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Sen. Hawley Boasts ‘Outpouring Of Support,' But His Ratings Have Tanked

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Thursday touted the support he has received since his attack on the legitimacy of the presidential election on the day of the Capitol riot.

Hawley was one of six GOP senators who objected to the certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College win on January 6, even after the pro-Trump mob had breached the Capitol.

Appearing on Fox News' Fox & Friends, Hawley was asked to comment on the reaction he has received from Democrats and others to his actions.

"It has been amazing to see the outpouring of support since their efforts to cancel me, to cancel other conservatives, to cancel anybody who won't go along with their radical left agenda," Hawley replied.

Hawley has frequently claimed he is being "canceled." Meanwhile, he continues to make dozens of media appearances and publish op-ed columns, spreading his complaints via a broad media platform.

Hawley told Fox that his critics "lied every which way about my objection on January 6" and declared, "It hasn't worked."

Hawley told the hosts to "look at my support in my home state" for evidence that the purported campaign against him had failed.

But in fact, polls show that Hawley's support in Missouri dropped after his actions on January 6.

In a Morning Consult poll released in January, Hawley's net approval rating dropped 12 points. The poll showed not only a drop in support among voters in general, but also a 14-point drop in net approval specifically among Republican voters.

From the March 4 edition of Fox News' "Fox & Friends":

BRIAN KILMEADE, Fox News: Senator, what is life like for you now with the backlash from Democrats in particular about your would-be speech on Jan. 6 and the unrest that we all know about? Have things settled down for you?
JOSH HAWLEY: You know, it has been – truly it has been amazing to see the outpouring of support since their efforts to cancel me, to cancel other conservatives, to cancel anybody who won't go along with their radical left agenda.
Of course, they lied every which way about my objection on Jan. 6, they lied about my positions. And it hasn't worked. I mean, that's the great thing, you look at my support in my home state of Missouri, you look at the support we've gotten from around the nation, it's utterly failed and backfired, actually.
And I think people want folks who are going to stand up and tell the truth and who, no matter what the criticism is, are going to keep on doing their job, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

CBS News Slammed For ‘Complicit’ Interview With QAnon Rioter

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Should Americans hear from an individual in jail facing felony charges related to their alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection, especially on the day terrorism experts say the QAnon cult might again engage in violence so dangerous the House has postponed business for the day?

Some are saying no, and blasting CBS News for promoting its jailhouse interview today with one of the most recognizable faces from the insurrection, Jacob Chansley, better known as the "QAnon Shaman."

Responding to a clip from its "60 Minutes +" interview with correspondent Laurie Segall that CBS News posted to Twitter, attorney Max Kennerly blasted the network:

He was far from the only one.

In an associated CBS News article the subhead reads: "Jacob Chansley, the man seen wearing face paint and a fur helmet with horns during the January 6 insurrection, tells 60 Minutes+ he was trying 'to bring God back to the Senate.'"

That article quotes Chansley extensively, in part saying, "My actions were not an attack on this country," and, "I sang a song. And that's a part of shamanism… I also stopped people from stealing and vandalizing that sacred space, the Senate. Okay? I actually stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the– out of the break room."

Others tweeted out the CBS video, with some saying: "giving this man a platform to whine about being a victim seems irresponsible," "Maybe you should be interviewing some of the researchers who have been following QAnon for a long time and warning about the dangers of it. But you'd rather interview Qbacca, because putting freaks on the air is good for ratings," "Why do we care about his story? WHY?! This man is a traitor and insurrection leader. WHY?!!," "What have you contributed to journalism's advancement today…nada," "Christ we love handing extremists microphones in this country," and "WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING DOMESTIC TERRORISTS AIRTIME," among many others.

The article quotes Chansley extensively, and ends with this paragraph, which reads more like a press release than a news article: "Segall's report, including her remote interview with Chansley, can be seen on 60 Minutes+, a new show available on ViacomCBS' new streaming platform, Paramount+."

Capitol Rioter Who Assaulted Police Traveled On Turning Point USA Bus

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A retired firefighter who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers during the January 6 Capitol insurrection was put under pretrial house arrest on Tuesday. Robert Sanford had surrendered himself to federal authorities on multiple charges nearly a week after the insurrection. HuffPo's Ryan J. Reilly reported that according to Sanford's attorney, the defendant traveled to Washington, D.C., on a bus organized by Turning Point Action, founded by Trump loyalist Charlie Kirk.

Following the insurrection, Kirk deleted a January 4 tweet saying his organization was sending 80 buses of Trump supporters to the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6. A Turning Point Action spokesperson claimed that the organization had sent only seven buses to the capital and that the student protesters were not involved in the day's violence.

During his January 4 podcast, Kirk stated, "Turning Point Action is being financially supportive of that rally. We are sending buses."

