Kate Snow

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  • ABC News And NBC News Dispute Fox Anchor Baier’s “Inaccurate” Clinton Foundation Investigation Reporting

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    ABC News and NBC News are both disputing Fox News’ anonymously sourced report that there is an active, “very high priority” FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation which has collected “a great deal of evidence,” citing their own anonymous sources. Both ABC and NBC report that the investigation in question produced little evidence of wrongdoing and there have been no recent developments in the case.

    On November 2, days before the presidential election, Fox News’ Bret Baier cited two anonymous sources “with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations into the Clinton emails and the Clinton Foundation” to claim that the investigation “into possible pay-for-play interaction between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Foundation” is a “‘very high priority'” and that “agents are actively and aggressively pursuing this case.” Baier said FBI agents “had collected a great deal of evidence” to suggest wrongdoing. The story has been trumpeted on Fox and in the conservative media and was highlighted during a November 3 speech by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

    MSNBC anchor Kate Snow noted on November 3 that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “cited a Fox report” to allege that the FBI investigation “is likely to yield an indictment” and the Justice Department “is trying to protect” Clinton. Snow also reported, however, that “law enforcement officials tell NBC News” that “there have been no developments” in the Clinton Foundation case “for several months,” presumably because there is insufficient evidence for an indictment. From the November 3 edition of MSNBC Live:

    KATE SNOW (HOST): Let me ask you about something Donald Trump said just a couple of hours ago in Jacksonville, Florida. He went on kind of went on a rant against Hillary Clinton and the about the FBI. He cited a Fox report that said that Clinton might face indictment related to the Clinton Foundation; I just want to note that law enforcement officials tell NBC News that the FBI did take an initial look at the Clinton Foundation based on allegations that were made in the press, and a book that’s gotten some attention -- excuse me -- but that there have been no developments on that front in the last several months. That said, here’s what Donald Trump said:

    [BEGIN VIDEO]

    DONALD TRUMP: The FBI agents say their investigation is likely to yield an indictment. But just remember, the system is rigged. Just remember that. And reports also show the political leadership at the Department of Justice is trying to protect Hillary Clinton and is trying to interfere with the FBI investigation

    [END VIDEO]

    ABC News’ sources similarly called the Fox report “inaccurate and without merit.” In a November 3 article, Matt Levine wrote that ABC News’ sources told him that in February, “prosecutors and senior FBI officials agreed there was no clear evidence of wrongdoing, and that a criminal case tied to the Clinton Foundation could not be made.” ABC further reported:

    Investigators and higher-ups have continued to discuss the matter, but there has been no change in posture, sources said. Authorities still believe there is no evidence of wrongdoing, and they do not believe there is a sufficient reason to pursue charges, according to the sources.

  • Cable News (Except Fox) Increasingly Using On-Air Graphics To Combat Trump’s Lies

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Media outlets have increasingly turned to chryons (or on-air graphics) to combat Donald Trump’s lies in real time. This media tactic has become an important tool given their inability to pushback on lies that are consistently repeated by the Trump campaign. 

    On the April 4 edition of MSNBC Live, MSNBC aired live footage from a Donald Trump rally where he claimed to have watched a videotape of the United States handing $400 million in “ransom money” to Iran. MSNBC debunked Trump’s claim using a chyron that read, “Trump Says He Watched (Nonexistent) Video Of Iran Receiving Cash.” 

    Later in the speech, when Trump again claimed to have seen “the video,” MSNBC used the same chyron to refute the false narrative. MSNBC later cut away from the speech and anchor Kate Snow invited NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin further debunk the narrative. 

    Previously, CNN earned considerable praise from the media after using its chyrons to fact check the Trump campaign’s lies.

    CNN’s and MSNBC’s decision to use on-air graphics to combat misinformation follows extensive criticism received by cable news for poorly pushing back against lies from Donald Trump and his campaign.

    According to Poynter, these types of fact checks have become increasingly important in a “post-fact world.”

    American television has been accused of not stepping up its game to combat misinformation in this election cycle.

    In many ways, the failure has been one of formats rather than content. When TV hosts have tried to correct the record they have sometimes done so by replaying long clips of the claim with no clear indication of its falsehood. In other occasions, they have not done enough homework to shut down a lie when the candidate hits back — even if they were entirely correct.

  • Right-Wing Media Claim Trump Was “Joking” About Russian Espionage, But National Security Experts Aren’t Laughing

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    After Donald Trump encouraged Russian intelligence services or hackers “to find” and release State Department emails that could prove damaging to Hillary Clinton, right-wing media covered for Trump, suggesting that Trump’s comments were simply “tongue-in-cheek” or that he was “joking” about inciting a cyber attack by a foreign government on an American presidential candidate. National security experts condemned Trump’s comments, saying Trump has asked “an adversary of the United States [to] perform espionage on the United States,” calling it “a national security crisis.”

  • Memo To Media: Trump Said Abortion Should Be Punished "As A Principle"

    Media Are Falsely Claiming Trump Only Responded To Hypothetical Scenario In Which Abortion Is "Made Illegal"

    ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL & TYLER CHERRY

    Some media figures are lending Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump credence by characterizing his remark that "there has to be some form of punishment" for abortion as based on a hypothetical scenario in which abortion is "made illegal." But MSNBC host Chris Matthews' question was, "Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?" He didn't include the premise that abortion had been officially criminalized.

  • Media ignore GOP proposal that would cause many to lose insurance coverage for abortion

    ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Several media outlets have purported to fact-check claims about government funding for abortion but have ignored the fact that a proposed amendment by abortion opponents would have had the effect of forcing many who currently have abortion coverage to lose such coverage even if they receive no government subsidy. The amendment offered by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA) would have barred anyone who receives insurance through the health care exchanges created by the House bill from buying insurance that covers abortion.

  • After previously debunking end-of-life falsehoods, ABC and AP portray them as he said/she said

    ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF & LILY YAN

    On August 13, ABC's Kate Snow and the Associated Press both characterized the established fact that end-of-life counseling under the House health care reform bill would be voluntary as simply something that President Obama "contends." But both ABC and the AP had previously reported that under the bill, such counseling would indeed be voluntary, and both had previously debunked Sarah Palin's false claim that the provision would create a "death panel."

  • ABC's Snow quoted Palin attacking Obama over troop-funding vote but left out key facts about McCain's voting record

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    ABC News correspondent Kate Snow uncritically quoted Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that Sen. Barack Obama voted for "[c]utting off funding for our troops while in a war zone." However, Snow did not report that Sen. John McCain voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Obama noted during the September 26 presidential debate.