panther movement and what they did in Philadelphia at the polling places,” and Howie Carr accusing the Obama administration of “refus[ing] to prosecute” them for “roaming outside polling places, precincts in Philadelphia with baseball bats and threatening white people.”
Key figures in creating the scandal have also resurfaced to defend Trump’s voter fraud narrative. Fox & Friends hosted J. Christian Adams to push the myth that “dead people are voting … and it’s going to affect the election” (in reality, claims of dead voter fraud are “plagued by recurring methodological errors” and actual instances of this kind of fraud are exceedingly uncommon). The Trump campaign also hired Mike Roman as head of a “nationwide election protection operation.” Roman is a Republican political consultant who shopped the 2008 video to Fox News, worked with Adams to push the scandal, and offered to contact every Republican voter in the Philadelphia precinct to determine if any were intimidated at the polling location.
The New Black Panther Party pseudo-scandal’s resurgence is only the latest example of how obsessive right-wing coverage of a comprehensively debunked myth, followed by scant coverage of news that does not fit the narrative, can allow a myth to pass as truth for years. Fox’s infatuation with Benghazi still continues to this day and, like the New Black Panther Party issue and other myths, it is frequently revived to attack Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or bolster ridiculous assertions by Trump. By bringing the overblown and debunked New Black Panther story back into the mainstream, Trump backers in the media are grasping at straws to defend his rigged election nonsense.
Boston area right-wing talk radio host and Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr -- one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in media -- will moderate a town hall event in New Hampshire with Trump. Carr has extensively used his media platforms to promote Trump’s campaign and frequently deploys discriminatory rhetoric against racial and religious minorities as well as women to support Trump’s divisive campaign.
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Boston Herald columnist and syndicated radio host Howie Carr spent the first 30 minutes of his August 31 radio show using anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim rhetoric to defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico and his proposed immigration policies. Carr, who has backed Trump throughout his campaign, also used anti-immigrant slurs such as “illegal alien” and “anchor baby” and said Mexican immigrants are “undesirables” who don’t work.
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Right-wing media figures are joining presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in using the name “Pocahontas” as an attack against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The line of attack was popularized by Boston right-wing radio host and Trump surrogate Howie Carr.
Howie Carr, a columnist for the Boston Herald, radio host, and surrogate for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, has a long history of attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Carr often refers to Warren as “fauxcahontas,” a “fake Indian” and as a “squaw” -- a racial slur for Native American women.
According to Donald Trump surrogate and Boston-based radio host Howie Carr, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told him “Whatever you do, don’t apologize” for imitating a Native American “war whoop” to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) during a Trump rally.
While introducing Trump during a June 29 rally, Carr, who has a long history of mocking rape victims, Muslims, Catholics, and the LGBT community, imitated a Native American “war whoop” to mock Warren whom Donald Trump has been calling Pocahontas for the last several weeks. Trump and Carr are close friends who have vacationed and golfed together at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago-Club Resort as recently as December.
Carr wrote in a blog post that following the immediate negative coverage of his comments, Trump told him not to apologize while the two flew on Trump’s private plane. According to Carr, Trump said “You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing okay ‘til he said he was sorry,” a reference to the former sports commentator and Las Vegas bookie who was fired for saying that black people were “bred” to be better athletes than whites. Carr doubled down on the comments saying he has no intention of apologizing “for mentioning the name of the fake Indian and then doing a few seconds of a war whoop”:
ABOARD TRUMP ONE – The candidate loosened his tie and offered me some advice.
“Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” he said. “You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing okay ‘til he said he was sorry.”
Not to worry, I wasn’t going to say I was sorry for mentioning the name of the fake Indian and then doing a few seconds of a war whoop. About an hour earlier, I had been at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, warming up a crowd of maybe 5000 Trump supporters for Gov. Paul LePage before he introduced The Donald at a weekday rally I was speaking extemporaneously when I free-associated Fauxchohantas’ name, and suddenly a war whoop seemed appropriate for the occasion.
How many moons have I been challenging Lieawatha to submit to a DNA test? Scott Brown brought up the issue of her forked tongue again on Fox earlier this week. But yesterday it goes viral, because I’m speaking live on youtube and who knows where else on the Internet.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) announced that it will hold its “10th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington,” on June 22 and 23. In previous years FAIR has hosted speakers at the event who have used their own radio shows to push anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated FAIR as a hate group whose founder “has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population.”
