New research from Southern Methodist University (SMU) found that some children's textbooks that depict the reality of human-caused climate change with uncertainty are influenced by a climate science knowledge gap that finds its roots partly in conservative media misinformation.
In a language analysis of four major California science textbooks, the SMU researchers found that the books delivered a message "that climate change is possibly happening, that humans may or may not be causing it, and that we do not need to take immediate mitigating action."
The study concluded that the four 6th grade textbooks -- including books from major national publishing companies McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson -- used language and writing techniques that "more closely match the public discourse of doubt about climate change rather than the scientific discourse" one might expect from academic texts. The books used language that misleadingly amplified uncertainty about the causes of climate change, undermined the expertise of climate scientists, and implied a false balance narrative around the realities of climate change within the scientific community.
For example, the authors found that only 21 percent of the instances discussing the cause-effect factors in climate change identified the effects of human activity, and that in the texts, "Scientists were often said to think or believe but rarely were scientists said to be inferring from evidence or data."
The SMU study explained that conservative media falsehoods about climate change contribute to a shift in public discourse, which eventually influences textbook language by creating competing interests within the textbook market. Publishers' attempts to cater to the largest market -- which includes textbook buyers who ascribe to the "public discourse of doubt" around climate change -- ultimately result in misleading textbook language and factual inaccuracies. Although the study focused on California textbooks, such a large textbook market often "set[s] standards for the rest of the country" according to the study's authors -- an effect that may already be seen in Texas.
How does this "public discourse of doubt" on climate change first develop? The researchers at SMU cited Fox News' coverage of climate science as one factor in shaping misinformation, pointing to previous research that showed Fox has disproportionately interviewed climate science deniers and that its viewers are more likely to be climate science deniers themselves (emphasis added):
[I]n discussing the topic of climate change, some segments of the media use the journalistic norm of 'balance' -- giving equal weight to all positions about this phenomenon -- when building frames to present to the public (Boykoff 2007). When frame setting, segments of the media adhere to this norm to give equal time to a climate scientist and a climate denier when addressing climate change. For example, Fox News presents climate change as uncertain by interviewing a greater proportion of climate deniers (Feldman et al. 2012). As a result, at the individual-level effects of framing stage, the audience may come to understand human-caused climate change as controversial. And indeed, viewers of Fox News are more likely to be climate skeptics even when taking into account political affiliation (Feldman et al. 2012). The effects of framing go beyond individual positions about specific topics. Frames accumulate into larger discourses, which are 'a shared way of apprehending the world... enabling those who subscribe to it to interpret bits of information and put them together into coherent stories or accounts' (Dryzek 2013, 9). We see two discourses prevalent in climate change communication: a 'scientific discourse' and a 'public discourse.'
The researchers' implication of Fox News in the creation of a misinformed public discourse is well founded. Media figures at Fox have a long record of repeating scientific inaccuracies on air and allowing fringe figures to perpetuate widely debunked claims. The similarities between the doubtful language and inaccurate claims on Fox and in the textbook examples from the study are striking:
The SMU study found that the textbooks dedicated substantial portions of their passages on climate change to discussing natural causes rather than human causes, despite that "there is little doubt about the causes of current climate change" within the scientific community that human activities are the driving force behind the phenomenon:
All four textbooks dedicated a substantial portion of the chapters about climate change to describe the natural factors that could be causing this phenomenon. Although all four textbooks indicated that human beings could be having an impact on climate change, they framed this topic as an issue in which not all scientists are in agreement as can be seen in the following example:
- Not all scientists agree about the causes of global warming. Some scientists think that the 0.7 Celsius degree rise in global temperatures over the past 120 years may be due in part to natural variations in climate. (Prentice Hall 2008)
The study stated in a discussion of its findings: "The causes of climate change were shrouded in uncertainty in the texts we analyzed. Specifically, the human contribution to climate change was presented as a possibility rather than a certainty."
