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On Fox, Stephen Miller Falsely Claims Migrant Kids Were ‘Humanely Returned’ To Families

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Former Trump administration senior adviser Stephen Miller appeared Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, to attack President Joe Biden's immigration policies. During the interview, Miller falsely claimed that the Trump administration maintained a practice of "safely and humanely" returning unaccompanied minor immigrants to their families.

In fact, the practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials during the Trump administration were notorious for their dysfunctional treatment of unaccompanied minors. A ProPublica report last year titled "The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus" included young children who had "a parent in the U.S. ready to receive them, and no one in their home country to care for them," and teenagers with dangerous family situations waiting for them back home.

The New York Times also documented that the administration had "deported hundreds of migrant children alone — in some cases, without notifying their families," which also included other relatives in the United States, and that "others have been pushed back into Mexico, where thousands of migrants are living in filthy tent camps and overrun shelters." The Times also reported the Trump administration had ordered the expulsion of minors who still had pending asylum appeals. Congressional Democrats had charged that the administration's practices violated the existing federal law for the treatment of unaccompanied children, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Miller played a key role in advocating for the worst abuses of Trump-era immigration policies, but on Fox & Friends, he claimed those policies actually "saved lives" and "kept children safe."

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Fox News has been continuously fearmongering against Biden's immigration policies, including a false claim that undocumented immigrants who committed violent crimes would not be investigated and deported, and alleging that immigration was the real insurrectionagainst America, rather than the attack against the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6. The network also recently attacked Biden's policies by repeatedly showing b-roll footage of a migrant caravan that had been broken up while crossing from Honduras into Guatemala, a 1,400-mile journey from U.S. territory.

QAnon And Trumpists Plot GOP Takeover -- With Bannon's Advice

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon's recent interview with a local Republican Party committee member on how Trump supporters might be able to take control of the party at the grassroots level is now being enthusiastically promoted on far-right platforms — including to followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has been linked to domestic terrorism and the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On February 6, Bannon hosted Dan Schultz, an attorney and a local GOP committee member from Arizona, on his podcast to discuss conservatives taking over the Republican Party by becoming the local precinct committee officers throughout the country as many of these positions are vacant from lack of public awareness. From there, according to Schultz, they could gain influence over local elected officials and even determine the course of national presidential nominations.

Bannon's interview with Schultz caught further attention, with social media posts appearing on far-right platforms 4chan, Patriots.win, and Gab. These posts especially focused on the claim by Bannon and Schultz that 200,000 local committee slots nationwide — roughly half of the total seats — currently stand empty and could be filled easily, potentially even by running unopposed. Some of the posts touted this as "The Best Kept Secret to taking over the Republican (GOP) Party."

These social media platforms have long served as havens for white nationalists, as well as spreading conspiracy theories about such topics as the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2020 election, as well as dangerous rhetoric related to the coronavirus pandemic and the January 6 insurrection.

In addition, one of the Telegram accounts promoting the plan is a follower of the the QAnon conspiracy theory; QAnon supporters have widely supported the January 6 insurrection and called for a military coup in the United States. A number of QAnon supporters ran for Congress and state legislatures in 2020, the most successful of whom was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). This month, the House of Representatives voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments, due to her history of espousing conspiracy theories and supporting violent threats against members of Congress when she was an online commentator.

During the interview, Schultz spoke of the power and influence that comes from local committees at the grassroots level in speaking to politicians, and organizing votes in the primary elections that those local candidates must first win. Also key, Schultz explained, is the election of delegates and party officials higher up the line.

"You'll also elect the delegates to the four-year state presidential nominating convention. The delegates there that you've elected — and you can run for delegate — only the precinct committeemen elect the delegates," Schultz said. "The delegates elect the national convention delegates directly, and then they also elect the national committeeman and the national committeewoman to a four-year term on the RNC. That's real political power. We can take over the party if we invade it."

This has been a long-running project for Schultz, ever since the tea party movement gained prominence over a decade ago because of its opposition to President Barack Obama.

"And I've told people this since 2009. I told the tea partyers this," Schultz added. "If you will not at least try this, and get involved, and take over the party, I can't guarantee you that we'll save the republic, but I can guarantee you this: We'll lose it. If we conservatives don't take over the Republican Party, we're going to lose our republic."

