The Daily Caller

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  • Conservative Media Keep Relying On Shoddy Research From This Anti-Immigrant Group To Push Xenophobic Agenda

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Fox News and numerous other conservative media outlets uncritically presented the misleading conclusions of a May 2016 report by the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which claimed that immigrant-headed households consume more welfare than households headed by native-born people. Right-wing media have ignored criticism from experts pointing out the report’s methodological flaws and exaggerations in order to present immigrants as a fiscal burden.

    Right-wing outlets including Breitbart, Newsmax, and The Daily Caller hyped the May 9 CIS report claiming that immigrant-headed households receive more welfare than households headed by native-borns. On May 12, Fox correspondent Eric Shawn presented the study’s claims uncritically during the “Truth Serum” segment of Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor. Host Bill O’Reilly introduced the segment by announcing the story was about “tax money going to support illegal aliens”:

    Experts have already leveled criticism at the report. Immigration policy analyst Alex Nowrasteh wrote that “The CIS headline result … lacks any kind of reasonable statistical controls” and that “CIS’ buried results undermine their own headline findings.” The American Immigration Council called the report “fundamentally flawed” and criticized its methodology as “creative accounting”:

    The biggest shortcoming of both reports is that they count the public benefits utilized by U.S.-born children as costs incurred by the “immigrant-headed households” of which they are a part—at least until those children turn 18, that is, at which point they are counted as “natives.”

    The problem with this kind of creative accounting is that all children are “costly” when they are young because they consume educational and health services without contributing any tax revenue. However, that situation reverses when they are working-age adults who, in a sense, “pay back” in taxes what they consumed as children. So it is disingenuous to count them as a “cost of immigration” one minute, and then as native-born taxpayers the next minute.

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), CIS has ties to hate groups in the nativist lobby and “has never found any aspect of immigration that it liked, and it has frequently manipulated data to achieve the results it seeks.” CIS has repeatedly been criticized for publishing shoddy research work that includes the “misinterpretation and manipulation of data” and methodologies that are “deeply flawed.”

    These criticisms of the new report received no mention on right-wing media reports on the study. Previous equally flawed CIS studies have been similarly promoted by conservative media, indicating a pattern: CIS publishes a study with anti-immigrant conclusions, and right-wing media ignore facts to report it uncritically, despite expert criticisms pointing to methodological flaws, nuances, or controls that undermine the study’s conclusion. This cycle joins other dishonest strategies from the immigrant smearing playbook that have been repeatedly employed by right-wing media.

  • Daily Caller Back To Publishing Roger Stone After Pulling His Plagiarized Piece

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The Daily Caller published another pro-Donald Trump piece by Roger Stone just weeks after it pulled a piece by Stone that contained heavy plagiarism.

    Stone wrote an April 25 column which featured at least five paragraphs in which research and language were lifted from a conservative blog. Stone did not credit or attribute his writing to the blog. After Media Matters documented the plagiarism, the Daily Caller pulled the piece from its website without any explanation.

    Stone responded to the plagiarism with a nonsensical post on his Facebook page. He called the criticism a “MSM HIT JOB” and posted a statement from a writer named Kelleigh Nelson admitting she “copied it off several sites” and sent it to Stone. Nelson concluded (ellipses in original), “Blaming Roger for plagiarism is idiotic....he got all the info from me...and I put it together to send to him. So blame me...facts are it's all true.”  

    Stone’s May 10 piece accuses Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of extorting and blackmailing Trump. Stone claimed that “Ryan is posturing to get Donald to agree to key terms relating to the congressional committees, congressional candidates and more importantly the RNC. Ryan will endorse Donald, but Donald has to agree that his campaign team will not be influencing these committees and will give the RNC, under Reince [Priebus], autonomy (obviously this means control of the money and spending).” Stone then suggests that Ryan is doing this in part to benefit Republican strategist Karl Rove’s business. Stone made similar claims during an appearance on The Alex Jones Show.

    Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump who peddles research that is discredited and false. That the Daily Caller has no problems continuing its relationship with Stone is perhaps unsurprising given the publication’s notoriously low standards that have even embarrassed its own employees.

  • Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education Reform Movement

    A Guide To The Funders Behind A Tangled Network Of Advocacy, Research, Media, And Profiteering That’s Taking Over Public Education

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Media Matters outlines the many overlapping connections in an echo chamber of education privatization advocacy groups, think tanks, and media outlets that are increasingly funded by a handful of conservative billionaires and for-profit education companies -- often without proper disclosure. 

  • UPDATED: Roger Stone Heavily Plagiarized An Anti-Cruz Piece For The Daily Caller

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, The Daily Caller removed Stone’s piece from its website. A link to the piece currently redirects to the site's mainpage. There is currently no explanation for the removal. Stone’s author page also no longer lists the April 25 piece. A screenshot of the article can be found here via Google cache.

