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Fox Canceled Lou Dobbs — And He Won’t Be Missed

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Lou Dobbs Tonight has been canceled at Fox Business. Host Dobbs, who had joined Fox after his birtherism led to him being forced out at CNN, became known at Fox for his over-the-top pro-Trump propaganda. Former President Donald Trump frequently tweeted about and made decisions based on Dobbs' program.

The news about his departure comes only a day after Dobbs and Fox News were named in a nearly 2.7 billion dollar lawsuit filed by voting technology company Smartmatic; there are indications that a similar suit from Dominion Voting Systems is forthcoming. The sudden schism is the culmination of an erratic, conspiratorial, and very bigoted career that became increasingly deranged throughout the Trump era. Here are some of the moments that defined what Dobbs' show had become during the Trump era.

Lou Dobbs defended insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol: They "were walking between the rope lines" [MMFA, 1/6/21]

Lou Dobbs told Sidney Powell that "we will gladly put forward your evidence" that the 2020 election "was a cyber Pearl Harbor" [MMFA, 12/10/20]

Lou Dobbs suggested Republicans should just say "we're not going to accept the results of this election" [Twitter, 11/13/20]

The day after the 2020 election, Lou Dobbs demanded that Republicans "surround" Philadelphia and exert a "demanding presence" [MMFA, 11/4/21]

Lou Dobbs suggested that China is shipping fake IDs into the United States so that people can fraudulently vote [Twitter, 10/30/20]

Lou Dobbs: Elected Democrats are "quite simply, the enemies of the people" [MMFA, 10/27/20]

Lou Dobbs attacked Joe Biden for saying he won't debate Trump if he's contagious with COVID [MMFA, 10/7/20]

Lou Dobbs warned of a possible "civil war in this country," suggesting that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) could be responsible for it [Twitter, 9/21/20]

Lou Dobbs said that the country may need to re-do the presidential election if mail-in voting is allowed [MMFA, 8/24/20]

Dobbs claimed that the arrest of Steve Bannon aboard his patron's yacht by Postal Service agents was a "deep state" plot [MMFA, 8/20/20]

Dobbs attacked health experts for not praising Donald Trump's "leadership" [MMFA, 4/1/20]

Lou Dobbs: "The president was right and frankly Fauci was wrong" about hydroxychloroquine [MMFA, 3/23/20]

Dobbs ran a Twitter poll asking if Trump's pandemic response was "SUPERB," "GREAT," or simply "VERY GOOD" [Twitter, 3/18/20]

Lou Dobbs poll asks if Trump's response to coronavirus has been

Lou Dobbs warned that there "will not be a quiet surrender" if election results aren't overturned [MMFA, 12/2/20]

Lou Dobbs and Rudy Giuliani claimed that Black Democrats "love their people less" than they hate Trump [MMFA, 2/5/20]

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Dobbs was upset after being told by "management" that he can't show a Trump campaign rally instead of doing his show [MMFA, 1/28/20]

Dobbs compared Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to Benedict Arnold for criticizing the Trump administration's military briefing on Iran [MMFA, 1/8/20]

Lou Dobbs: "It will be century after century of veneration for this president" [MMFA, 12/20/19]

Lou Dobbs: Democrats "are waging war on everything American, our Constitution, our president, the American people" [MMFA, 12/19/19]

Dobbs praised Trump for thanking Dobbs at a rally [Twitter, 11/5/19]

Lou Dobbs claimed that Donald Trump never talks about himself [MMFA, 10/28/19]

Lou Dobbs said that Democrats are trying to "destroy" Trump because of their "hatred of American values, and our heritage" [MMFA, 10/18/19]

Lou Dobbs: "I said we can claim" victory over ISIS and Al Qaeda, "I didn't say it was true"[MMFA, 10/9/19]

Dobbs claimed that Trump makes great weekends "possible for us all." [Twitter, 9/13/19]

Lou Dobbs attacked journalists for not reporting on how much fun is being had inside the White House: "The joint is hopping" [MMFA, 9/12/19]

Lou Dobbs: George Soros' "tentacles reach out" in order to "work against sovereignty"[MMFA, 9/11/19]

Lou Dobbs said that special counsel Robert Mueller was part of a plot to help Democrats "steal" the 2018 midterms [MMFA, 5/29/19]

Lou Dobbs: The southern border is a "battlefield" and the military needs more guns there for when they get "a shot" [MMFA, 4/24/19]

Lou Dobbs calls for the jailing of Americans who investigated Russia's hacking of Democrats [MMFA, 4/18/19]