During an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump agreed with the host that President Obama has “more anger” toward Trump than he does toward ISIS. Carr and Trump spent much of the interview pushing false information about gun control measures and about presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s policy positions in wake of the June 12 terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Carr, an avid Donald Trump supporter who has boasted about golfing with the presumptive nominee and has appeared at the candidate’s rallies, spent much of the June 13 interview asking Trump about his response to the previous day’s attack. Trump agreed with Carr that President Obama “has more anger” toward Trump than ISIS, and he repeated the cryptic language he used earlier in the day when he said Obama’s response proves there is “something going on that is very strange,” a phrase some press believe insinuates that Obama supports terrorism and that The Washington Post reported “is characteristic of politicians who seek to exploit the psychology of suspicion and cynicism to win votes.” From the Howie Carr Show:
HOWIE CARR (HOST): Why do you think the president of the United States gets more angry at you than he does at ISIS?
DONALD TRUMP: Well it’s true, he has more anger toward me than he does for ISIS. And a number of people have said that. And I don’t know, there’s something going on. Very strange situation. All of the killing, all of the death, and now its ISIS related, it’s been related that it’s ISIS motivated and related, and he gives the press conference likes it’s a day in the park, like let’s all fall asleep together. I don’t get it, you don’t get it, I don’t think anybody gets it but him maybe. Maybe, I don’t know, I don’t know what he’s doing. But, certainly I don’t know if you saw his press conference today, it’s like the world is a bowl of cherries. He doesn’t have a lot of anger at what happened to these wonderful people.
CARR (HOST): He just wants to talk about gun control. It’s the same old playbook.
Carr asked Trump what he meant when he said “there is something going on” and how he responds to critics who suggest the candidate was insinuating Obama was complicit in the Orlando attacks. Trump responded, “I am going to let people figure that out for themselves, Howie, because to be honest with you there certainly doesn’t seem to be a lot of anger or passion” coming from Obama.
The interview moved to the issue of gun control, with Trump scoffing at the idea that increased gun control could have prevented the attack and speculating that if more patrons in the nightclub had had guns, it would have been “a much different deal.” Trump went on to push the myth that more gun ownership is the answer to stopping mass shootings, saying, “It sounded like there were no guns. They had a security guard, other than that, there were no guns in the room.” Trump did not directly address reports that the security guard was armed and exchanged fire with the shooter.
Carr supported Trump’s claims that gun control wouldn’t help and mischaracterized gun control legislation as confiscation of all firearms. “If you can’t round up 11 million illegal aliens, how are you going to round up 300 million guns?” Carr asked. Trump responded by saying “Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment … and ... take all guns away from law-abiding citizens” -- a claim that Politifact has rated “false.”
Trump also balked at the idea that the shooter was a “lone wolf” and suggested that there are “thousands, I would be willing to bet, that are just like him or worse.”
Carr said he was “glad” that in Trump’s speech about the attack, he said the president has the “right to ban any group from the United States,” referring to Trump’s infamous pledge to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. Trump again reiterated his claim, saying the president has “an absolute right” to ban any group he perceives as a threat.
You can listen to the entire interview between Trump and Howie Carr below:
May Selcraig and Sarah Zieve contributed research to this post.
Photo Credit: Newsmax via Facebook
Donald Trump supporters Howie Carr and Mark Simone attacked Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly, saying she “looks like everybody’s ex-wife in court” and that she is no longer attractive because she has a more “manicured” look.
On the April 14 edition of his radio show, Mark Simone hosted fellow Trump supporter and Boston radio host Howie Carr. Simone, who has said disparaging remarks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly several times in the past few days, asked Carr what he thought about Trump meeting with Kelly on April 13. Simone said Kelly “came crawling” back to Trump and then began discussing her looks, asking, “Doesn’t she scare you?” and saying “she looks like everybody’s ex-wife in court.” Carr responded by saying that he “liked her better when she had the … less manicured, the less made-up look” and that she “doesn’t attract me as much as her old look used to.” Listen:
MARK SIMONE (HOST): She came crawling, I guess.