    ORIGINAL: Donald Trump ally Roger Stone wrote an anti-Ted Cruz piece for The Daily Caller that contains at least five paragraphs in which research and language were lifted from a conservative blog. Stone did not attribute or credit the blog, instead passing the research off as his own.

    Stone is a longtime adviser and friend to Trump. He now heads a pro-Trump super PAC and has stirred controversy by promising to disclose the hotels and room numbers of Republican National Convention delegates who are purportedly trying to "steal" the nomination from Trump. Stone has a long history of dirty tricks and smears.

    Stone, “The Daily Caller's Men's Fashion Editor,” wrote an April 25 piece attacking "establishment globalist" Cruz for selling “the American worker down the river by voting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” 

    Much of Stone’s piece previously appeared in a November 11 blog post authored by “sundance” for the blog The Conservative Tree House (the piece was reposted several times on that blog in subsequent months). 

    Stone is aware of The Conservative Tree House blog, having previously tweeted out links to the blog and citing it in an April 8 Daily Caller piece on conservative pundits allegedly supporting Cruz “for the money.” In that piece, Stone cited “a blogger identified simply as ‘sundance’” “in an article posted on”

    Here is a side-by-side visual of Stone’s piece and The Conservative Tree House post (click here to view a larger image). Five consecutive paragraphs in Stone's piece plagiarize content from a lengthy section of the piece at The Conservative Treehouse blog: 

    Here are five examples from the piece where Stone lifted language and research from The Conservative Tree House post without any attribution (the only link included in Stone's piece matches a link also used in The Conservative Treehouse post). The instances where the language is virtually identical are bolded.

    Example 1:

    Stone wrote:

    House Bill #2146 became the Trojan horse for passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal more than a year ago. HR2146 was originally introduced in the House to remedy problems with law enforcement and firefighter retirement funds.

    Sundance wrote:

    This House Bill #2146 originating April 30th ’15, became the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

    HR2146 was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters.

    Example 2:

    Stone wrote:

    In April of 2015, Senator Ted Cruz and House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan supported TPA being added to HR2146. In fact, they penned an op-ed in the in the [sic] Wall Street Journal on April 22, 2015, which painted a picture of it as the savior of American labor and commerce.

    Sundance wrote:

    In April of 2015 Senator Ted Cruz and House Ways and Means Chairman, Representative Paul Ryan, supported TPA being added to HR2146.  Their support was most notable when they posted the following Op-Ed which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on April 22nd:

    Example 3:

    Stone wrote:

    On June 4th 2015 the Senate passed the House bill with an amendment adding TPA (thanks to Ted Cruz) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA, needed for Elizabeth Warren coalition) by unanimous consent thereby avoiding a roll vote on record. This has allowed Cruz to pretend he didn’t support it, until now.

    Sundance wrote:

    As planned, on June 4th 2015 The senate passed the house bill “with changes” notably an amendment “adding TPA” (thanks to Ted Cruz) and TAA (needed for Elizabeth Warren coalition) By unanimous consent thereby avoiding a roll vote on record. 

    Example 4:

    Stone wrote:

    On June 18, 2015, the House accepted the TPA change championed by Paul Ryan. It also removed TAA (the financial assistance package for training of union workers), which greatly upset Nancy Pelosi. But the White House was much more concerned with TPA and TPP, so Pelosi did what she was told and went along.

    Sundance wrote:

    On June 18, 2015 the House accepted the TPA change (Paul Ryan spearhead) and removed TAA (the financial assistance package for training of union workers – this angered the Pelosi Dems).  Nancy Pelosi had to be arm twisted by the White House to go along with HR2146 with TAA spending removed – she acquiesced.

    Example 5:

    Stone wrote:

    Without TAA, HR2146 passed again in the House and bounced back to the Senate — where TAA was removed. OnJune 24 [sic], HR2146 (TPA without TAA) then passed the Senate. 

    Sundance wrote:

    Without TAA HR2146 passed again in the House, only this time with a much closer vote of 218-208, and went back to the Senate to resolve differences.  (The difference was the removal of TAA)

    On June 24th HR2146 (TPA without TAA) Then passed the Senate (Ted Cruz did not attempt to block or filibuster because this was the original plan all along). 

  • A Guide To The Myths & Facts On Obama’s Executive Actions On Immigration

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court “is weighing the fate” of President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration which “could shield roughly 4 million people from deportation” and grant them legal right to work. Right-wing media have spent years misinforming about the legality, and economic impact of the executive actions. Here are the facts.

  • How Right-Wing Media Attacks Against Celebrities Who Speak Out About The Gender Pay Gap

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    On Equal Pay Day, Media Matters looks back at how conservative media attacked female celebrities and athletes for speaking out about wage disparities in their industry and the need for a guarantee of equal pay for equal work. Right-wing media blamed wage inequality on women’s “self-esteem,” their willingness to sign and negotiate “bad” contracts, and so-called “fuzzy math” on the part of equal pay advocates; all while continuing to push the myth that the gender gap doesn’t exist.

