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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Laura Ingraham’s Racist Radio Goes Off Air

After 17 years of torturing Americans’ ears, Laura Ingraham’s radio show finally came to an end this December. The weekday show has long served as a safe space for the Fox News host and her guests to make cruel jokes, practice racism, demonize immigrants, and push wild conspiracy theories. The world will be better off without it.

Unfortunately, Ingraham’s cruelty and racism will still have a home on her Fox News show and her new podcast beginning next month. But for now, we can bid a happy farewell to a truly awful program by remembering some of its most repulsive moments.

Ingraham fawned over Donald Trump’s bigoted rhetoric on immigration; she defended his calls for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, and even argued that the ban was “not broad enough,” claiming that she would “go farther” and be “even worse than Trump.”

She asserted that “Middle Eastern countries have got to be told… we’re cutting you off,” questioned why the U.S. should allow Muslim immigration ”knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized,” and said the U.S. should only accept refugees “who we can verifiably say are Christians. … But all these other people, they’ve got to stay in the Middle East.”

She fear-mongered about Muslim immigrants as “people who have dual loyalties … whether it’s the Quran, or the Quranic way of thinking, versus the loyalties to the United States.”

Ingraham claimed that Trump’s assertion that Mexico is “sending rapists” is true, and stated that Mexicans “have come here to murder and rape our people.”

She parroted Trump in claiming that “nobody has a right to be here except the people who are born here,” and said the United States should shoot deported immigrants if they try to re-enter the country.

After the Trump administration adopted a policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, Ingraham compared child detention centers to “a public schoolyard,” and she called it “hilarious” that people were upset about children being held in cages — after previously ridiculing peoples’ concern for immigrant families torn apart by deportation.

During a segment with far-right extremist and noted Adolf Hitler fan Pat Buchanan, the two compared immigration reform to appeasing Hitler.

Ingraham suggested that “we could do a lot to enforce our immigrations laws” by a partial repeal of the 14th amendment “to end birthright citizenship.”

In response to an activist claiming that 1,100 people were going to be deported that day, Ingraham wished, “If only.”

She compared pro-DACA protesters to “wild dogs.”

On 2016 World Refugee Day, Ingraham said “rural towns are now being flooded with these refugees” who are bringing a “litany of infectious diseases” to the U.S. She has also suggested that migrant children may spread drug “resistant forms of TB” to “public school kids across this country,” and she claimed the recent caravan of migrants was bringing “crime” and “disease.”

She complained that “Spanish-language media” are teaching undocumented immigrants “how to avoid deportation.”

She claimed that “Northern Virginia is a problem” because “we have mosques going up. We have a mass influx of illegal immigrants in Virginia. We have mass resettlement of Central America and Mexico in Northern Virginia.”

She hyped fears of terrorism about Muslim refugee women, asking: “What’s underneath that burqa, baby?”

Ingraham insisted that English “should be the national language of this country,” and asserted that immigrants should only be here if they’re “speaking our language.”

She complained that “dual immersion classes in Spanish” being taught in U.S. schools make you “think you’re in a foreign country,” and she said that multilingual schools are “costing the good people — Catholics, Christians — that’s costing them opportunities and money.”

She accused U.S. judges of “aiding and abetting” human traffickers and drug cartels by granting due process to immigrants.

She claimed that “illegal immigration” has led to a “transformation electorally” in American communities.

Ingraham complained that NFL players who kneeled in protest of police brutality were “bratty” and “using the excuse of Black Lives Matter” to “disrespect the country,” and she also claimed that “a lot of these guys are punks.”

She criticized former President Barack Obama’s response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic, claiming that his “core ties to the African continent” were putting public safety at risk. She also suggested Obama was purposely exposing American troops to the Ebola virus to “atone” for colonialism

Ingraham argued that affirmative action is “shafting people who are not of the appropriate color, or background, or ethnicity.” She hosted right-wing commentator Heather Mac Donald on the program, who similarly insistedthat affirmative action “brings in students to schools who are not qualified.”

Ingraham attacked “the toxic effect of Univision and Telemundo,” calling them “Hispanic-centric networks” that “revile the American experience.”

She had a habit of making offensive and extremely stupid comparisons, once comparing a school reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic to “skinheads” reciting it, and another time comparing the surveillance of mosques to police wearing body cameras.

She noted that she doesn’t “think of Jewish people as minorities because they’re so successful.”

She mocked MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish-speaking guest.