Fox Host: Is Global Warming Man-Made? "Nobody Knows." In a June 2014 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Fox News' Steve Doocy asserted that "nobody knows" if the causes of global warming are natural or man-made:
STEVE DOOCY: Keep in mind: nobody is saying that the planet isn't getting warmer. Although, you know, we had a story a couple of days ago that the 1930s were much, much warmer than the decade we're in right now. And the globe has not warmed in 17 years. Here's the thing - nobody's saying the globe isn't warming. The question comes down to, if it is, what's making it warm up? Is it just a natural climactic [sic] cycle? Or is it something man-caused? Nobody knows.
Fox News Correspondent: "There Is Not Consensus" On Causes Of Climate Change. On the September 1 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News correspondent Dan Springer rejected the scientific consensus on human-induced climate change, stating that "while the Obama administration blames man and the burning of fossil fuels, there is not consensus," before cutting to an economist from the conservative Heritage Foundation to support his claim.
DAN SPRINGER: Scientists say the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the nation. Sea ice is arriving later in the fall and melting sooner in the summer. This was one of the worst wildfire seasons on record in the Last Frontier State -- 5 million acres burned, about the size of Massachusetts. But while the Obama administration blames man and the burning of fossil fuels, there is not consensus.
The SMU study identified language in multiple textbooks that emphasized the historical context of climate change "to support the idea that climate had been changing well before humans were here and, therefore, is a naturally occurring phenomenon," including the following examples:
However, climates have gradually changed throughout Earth's history. (Prentice Hall, 2008)
Scientists have found evidence of many major ice ages throughout Earth's geologic history. (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Inc. 2007)
Media figures often appear on Fox News to suggest that historical shifts in the global climate somehow disprove the notion that human-driven climate change is threatening our way of life. Media Matters compiled several, such as Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner, saying: "Climate changes. It always has, it always will."
The SMU study noted that "all four textbooks mentioned the negative effects of climate change, but two of them also discussed the potential positive results of this phenomenon," pointing out the following examples:
Global warming could have some positive effects. Farmers in some areas that are now cool could plant crops two times a year instead of one. Places that are too cold for farming today could become farmland. However, many effects of global warming are likely to be less positive. (Prentice Hall, 2008)
But farther north, such as in Canada, weather conditions for farming would improve. (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Inc. 2007)
Fox's Gutfeld: "Even If There Is Global Warming ... It's Good For Human Beings." On the April 11, 2012 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld asserted : "even if there is global warming ... it's good for human beings. If a polar bear dies, I don't feel bad. Honestly I don't. No, human beings. When temperature goes up, human beings live longer. When you have cold spells across countries, people die."
Fox Turned To Mark Levin And A Coal Miner To Say "CO's What Make Plants Grow." During an hour-long special on the "green agenda" in 2012, Fox News turned to right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who denied that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that should be regulated, saying: "Carbon dioxide is what we exhale. Carbon dioxide is necessary for plants." Fox later aired video of coal miner Robert "Buz" Hilberry echoing this, saying: "I'm no scientist but CO's what make plants grow and what make you breathe, so they're trying to choke us all out by stopping the burning of coal."
Fox Frequent Marc Morano: Record High Carbon Dioxide "Should Be Welcomed" Because "Plants Are Going To Be Happy." Marc Morano, who was featured on Fox News to discuss climate change 11 times in 2014 alone, said to Bloomberg that Americans "should welcome" a record high in greenhouse gases because "This means that plants are going to be happy, and this means that global-warming fearmongers are going to be proven wrong."
In a November 23 post for the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog, Patrick O'Connor highlighted how the "anti-establishment" views of conservative talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin "are informing the race for the Republican presidential nomination" as polls have found that "roughly a third of Republican primary voters strongly identify with conservative talk radio."