  • Conservative Media Push Conspiracy That Obama "Censored" "Islamic Terrorism" From French President's Remarks

    White House Updated The Video To Include All Remarks And Explained Technical Glitch Led To The Audio Being Dropped

    ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Conservative outlets quickly hatched a conspiracy theory that the White House "censored" French President Francois Hollande from using the phrase "Islamist terrorism" during a bilateral meeting with President Obama in Washington, D.C. The White House explained the issue was simply a technical glitch that was fixed immediately.

  • Conservative Media Smear Merrick Garland: Benghazi Edition

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conservatives are now trying to smear Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland with a myth about the 2012 terror attacks on the United States' diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

    In a March 31 article, the Daily Caller claimed that Garland "falsely blamed the YouRube [sic] video 'Innocence of Muslims' for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi attacks, court transcripts show." Right-wing media outlets have consistently claimed that the Obama administration deliberately lied by linking that anti-Islam video to the attacks.

    In fact, the leader of the 2012 attack has confirmed that the video -- which had been spurring sometimes-violent protests throughout the Middle East at the time of the attack -- did inspire the perpetrators to assault the United States' Benghazi diplomatic compound, ultimately leading to the death of four Americans.

    The Caller article, citing a press release from discredited conservative group Judicial Watch, claimed Garland repeated a Benghazi falsehood during a January 10, 2013, hearing over Judicial Watch's attempt to force the Obama administration to release images of Osama bin Laden's body. (The court ultimately rejected Judicial Watch's challenge.)

    While discussing national security concerns over the release of sensitive images during oral arguments, Garland said, "And we do know of examples where in this country we would think that the release of certain things would not have lead to this, and yet there were, not very long ago a video was released that did lead to death of an American ambassador, of other people, of riots in other cities."

    Garland was right. Although conservative media have endlessly claimed that the Obama administration sought to deceive about the nature of the Benghazi attacks by citing the influence of the "Innocence of Muslims" video, the claim is baseless. Numerous news reports at the time of the attack -- reporting on the best intelligence available -- said the video played a role. The New York Times reported in December 2013, "There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers," citing witness accounts of those attackers mentioning the video during the assault.

    And as the Times reported in 2014, the alleged ringleader of the attack "told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him."

  • Right-Wing Media Distort Hillary Clinton's Comments About Libya Intervention

    Conservative Media Follow RNC Lead In Smearing Clinton For Accurately Stating No Americans Died In Military Campaign To Oust Gadhafi


    Right-wing media figures are distorting a comment made by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a MSNBC town hall, where Clinton said "we didn't lose a single person" during the 2011 U.S. military intervention in Libya. Conservative commentators parroted the GOP in berating Clinton for allegedly "forgetting" about the four Americans who were killed during the 2012 Benghazi attacks, when in reality Clinton was referring only to the military intervention in Libya, which ended nearly a year before the Benghazi attacks.

  • Trump Campaign Faces Media Criticism After His Campaign Manager "Gets Rough" With A Journalist

    ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Media outlets highlighted a pattern of "physical run-ins" Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's campaign has had with journalists after his campaign manager allegedly "forcibly grabbed" a reporter following a press conference. The Trump campaign also has a history of seeking to impede journalists and undermine freedom of press.

  • Right-Wing Media Run With "Unreliable" Arkansas Woman's Claims That The Clintons Want Her Dead

    Even The National Enquirer Scorned Her In The 1990s

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Right-wing media have seized upon Arkansan Sally Miller's baseless claims that Hillary Clinton is plotting to have her killed and that she had an affair with Bill Clinton in the 1980s, who supposedly told her that "Hillary is a lesbian." Miller's allegations spread through right-wing media websites and Rush Limbaugh's talk radio show after the Drudge Report highlighted an interview detailing Miller's attempt to sell a "tell-all memoir." Miller's claims were dismissed decades ago by Arkansas media outlets who regarded her as "unreliable," and even the National Enquirer ridiculed her assertions at the time.

  • Conservative Media Run With Misleading Report That Bill Clinton Slammed Obama

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Right-wing media repeatedly cited a misleading Tennessee newspaper report that took former President Bill Clinton out of context to claim that he criticized President Obama during a campaign speech for not doing enough to effect change in the country. In fact, full video of Clinton's remarks reveals that he repeatedly praised Obama's accomplishments and explicitly criticized those who claim that Obama didn't accomplish enough.

  • Right-Wing Media Smear Mosque Before Obama's Visit

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Right-wing media smeared the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) after President Obama announced that it would be the first U.S. mosque he visits in his presidency. Conservative media accused the mosque, one of the largest Muslim centers in the mid-Atlantic region, of having ties to terrorism based on cherry-picked, decades-old connections and former employees.