Bannon also emphasized the importance of what Schultz was saying by commenting, "This is the ability to take over the Republican Party, because this is where the votes are. It's a pyramid, and this is the base of the pyramid."

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Bannon previously made numerous calls for former President Donald Trump to subvert the results of the 2020 election. He also compared pro-Trump protests after the elections to the American Revolution and on January 5, said that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow" when the Electoral College votes were going to get counted. (Since then, he has tried to downplay the violence that took place that day — while also urging Trump's impeachment legal team to continue pursuing the false claims that the election was stolen.)

Fox News Warns Removing Trump Will Enrage His Delusional Mobs

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox News is now warning against the efforts to impeach President Donald Trump during his final two weeks in office, following the failed putsch at the Capitol on Wednesday — with an argument that is essentially a plea to give in to the fear of more violent mobs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CBS News' 60 Minutes in an interview broadcast on Sunday: "Well I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him. He's out of office. But there is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time. This president is guilty of inciting insurrection. He has to pay a price for that."

Since Trump's January 6 speech that incited a rally full of his supporters to storm the Capitol, congressional Democrats have been calling for Trump's immediate removal from office. Trump also reportedly watched the event on TV with excitement, while resisting internal calls in the White House to send the National Guard to protect the Capitol. (Maryland's Republican governor has publicly spoken out about the delays in obtaining permission to send his state National Guard units.)

But for his supporters on Fox News — the network that both before and immediately afterthe 2020 election promoted Trump's disproven conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud — the onus is on Democrats to unite the country. A premature removal of Trump from office, they say, would only make those tens of millions of people who voted for Trump feel even worse and perhaps cause them to rise up again.

Fox figures who supported stealing the election now call on Democrats to "unify the country" and not "inflame" Trump's voters

On January 7, Fox host Sean Hannity spoke with Matt Schlapp, head of the American Conservative Union, who said that President-elect Joe Biden and the Democrats must decide if "they want to unify and take down the heat or do they want to impeach and cancel and attack." "Let the 73 million Americans who voted … for Donald Trump feel like their voices have been heard," Schlapp stated, adding later that if that doesn't happen, "this literally is going to make it very hard for this country to stay as a union and it's a very troublesome thing."

Schlapp had previously taken to Twitter the day after the 2020 election and had attempted to incite riots aimed at stopping the ongoing vote counts.

MATT SCHLAPP (CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION): If you want to unify the country, let the 73 million Americans who voted — over 73 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump feel like their voices have been heard.L et's get to this inauguration, and then let's let the representatives and senators they've elected to Congress, let's them all do their job by advocating for the positions they feel.

Instead, whether it's corporate America which is increasingly becoming woke or other big voices on social media companies, et cetera, instead it's always a desire to shut down anybody who is a conservative, shut down anybody who is for the MAGA agenda, and this literally is going to make it very hard for this country to stay as a union and it's a very troublesome thing.

Prime-time host Laura Ingraham spoke with Republican activist Harmeet Dhillon, who had previously acted as a Trump 2020 campaign legal adviser.

"I wish what happened yesterday with his supporters had never happened," Dhillon said. "But for the left to characterize Trump supporters and over 70 million of us as a mob of white supremacists is outrageous." She then further claimed that impeachment would amount to a "witch hunt."

In the days after the election, while votes were still being counted in key swing states, Dhillon had told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs: "We're waiting for the United States Supreme Court — of which the president has nominated three justices — to step in and do something. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through."

HARMEET DHILLON (CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN LIBERTY): I wish what happened yesterday with his supporters had never happened.

But for the left to characterize Trump supporters and over 70 million of us as a mob of white supremacists is outrageous. There were a lot of peaceful protesters in Washington yesterday. A tiny, tiny fraction of them got out of hand, and they should be punished as the president said. Why should the president resign for that? I think it is time for an orderly transition.

A resignation and impeachment even as some of these folks are saying and Nancy Pelosi and others, is not an orderly transition. It is a witch hunt. It is punitive. And it is going to inflame rhetoric and nothing is going to inflame rhetoric in this country for the next couple of years more than putting a target on the back of Trump supporters like the left is doing today.

Ingraham also spoke with former independent counsel and current Fox contributor Ken Starr, who headed up the investigation leading to President Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1998 and then returned to defend Trump from impeachment in 2019. In the days after the election, Starr had also publicly endorsed Trump's attempt to convince Republican-led state legislatures to discard Biden's popular vote victories in their states and instead appoint slates of Electoral College delegates for Trump.