Lou Dobbs on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN): "Who is she representing? Because it isn't America"[MMFA, 4/17/19]

Lou Dobbs praises ICE employee for driving his car into a group of protesters [MMFA, 8/15/19]

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Lou Dobbs asks if it's "time for the Trump administration to outright defy the activist" Supreme Court over census ruling [MMFA, 6/27/19]

Lou Dobbs endorsed Kris Kobach's proposal to put asylum seekers in a "camp" [MMFA, 4/2/19]

Lou Dobbs warns that immigration could "consign tens of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans to their deaths" [MMFA, 3/29/19]

Lou Dobbs called on Attorney General Barr to investigate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts [MMFA, 2/14/19]

Lou Dobbs: Democrats "would love to carry out an actual coup d'état" [MMFA, 2/13/19]

Lou Dobbs calls for war with China, compares hacking and IP theft to Pearl Harbor [MMFA, 12/20/18]

Lou Dobbs calls climate change a United Nations plot "to take over the world" [MMFA, 12/4/18]

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Lou Dobbs: Robert Mueller "is trying to kill" Donald Trump [MMFA, 12/4/18]

Lou Dobbs suggests with no evidence that sweeping Democratic victories in 2018 were due to migrants who voted illegally [MMFA, 11/5/18]

Lou Dobbs claimed that birthright citizenship led to an "explosion" of welfare in the 1960's[MMFA, 11/1/18]

Lou Dobbs: Law enforcement agencies investigating bombs are "not doing things the American way" [MMFA, 10/25/18]

Lou Dobbs and Tom Fitton claimed that "radical Islamist terrorists" are part of the migrant caravan [MMFA, 10/22/18]

Lou Dobbs: Hurricane Maria death toll is a "farce" and "an amazing tortured inflation"[MMFA, 9/13/18]

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Lou Dobbs: "It's a disgrace" that anyone argues police brutality is an issue [MMFA, 9/4/18]

Dobbs defended Infowars and Alex Jones [MMFA, 7/27/18]

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Lou Dobbs credits Trump presidency with increase in Christmas displays and holiday joy[MMFA, 12/15/17]

Lou Dobbs: "U.S. Marshals should follow" Obama and bring him back when he criticizes Trump while abroad [MMFA, 12/1/17]

Lou Dobbs: Barack Obama "unleashed" Bangladeshi immigrants into the United States[MMFA, 12/11/17]

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Lou Dobbs: "The left in this country is trying to kill America" [MMFA, 6/15/17]

Lou Dobbs: "The secular left" and "national left-wing media" are a "threat to domestic order" [MMFA, 6/14/17]

Lou Dobbs said that there is "a partisan shroud" around the family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich [MMFA, 5/16/17]

Dobbs claimed Trump is a victim of a "Mormon Mafia" [MMFA, 10/27/16]

MSNBC Sides With Rape Apologist, Fires Contributor For Tweet Mocking Rape Apologists

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

MSNBC reportedly cut ties with contributor Sam Seder after far-right date rape apologist Mike Cernovich spread a 2009 tweet in which Seder mocked defenders of Roman Polański, a film director charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. MSNBC’s decision to fire Seder comes on the one year anniversary of the shooting at Comet Ping Pong, which Cernovich helped spark by relentlessly pushing the “alt-right”-fueled “pizzagate” conspiracy.

According to a December 4 report by The Wrap, MSNBC “has decided not to renew its contract with contributor Sam Seder after an old tweet emerged … brought to wide attention last month by the pro-Trump journalist and activist Mike Cernovich.”

Seder explained Cernovich’s “smear involves the willful misinterpretation of a tweet that I posted in 2009” that was criticizing rape apologists, but MSNBC sided with Cernovich, who previously asked “Have you guys ever tried ‘raping’ a girl without using force? Try it. It’s basically impossible. Date rape does not exist,” and claimed“A whore will let her friend ruin your life with a false rape case. So why should I care when women are raped?”

In a tweet, Media Matters Senior Fellow Matt Gertz added that the attacks against Seder ignored that when Seder made the satirical joke in 2009, he may have been responding to the media outlets and personalities that were inappropriately defending Polanski at the time.

The reported termination of MSNBC’s relationship with Seder comes one year after a gunman walked into Comet Ping Pong, a popular family pizza restaurant, to investigate a fringe right-wing conspiracy theory that the restaurant was a cover for a pedophilia ring. Cernovich repeatedly promoted the false claim on Twitter.

By severing ties with Seder, MSNBC has now made the same mistake that former New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd made when she legitimized Cernovich’s harassment campaign against New York Timesreporter Sopan Deb.

