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

Trump (And Fox) Revert To Blaming ’The Media’ For His Woes

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Toward the end of their broadcasts Monday, two of President Donald Trump's favorite shows converged on one of his favorite topics: his purported mistreatment by the very nasty and unfair press which supposedly prefers Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump booster Maria Bartiromo responded to clips of commentators at other networks highlighting Trump's failed response to the novel coronavirus pandemic by complaining about the "constant, nonstop criticism of this president by the media." She went on to praise Trump's handling of the virus, in an interview simulcast on Fox News' Fox & Friends and Fox Business's Mornings with Maria. Trump instantly chimed in, tweeting that he was the victim of a "Fake News media conspiracy" in which journalists were exaggerating the danger posed by the virus to damage him politically.

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The 2020 'October Surprise’ Is The Virus Surging

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Every election cycle, political journalists and observers wait in anticipation for the "October Surprise" -- the unexpected news event that has the potential to shake up the race. In 2016, it was FBI Director James Comey's announcement of a new development in the investigation of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, driving negative coverage that cost her the election. Four years later, President Donald Trump and his media and congressional allies have been trying to recreate that magic to boost his reelection odds against former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Giuliani Is Failing To Manipulate The Press — So Far

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

If you blinked, you might have missed the turn in the national spotlight of Tony Bobulinski, a disgruntled former business partner of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Bobulinski's claims of corruption by Joe Biden were promoted by President Donald Trump and his campaign, then debunked within hours. But the affair shows why journalists should be wary of the information control strategy that Trump's allies are using to smear the former vice president through his son's business interests.

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Fox News Tells Trump To Fire FBI Director — And He’s Listening

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump's Fox News propagandists have been urging him for months to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray because they consider him insufficiently willing to pursue their conspiracy theories in order to boost Trump's political standing. In recent days, they've seized upon Wray's handling of the smear stories of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden in calling for his removal.

Their commentary is having an impact on their most powerful viewer. Trump has long held an authoritarian view of the federal law enforcement apparatus, treating it as an arm of his personal and political desires. Disappointed that Wray has proved unwilling to help his reelection campaign by publicly announcing an investigation into the Bidens, the president now reportedly wants to replace the FBI director.

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The Murdochs Have American Blood On Their Hands

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch is reportedly "disgusted" by President Donald Trump's failed handling of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. He and his son Lachlan Murdoch, who currently oversees the network, are also partly responsible for it.

Murdoch has complained to confidants that Trump "is not listening to advice about how best to handle the pandemic" which is "creating a never-ending crisis for his administration," according to a Thursday account from The Daily Beast.

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Carlson’s Coverage Of Barrett Nomination Proves He’s A Fraud

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

It was a brazen lie, even by Tucker Carlson's standards. Following the first day of confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, the Fox News host on Monday pushed back against concerns from Senate Democrats by falsely claiming, "There is no case currently pending anywhere in this country before any court in America that would eliminate Obamacare."

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What Veep Debate Moderator Should Have Asked Pence About Trump’s Covid-19 Test

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

During Wednesday night's vice presidential debate, Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief, passed on the opportunity to get Vice President Mike Pence on the record about when President Donald Trump last tested negative for COVID-19.

Trump announced after midnight Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and he was hospitalized for the weekend for treatment. His diagnosis was one of nearly three dozen announced over the last week among White House officials, Republican leaders, and the press corps after White House events conducted without following public health coronavirus recommendations apparently triggered an outbreak.

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Pro-Trump Media Continue To Undermine Public Health -- Using President's Illness

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Some of President Donald Trump's most avid media supporters are counterintuitively claiming that his diagnosis and hospitalization for COVID-19 proves they were right to downplay the effectiveness of public health recommendations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. It's a recipe for more carnage from a pandemic that has already killed more than 213,000 Americans, so of course the president seems to be adopting their view.

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Fox News Undermined Public Health Measures — And Now Its Most Powerful Viewer Has Virus

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News' pro-Trump hosts have spent months trying to bolster President Donald Trump's reelection chances by downplaying the threat posed by the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for the precautions his presidential campaign has taken to protect him and others and valorized Trump for defying the public health community by refusing to do so. Now, the president himself has the virus. He revealed overnight that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19, and the White House on Friday morning said he is experiencing "mild symptoms."

Trump engaged in a series of risky behaviors before and after contracting the virus.