She aired a war cry sound effect while complaining that Trump didn’t use a different ethnic slur when calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA] “Pocahontas.”

After then-gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis (R-FL) warned Florida voters to not “monkey this up” by electing his Black Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum, Ingraham defended him while she played a songcalled “Shock the Monkey.” She also complained that “apparently if you’re white, you just can’t criticize an opponent at all.”

In “celebration” of the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, she usedthe sound of a gunshot to cut off a sound bite of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), whose skull was infamously fractured by a state trooper while marching with King on “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, AL, in 1965.

She ranted that “shouting in Arabic” on a plane makes people “quite nervous, and for good reason.”

Ingraham’s occasional co-host Raymond Arroyo suggested that money spent on housing migrants should be used in the “inner city … teaching people how to be hygienic, how to be clean.” Ingraham agreed, saying “we’re pouring money down a rathole because of an open border.”

After the October 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival, she suggested that photos of the gunman’s room were staged and that he was in too “poor health” to have acted alone.

Before the 2016 election, Ingraham implied that Hillary Clinton would try to kill then-FBI Director James Comey if she won.

Ingraham pushed a discredited conspiracy theory that a Democratic National Committee staffer was murdered for leaking the hacked 2016 DNC emails.

After Christine Blasey Ford accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Ingraham argued that “George Soros is involved” because Ford’s “social media was scrubbed.” She also claimed — without offering any evidence — that Ford’s accusations were “a left-wing conspiracy.”

Ingraham viciously attacked Ford and suggested that her “former boyfriends” should be contacted in connection to her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. She also defended Kavanaugh at length and attempted to make the story about how “precarious” and “unfair” it is to be a man today.

She accused anti-Kavanaugh protesters of being “hopped up on drugs,” and said they would have physically assaulted Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME] if given the opportunity.

She cast doubt on credible accusations of child sexual abuse by then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, arguing that “just because The Washington Post has decided to take someone out, don’t jump on the grave prematurely.”

She complained that Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, is “still dining out” on a “false allegation.”

She suggested that teenage girls should dress modestly to avoid “date rape” and “misogynistic behavior.”

She insisted that “a very compelling case could be made that” the women’s movement for reproductive freedom “has set women back,” and she called Planned Parenthood employees “heinous, Hitlerian freaks.”

During the 2016 election campaign, she complained that Hillary Clinton “always wants to play the damsel in distress,” and argued that a Clinton-Warren ticket would turn off “every male voter in the United States.”

While discussing former First Lady Michelle Obama’s comments on food insecurity in America, Ingraham said that “one of [Obama’s] daughters apparently is not living in a food desert.” The show’s producer later playedQueen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” during a segment about a fellow Fox pundit calling Michelle Obama fat.

She compared looking at former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to looking at “gruesome” pictures of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse.

Ingraham has repeatedly attacked trans people’s right to use transgender-inclusive restrooms. She claimedshe doesn’t let her daughter use transgender-inclusive bathrooms by herself and suggested that people should literally wear diapers rather than share restrooms with transgender people.

She claimed that giving hormone treatment to transgender children is “child abuse,” and lamented that schools are teaching that being transgender is “acceptable.”

She questioned whether the military is paying for transgender people to “cut their private parts to death.”

During an appearance on Ingraham’s show, Fox’s Tucker Carlson claimed that transgender equality is just a “solution in search of a problem.”

Ingraham attacked nondiscrimination protections for transgender people, and also claimed that nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people are a “victory against religious liberty” that “Karl Marx would be very happy” to see.

She expressed concern that opponents of same-sex marriage would face discrimination

She likened same-sex marriage to state-validated incest.

White House Exempts Bill Shine From Ethics Rules

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

An August 13 story in The Daily Beast reported that the Trump administration has chosen to waive ethics laws so that newly appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine, who formerly served as co-president of Fox News, can communicate with his former colleagues at Fox. According to The Daily Beast, the administration claims that it is in “the public interest” for both Shine and economic adviser Larry Kudlow (who formerly worked at CNBC), to be “excused from provisions of the law, which seeks to prevent administration officials from advancing the financial interests of relatives or former employers.” The article continued:

“The Administration has an interest in you interacting with Covered Organizations such as Fox News,” wrote White House counsel Don McGahn in a July 13 memo granting an ethics waivers to Shine, a former Fox executive. “[T]he need for your services outweighs the concern that a reasonable person may question the integrity of the White House Office’s programs and operations.”

Kudlow, a former CNBC host, received a similar waiver allowing him to communicate with former colleagues.

Including Shine and Kudlow, the White House has granted a total of 20 waivers to provisions of various federal ethics laws and the ethics pledge that President Trump instituted by executive order the week he took office. Federal agencies have granted many more such waivers.

The Trump team’s decision to ignore ethics guidelines in favor of its latest Fox employee-turned-White House aide is entirely in keeping with the administration’s history of dismissing ethics guidelines. It’s also yet another example of the increasingly close relationship between Fox News and the Trump administration.

Shine has a “professional history steeped in extremism,” and his tenure at Fox was marked by his enabling of widespread sexual abuse at the network, which often included starting smear campaigns against women who made accusations of harassment or pushing them to settle and sign nondisclosure agreements. Shine was also referenced in a racial discrimination and harassment lawsuit while at Fox. The suit claimed that Shine “demonstrated an obsession with race when it comes to discussions with [one of the plaintiffs], including regularly asking him, ‘how do Black people react to you’ and ‘how do you think White viewers look at you?'”

Header image by Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Cable Anchors: GOP Officials Refuse Invites To Discuss Trump’s Helsinki Disaster

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Republican elected officials are refusing to appear on cable news programs to discuss President Donald Trump’s disastrous July 16 press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the press conference, Trump insulted “obstructionist” Democrats while standing next to a foreign adversary, condemned Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling, blamed “both countries” for deteriorating relations, called the United States “foolish,” and refused to endorse conclusion of the entire intelligence community and the Senate intelligence committee that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Trump’s performance has drawn wide rebuke, and according to three cable news anchors, many Republicans are refusing to speak about it on the air. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle and CNN’s Kate Bolduan reported that they had asked Republicans to join them on the air and all had declined. CNN’s Jim Sciutto noted that out of the “dozens of Republican lawmakers” he invited to appear on his show, only one accepted the invitation: Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), who is not running for reelection.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle: “I invited a myriad of elected officials, Republican elected officials, to join me on-air today to discuss the president’s summit with Vladimir Putin, and across the board they said no thank you.”

CNN’s Kate Bolduan: “I should note, we invited on all of the Republicans on the Senate intelligence committee today to talk about all of this. Those Republican members have all declined.”

CNN’s Jim Sciutto to Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA): “So our viewers know, we reached out to dozens of Republican lawmakers today to speak, to react to the president’s comments. And I want to thank you for being the only one who said yes.” Costello is not running for reelection.

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Fox News Virtually Ignores Report On Trump Assistance By Emirate Royals

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

Fox News has almost entirely ignored a recent article published in The New York Times reporting that countries other than Russia may have offered to help the Trump campaign to victory in the 2016 election. According to the Times, a representative of the princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, offered Donald Trump Jr. assistance.

On May 19, The New York Times reported on an August 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Joel Zamel, an Israeli social media expert; Erik Prince, the founder of the private military company Blackwater who reportedly also worked with the UAE in an attempt to establish a communication back channel for Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin; and George Nader, who served as an emissary for the princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Times, Nader informed Trump Jr. at the meeting that the princes were “eager to help his father win election as president.” In the months after this initial gathering, Nader became “a close ally” to Trump campaign advisers, and met frequently with both Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Michael Flynn, who later served as Trump’s first national security adviser. Special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating these interactions.

Despite the significance of the news, Fox has all but ignored the story. Between the publication of the article on May 19 and 11 a.m. on May 21, Fox News mentioned the story only twice, both times in short Sunday afternoon reports.

Fox’s failure to adequately cover the story is not surprising given the network’s history of ignoring news that could potentially be harmful to the president, especially stories related to the Russia investigation.

Methodology

Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of “Saudi,” “Emirates,” “Gulf,” “Nader,” “Prince,” and “Donald Trump Jr.” on Fox News between May 19 and 11 a.m. on May 21. All mentions relevant to the story were included.

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Why Sebastian Gorka WIll Make Fox News Even Worse

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

On Wednesday, Sean Hannity announced that former White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka would be joining Fox News as a national security strategist. Experts have repeatedly questioned Gorka’s supposed national security expertise. He has apparent ties to a Nazi-allied Hungarian group and has a long history of using incendiary, conspiratorial, and racist rhetoric. Here is what you need to know about Fox News’ newest hire.

Fox News confirmed today that it has hired Sebastian Gorka.

After Fox host Sean Hannity announced Gorka’s hiring on his radio show Wednesday, Fox News confirmed that it has hired Gorka as “a national security strategist.”

Fox News has hired President Donald Trump’s former aide Sebastian Gorka as a contributor.

Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity announced the hiring on his radio show Wednesday, saying that Gorka will serve as a national security strategist for the network. Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan confirmed his hiring to The Associated Press Thursday. [The New York Times11/9/17]

Gorka’s status as a national security “expert” has been repeatedly questioned by those in the field.

Gorka’s doctoral adviser has said he “would not call him an expert in terrorism.”

“I would not call him an expert on terrorism,” said Stephen Sloan, a retired professor of political science who spent much of his career at the University of Oklahoma. Though he said Gorka is “knowledgeable” about terrorism matters, “his level of expertise does not match the level where he stands in the White House.”

[…]

Gorka, a British-accented tough-talker who until Friday served under now-fired White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, considers himself an expert on the topic.

But that opinion is not shared by a dozen international security experts and scholars interviewed by CNN, including a professor who advised Gorka on his PhD dissertation and considers him a friend. [CNN, 8/18/17]

Business Insider: National security experts have “dismissed” Gorka as “an outspoken conservative pundit.”

In conversations with Business Insider, several national-security experts questioned Gorka’s credibility in their field, saying he is often dismissed as an outspoken conservative pundit who lacks the chops to serve in the highest levels of the White House advising on national-security policy. [Business Insider, 2/22/17]

Gorka has ties to a “Nazi-allied” group and a history of dismissiveness towards right-ring terrorismThe Forward: Gorka is reportedly a “sworn member” of a “Nazi-allied” Hungarian group.

Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward. [The Forward3/16/17]

Gorka called a 2015 Department of Homeland Security report that warned about violence from “right-wing sovereign citizen extremists” an “egregious politicization of national security.”

“It really is the most egregious politicization of national security,” Breitbart’s Sebastian Gorka insisted during a Fox News appearance. “We’re going to be looking for right-wing extremists when ISIS prepares to attack us? It’s outrageous.” [Media Matters2/3/17]

On Breitbart News Daily, Gorka bemoaned journalists for their “constant” concern with threats posed by white supremacists.

Wednesday, Gorka appeared on Breitbart News Daily, the radio show of his former employer. Gorka responded to criticism stemming from a previous media appearance on MSNBC where he said “[t]here’s no such thing as a lone wolf” attack. The concept, according to Gorka, was “invented by the last administration to make Americans stupid.”

[…]

On Wednesday, Gorka lashed out at “at [New York Times reporter] Maggie Haberman and her acolytes in the fake news media, who immediately have a conniption fit” and brought up McVeigh. He added that “white men” and “white supremacists” are not “the problem.”

“It’s this constant, ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ No, it isn’t, Maggie Haberman. Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester.” [Think Progress8/10/17]

Gorka defended the White House’s silence on a Minnesota mosque bombing, claiming that “hate crimes” can turn out to be “propagated by the left.”

The White House will not officially comment on the bombing of a Minnesota mosque because it may be a hate crime faked by a liberal, according to Trump national security adviser Sebastian Gorka.

An as-of-yet unidentified individual threw a makeshift bomb through the window of a mosque in Minnesota Saturday, and Gorka was asked on MSNBC Monday if the White House will comment. Gorka said that the White House will “absolutely” comment once there is a finalized investigation into the incident.

“There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false,” Gorka said. “You have to check them and find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right wing individuals in the last six months that turned out to be prop propagated by the left. Let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments.” [Think Progress8/8/17]

Gorka was fired by the FBI for “his over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric” and has a history of making incendiary and bigoted comments.

The inflammatory pundit Sebastian Gorka worked for the FBI while he was a paid consultant to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, lecturing bureau employees on counterterrorism issues.

Until the FBI terminated Gorka for his over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric. [The Daily Beast6/21/17]

Gorka wrote an article at Breitbart.com titled “Muslim Brotherhood Overruns National Cathedral in DC” after two Muslim civic groups hosted prayers there.

The Episcopal church leaders who agreed to the host Muslim prayers inside the Washington cathedral probably have no idea what happened a century ago in Asia Minor, or that there even was a Caliph in office at the beginning of the 20th century.

However, we can rest assured that the co-organizers do, for they include the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the All-Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) Center.

Both CAIR and ISNA will be fully aware of the significance of November 14th, seeing as both organizations were declared by a federal court to be unindicted co-conspirators of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood terror group, in the largest terrorist financing trial in US history.

Those muslims who have a supremacist understanding of their religion, such as members of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood – which was recently declared an illegal terrorist organization in the country of its founding, Egypt – have a special regard for historic dates and anniversaries.

[…]

We know that the Episcopal church is in trouble with more conservative believers leaving in great numbers and the remaining adherents not exactly outdoing their Catholic cousins in terms of reproducing the next generation of believers. But I doubt they also understand the finer points of jihadist doctrine, one of which is that if a place of worship is used by Muslims for their prayers, that territory subsequently becomes part of Dar al Islam, sacred muslim (sic) land. Forever. [Breitbart, 11/14/14]

Gorka spoke at a conference about how “Islamists have been brought into the innermost circles of America’s national security institutions.”

Gorka spoke at a conference that supposedly “examine[d] in detail the United States’ increasing cooperation with Islamists at home and abroad.” Moreover, the conference description asserted that “Islamists have been brought into the innermost circles of America’s national security institutions.” [Media Matters6/13/16]

He argued that accepting Muslim refugees into the United States would be “national suicide.”

Dr. Gorka took up the issue of assimilation, suggesting that analysis should begin with accepting “the fact that we are a Christian nation, we are a Judeo-Christian nation.”

“We help people when we can help them,” he said. “But that is not a contract for national suicide. That doesn’t mean, as Hillary Clinton said in her private speech to the bankers, ‘We don’t need any borders, pull down the borders, the whole Western Hemisphere is one big happy party!’ It doesn’t mean that you quintuple the number of refugees. If she had won, what Nigel is talking about, Europe, is what America would have been like in five years’ time, if Hillary had become the President.” [Breitbart, 11/16/16]

The Intercept: Gorka endorsed racial profiling as “common sense.”

A former advisor to Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed racial profiling and warned that mainstream Muslim American organizations are waging a covert war of cultural subversion against the United States.

Sebastian Gorka teaches at Marine Corps University and advises law enforcement and national security officials on terrorism and irregular warfare. Last fall, he was paid $8,000 for policy consulting with the Trump campaign. On Wednesday, he spoke at the Family Research Council, a social conservative advocacy group, touting his new book, Defeating Jihad: A Winnable War. [The Intercept, 6/30/16]

He told the BBC that Trump’s attempt to ban transgender troops from the military stemmed from “the warmth of his consideration for this population.”

PETER BOWES (HOST): Let me ask you about the issue of transgender troops who were encouraged to come out under the previous administration and now they are being told that they will not be able to serve in the military. Does that feel to you like a commander-in-chief who cares about the men and women who fight, often, and serve, certainly, for the good of all Americans?

GORKA: Absolutely, that’s why he made that decision —

BOWES: How can that be the case when although it’s a small group of people, admittedly, how can that be the case when he has singled out transgender soldiers who have been serving for the last year openly and legally —

GORKA: Will you let me answer?

BOWES: Of course, but how can it be the case that he’s speaking for the whole military if he is speaking out against one section of the military?

GORKA: The military is not a microcosm of civilian society. They are not there to reflect America. They are there to kill people and blow stuff up. They are not there to be socially engineered. We want people who are transgendered to live happy lives, but we want unit cohesion and we want combat effectiveness. There are leading studies from the medical establishment, for example, that state that the transgender community has a 40 percent suicide attempt rate. That is a tragedy. We need to help those people, we don’t need to try and force them into the hierarchical military environment where they are under the utmost pressure to kill or be killed, and that is why the president is doing this out of the warmth of his consideration for this population.

BOWES: Probably doesn’t feel like “warmth” from the transgender perspective.

GORKA: But we’re not here to represent one part of America. We’re here to represent all of America and protect Americans. [BBC Radio 4, Today7/28/17]

In the aftermath of the Orlando, FL, nightclub shooting, Gorka defended himself against condemnations of anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In the aftermath of the attack, Sebastian Gorka was interviewed on various right-wing news outlets. He claimed that the Orlando attack “in part was facilitated by the policies of this administration, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, that have allowed political correctness into the threat assessment.” Gorka declared that the shooting was “not a hate crime” and that condemnations of anti-Muslim rhetoric are “making political hay out of the bodies of 49 people before their bodies have cooled.” [Media Matters6/13/16]

Gorka blamed President Barack Obama for veteran suicides.