HOWIE CARR: I don’t know, it’s good for both sides, isn’t it, to have a rapprochement.
SIMONE: Doesn’t she scare you a little? She looks like everybody’s ex-wife in court, doesn’t she?
CARR: You know, I used to be on with here sometimes in the afternoon, and you know, I liked her better when she had the sort of -- the less manicured, the less made-up look that she has on at night now. You’re right, she looks just like -- I don’t know what she looks like now, but it doesn’t attract me as much as her old look used to.
SIMONE: No, too tough.
Earlier this week Simone hosted his “longtime friend” Trump to discuss the presidential race, and together they questioned GOP rival Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) eligibility to be president because of Cruz’s birthplace in Canada. Carr has also expressed support for his “friend” Donald Trump and has hosted the candidate at least six times since February 1. Carr has vacationed with Trump at the businessman's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and often uses his radio show to attack Trump’s rivals.
Carr: "I Don't Know If We Need To Use A Nuclear Bomb, But We Could Carpet-Bomb" Raqqa.
Boston Herald columnist and talk radio host Howie Carr supported xenophobic and aggressive rhetoric from Republican presidential candidates following the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels. Carr agreed with Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) call to "carpet-bomb" Raqqa, Syria, and defended Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, saying that "30 civilized human beings in Brussels yesterday were permanently cured of their 'Islamophobia.'"
In his March 23 column in the Boston Herald, Carr wrote (emphisis added):
Donald Trump is still right about stopping Muslim immigration "until we can figure out what is going on."
Anybody in Brussels care to argue the point?
It's not xenophobia to talk about a timeout for as long as necessary, and it's certainly not racism -- Islam is a religion, not a race. And by the way, any president has every right to halt the influx of these unvetted hordes, should he decide that the unwanted arrival of any group is "detrimental."
Muslims make up 1 percent of the American population, but since 9/11 have committed 50 percent of the terrorist attacks in the United States. Which means a Muslim is 5,000 times more likely to be a terrorist than anybody else. That stat comes from National Review, hardly a Donald Trump fanzine.
Bottom line: More than 30 civilized human beings in Brussels yesterday were permanently cured of their "Islamophobia." And the chattering classes still wonder why Donald Trump keeps winning primaries.
On the day of the attack, Carr used his radio show to call for increased military action in Syria, particularly in the de facto ISIS capital of Raqqa. In response to a caller who suggested dropping a nuclear weapon on the city, Carr said, "I don't know if we need to use a nuclear bomb, but we could carpet-bomb" it, repeating a suggestion Cruz has made.
Military leadership have dismissed the idea of carpet-bombing Raqqa, saying that "indiscriminate bombing, where we don't care if we're killing innocents or combatants, is just inconsistent with our values." ISIS members are surrounded by innocent civilians, and past Russian bombing of Raqqa has resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians. Military analysts also believe such attacks could be used to recruit new ISIS members.
In his Herald editorial supporting a ban on Muslim immigrants, Carr -- who has long supported Trump -- relies on false narratives that stoke fear of Muslims. The editorial attributes the assertion that Muslims have carried out "50 percent of the terrorist attacks in the United States" to a National Review article, which does not cite any data to back its claim. But terrorism experts' analysis of attacks within the U.S. since 9/11 paint a different picture.
According to the nonpartisan New America Foundation, there have been twice as many "far right wing" attacks than "violent jihadist" attacks in the United States since 9/11. And while the death tolls from each group are similar, The New York Times reported that "New America and most other research groups exclude" "mass killings in which no ideological motive is evident, such as those at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school in 2012" in their analysis.
Furthermore, while the risk of jihadist terrorism often gets more media attention, researchers Charles Kurzman and David Schanzer explained to the Times that law enforcement recognizes right-wing extremism as a larger threat.
If such numbers are new to the public, they are familiar to police officers. A survey to be published this week asked 382 police and sheriff's departments nationwide to rank the three biggest threats from violent extremism in their jurisdiction. About 74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed "Al Qaeda-inspired" violence, according to the researchers, Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina and David Schanzer of Duke University.
"Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists," said Dr. Kurzman, whose study is to be published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and the Police Executive Research Forum.
Kathryn Karmazyn contributed research to this post.