Charlie Kirk:

He also said during that episode: "We are at Turning Point Action helping with the big event in Washington."


In the weeks leading up to the insurrection, Kirk spread misinformation and dangerous rhetoric involving the attempted election coup. He called on former Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally discard state electors. He also criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congratulating President Joe Biden on his election victory, saying, "You typically don't use the term 'congratulations' when someone just stole a bank."

After the attack on the Capitol, Kirk called the violence "bad judgment" and said it was "not wise," continuing, "However, 'not wise' does not mean you're an insurrectionist."


How The Press Enables The GOP’s Big Lie -- And Damages Democracy

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

So many election lies were told at the far-right CPAC conference last weekend that at one point a conservative media outlet, Right Side Broadcasting, had to interrupt its live coverage in order to air a disclaimer so that it wouldn't get sued for spreading election lies.

The conference was drowning in misinformation and whacked out conspiracies about the 2020 election, but very few mainstream outlets identified them clearly. That helps the GOP's Big Lie metastasize and spread. A CNN fact check dubbed the election lies told at CPAC to be "false claims." The network stressed Trump's 90-minute speech was filled with "falsehoods."

Reporting on the right-wing confab, CBS News used weak, vague language when noting that "unsubstantiated claims of interference" had been addressed at CPAC election panels. CBS made no mention of the fact that Trump told attendees the election had been stolen from him — that he already "beat" Democrats twice at the polls. ABC News noted Trump's "false election fraud claims."

By depicting the lies as merely disputed claims, the press continues to downplay a Republican cancer in our culture.

It's a problem that the GOP's Big Lie, as its been dubbed by many online, often isn't even called a lie by the mainstream media, which years ago put up artificial guardrails against calling Trump and his followers liars.

Lying about presidential election results is now, without question, a mainstream Republican talking point, or at the very least the claim that 'millions of Americans have concerns' about election integrity. The Big Lie is dangerous because it's clearly being used to fuel an avalanche of sweeping voter suppression initiatives in state houses around the country, as Republicans use election propaganda to pass bills to make it hard to vote. (The RNC recently set up Committee on Election Integrity, in the wake of an election that had no integrity issues.) It's an extraordinary one-two combination, the likes of which our democracy has rarely faced — it's the essence of pure propaganda.

The media help by giving a voice to the Big Lie and treating it as another Republican debating point, as if the finer points of immigration and tax reform are being discussed. It was the Big Lie that sparked a murderous insurrection on Jan. 6. It's the Big Lie that goes to the heart of American democracy. The Republican Party is waging war on free and fair elections in this country, and the Beltway press, especially the Sunday morning network talk shows, too often acts like disinterested spectatorsfacilitating a Both Sides debate — Republicans say elections are rigged, Democrats disagree!

Note this flawed headline for an in-depth New York Times investigation into the Republican commitment to pass sweeping laws that suppress the vote: "Stolen-Election Myth Fuels G.O.P. Push to Change Voting Laws." [Emphasis added.]

It's not a myth, it's a lie. Big Foot is a myth. The Loch Ness Monster is a myth. The claim that Trump's election win was stolen is a lie told by one of our two major political parties, and it's backed by a billion dollar right-wing media industry. Today, the Big Lie represents the tip of a decades-long push by the Republican Party to sever itself from factual debate. That trend was obviously accelerated with Trump's election.

Early in Trump's presidency, while moving to overturn Obamacare, Republicans tried to pass a landmark social policy initiative by categorically misstating almost every key claim about their bill. They lied about pre-existing conditions. They lied about the cost. They lied about the bill being "bipartisan."

Four years ago this winter, I wrote, "If Republicans succeed by lying about their health care plan, there's no telling what the next target of GOP fabrications will be." We now know the answer is the Big Lie.

The Sunday morning shows continue to be a media wasteland of Big Lie timidity. A revolving door of Republican politicians who have sowed the seeds of election doubts are politely ushered onto shows and either never asked about election lies, as media critic Matt Negrin has documented, or allowed to echo the lies while facing mild pushback from television hosts.

What should happen is that Republicans ought to fear appearing on national shows when discussing so-called election fraud because they know hosts will unequivocally demand they provide concrete proof to back up their claims of election fraud — the same claims that were the basis for 60 failed Trump lawsuits following the election.

Two weeks ago as a guest on ABC's This Week, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) claimed there were, "a few states that did not follow their state laws" during the last election, and that "the rule of law" was abandoned, which is a categorically false claim. Scalise arrived at the ABC studio having previously signed on to an amicus brief supporting a radical lawsuit from the Texas attorney general that would have thrown out millions of legitimate votes across the country. That move alone should have disqualified Scalise from appearing on This Week.

By continuing to welcome Republican Big Liars on TV and treating their comments as serious and legitimate, the press is doing damage to election integrity.