Right-wing radio hosts have repeatedly attacked 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, leading many in the media to assert that Bush has a "serious talk radio problem," and O'Connor noted that accordingly just 3% of "the most avid conservative talk-radio listeners" would vote for him. Conversely, O'Connor said right-wing talk radio listeners ranked Ben Carson and Donald Trump as their top choices, which is unsurprising given that the hosts have repeatedly supported the two candidates. Rush Limbaugh has praised Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric, while Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have praised him as "refreshing" for being "willing to say things that no one else is saying." Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity have all repeatedly defended Carson amid the candidate's controversial remarks and inconsistencies in his autobiographical claims.
Despite the fact that Republicans once "touted conservative talk radio as a foolproof medium to communicate directly with their most ardent supporters," O'Connor explained that "Republican leaders in Washington are under siege from their own activists." From O'Connor's post (emphasis added):
Consider the folks who regularly tune in to conservative talk radio. These listeners expect a steady diet of Obama-bashing, so it's hardly surprising that not one surveyed for a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in late October approved of the job Barack Obama is doing as president.
That anger translates to how these Americans view the country as a whole. Some 98% think the country is headed in the wrong direction, a view regularly reinforced on the airwaves by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and other talk-radio hosts who don't have much nice to say about GOP leaders in Washington, either.
A decade ago, Republicans touted conservative talk radio as a foolproof medium to communicate directly with their most ardent supporters. Democrats and liberal groups tried to replicate that success by building their own left-leaning television and radio stations, with far less success.
Now, the tables have turned. Republican leaders in Washington are under siege from their own activists, in part, because conservative radio hosts are almost as likely to rail against the party brass in Congress as they are to lament Mr. Obama's failings in the Oval Office.
The most avid conservative talk-radio listeners ranked retired neurosurgeon Ben Carsonas their top pick, followed by celebrity businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Just 3% gave the nod to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the heir to the party's longest-standing political dynasty, and only a third of these voters said they were even open to voting for Mr. Bush, down from half in September.
Republican presidential contenders would be unwise to write off this bloc; roughly a third of Republican primary voters strongly identify with conservative talk radio, about 10 percentage points higher than the share of GOP primary voters who consider themselves moderate or liberal, according to the survey conducted by the Democrats at Hart Research Associates and the Republicans at Public Opinion Research.
In the aftermath of the Charleston, SC shooting, iHeartMedia is planning a concert to "kick off A+E Networks' campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity." However, a large part of iHeartMedia's brand is built on its syndication of several right-wing radio hosts -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Michael Berry -- who consistently take racially inflammatory positions on their shows and denigrate civil rights advocacy.
Right-wing media attacked a CNN report that was "unable to independently confirm" incidents described in Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson's autobiography about his violent past -- including claims that he attempted "to kill somebody" -- calling the report "ruthless" for "dissecting" Carson's life, and using the report to attack President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
In a blog post for The Hill, Media Matters contributor James Carville proposed that Media Matters "sponsor a fair GOP presidential debate" alongside Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Laura Ingraham following the suggestion of conservatives who baselessly claimed previous Republican presidential debates have been moderated by "left-wing operatives."
Unhappy with the October 28 CNBC Republican presidential primary debate, GOP politicians and campaigns have rallied to seek greater control over future debate formats. Their proposals, including a list of debate demands, have been openly mocked by the media. One recommendation, pitched by presidential candidate Ted Cruz, to hold a Republican "debate moderated by Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh" has been echoed across right-wing media, who have called for more conservative influence in the debate process.
Carville explained November 4 that after the CNBC debate, "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the CNBC moderators 'left-wing operatives' who were out to sabotage the debate," and suggested "that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin should come together to moderate" the next one. Carville wrote that Media Matters would be "glad to step in and help sponsor a fair GOP presidential debate" moderated by Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, and Ingraham, saying "we could not be happier than to allow the clowns of right-wing radio to speak straight to the masses and reveal their true colors. Noting that these right-wing talk radio hosts have a problematic history when it comes to their coverage of most issues, Carville concluded, if "these are the folks that you want representing your movement, we're in":
After the debate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the CNBC moderators "left-wing operatives" who were out to sabotage the debate. Now folks, I don't know about you, but I don't think of a network that is full of hosts that regularly deny that climate change is real and is home to Rick Santelli who basically launched the Tea Party with an on-air rant is OUT TO GET the GOP candidates.