Starr described the latest effort to impeach Trump as "an act of deliberate divisiveness at a time when I thought that we were trying to unify the country."

Starr also made appeals for "kindness and compassion" and claimed he was "not seeing that from the leaders on the Democratic side." He also said that "there needs to be a national conciliation and reconciliation" and asserted that all this "inflammatory rhetoric" is "anti-American tradition. The traditions that are great is let us find common ground and work to agree where we can, but disagree with respect with one another."

While he invoked "American tradition," Starr did not address the point that the president of the United States — for the first time in American history — had incited an attempted violent overturn of his own electoral defeat.

And on Sunday night's edition of The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton, guest Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA declared that another impeachment "will only further rip our country apart."

In the days before the insurrection, Kirk had publicly endorsed the push from the Trump legal team and far-right media for Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject states' Electoral College votes for Biden. "Some people say that's not constitutional," Kirk said on January 4. "Then try it. Make them sue and get the Supreme Court into action."

Kirk has also deleted a tweet declaring that his Turning Point Action group was sending "80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight for this president."

Fox figures declare that "this country is ready to explode again," and Trump's supporters are "more dug in than ever"

On the Friday morning edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt appealed to the president-elect to consider all the voters: "We need to remember the voter here — on both sides of the aisle. And we are looking to Joe Biden now to unite all of us, to heal our country. And I hope that he can do that. We are praying that he can do that."

Co-host Brian Kilmeade also concluded that removing the president in such a short time frame simply isn't feasible and that the calls from Democrats to do so were only making the situation worse: "If you thought, 'I'm going to bring the country together,' the last thing you would probably do is what they did yesterday, because 75 million people voted for the president."

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace also appeared on America's Newsroom and told co-anchor Sandra Smith that he's hearing from his GOP sources, the impression that if Trump "keeps quiet" for the next 12 days, impeaching him or removing him via the 25th Amendment would escalate public tensions.

"From what I hear from Republicans on the Hill, people in the White House, they feel that any kind of removal at this point would probably create more harm, more outrage than it would damp down, than it would solve," Wallace said. "Obviously there are millions of people who supported Donald Trump. There are hundreds of thousands who were on the Mall who believe that this election was stolen from him. And for him to be removed from office, either from within his administration or by Congress, would only enrage those people further. So I think that's a last resort."

While mentioning the Trump supporters who believe the election was stolen from him, Wallace conveniently failed to note the role Fox News played in promoting Trump's conspiracy theories and undermining public confidence in the election.

And on Friday night, Fox "news side" anchor Martha MacCallum opened her show by explaining to viewers that impeachment of Trump at this point " would prevent President Trump from ever running again — it's kind of like being disbarred if you're an attorney."

But she then proceeded with an editorial comment, rhetorically asking: "But is this truly the path to stability for these tumultuous times? Do these politicians care about the country — or their next weapon? Given the fragility of this moment, is this what's best for America?"

"74 million people have voted for the president, 80 million who voted for Joe Biden," MacCallum added. "What would be the best for all of them? Would that send a message that the government is truly putting its citizens and its economy first for everyone?

And on Sunday's edition of Fox & Friends Weekend, Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee declared also furthered the idea that impeachment would not unify the country, while the tens of millions of Trump voters are "pretty ticked off as it is."

"There is no grounds for impeachment, there just isn't," Huckabee said "If you go back and look at what impeachment's supposed to mean — I mean, this is absurd, and the timing makes it even more absurd."

Just to be clear the relevant text in the Constitution says: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

In all these segments mentioning over 70 million Trump voters, little regard was given to over 80 million people who voted for Biden and that they just witnessed an attempted coup incited and abetted by the lame-duck president of the United States.

And on Monday's edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade reacted to Pelosi's call for Trump's removal by saying that the country was "ready to explode again."

The admission: Impeachment is dangerous because Trump's supporters are dangerous

But on Thursday afternoon, it was Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy, writing at National Review who made the most blunt admission of all: Do not impeach Trump, because "our deeply divided country is a tinderbox right now" — and Trump's supporters are delusional fanatics.

"For purposes of national cohesion and stability, it doesn't matter that millions of ardent Trump supporters are wrong to believe the election was a coup," McCarthy wrote. "What matters is that they believe it." (Emphasis in the original.)