MSNBC and The New York Times’ willingness to affirm a conspiratorial right-wing troll’s campaign to smear journalists and media figures sets a dangerous precedent. It threatens the credibility of serious media outlets when they choose to side with personalities like Cernovich who have a long track record of racismmisogynyconspiracy theories, and misinformation.

Language has been updated for clarity.



Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

NBC Will Have A Fiduciary Relationship With The President Of The United States

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters. 

Variety managing editor Cynthia Littleton reported “Donald Trump will remain an exec producer on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice,” creating a conflict of interest for NBC’s ability to provide unbiased coverage of Trump while promoting a show built on Trump’s reputation.

On December 8, Variety reported “Trump’s fees will be paid through MGM, the production entity on the show, not NBC,” but “the fact that a sitting president will be on the payroll of a current TV show is another example of the thicket of potential conflicts of interest raised by Trump’s segue from a private businessman and TV star to commander-in-chief.”

Donald Trump will remain an exec producer on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, which is returning Jan. 2 after a two-year hiatus with new host Arnold Schwarzenegger.

[…]

The larger issue for MGM, NBC, and the White House is the payment that Trump will receive for the series. It’s unclear what his per-episode fee is, but it is likely to be in the low five-figures, at minimum. NBC has ordered eight episodes of The New Celebrity Apprentice. Trump’s fees will be paid through MGM, the production entity on the show, not NBC. MGM declined to comment on the financial terms of Trump’s deal. A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NBC declined to comment.

[…]

The fact that a sitting president will be on the payroll of a current TV show is another example of the thicket of potential conflicts of interest raised by Trump’s segue from private businessman and TV star to commander-in-chief. However, past presidents have published books during their time in the White House, so there is precedent for a president earning royalties while in office. In the case of President Obama’s 2010 book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, his profits from the Alfred A. Knopf publication were donated to a charity supporting the children of disabled veterans.

In continuing their financial relationship with Trump, NBC will invite skepticism into how NBC and MSNBC can fairly cover the sitting president when there is a financial incentive to protect his reputation and the ratings of the Celebrity Apprentice. Furthermore, Trump and NBC should address the conflict of interest concerns raised by the fact advertisers may help to personally enrich President-elect Donald Trump by purchasing ads during Celebrity Apprentice.

NBC should move to address concerns raised by Variety’s reporting, and publicly state how it will balance its financial relationship with Trump while maintaining the network’s journalistic legitimacy.

Hurricane Matt: Right-Wing Website Trolled Storm Warning, Pushing ‘Conspiracy’

As millions evacuate the west coast of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, which has already been responsible for 113 deaths across the Caribbean, the curator of the most widely read conservative website, Matt Drudge, irresponsibly peddled a conspiracy theory that federal officials have exaggerated the danger posed by Hurricane Matthew “to make exaggerated point on climate.”

On October 6, Drudge claimed “the deplorables” were wondering if the government was lying about the intensity of the deadly hurricane and also questioned the legitimacy of the National Hurricane Center’s data:

[Twitter, 10/6/16]


[Twitter, 10/6/16]

Drudge also used his website, one of the most widely read sites on the Internet, DrudgeReport.com, to put Florida residents in danger and push the conspiracy theory with a banner titled “STORM FIZZLE? MATTHEW LOOKS RAGGED!,” alongside links titled “IT’S A 4?” and “RESIDENTS NOT TAKING SERIOUSLY…”.

In direct contrast to Drudge, Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott warned those in the hurricane’s path that “this storm will kill you,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) described the storm as “dangerous.” Fox News host Shepard Smith warned Floridians that if they did not evacuate “you and everyone you know is dead,” and that “you can’t survive it,” while The National Weather Service for Melbourne, Florida warned residents that the storm was “LIFE-THREATENING,” and “more impacting than Hurricane David and 2004 hurricanes!”:

5 am | Matthew LIFE-THREATENING as it moves up the EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA coast. More impacting than Hurricane David & 2004 hurricanes!

Drudge joined Rush Limbaugh in peddling baseless conspiracy theories about the hurricane, placing their audience in danger. Earlier, Limbaugh downplayed the storm by ranting about “politics in the forecasting of hurricanes because there are votes,” and previously claimed the National Hurricane Center is “playing games” with “hurricane forecasting” to convince viewers of climate change.

UPDATE: Conspiracy theorist and Trump ally Alex Jones retweeted Matt Drudge, expressing support and agreement with his dangerous hurricane conspiracy while adding the white supremacist “altright” hashtag:

 

IMAGE: A man walks among trees damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares