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Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Matt Gertz

What Makes Trump Think Mueller Should Be Prosecuted? Too Much Fox News

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters. NBC News reported today that President Donald Trump has been “talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting” special counsel Robert Mueller and members of his team on unstated charges as part of the administration’s effort to discredit and defang the Russia investigation. One […]

January 31, 2018

Breitbart ‘News’ Wholly Owned And Operated By Mercer Empire serves as the communications arm of a web of nonprofit and for-profit entities owned or supported by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. The conservative website shares staff with those organizations and regularly promotes their work.

January 11, 2018

Hopeful Media Await Trump’s ‘Pivot’ Toward Normalcy

One week ago, President Donald Trump appeared to threaten a nuclear strike on North Korea and simultaneously comment on the size of his penis in a tweet seemingly responding to a cable news segment he had been watching at the time. In the days since, journalists, pundits, and even lawmakers have discussed whether the president is mentally fit to serve (according to the president, he is a “very stable genius”).

January 10, 2018

New Study: Facebook ‘Most Important’ In Spreading Fake News

The political scientists estimated that more than a quarter of American adults visited a page on a pro-Donald Trump or pro-Hillary Clinton fake news website. Most of the fake news was pro-Trump, and people who supported his campaign were significantly more likely to visit fake news sites than people who supported Clinton.

January 3, 2018

Murdoch’s Boot-Licking Of Trump Pays Off

Murdoch’s greatest asset in that endeavor is President Donald Trump, whom Murdoch has cultivated by serving as his informal adviser and giving him fawning coverage through his news outlets. That effort now appears to be bearing fruit.

December 16, 2017

Fox News Throws Steve Bannon To The Wolves Over Roy Moore’s Defeat

If you have tuned in to Fox News since the network called the Alabama Senate race for Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore, you may have had the sublime pleasure of watching its commentators drive a bus over Breitbart honcho Steve Bannon, back the bus up, and drive it over him again.

December 14, 2017
trump press

Democrats Trust The Press And Republicans Don’t. What Now?

The research was presented yesterday at a journalism ethics summit organized by the nonprofit journalism think tank the Poynter Institute, which I attended along with dozens of journalists and advocates keen on discussing how to strengthen the public’s trust in the press during the Trump administration.

December 6, 2017

The Kochs Just Got Their Hands On Time Magazine. Who’s Next?

Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are major funders of Republican candidates and conservative organizations, now own a stake in Time Inc. On Sunday night, the Meredith Corporation announced that it is purchasing the company with the help of $650 million from a Koch equity fund.

November 28, 2017

Was Hannity Picked Up On Wiretaps Of Julian Assange?

Sean Hannity either broke a massive bombshell implicating the Trump administration in ongoing, illegal spying on journalists on his Fox News show last night, or he casually pushed yet another baseless conspiracy theory to his audience of 3 million viewers.

November 16, 2017

Is Fox News Running The Trump Justice Department?

“I don’t want to be Chicken Little, but, you know what, this is what happens in authoritarian countries like Turkey and Russia, that when a party takes power, they start criminally investigating their opponents,” CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin warned this morning.

November 15, 2017

There Are Plenty Of Good Reasons To Oppose Mega-Mergers. “Trump Hates CNN” Isn’t One Of Them.

Did President Donald Trump torpedo AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner as part of an ongoing feud with Time Warner subsidiary CNN? At this point, it almost doesn’t matter. The fact that the question can be raised shows that the damage to the press and to the political system has already been done.

November 10, 2017
sarah wasko/ media matters

New Fox Evening Lineup Is Channeling Steve Bannon

Two months ago, Steve Bannon left his position as White House chief strategist and returned to his “weapons” at At the time, news reports were thick with rumors that Bannon might try to extend Breitbart’s brand from digital media and satellite radio to television.

October 29, 2017

Uranium One: How Sean Hannity Revived Bannon’s Bogus Attacks On Clintons And Obama

President Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency engulfed by congressional and criminal investigations into Russian efforts to help him win the 2016 presidential election. But today, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced he was joining a new congressional probe…

October 26, 2017

Chris Wallace, Sean Hannity, And The Big Feud Inside Fox News

On a cold November morning in 2010, Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson have moved their set outside the network’s Manhattan headquarters. The trio are huddled in their winter coats on a fur-draped bench that appears to be made of ice, sitting around an open fire, talking to a bemused Chris Wallace, who is remote from Fox’s Washington, DC, studio.