Obviously, it is not my purpose to trivialize what happened yesterday. It is a stain on the republic, and I have publicly stated that the president incited it. Having prosecuted a man for inciting crimes of violence, it is not a term I use lightly.
That said, the events of yesterday also demonstrated yet again that our deeply divided country is a tinderbox right now.
I have tried, over the past two months, to analyze the president's allegations of election fraud and improprieties. It is apparent that the major claims he is making about a stolen election are untrue — even if it is also clear that there were improprieties, and that there are significant election-integrity problems with mass-scale mail-in voting.
The problem, however, is that Trump is an extraordinarily effective populist demagogue. What's more, the presidency is still the bully-pulpit, for good or ill. As a result, tens of millions of Americans believe his claims. The vast majority of them are not thugs bent on storming the Capitol, but they are smoldering for a variety of reasons, not least a year of pandemic, lockdowns, economic distress, rioting, spiking crime rates, and — lest we forget — a foolishly partisan presidential impeachment.
For purposes of national cohesion and stability, it doesn't matter that millions of ardent Trump supporters are wrong to believe the election was a coup. What matters is that they believe it. There will be plenty of time later to assess blame for that, to examine the reasons for the outsize influence the president has continued to exercise over many Republicans in a post-election period when his influence should be eroding. For the moment, we have to deal with the straits we're in. That counsels against further inflaming the situation if that can be
avoided.
The conduct we've witnessed is impeachable, and I will not contend otherwise. Still, there are 13 days to go in this presidential term.

During the previous Trump impeachment, McCarthy had embraced the "no harm, no foul"defense on the grounds that Trump's efforts to use military aid to pressure the government of Ukraine into smearing Joe Biden had not succeeded. (A key point: The attempt had almost come through and had failed because the perpetrators had been caught.)

In the years before the Trump presidency, however, McCarthy had called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama for alleged executive overreach and also recommended that Hillary Clinton be impeached if she were to be elected president in 2016.

Far-Right Media Provocateurs Cheered On Capitol Violence

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, seeking to stop the counting of the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden's November victory over President Donald Trump.

A substantial number of right-wing media figures tweeted in support of the insurrectionists, defending their actions and drawing false equivalences.

The riot at the Capitol came after a rally in Freedom Plaza, which was headlined by Trump and other Republican officials who are trying to discredit Biden's victory in the election, and which included a number of provocative statements to the crowd. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)proclaimed to attendees, "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," and Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani likened his quest to examine "crooked" voting machines and "fraudulent" ballots to a "trial by combat."

Trump himself told his supporters: "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated."

As the rally concluded, attendees charged toward the Capitol steps, fighting with Capitol Police and breaching security barriers to go inside the building, causing Congress to halt its proceedings.

The Gateway Pundit site ran a headline describing the mob as "patriots."

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Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump White House deputy assistant who praised the supposed "patriots" on his radio show, also cheered on the event using his Twitter account, declaring that they had "taken Capitol Hill."

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Elijah Schaffer of BlazeTV posted video clips of the ongoing mob conflicts with the police and posted a photo that he said was taken from inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) office, claiming that he was there "with the thousands of revolutionaries who have stormed the building" and describing the attack on the Capitol as "the current revolution."

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Radio host Rush Limbaugh's producer James Golden, who also goes by the radio name "Bo Snerdley," described the event as a "peaceful protest" and called the election "fraudulent." He also suggested that anti-fascist elements had "infiltrated this" in order to spark violence.

And while claiming to abjure violence, Golden seemed to be positioning the actions of the mob alongside other alleged offenses such as "stolen elections" and "horrid journalism."

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Newsmax host Michelle Malkin ridiculed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for condemning the riot.

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Fox Business host Charles Payne retweeted a message asking: "How long do you expect people to be SILENT?"

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Patrick Howley, who runs the right-wing site National File, openly called for the overthrow of the civil government and claimed if the "Patriots seize the control of Congress, … they have the right to assemble their own Congress":

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Right-wing provocateur Dinesh D'Souza, who has received a presidential pardon from Trump on his conviction for violating campaign finance laws, argued: "I don't approve of storming the Capitol but isn't it a fact that if Antifa and BLM did it, the media would be in raptures about the passionate demonstration of commitment to racial justice?"