  • Stanford Professor Calls Out "Egregious" Distortion Of His Research On Clean Energy Jobs

    Daily Caller Article On Shift To 100% Renewable Energy Is 100% Wrong

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS


    The troubling trend of the fossil fuel industry and conservative media twisting scientific research to fit their own agenda is not going away, as Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson recently found out. In the age of rampant climate denial, scientists and researchers like Jacobson are increasingly recognizing that they must fight back against deliberate rightwing distortions of their work.

    On January 8, the Daily Caller's Michael Bastasch reported on what he seemed to consider a "gotcha" moment for the environmental movement: environmentalists have been touting a study showing that the U.S. could transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but according to Bastasch, "they must not have realized the study also shows nearly 1.2 million Americans permanently out of work."

    Bastasch did not get this statistic from the study itself, nor did he contact any of the study's authors. He turned instead to a fossil fuel industry group called Energy In Depth, which he described as "an oil and gas industry-backed education project."

    Last summer, Jacobson led a Stanford University study showing that the U.S. can fully replace its fossil fuel infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy -- wind, water, and solar (WWS) -- by 2050, and that such a plan would bring economic benefits, including a net gain of two million long-term jobs (defined as jobs lasting at least 40 years).

    Last week, Energy In Depth's Steve Everley claimed that the Stanford plan would kill over 1.2 million more long-term jobs than it would create.

    In response, Jacobson, who is the director of Stanford's Atmosphere/Energy program, tweeted that it was "amazing" Everley would "flat out lie" about his paper:

    The study itself, as Jacobson explained to the ClimateDenierRoundup on Daily Kos, found that shifting to 100 percent renewables "would create 3.9 million 40-year construction jobs (3.9 million people working 40 years on construction) in addition to nearly 2 million permanent operation jobs." It would also lead to a loss of 3.9 million fossil fuel-based jobs, resulting in a net increase of 2 million jobs over 40 years.

    Jacobson told Media Matters in an email that Everley "refused to count the construction jobs as 40-year jobs, instead saying they were not 'long-term' jobs and pretending as if they were just short term (e.g., 1 year) construction jobs." He added that Everley "refus[ed] to correct it when informed of the error."

    Not surprisingly, the Daily Caller took Everley's post and ran with it. In an article headlined "Enviros Accidentally Tout Study Showing 100% Green Energy Will Permanently Kill Millions Of Jobs," Bastasch wrote that "green groups" such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club have ignored the "inconvenient truth" about Jacobson's study. In reality, the only inconvenient truth here is that the Daily Caller has an aversion to accurate climate reporting.

    Jacobson acknowledged to Media Matters that it's "necessary" for him to stand up for his work "when the misinformation is so egregious." Said Jacobson, "Whereas I have experienced cases where people didn't like our results because they affected their energy of choice, this is the first time I've come across someone (Everley) actually falsifying data from our study then refusing to correct it when informed of the error."

    But this has become a common trend among fossil fuel front groups and rightwing media outlets, which frequently distort climate research to fit a pro-fossil fuel agenda. Scientific researchers have previously expressed deep concerns about conservative media outlets' "ridiculous," "alarming," and "patently false" distortions of their research.

    In fact, these media distortions have become so common that a NASA scientist recently predicted climate science deniers would twist his study on Antarctic ice to dispute the climate change consensus -- and of course, that's exactly what happened.

    Scientific research can be complicated, so it's a good idea to ask the researchers themselves what their research means, especially if it appears to mean something groundbreaking or unexpected. And when a fossil fuel industry consultant like Everley or rightwing outlet like the Daily Caller won't fix their stories even after the researcher himself demands a correction, then you know the falsehood is intentional.

    So when conservative news sites like the Daily Caller continue to echo fossil fuel industry distortions of climate research, we're left with the unfortunate situation in which the researchers themselves must continue to speak out and defend their work.

    Photo at top via Flickr user delwedd with a Creative Commons license.

    UPDATE (1/15/16): After the publication of this post, Energy in Depth published a new post stating that Jacobson "delete[d]" data "showing a net loss of long-term jobs" from the transition to 100 percent renewable energy, which was echoed by the Daily Caller. In an email to Media Matters, Jacobson clarified that he had informed the Energy in Depth blogger Steve Everley on January 5 "that the numbers [Everley] was using for his article were dead test numbers not used or linked to anything," but that "[e]ven after being informed, [Everley] still used the irrelevant test numbers in his article." Jacobson continued: "Because of [Everley's] abuse of the dead numbers and because they served no purpose, I removed the dead numbers from the spreadsheet. All numbers that the paper relies on are still in the spreadsheet and were never touched." He added: "Any reader can compare the paper with the spreadsheet to determine this themselves."