October 22, 2017

New Fox Primetime Lineup Taking Bannon’s Side In GOP War

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, whose prime-time Fox News program debuts in two weeks, will headline a kickoff event tonight for Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward’s insurgent primary campaign against Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a critic of President Donald Trump.

October 18, 2017

Bannon Demands Senators Join Trump Cult To Survive Politically

At this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, Bannon reinforced the GOP’s current state as a cult of personality and proposed using the willingness of GOP senators to publicly praise President Donald Trump and condemn his critics as a litmus test for determining whether the Breitbart boss would support Republican primary candidates.

October 15, 2017

Trump Mimics Turkish Despot In Threat To Free Press

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that one of its journalists, Ayla Albayrak, had been convicted of “engaging in terrorist propaganda” by a Turkish court over Albayrak’s reporting in the Journal on a Kurdish separatist party banned in that nation. The move was condemned by the Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, and press freedom advocates.

October 12, 2017

Inspector General Debunks (Again) The IRS ‘Scandal’ That Never Was

The “IRS scandal” — the right-wing delusion that the Internal Revenue Service was disproportionately targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status and slow-walking their approvals — began as a political hit job by a partisan Republican congressman. It matured into a full-fledged scandal, with President Barack Obama apologizing and the IRS commissioner resigning in disgrace.

October 6, 2017

Authoritarian Watch: Trump Calls For Congressional Investigation Into U.S. News Outlets

President Donald Trump urged Congress to begin investigations into the U.S. media, which he baselessly claimed was fabricating stories in order to damage his presidency, in a Thursday morning tweet with authoritarian overtones. “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!,” the president tweeted just before 7 a.m. EST.

October 6, 2017

Ryan’s Obsequious Tribute To Trump On Fox Draws Jeers

Toward the end of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) interview last night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, after Hannity had swooned over the Republican tax cut plan, the host turned his attention to whether the congressman and his caucus are sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump.

September 30, 2017

Megyn Kelly Today Needs You To Forget How She Built Her Career

Megyn Kelly — the former Fox News host who NBC hoped would become the latest star in the network’s firmament — opened the premiere episode of her new morning talk show, Megyn Kelly Today, by laughing at the idea that she might devote time to her sometimes foe President Donald Trump’s latest remarks. “The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now,” she told a live studio audience with a smile.

September 26, 2017

Why News Networks Won’t Hire Sean Spicer

Since he exited the White House, President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer has been feted by Hollywood at the Emmy Awards, nabbed a coveted slot as a fellow at Harvard University, and started lining up high-dollar speaking gigs for business groups. But his effort to monetize the political celebrity status he acquired by famously lying to the public before it fades has hit a major snag: Unlike many of his predecessors, he has reportedly found that the major TV news organizations are unwilling to sign him to a lucrative contract as a paid contributor. Per NBC’s Claire Atkinson, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, and NBC News have all passed on offering him a job. According to The Daily Beast, even the pro-Trump One America News Network isn’t interested in Spicer.

September 24, 2017

How Matt Drudge Became The Pipeline For Russian Propaganda

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew. The next day, President Barack Obama alleged that the responsible parties were Russian-backed separatists seizing territory in the region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama’s statement came amid a furious effort by Russian propaganda outlets to foster confusion about the act. In their telling, the tragedy had actually been a failed attempt by Ukrainians to shoot down President Vladimir Putin’s plane.

September 21, 2017

Sean Hannity Promotes Bill O’Reilly Sex Harassment Revenge Scheme

Fox News host Sean Hannity turned his radio show into a platform for embattled former colleague Bill O’Reilly to undermine the reports of sexual harassment that led Fox to terminate his employment earlier this year, and repeatedly urged him to return to the network. Hannity’s decision to take the side of his former colleague over his employer provides more evidence that he is a rogue actor who is no longer restrained by the network.

September 19, 2017

Why Senate Press Gallery Should WIthhold Credentials From Bannon’s Breitbart News

Introducing former White House chief strategist and executive chairman Stephen Bannon on Sunday night, CBS News’ Charlie Rose told the 60 Minutes audience that Breitbart is “the website where the alt-right and conspiracy theories meet conventional conservatives.” Rose is right that Breitbart has a long and unsavory history of providing bigotry and paranoia with a bigger audience. But Bannon himself would say that Breitbart is more than that. It’s one of his “weapons,” he told The Weekly Standard when he rejoined the website in mid-August, a “f***ing machine” that he planned to use to “crush the opposition” to President Donald Trump.

September 13, 2017