D'Souza, who has also pushed misinformation about the election and previously declaredthat "we are not uniting with thieves and tyrants" — meaning a Biden administration — also argued on Wednesday that "the Trumpsters are taking a page from the Democrats. … The Left tried to win by forced occupation what it could not win through the political process. So ditto now from the other side."

He then added with a quote from military history, likening the post-election events to a war.

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Right-wing Twitter personality John Cardillo declared, "DC is seeing what happens when you ignore the Constitution and the will of the people for decade upon decade." He further added: "They make a mockery of American and Americans, and now act like victims when people have hit their boiling point."

Fox News Barely Mentions Trump’s ‘Martial Law’ Meeting

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News, the network that avidly promoted President Donald Trump's efforts to subvert the election results, is now almost silent on a major story from over the weekend: the reports in both The New York Times and Axios that Trump is flirting with martial law.

The news outlets reported over the weekend that Trump met with conspiracy theorist attorney Sidney Powell and his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, with Trump pondering whether to seize voting machines for examination, and perhaps even to appoint Powell as a special counsel to investigate the election.

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As Biden Wins Electoral College, Right-Wing Media Promote Bogus 'Trump Elector’ Slates

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

While the Electoral College members officially voted Monday and completed Joe Biden's win in the presidential election, a number of right-wing media outlets were busy promoting another maneuver: State Republican Parties putting up their own "elector" slates for President Donald Trump — in states that Biden actually won — which carry no legal weight.

"As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote, and we're going to send those results up to Congress," White House adviser Stephen Miller declared on Monday's edition of Fox & Friends. "This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open."

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‘Civil War’ And ’Secession’ Chatter Getting Louder On Far Right

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing figures online are now toying with the ultimate act of resistance against Joe Biden's win over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election: secession and civil war. The idea has picked up steam in the past few days, thanks to a boost it got from talk radio host and Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh made waves on Wednesday when he said, "I actually think that we're trending toward secession." I see more and more people asking what in the world do we have in common with the people who live in, say, New York?"

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Polls: Most Americans Agree Biden Won -- Unless They Watch Fox News

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A new Daily Kos/Civiqs poll confirms that a large majority of Americans accept and acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election: President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump. But among people who watch Fox News — which has waged a relentless public campaign to fan doubts about the election, seemingly because the network is afraid of angering Trump and losing its viewer base of his supporters — rejecting the election's result continues to be the norm.

The new poll asked, "Do you accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election: Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump?" The overall result was that 58 percent accepted the outcome against 33 percent who still did not.

These numbers are consistent with a Monmouth University poll from three weeks ago, which found that 60 percent of American adults said Biden won "fair and square," compared to only 32 percent who said that Biden won because of alleged voter fraud. But the poll found that among Trump's supporters, 77 percent said "Biden's win was due to fraud," with the director of Monmouth's polling noting, "The anger among Trump's base is tied to a belief that the election was stolen."

The Daily Kos/Civiqs poll gets at an additional angle of this attitude among right-wing media audiences: Among those who watch Fox News "frequently," only 18 percent said they accepted the outcome, versus 63 percent who did not. Among those who watch Fox "occasionally," it was a statistical dead heat, with 43 percent of such viewers accepting Biden's win compared to 44 percent who did not. (Overall, eight percent of respondents said they frequently watch Fox, and 29 percent said they watch it occasionally.)

Meanwhile, people who said they don't watch Fox News were found to have accepted the election outcome by a margin of 70 percent to 24 percent.

Fox News has been at the forefront of Trump's effort to overturn the election results, taking a leading position among other right-wing media outlets. In just the first two weeks after the election, the network pushed conspiracy theories or cast doubt on the election results nearly 600 times. All told, the network has spread various debunked stories about alleged election rigging — while also downplaying Republican attempts to throw out entire swaths of legitimate votes, inciting potential civil unrest, and insisting that Trump really did win the election.

Even Fox's purported "straight news" coverage has hyped Trump's public campaign against the election results, offering public support to his efforts, downplaying his lies, and being nearly indistinguishable from the network's avowed opinion hosts in continuing to spread debunked stories about alleged voting misconduct. Just this week, one of the network's "news-side" programs used the right-wing "#StopTheSteal" hashtag to promote an interview with Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on his efforts to have Congress block the election results.

And so the cycle continues: Fox viewers continue to doubt the legitimate outcome of the election in favor of conspiracy theories and false claims of voter fraud — and the network continues to push these baseless pro-Trump narratives every day, contributing to its viewers' disbelief and defiance over Biden's victory.