Ladies and gentlemen I've seen a lot of things in my time. But I never thought I'd see a day when my colleague Joan Walsh agreed with Ted Cruz. And you know what, I do too. He made an interesting suggestion that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin should come together to moderate a GOP debate. The Nation's Walsh had it right when she said of Cruz's suggestion, "I think the world should get a clear look at the unvarnished spectacle of a Republican Party that is now run by the 'conservative entertainment complex.'"
Folks, I've been authorized by Media Matters Chairman David Brock to make the following proposal:
We would be glad to step in and help sponsor a fair GOP presidential debate alongside those "real journalists" Ted Cruz is so fond of, and the circus clowns who would be joining us. Let's see who we'd have:
Rush Limbaugh -- You know the guy who once called a law student a slut for believing she deserved access to birth control, regularly calls high powered women "feminazis," who, on at least one occasion, said he hoped that President Obama "fails," and has a long history of attacking the LGBT community.
Sean Hannity - The guy who in 2008 said it was "my job" to lead "the 'Stop Hillary Express.' By the way, now it's the 'Stop Obama Express.'" Later that year, Hannity received Media Matters' misinformer of the year award - and repaid us by giving Media Matters his "first annual Left-Wing Obamamania Media Propaganda PC Police Award." Hannity also has a history of race bating, fueling the birther movement, and defending attacks on Islam. Quite a stand up guy. And good news folks, Hannity says he's in!
Mark Levin - The right-wing radio host who consistently complains that conservatives aren't conservative enough -- calling then-Speaker Boehner the "Benedict Arnold" of the Republican Party for attempting to compromise with Democrats and attacking incoming House Speaker Ryan for not being conservative enough.
Laura Ingraham -- For good measure, let's also throw in this conservative radio host, who, on her show [Monday], endorsed the idea of co-moderating a GOP debate with fellow right-wing radio hosts. Ingraham claimed she would "be fair to all the candidates" -- but the Fox contributor has repeatedly attacked GOP candidates including Jeb Bush-- saying "there has to be something wrong with" him, that she's "not a fan," and suggesting that Bush and Hillary Clinton run on the same ticket. That's how "fair" she'd be as a debate moderator.
So yes, Republican Party, if these are the folks that you want representing your movement, we're in. Media Matters would love to join with the GOP and expose for the public the true beliefs of the "real" conservative media.
After the CNBC Republican presidential debate generated controversy, conservative media have suggested upcoming debates should be moderated by right-wing pundits. Their suggestions have included serial misinformers and inflammatory commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and Erick Erickson. Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz also proposed "a debate moderated by Sean Hannity and Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh."
Here is a look at what right-wing figures like Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Beck, and Erickson would bring to the debate stage.
Rush Limbaugh has a long history of offensive and controversial remarks during his decades-long radio career. He came under heavy fire and lost advertisers and affiliates following his nasty attacks on Georgetown University Law Center student Sandra Fluke in 2012.
