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  • Donald And Eric Trumps’ Sexual Harassment Victim-Blaming Is A Staple In Right-Wing Media

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Donald and Eric Trump’s victim-blaming responses to questions about sexual harassment were condemned in the media, but they echoed right-wing media’s long history of putting the onus on the victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Right-wing media figures have suggested that being a sexual assault survivor is a “coveted status,” that victims should “make better decisions,” and that “women need to take some responsibility.”

  • Media Document The Economic Cost Of North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

    Republican NC Officials Defend Discriminatory Law Despite Increasing Evidence Of Imminent Economic Consequences

    ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

    North Carolina’s Republican administration continues to defend its anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2 (HB2), but media outlets have documented the economic harm the law has done to the state, including backlash from the business community and the potential loss of federal funds. 

  • Yahoo Reports Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show Over "Bigotry" Of  Anti-LGBT Law

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    On March 23 North Carolina’s general assembly passed a bill "barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates." The New York Times editorial board slammed the legislation, writing that it "makes North Carolina [a] pioneer in bigotry," while regional editorial boards admonished the "recklessness and foolishness" of state officials rolling back nondiscrimination protections. On April 7, NBA analyst and TV personality Charles Barkley told CNN "the NBA should move the all-star game from Charlotte" due to the law. 

    Fox News host Todd Starnes lashed out at Springsteen on Twitter by pushing the conservative “bathroom predator” myth, claiming that Springsteen’s opposition to the anti-LGBT law meant Springsteen wanted “grown men to use the bathroom with little girls”:

     

     

     

     

     

    In a statement reported by Yahoo News, Springsteen said "this fight against prejudice and bigotry" in North Carolina is "more important than a rock show":
    Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.

    “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

    [...]

    In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:

    As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

  • Yahoo Reports Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show Over "Bigotry" Of  Anti-LGBT Law

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Yahoo reports Bruce Springsteen cancelled an upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, in opposition to the state's anti-LGBT HB2 law that bans transgender people from restrooms that align with their gender identity.

    On March 23 North Carolina’s general assembly passed a bill "barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates." The New York Times editorial board slammed the legislation, writing that it "makes North Carolina [a] pioneer in bigotry," while regional editorial boards admonished the "recklessness and foolishness" of state officials rolling back nondiscrimination protections. On April 7, NBA analyst and TV personality Charles Barkley told CNN "the NBA should move the all-star game from Charlotte" due to the law. 

    Fox News host Todd Starnes lashed out at Springsteen on Twitter by pushing the conservative “bathroom predator” myth, claiming that Springsteen’s opposition to the anti-LGBT law meant Springsteen wanted “grown men to use the bathroom with little girls”:

    In a statement reported by Yahoo News, Springsteen said "this fight against prejudice and bigotry" in North Carolina is "more important than a rock show":

    Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.

    “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

    North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which is officially called the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March. Never mind that North Carolina police have admitted that the law is essentially unenforcible, there is no factual evidence to support the pervasive theory behind this law, which is that sexual predators would exploit transgender nondiscrimination laws in order to enact assaults. Data compiled by Media Matters for America shows that states with laws preventing discrimination against trans people have no evidence of a rise in sexual assaults.

    [...]

    In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:

    As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

  • Governors Who Don't Want To Accept Syrian Refugees Are Recycling Debunked Right-Wing Media Myths

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    At least 30 state governors -- 29 Republican, 1 Democratic -- are parroting right-wing media myths about security concerns presented by incoming Syrian refugees to argue against taking part in expanded refugee resettlement programs. However, the overwhelming majority of refugees pose no credible threat to the United States, and the vetting process for refugee applicants is thorough. Furthermore, state governments lack the legal authority to dictate immigration policy in the United States.

  • Media Starting To Question Super PACs' Influence On Election Before Spending Has Even Really Begun

    Blog ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

    Scott Walker's early exit from the presidential primary has led some media outlets to conclude that super PACs may not be having as big an effect on the 2016 campaign as it was once thought they would. However, it's far too early to judge super PACs' influence because many of these outside groups have not yet begun to spend the tens of millions of dollars they've already raised in preparation for the fight ahead.