Feud Erupts Over Carlson’s Challenge To Loony Trump Conspiracy Lawyer

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing media now have to grapple with a strange new internal conflict: whether to endorse the set of conspiracy theories being peddled by Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, who is insisting that President Donald Trump's purported election victory was snatched away by an international conspiracy of South American communists, a wealthy Jewish American philanthropist, and computer servers in Europe.

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Michigan GOP Drops Attempt To Rig Vote Totals — And Irks Fox News

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox's purported "straight news" side delivered a segment Wednesday on a major story from the night before — the failed attempt by Republican canvassing board members in Wayne County, Michigan, to block certification of the votes from the majority-minority city of Detroit — falsely presenting it as a legitimate story about supposed voter fraud.

The segment on America's Newsroom was of a piece with other recent Fox "news" coverage, in which the whole network has encouraged President Donald Trump's attempts to defy the election results and to push conspiracy theories about the victory by President-elect Joe Biden.

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Rush Limbaugh Can’t Do Election Math, But He Loves Conspiracy Theories

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

With Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appearing likely to clinch the election on Friday against incumbent President Donald Trump, right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh provided his listeners with a cornucopia of conspiracy theories about Democratic officials manufacturing votes to overcome what would otherwise have been a Trump landslide victory.

His propaganda creates an image of fraud at the polls — in contrast to actual election results — that would put Charles Foster Kane's newspapers to shame.

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Trump Echoes False Right-Wing Claims About Masks

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

At President Donald Trump's campaign rally Thursday in Greenville, North Carolina, he made the absurd claim that "85 percent of the people wearing the masks" get infected with the coronavirus, thus presenting the wearing of protective masks as a hazardous act by itself — with the claim carried on Fox News' live coverage of the rally, as well. At the root of his newest false claim, it turns out, are a number of incorrect posts across far-right news sites pushing public health misinformation — along with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

And on top of that, Trump has further misunderstood the misleading claims those sources have made.

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LISTEN: The Strangest Moments Of Trump’s ‘Virtual Rally’ With Rush Limbaugh

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump conducted a two-hour phone interview on Friday with talk radio host and Trump-conferred Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh. Promoted beforehand by Limbaugh as the "largest virtual rally in radio history" — and coming right after Trump publicly refused to hold next week's presidential debate remotely, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis — the appearance instead became a lengthy conversation between the two men, attempting to cast the president as America's great leader in these tumultuous times.

The interview began in a quite surreal fashion, with Limbaugh's production team playing a recording of God Bless the U.S.A., a country song often performed at Republican rallies, followed by the canned sound of imaginary cheering crowds. And then Limbaugh greeted the president, asking his guest to envision the sight of a great campaign rally.

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Fox News Launches Phony 'Foreign Donations' Attack On ActBlue

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News is hyping another set of disingenuous allegations from a right-wing group against the online fundraising platform and payment processor ActBlue, claiming that half the donations made to Democratic candidates via the platform are by people who have self-identified as "unemployed" and thus may show that foreign agents are funneling money into Democratic political campaigns.

What is actually going on here: Since federal election law requires political donors to list either their employer or the lack of one, these "unemployed" donors would also include retirees, students, stay-at-home parents, and so on.

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Rush Limbaugh Offers Plan For Trump To Steal Election

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been busy this week helping to build up a conspiracy theory about the increased use of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, which has the potential to set off national chaos as votes are counted in the 2020 election.

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Fox Hosts Say Story That Trump Slurred Troops Is ‘Fake’ — But Fox Reporter Confirms It

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The new bombshell report from The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, reporting that President Donald Trump had repeatedly disparaged fallen U.S. troops as "losers" and "suckers," has now been confirmed by a rather unexpected media voice: Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin. This latest confirmation comes after Fox's previous coverage of the story continually backed Trump's denials.

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Why Are Mainstream Media Whitewashing Violence-Prone ‘Patriot Prayer’ Group?

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

In the wake of the shooting death over the weekend of a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon, The New York Times, USA Today, and MSNBC are papering over the intrinsically violent nature of the group, its ties to white nationalism, and its history of staging armed confrontations against anti-fascist activists. This lapse is part of a larger pattern of mainstream media coverage that shies away from calling out right-wing extremism.

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