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Journalists Will Decide Whether Trump Tax Revelations Matter

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The New York Times report on President Donald Trump's taxes dropped on Sunday night like an atomic bomb.

The investigation, based on tax documents the paper obtained that Trump has hidden from the public, revealed that the president has paid no federal income tax for much of the past two decades, including a bill of only $750 in the first year of his presidency; that he achieved such low payments by reporting massive losses at his signature businesses and through potentially fraudulent methods; that he's kept those businesses afloat in part with money obtained from foreign and domestic sources hoping to receive preferential treatment from the government; and that he has personally guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in loans that will come due over the next few years.

The report, commentators have noted, shows that Trump's image is a sham and that his perilous financial status has made him a national security threat.

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Trump, Barr, And Fox News Working Together To Undermine Confidence In 2020 Election

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News lawyers succeeded on Thursday in getting a federal court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against star host Tucker Carlson by arguing, in part, that Carlson is not a credible source for information. "Fox persuasively argues," U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote, "that given Mr. Carlson's reputation, any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about the statements he makes." That night Carlson proved the point, becoming a dishonest megaphone for President Donald Trump's corrupt disinformation campaign aimed at delegitimizing the upcoming election.

Trump views the federal government as an extension of his personal will and reelection campaign. His attorney general, William Barr, is a right-wing ideologue who has proved willing to use his office to support those aims. In an apparent effort to reduce confidence in the election results and provide space for legal challenges, the pair have demagogued for months against the use of mail-in ballots, falsely suggesting that their use will necessarily lead to widespread fraud.

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When Fox Hosts Said No Supreme Court Nominations In A Presidential Year

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Dana Perino are all on the record saying that the U.S. Senate should not move a Supreme Court nomination during an election year.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of justice, a legal giant, and a pioneering feminist icon, passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer. Right-wing media figures instantly began pushing for President Donald Trump to name her successor.

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Fox News Defends Trump’s Covid-19 Deception — Because The Network Was Complicit

Reprinted with permission MediaMatters

The shameless sycophants at Fox News, who spent late February and early March deluding their audience about the danger posed by the novel coronavirus, are arguing that President Donald Trump was correct -- in fact, noble -- to intentionally "play it down," as he claimed in an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward.

In taped interviews with Woodward for his forthcoming book, Trump said on February 7 that the virus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus" (contradicting his public statements at the time), and added on March 19 that he was "playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

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How Fox News Killed Its Own Reporting On 'Military Losers' Story

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News' "straight news" reporters typically produce scoops that incrementally advance the scandalmongering of their right-wing "opinion side" colleagues. But correspondent Jennifer Griffin produced something different on Friday: the rare Fox story that backed up a narrative damaging to President Donald Trump. How Fox treated her reporting -- downplaying it on the "news side," while ignoring or dismissing it to rally around Trump on the "opinion side," even as he called for Griffin's firing -- provides a common example of how the network functions as a propaganda outlet for the president.

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The Wealthy Sponsors Of Tucker Carlson’s Phony ‘Class Warfare’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

For months, the police shootings of Black people have triggered nationwide protests against racial injustice and law enforcement brutality. But on Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that these demonstrations are actually a "class war masquerading as a race war." He fleshed out the theory during a quasi-fascist rant the following night. "What you're watching is an effort by the academic left, funded by big business, to crush the last remaining resistance to their control of the country, and that resistance is an independent American middle class," he explained. "That's who they really hate."

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Fox News Support For Violent Right-Wing Vigilantism Is Horrible — And Inevitable

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Amid a quasi-fascist rant Wednesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson responded to murder charges against a pro-Trump teenager who crossed state lines and shot to death two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by asking, "How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" Several other Fox personalities have similarly downplayed or seemingly excused the deadly Tuesday night confrontation.

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If You Watch Fox News, You’ve Already Seen The GOP Convention

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Frequent guests from President Donald Trump's favorite network dominate the slate for the 2020 Republican National Convention. The announced speakers have made at least 3,171 combined appearances on Fox News weekday programs since August 2017, according to Media Matters' internal database. Several of the boldface names previously worked at Fox, gained Trump's attention through interviews on the network, or are heroes of its culture war programming.

Of the 72 RNC speakers announced Sunday, 51 have appeared on Fox's weekday programming since August 2017. Many are network regulars -- 21 have made at least 50 appearances, and 13 have been interviewed more than 100 times. Trump himself has appeared at least 51 times.

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