“Think about one thing. This is provocative, but I believe it. Why do we have 22 vets commit suicide every 24 hours in America?” Gorka asked. “Why do we have unprecedented levels of PTSD in this nation? Our grandfathers saw some bad stuff in World War II, especially in the Pacific, especially when they liberated the death camps. But when they came home in the 1950s, they didn’t eat the barrel of a 1911. Why? Because they knew they were on the side of the angels. Their President, their commander, told them, ‘This is a war against evil, and what you are going to see may be nasty, but it’s okay, guys, you’re on the side of Right.’ We don’t say that any more.” [Breitbart, 4/11/16]

Gorka frequently makes inflammatory statements and peddles misinformation  Gorka argued that Hillary Clinton should be convicted of treason like the Rosenbergs: “Those people got the chair.”

SEBASTIAN GORKA: If this had happened in the 1950s, there would be people up on treason charges right now. The Rosenbergs, OK? This is equivalent to what the Rosenbergs did and those people got the chair. Think about it. Giving away nuclear capability to our enemies, that’s what we’re talking about. [Fox News, Hannity10/26/17]

Gorka claimed that the phrase “lone wolf” was “made popular by the Obama administration to make Americans disconnect the dots.”

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): We have the most sophisticated weaponry of intelligence available to mankind. Is it possible that we could find every one of these lone wolves, before people die like today?

SEBASTIAN GORKA: We can do much better, we absolutely can, especially under the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Number one, we have to jettison this idea of a “lone wolf.” “Lone wolf” was invented as a phrase, was made popular by the Obama administration to make Americans disconnect the dots. There has not been significant a jihadi attack since September 11 in the United States, where one person acted completely isolated from everybody else.

[…]

We should jettison the idea that there’s an individual in their basement, who one day is an upstanding American citizen, and then a few weeks later, just because they went to a few websites, they become a jihadi. Never happened, the closest we got was that pathetic case of “Jihadi Jane” and that wasn’t a serious case. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/31/17]

Gorka defended Trump’s claim that Obama “is the founder of ISIS.”

SANDRA SMITH (GUEST HOST): What do you think that Donald Trump meant when he said that President Obama is the founder of ISIS?

SEBASTIAN GORKA: Well, I’m not his spokesman. I’m not part of his campaign, so let him talk for himself, but if he means that the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton facilitated the growth of ISIS into the most powerful jihadi insurgency the world has ever seen, he is absolutely right. Let’s just look at the facts. In 2008, when this senator from Illinois became the president and afterwards appointed Hillary as his secretary of state, at that moment in time, ISIS didn’t exist. Al Qaeda in Iraq, the forerunner of ISIS, was one regional franchise inside Iraq. When we withdrew our troops, when we started to cook the books on intelligence, as you hear from the CENTCOM analysts, then we facilitated the rise of ISIS with these false red lines in Syria that meant nothing. All the things were put in place by this administration to help this former Al Qaeda franchise become a transregional insurgency with more than 80,000 fighters today. That’s fact. [Fox News, The Kelly File8/11/16]

 

Grace Bennett is a researcher at Media Matters, where she has worked since June 2017. She has a bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University.

 

Sunday Political Talk Shows Completely Ignored Trump White House Officials Use Of Private Email Accounts

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

The October 1 editions of all the Sunday political talk shows failed to discuss the news that several White House officials in the Trump administration used private email accounts to conduct official government business, making themselves vulnerable to espionage from foreign entities.

On September 25, The New York Times reported that at least six White House advisors, including Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, had used personal email accounts to conduct official government business. The Times’ story followed a Politico report that Jared Kushner, a senior advisor and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, had used a private email account to conduct correspondence related to White House matters. Even though the story that White House advisors used personal email accounts for official business was reported several days ago, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation,  CNN’s State of the Union, Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, and NBC’s Meet the Press all failed to discuss it during their Sunday morning broadcasts.

As the Times notes, “Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight.” According to Politico, the National Security Agency (NSA) had “warned senior White House officials in classified briefings” against the “improper use of personal cellphones and email,” as it “could make them vulnerable to espionage” by foreign entities. By failing to discuss the news of the officials’ use of private accounts, Sunday political talk shows ignored a significant story and failed to inform their audiences of yet another example of the lack of transparency that has been an endemic in the Trump administration. The Sunday shows’ failure to report on officials’ use of personal email accounts is particularly shocking given the media’s obsessive focus on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State throughout the 2016 election.

Methodology: Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of “emails,” “private email server,” “personal email,” and “private server” on the October 1 editions of ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, CNN’s State of the Union, Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, and NBC’s Meet the Press.