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  • Right-Wing Radio Host Howie Carr Defends Trump Immigration Plan With 30 Minutes Of Racism

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    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.

  • TV Weathercasters: We Have A "Responsibility" To Educate Our Viewers About Climate Change

    In New Video, Formerly “Skeptical” Meteorologists Describe How They Came To Recognize The Truth About Global Warming

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
  • What’s Behind Donald Trump’s New Local TV Interview Strategy

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    With his campaign floundering, Donald Trump appears to be adopting a new media strategy: minimizing exposure from cable and national broadcast networks while still reaching millions of viewers by granting interviews to major local broadcast providers that will provide the footage to affiliates across the country.

    Since the beginning of the general election campaign in June, Trump’s campaign has deliberately reduced his appearances on national broadcast and cable news shows. The one exception has been Fox News, where the GOP nominee regularly appears for softball interviews. According to Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, the shift came because a faction of the Trump campaign was convinced that “constant rounds of interviews entail too much risk of the candidate making mistakes or fanning minor controversies.” Indeed, a rare interview on ABC’s This Week this past Sunday generated a wave of criticism after Trump attacked the parents of an American Muslim soldier killed fighting in Iraq.

    But a Fox-only strategy brings its own challenge: Trump is able to speak only to those who already support him. He needs a different strategy in order to reach the rest of the country while avoiding the pitfalls of national broadcast or cable interviewers.  

    On August 2, Trump sat for interviews with Sinclair Broadcast Group and Gray Television Group that will air on their local broadcast affiliates throughout the country. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which has come under fire in the past for their conservative slant and for ordering their stations in 2004 to preempt regular programming in order to air an anti-John Kerry ad, boasts on their website that they control 173 television stations in 81 markets. Gray Television Group claims “180 program streams” in 51 markets nationwide.

    Sinclair Broadcasting
    Sinclair Broadcast Group Station Map


    Gray Television Group Station Map

    Trump’s campaign has taken a dismal turn as Hillary Clinton opens a sizable lead in national polling amid a flurry of Trump controversies. In order to turn things around, he is seeking to skip the national media gatekeepers while still reaching a national audience.

  • Trump Surrogate Howie Carr's Long History Of Attacking Elizabeth Warren With Native American Stereotypes

    ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

    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.

  • Boston Radio Host And Trump Agree Obama “Has More Anger” Toward Trump Than ISIS

    Blog ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

    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

  • Tampa Bay Times: Trump Speech “Resorted To Bombastic Demagoguery” While Clinton’s Offered “Somber Steadiness”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    An editorial in the Tampa Bay Times praised presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s response to the June 12 terror attack in which a gunman entered an Orlando gay nightclub and murdered 49 people, saying “the contrast” to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s response “could not be starker nor the stakes higher for the nation’s future.”  

    Following Trump’s speech, media quickly criticized his response, calling it “horrifying,” “the scariest political speech,” and “outright fascism.” On the same day, media also criticized Trump for insinuating that Obama sympathizes with terrorists and for revoking the press credentials of The Washington Post following what Trump called “incredibly inaccurate coverage.”

    The Tampa Bay Times’ June 13 editorial took issue with Trump’s speech, stressing the need for a “sophisticated approach” to addressing the complex issue of terrorism both foreign and domestic. The paper said Trump’s “rambling” response was littered with oversimplifications of the issues and included false accusations against Clinton and President Obama. By comparison, the editorial called Clinton’s statement more “responsible” and said that it offered a more detailed policy response. From the Tampa Bay Times:

    Even as the names of those killed in the Orlando massacre continued to be released Monday, the political debate resumed over how to fight terrorism and hatred. Hillary Clinton provided somber steadiness and a thoughtful way forward. Donald Trump resorted to bombastic demagoguery, profiling and reckless political attacks. The contrast could not be starker nor the stakes higher for the nation's future.

    [...]

    Fighting terrorism and hatred, keeping this nation safe and preserving our constitutional freedoms requires a sophisticated approach at home and abroad. Yet Trump has suggested President Barack Obama resign and declared Monday the nation is "led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.'' It's hard to imagine any other presidential candidate making such a sinister insinuation about an incumbent after such a national tragedy.

    In a rambling speech Monday afternoon, Trump repeated he would unilaterally ban immigration from multiple nations to stop terrorism. He insisted Muslims in this country know who the terrorists are and should stop protecting them, and he rejected accepting any Syrian refugees regardless of their backgrounds. He mocked any new gun control initiatives, falsely alleged that Clinton wants to repeal the Second Amendment and vowed not to succumb to political correctness. Such a defiant tone and simplistic approach is not comforting to an anxious nation or a world where cultivating alliances and nurturing relationships with law-abiding members of all religions has never been more important.