    In the case of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the media has largely focused on how his Unintimidated PAC appears to have failed, pointing out that while deep-pocketed outside groups can provide a boost in advertising, they cannot legally help with some of the most basic functions needed to keep a campaign functioning. As the New York Times reported, "Super PACs, Mr. Walker learned, cannot pay rent, phone bills, salaries, airfares or ballot access fees." Political reporters pointed out that even the Walker PAC's success in raising over $20 million couldn't prevent its candidate's eventual withdrawal from the race.

    While super PACs certainly have their limitations, it would be naive to take Scott Walker's or Rick Perry's withdrawal from the presidential race as a sign that PACs won't have a significant impact on the 2016 election.

    Last spring, the billionaire Koch brothers named Scott Walker to their short list of candidates in line for their support -- an expected endorsement of sorts that confirmed the financial force analysts expected Walker to marshal in the primaries. The Kochs spent roughly $400 million on the 2012 election and plan to spend hundreds of millions more in support of their handpicked candidate in 2016.

    Walker's Unitimidated PAC already had several major donors.* But it had yet to begin to flex its financial muscles when apparent campaign mismanagement brought down the governor's bid. A comparison of how much both Walker and Jeb Bush's PACs have raised versus how much they have spent so far, as illustrated by OpenSecrets.org below, indicates the tsunami of spending yet to come:

    Predictably, and necessarily, super PAC spending spikes as Election Day approaches. For those candidates who can competently manage their campaigns through the heavy advertising season, their PAC's ability to raise and spend millions on air time will prove invaluable. While super PACs may not seem relevant this fall, if the past spending patterns by outside groups documented by The Washington Post below is any indication, next fall's super PAC spending will be obvious when political campaign advertising goes into overdrive.

    CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly claimed that the Koch brothers had donated to Scott Walker's Unitimidated PAC. Media Matters regrets the error. 

  • CNN Allows Dick Cheney To Attack Hillary Clinton For Email Practices Colin Powell Also Used

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    CNN repeatedly asked former Vice President Dick Cheney for his criticism of Hillary Clinton's email practices during her time as secretary of state, but the network failed to acknowledge the fact that Colin Powell, who was secretary of state during the Bush-Cheney administration, similarly used a private email account to conduct State business.

  • Media Admit Schweizer Reporting Contains "No Smoking Gun"

    ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL

    Serial misinformer and GOP activist Peter Schweizer's forthcoming book Clinton Cash speculates that Clinton Foundation donors may have influenced State Department activities during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Consistent with the author's long history of shoddy reporting, media are highlighting how the book presents "little evidence" and "no smoking gun" proving that speculation.

  • Michael Isikoff Turns To Old News To Revive Whitewater Obsession

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Isikoff

    Yahoo News correspondent Michael Isikoff is retreading old news to once again try to thrust Whitewater into the national political debate, continuing an obsession of his that dates back more than 20 years.

    Isikoff dramatically touted the "first extensive public comments" made by Robert Fiske, the federal prosecutor initially appointed to investigate the failed Whitewater land deal, in which the Clintons lost money but were at first falsely accused of criminal conduct. Fiske spoke to Isikoff during a recent interview about his soon-to-be-released memoir and Whitewater, which Isikoff warned "seems likely to be revived by political foes if, as is widely expected, Hillary Clinton runs for president."

    This is a convenient dodge for Isikoff, who has spent two decades helping political foes use Whitewater to try to bring down the Clintons.

    But nothing in Isikoff's latest entry in his Whitewater saga about the Clintons is new.

    "For years, the Clintons have sought to portray the entire investigation as a politically inspired witch hunt, pushed by partisans hunting for any ammunition they could find to damage the president and first lady," Isikoff wrote. "But the new account of Fiske, a pillar of the New York legal community, offers a more complicated picture."

    Isikoff doesn't back that up.

    In fact, Fiske himself undermined the claim that Whitewater could be used against Clinton, noting that he never uncovered any evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton were connected to any crimes:

    He describes how he had quickly uncovered "serious crimes" in the Whitewater investigation but that his probe was cut short after conservatives falsely accused him of a "cover up."

    "There were indictments, there were convictions," said Fiske when asked about claims that there was "nothing" to the investigation. "People went to jail. There was never any evidence that was sufficient to link the Clintons to any of it, but there were certainly serious crimes."

    Isikoff suggests that one new detail is Fiske's claim that he was prepared to bring indictments against individuals connected to the land deal. But this hardly noteworthy, given that it has been publicly known that indictments were brought against individuals connected to the land deal.