Limbaugh Regularly Engages In Misogynistic Smears And Attacks On Women. Limbaugh once compared a young Chelsea Clinton to a dog, claimed feminism "was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream," and said Hillary Clinton is in possession of a "testicle lockbox." He repeatedly attacked Sandra Fluke, calling her "a slut" and "a prostitute." [Media Matters, 3/5/12, 3/5/12, 3/15/12]
Limbaugh's Long History Of Making Outrageous, Offensive Comparisons And Invoking Rape When Discussing Politics. Limbaugh has compared welfare recipients to wild animals who rely on humans for food, health care reform to Nazi policies, and President Obama to various dictators. In 2013, Limbaugh compared changing Senate filibuster rules to "allow[ing] women to be raped." [Media Matters, 11/23/13]
Limbaugh Has Made Offensive And Controversial Remarks Targeting Immigrants. Limbaugh has described undocumented immigrants as an "invasive species," and repeatedly mocked, denigrated, and insulted them as disease-ridden, criminal, and unintelligent. [Media Matters, 3/10/12]
Limbaugh Uses His Program To Mock Those Suffering From Natural Disasters And Illnesses. Limbaugh once accused actor Michael J. Fox of "exaggerating" the symptoms of his Parkinson's disease in a commercial for a Senate candidate, and expressed amusement that a deadly earthquake hit an environmentally conscious country. [Media Matters, 3/11/12]
Limbaugh Launches Racial Attacks Against Minorities And President Obama. Limbaugh has a long history of discriminatory attacks on minorities, which escalated during President Obama's presidency. During a 2013 discussion of George Zimmerman's trial, Limbaugh claimed he could now use the word "nigga" because a trial witness used the word. [Media Matters, 3/7/12, 7/16/13]
Limbaugh Frequently Engages In Attacks Against LGBT People And Issues. [Media Matters, 3/9/12]
For more on Rush Limbaugh, go here.
Sean Hannity has used his radio and Fox News programs to push false information and smears against progressives.
Hannity Fed The Birther Conspiracy Movement And Questioned President Obama's Religion. Hannity called on President Obama to produce his birth certificate, claimed he "grew up in Kenya," and asserted that he "went to a Muslim school." [Media Matters, 4/20/12]
Hannity Launched A Vicious Anti-Gay Smear Campaign Against Former Obama Administration Official Kevin Jennings. [Media Matters, 4/20/12]
Hannity's History Of Race-Baiting. Hannity repeatedly pushed the bogus connection between President Obama and the New Black Panther Party, and wondered if the "Obamas have a race problem of their own." [Media Matters, 4/20/12]
Hannity Has Frequently Pushed Falsehoods About The Environment. Hannity has claimed global warming "doesn't exist," and said the "true agenda" behind climate change science is to punish the United States and redistribute wealth. [Media Matters, 4/20/12]
Hannity Has A History Of Fearmongering About Muslims. Hannity has fearmongered about Sharia law, and defended attacks on Islam. [Media Matters, 4/20/12]
For more on Sean Hannity, go here.
Radio host Mark Levin uses toxic rhetoric to rail against progressives and those he sees as insufficiently conservative.
Levin's Long History Of Pushing Conservative Lies And Hateful Rhetoric. Levin has compared marriage equality to incest, polygamy, and drug use; compared supporters of the health care law to Nazi "brown shirts"; and likened immigration reform to the "destruction" and "unraveling" of society. [Media Matters, 3/6/14]
Levin: President Obama Is A "Low-Life" And A "Racist" For Using "The N-Word" After Charleston Shooting. [Media Matters, 6/23/15]
Levin Accused Obama Of Being Anti-Semitic. [Media Matters, 3/18/15]
For more on Mark Levin, go here.
TheBlaze host Glenn Beck is best-known for his fringe rhetoric and outlandish conspiracy theories that helped lead to his parting from Fox News in 2011.
Media Matters' Comprehensive Guide To Glenn Beck's Tenure With Fox News. Beck's tenure at Fox News included violent rhetoric; conspiratorial musings; and rhetoric steeped in steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes. [Media Matters, 6/29/11]
Beck Smeared President Obama As A Racist With "Deep-Seated Hatred For White People." [Media Matters, 7/30/09]
The 8 Most Ridiculous Attacks On Public Education In Glenn Beck's Book Conform: Exposing The Truth About Common Core And Public Education. [Media Matters, 5/13/14]
Glenn Beck Has History Of Using The Holocaust To Advance His Political Agenda. Beck has repeatedly invoked Nazis, Hitler, and the Holocaust to attack his political opponents. [Media Matters, 8/22/11]
For more on Glenn Beck, go here.
Erick Erickson is a conservative blogger, radio host, and Fox News contributor. He's used his media platforms to push ugly rhetoric about women, LGBT people, and progressives.