    In tone and substance, Clinton provided a more detailed, responsible vision. She methodically delivered a three-pronged strategy focused on strengthening alliances to fight terrorism abroad, tightening gun controls at home and calling on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to work with the United States to counter the radical rhetoric of Islamic extremists. These are the sorts of policy questions that should be the focus of the presidential campaign, rather than the name-calling and bigotry embraced by Trump.

  • NRA Tries To Use LGBT People For Political Gain Weeks After Attacking Transgender Equality

    New Ad Appealing To LGBT Community Follows Ugly Attack On Caitlyn Jenner And Transgender Community At The NRA’s Annual Meeting

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    An NRA-affiliated group is reportedly releasing an ad that baselessly warns proposed regulations on ammunition purchases in California would disarm LGBT people just weeks after the NRA mocked societal acceptance of transgender people as “twisted” and “perverted.”

    On June 6, Time reported on growing NRA opposition to a California ballot initiative called “Safety for All” that proposes “a package of commonsense gun reforms requiring instant background checks for purchases of ammunition, strengthening background checks for gun purchases, prohibiting possession of large detachable military-style magazines, and requiring the immediate surrender of firearms for people convicted of serious and violent crimes.” The effort is being led by California’s lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom.

    In opposition to the initiative, NRA-affiliated group Coalition for Civil Liberties (CCL) is releasing a series of ads suggesting that the initiative could pose a danger to women and LGBT people by limiting their ability to defend themselves with a gun. CCL is a “project” of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, the NRA’s California affiliate group.

    But the ads come just weeks after a top NRA official cited growing acceptance of transgender people as an example of how American values have become “twisted” and “perverted” in a speech before 80,000 NRA members.

    As Time explained, the CCL’s ads will feature a woman and a transgender actor who draw a gun when confronted by an attacker, but are unable to fire the weapon because it is unloaded:

    The organization is releasing its first television ad in the state Monday targeted at suburban women, featuring a woman walking through a darkened parking structure when she is approached by an assailant. When the woman attempts to fire a handgun in her possession for self-defense, the hammer drops on an empty chamber because the weapon isn’t loaded. It concludes with the ominous slogan, “Take Away Our Rights, Take Away Our Life.”

    A second, nearly identical commercial will be released Wednesday, except the character in the spot will [be] transgender, and that ad will be targeted to areas with large concentrations of LGBT Californians.

    During a June 6 appearance on the NRA’s radio show, Richard Grenell, the GOP operative who is leading CCL efforts, claimed that Newsom “is really beginning to take away basic rights for vulnerable populations, and so what we decided to do was to make a commercial which shows the very real possibility of what could happen to someone if Gavin Newsom had his way.”

    Nothing in the ballot initiative would prevent legally eligible people from buying ammunition for their firearms, and none of the proposals would create special rules for the purchase of ammo by women or LGBT people.

    Furthermore, the CCL effort comes just weeks after the NRA’s top lobbyist mocked the notion of transgender people being accepted by society.

    During a May 20 speech before 80,000 NRA members at the NRA’s annual meeting, NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox attacked acceptance of Olympic athlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, calling her “Bruce” and “he.” Following Cox’s speech, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said the Obama administration was “in the toilet” because of efforts by the administration to prevent schools from discriminating against transgender students.

    Just moments into his speech, Cox lamented that “the America we know is becoming unrecognizable. Everything we believe in, everything we’ve always known to be good, and right, and true has been twisted, perverted and repackaged to our kids as wrong, backwards and abnormal.”

    Citing examples of America’s supposed downfall, Cox went on to claim, “Who are our kids supposed to respect and admire? The media tells them Bruce Jenner is a national hero for transforming his body, while our wounded warriors, whose bodies were transformed by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades, can’t even get basic healthcare from the VA.”

     

     

    In a speech following Cox’s, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre railed against the Obama administration’s recent guidance explaining that public schools must allow transgender students to use facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, that correspond to their gender identity.

    LaPierre claimed the Obama administration has not done enough to combat gang violence “in places like Chicago and Detroit” to argue that “a Clinton White House would be a dangerous extension of the Obama White House. And where has this White House put its full weight? In the toilet. In bathrooms in North Carolina, in school districts all over our country.”

     

     

    LaPierre and Cox’s speeches immediately preceded the NRA’s endorsement of Donald Trump, who has said he supports allowing states to pass discriminatory bathroom bills that broadly ban transgender people from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Highlights “Sinister” Effect Of Super PAC Ads On Voter Turnout

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board stressed the negative impact super PAC ads have on voter turnout as outside money targeting the presidential and Senate races begins coming into play across the country. Research highlighted by the Post-Gazette showed that the negative ads run by super PACs can discourage voter turnout, a result the board called “sinister and profoundly anti-democratic.”