    Isikoff even tries to revive the ancient news that billing records connected to the investigation were at one point found in the White House residence, an aspect of the story the right has long attempted to twist into a scandal.

    "One of [Fiske's] first moves was to subpoena Hillary Clinton's law firm billing records," Isikoff writes, "documents that were later found under mysterious circumstances in the White House living quarters." What Isikoff never mentioned is that those billing documents actually backed up what Hillary Clinton had long maintained, that she did very little work for her law firm on behalf of the land deal -- nor does he note that Kenneth Starr, the investigator who ultimately replaced Fiske, found no evidence that the billing records were ever mishandled.

    Isikoff's Yahoo News piece, devoid of relevant new facts, lacking in critical details, and filled with insinuations of wrongdoing that he actively undermines, is troubling given the praise conservatives media figures have showered him with for his inadequate Clinton reporting in the past. At one point in 1998, Sean Hannity spent four consecutive days lauding Isikoff for his reporting.

    In contrast, Jeffrey Toobin, currently a legal analyst at CNN, told Salon in 2000 that Isikoff acted as "an uncritical water-carrier for the anti-Clinton forces."

    It's a history worth remembering as Isikoff warns how Clinton's political foes might attack her.

  • Myths And Facts About Nuclear Power

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Media coverage of nuclear power often suggests that environmentalists are illogically blocking the expansion of a relatively safe, low-carbon energy source. However, in reality, economic barriers to nuclear power -- even after decades of subsidies -- have prevented the expansion of nuclear power. While nuclear power does provide meaningful climate benefits over fossil fuels, economic factors and the need for strict safety regulations have led many environmentalists to focus instead on putting a price on carbon, which would benefit all low-carbon energy sources including nuclear.

  • Inventing a Bush comeback

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Has any politician's imminent political rebound been (wrongly) foretold more often than George W. Bush's? Recall that throughout 2005, with Bush's approval ratings in free-fall, the media kept insisting he was just about to turn things around. He never did. David Broder, the dean of the Washington press corps, even predicted that Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina would enhance his standing with the public. Oops. A year and a half later, Broder was at it again, writing that Bush was "poised for a political comeback." Didn't happen. And who could forget Chuck Todd's declaration that if Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, Bush's approval rating would hit 50 percent by the following July? Democrats did win Congress -- but Bush's approval rating barely cracked 30 percent the following July.

    Now Yahoo! News and McClatchy have decided the time is once again ripe for George W. Bush to convince Americans he wasn't a complete disaster of a president after all. But in order to do so, they have to fudge a few things. Like this:

    Oh, really? There's an "apparent shift in public opinion" of Bush? Let's just click through to the article and see what the evidence is:

  • Yahoo! News: "Glenn Beck's gold-gate problem"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In a December 8 article titled "Glenn Beck's gold-gate problem", Yahoo! News linked to a Media Matters item showing that Beck promotes gold while profiting from gold investment firms.

    Yahoo! News writer Brett Michael Dykes wrote:

    Yet another controversy appears to be brewing around Fox News host Glenn Beck. Some are accusing him of a blatant conflict of interest concerning his frequent on-air promotion of an investment sold by one of his main advertisers: Gold.

    For some time Beck critics have cried foul over his relationship with Goldline International, a precious metalsvendor that features the TV and radio host's endorsement prominently on their website. Critics charge that Beck is guilty of misleading his audience by often advising them to purchase gold in advance of the potential collapse of the value of the dollar on the world currency market, without disclosing that he is in fact a "paid spokesman" for Goldline. Beck's on-air promotion of gold, which includes advising viewers to construct "fruit cellars" and to rely on a "three G system" of "God, Gold, and Guns" in the event of America's collapse, dates back to his time as a host for CNN Headline News.

    Dykes also wrote:

    Beck's promotion of gold presents a potential problem for Fox News, which strictly prohibits on-air personalities from making paid product endorsements. Whencontacted by Daily Finance for a comment on the matter, Fox News senior vice-president for development Joel Cheatwood said the network "makes an exception for its commentators who are also radio hosts," adding that they knew upfront that hiring Beck came with the understanding that he was also a radio host and that they "had to be accepting of certain elements of that." Nevertheless, a Fox spokeswoman said that the company is addressing the matter with Beck's agent, George Hiltzik.