Erickson's Fringe Rhetoric: Supreme Court Justice A "Goat Fucking Child Molester," When Are We Going To Beat Legislators To "A Bloody Pulp?" [Media Matters, 8/4/15]
Erickson Has A History Of Sexism, Including Claiming That Males Should Be "Dominant," "Feminazis" Are "Ugly," And Michelle Obama Is A "Marxist Harpy Wife." [Media Matters,8/4/15]
Erickson Has Been Called Out By Colleagues For "Being Disrespectful To Women." [Media Matters, 8/4/15]
For more on Erick Erickson, go here.
When newly-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was picked by Mitt Romney to be his running mate in 2012, right-wing media were ecstatic. Cheered by Ryan's sterling conservative credentials, far right commentators celebrated that one of their own has been added to the ticket.
Rush Limbaugh: "I don't remember a vice presidential pick that has so energized a campaign as this choice of Paul Ryan."
Glenn Beck: "Mitt Romney has picked a solid, smart conservative for his vice-presidential running mate."
Laura Ingraham: "More than anything today, we need a man with courage and clear-thinking. Ryan has both."
Mark Levin: "Paul Ryan is an excellent VP choice."
Fast forward just three years and those same commentators are now raising doubts about Ryan, when not outright trashing him in public. Ryan's sudden sin? Not being sufficiently conservative; not passing the purity test.
Limbaugh: "This whole Ryan thing hasn't made any sense to me from the first moment I heard about it."
Beck: "The 'fix' the republic needs is Paul Ryan? The man who never met a bailout he didn't like? A man who asked to be made king? 100% support and you can't vote him out? Your solution is MORE POWER FOR THE SPEAKER?!?!?!?"
Levin: "NOT SO FAST! Paul Ryan an amnesty advocate"
Ingraham: "From misrepresenting the outrageous Fast Track &TPP to amnesty & foreign workers, list of demands, Ryan's possibly the worst Spkr choice."
Ryan's amazing free-fall from grace seems to be part of a larger race to the radical right, not only among powerful forces with the Republican Party, which now seem to be fundamentally opposed to governing and legislating, but also within key portions of the right-wing media. There seems to be a mini-stampede underway towards an extremist destination rarely seen in mainstream American politics. And for parts of the conservative media that means now demonizing former heroes like Paul Ryan.
"Conservative talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, have already denounced him as a dangerous moderate," according to Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times. "Tea party organizations are already raising money from supporters with appeals to stop any more Ryanesque budget deals."
One of the many layers of irony here is that in 2012, the right-wing media defended Ryan from Democratic claims that he was too far to the right and outside of the mainstream. Today, many conservative commentators are attacking Ryan for not being far enough to the right.
Yet "Ryan hasn't undergone any sort of David Brockian-type worldview change that would warrant labeling him an apostate," wrote conservative Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast. He added that while "Ryan's voting record has its blemishes," Ryan would "certainly be the most conservative Speaker of the House in modern history."
He still believes in privatizing social security and Medicare. He still believes that social programs are a "hammock." He still believes that the Social Security survivor benefits that he and his family received throughout his adolescence cause dependency on other people and their families.
A portion of the conservative press, of course, has never been in love with an establishment-type players like Jeb Bush, so his lack of support this year hasn't been surprising. But Paul Ryan? He's "the Republican party's intellectual leader" as The Weekly Standard once touted. The conservative press could barely contain its universal glee when Ryan got the VP nod just three years ago. 'He's one of us,' seemed to be the collective cheer.
Today, the insults pile high:
-"He is the wrong man at the wrong time." [American Thinker]
-"Paul Ryan represents one of the absolute worst outcomes for conservatives. " [Conservative Review]
-"Despite his portrayal by the media as being conservative, most actual conservatives in the House know that Ryan isn't a conservative." [Breitbart]
Breitbart, in particular, has become a clearinghouse of often-inaccurate analysis regarding Ryan, such as claiming the Republican's bid for the speakership had recently collapsed. Breitbart even warned readers that Media Matters "has Paul Ryan's back," as proof the Republican cannot be trusted.