    The May 30 editorial cited research from the Ohio Media Project -- “a consortium of radio and television stations and the largest newspapers in the state” --  which found that negative campaign ads like the ones often funded by super PACs “are designed to suppress voter turnout as much as they are to persuade voters to support one candidate over another.”

    The Post-Gazette underscored that while super PAC spending occurs in support of both Democratic and Republican candidates, the 2012 presidential election saw “$424.4 million [spent] supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and $145 million supporting Democratic President Barack Obama.” The editorial named the billionaire Koch brothers -- who have committed at least $30 million for ads aimed at influencing Senate races in the 2016 --  as a major supporters of super PACs behind negative ads. From the Post-Gazette:

    Researchers found that only about 1 percent of voters, primarily independents, are moved from one camp to another because of negative ads, but in swing states, like Ohio, sometimes elections are decided by 1 percent or less. But the researchers also found that, “especially with moderate voters, you get a demobilization effect, where they just kind of turn off, ‘This is a nasty campaign, I just want to stay home.’ ”

    That is truly sinister and profoundly anti-democratic.

    Equally disturbing as the attack ads and their intent is the answer to this question. Who is paying for this garbage? In the 2012 presidential election, independent spending — by groups not connected with either political party — came to $424.4 million supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and $145 million supporting Democratic President Barack Obama.

    The sources of that money, often called “dark money,” are being kept secret, and that is wrong.

    [...]

    The super PAC Americans for Prosperity is a good example. Look up its 2012 expenditures in opensecrets.org and the only line that comes up is: $33,542,051 spent against President Obama’s re-election.

    The Center for Responsive Politics identified AFP’s biggest contributor as Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which is controlled by billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch. But the FEC did not require this disclosure.

  • WI Radio Host Talked #NeverTrump With Bill Kristol, Then Immediately Ignored Sen. Ron Johnson’s Trump Support

    Blog ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER & SALVATORE COLLELUORI

    Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes, who loudly denounced Donald Trump’s campaign during the state’s primary and who has committed himself to the “Never Trump” cause, did not bring up the presumptive Republican nominee when interviewing Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who has pledged his support to Trump. Just minutes before hosting Johnson, Sykes interviewed Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and discussed drafting a third party candidate.

    Sykes gained notoriety for his resistance to Trump ahead of the Wisconsin primary. Unaware of the host’s resistance to him, Trump sparred with Sykes on his show a week before the primary in an interview that Politico called a “#NeverTrump radio buzzsaw.”

    Sykes introduced Kristol on the May 16 edition of his radio show as being “more 'Never Trump' than me if that’s possible.” The two discussed the possibility of drafting a third party nominee with the hope of stopping a Trump presidency. Sykes also brought up a Breitbart.com article that labled Kristol a “renegade Jew” for seeking to derail Trump’s campaign.

    Later in the show, Sykes hosted Sen. Johnson, whose Senate seat is viewed as vulnerable, especially with Trump as his party’s presumptive nominee. Over the weekend, Johnson said he was "sympathetic to someone like Mr. Trump" and tried to make it clear he was not endorsing Trump, but rather pledging support to the GOP nominee.

    Despite Johnson’s recent comments, Sykes never asked Johnson about his support of Trump as the presumptive nominee -- nor did he mention Trump’s name during the interview.

    As the Associated Press reported on April 4, GOP strategists have advised vulnerable senators to “keep it local” in their interviews and comments going into the election season, a strategy that was seemingly deployed by Johnson during his interview with Sykes. Johnson and Sykes talked about Johnson’s “Right To Try” legislation, which deals with terminally ill patients using experimental drugs, and his Democratic opponent Russ Feingold's criticism of Johnson for linking his Senate race to 9/11.

     

  • Inside The Fossil Fuel Industry's Media Strategy To Drill And Mine On Public Lands

    ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    A handful of fossil fuel industry front groups are engineering media campaigns aimed at persuading the public that the federal government should relinquish control of public lands to western states, claiming it would benefit the states economically. But evidence actually suggests that these land transfers would harm state economies, and the industry front groups are hiding their true motivation: opening up more public lands to oil drilling and coal mining while sidestepping federal environmental laws.

  • Trump Supporter Howie Carr: Those Killed "In Brussels Yesterday Were Permanently Cured Of Their 'Islamophobia'"

    Carr: "I Don't Know If We Need To Use A Nuclear Bomb, But We Could Carpet-Bomb" Raqqa.

    Blog ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

    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.