In a sign of how fractured and radical the conservative movement has become, it appears fewer and fewer media players have Ryan's back. Even though they cheered him as a savior in 2012.
From the October 27 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show:
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From the October 23 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show:
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Right-wing media were outraged over Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) announcement that he would accept the job of Speaker of the House if the party united behind him.
Conservative media are attacking the prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) running for Speaker of the House, claiming Ryan supports "open borders," compromised with Democrats on spending, and supported President Obama's trade deal.
House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) announcement that he will resign his House seat in October follows years of right-wing talk radio personalities calling for his replacement and lashing out at him for failing to halt immigration reform and passage of the Affordable Care Act, as well as for his rejection of calls for President Obama's impeachment.
Despite the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, conservative talk radio seem unified on their favorite: Donald Trump.
Thanks to talk radio, Buzzfeed News' Rosie Gray noted in her August 27 article "The Real Media Machine Behind Trump: Conservative Talk Radio," "you can almost listen to pro-Trump News all day." Gray pointed how "some of the biggest names in conservative talk radio -- Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Savage -- have praised Trump and his bashing of the politically correct left and Republican establishment":
Unlike cable news, conservative talk radio speaks directly to the disaffected conservative base fueling Trump's rise. Rush Limbaugh's is still the most-listened-to talk radio program in the country, pulling in 13 and a quarter million weekly listeners, according to estimates in Talkers magazine, an industry publication (Limbaugh himself has estimated it in the past at 20 million). Talkers puts Sean Hannity in second, with 12.5 million. Mark Levin ties with Glenn Beck (a Trump critic) for fourth, with 7 million. Savage has more than 5 million, according to Talkers' estimates.
And if you're someone who listens to a lot of talk radio, you can go from Ingraham to Limbaugh to Hannity or Savage to Levin in a day and hear nary a word of displeasure with Trump.
Though many hosts have avoided a formal endorsement, they've heaped praise on the candidate and signaled to their listeners that Trump is their guy.
Indeed, Limbaugh has spent the summer praising Trump for tapping into the base Republicans need to win and for his "ability to illuminate" issues. Hannity has lauded Trump as "impressive and refreshing," while Ingraham has claimed he resonates with voters because he's willing to say what "no one else is saying."
It's not mere compliments spewing from talk radio -- the conservative pundits are championing Trump's offensive and dangerous proposals. And as Gray noted, "[i]f Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin or Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham decide that birthright citizenship is going to be a big issue, then lo, it becomes the issue of the week, or month." She went on:
And right now, Trump's embrace of hardline immigration ideas like ending birthright citizenship matches up perfectly with the policies that some of these hosts have been promoting for some time. The Trump-inspired debate over immigration is allowing them to mainstream ideas that once didn't have much purchase, the birthright citizenship question being a notable recent example. Both Levin and Limbaugh have seized on a quote by Sen. Jacob Howard, the original sponsor of the Citizenship Clause, that they're using to bolster their case that the 14th amendment doesn't guarantee citizenship to the children of people in the country illegally. Laura Ingraham has also referenced it.
Limbaugh has bragged that Trump's smear of Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and criminals is similar to what he's been saying on the radio for years. On birthright citizenship, Limbaugh applauded Trump's call to end the constitutional right, saying Trump "has people standing up and cheering." Hannity and Levin joined forces to declare that "Trump was right" on the 14th Amendment.
The praise should come as no surprise, as Trump's call to end birthright citizenship is itself taken from right-wing talk radio talking points. For years, Ingraham and Levin have been demanding an end to birthright citizenship, which Levin dismissed as a "nut-job policy" and Ingraham attacked as "nonsense."
Right-wing media slammed ESPN for suspending baseball analyst Curt Schilling over his tweet comparing Muslims to Nazis, calling Schilling's suspension "outrageous" and a "disgrace."
From the August 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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