Will America Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?
November 07 | 2012
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At least 16 Sinclair television stations ran sponsored gold investment segments featuring white nationalist and antisemitic streamer Stew Peters from May through September of this year. In addition to promoting Peters, who has urged the execution of journalists, the Sinclair segment touted his misinformation-filled anti-vaccine movie Died Suddenly to viewers across the country.
A Sinclair Broadcasting Group spokesperson told Media Matters about the Peters segment: “We were not aware of the association and are reviewing our internal policies on sponsored content. The segment in question is no longer on our air.”
Peters is the host of The Stew Peters Show, which streams on Rumble. He frequently pushes for the death of his perceived enemies, including repeatedly advocating for the executions of people who have backed the COVID-19 vaccines. Peters is so extreme that he recently ran a segment endorsing the executions of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce over the Kansas City tight end’s promotion of the Pfizer vaccine.
Sinclair’s promotion of Peters is even more egregious because he has called for the deaths of reporters who have promoted vaccines. In March, Peters wrote: “The journos, anchors and hosts that participated should be indicted, tried and fried.” In June, he posted a video of various media and government figures talking about the vaccine and wrote: “Every single one of these people deserve the rope.”
On X (formerly Twitter), Peters has also endorsed the killings of politicians and LGBTQ advocates.
Peters regularly promotes white nationalism and antisemitism and appeared at Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes’ conference last year. He recently complained of Jewish people: “Support for homos, trans, abortion, and the unchecked illegal invasion of every country on earth isn't exactly a message of morality.” He also wrote that Judaism is a “death cult built on the blood of murdered babies.”
He promotes bizarre and dangerous conspiracy theories, including those related to QAnon, Pizzagate, the Uvalde and Sandy Hook mass shootings, 9/11, the Maui wildfires, and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Peters is also a flat earther, writing: “If the ‘globe’ is ‘round’, someone is going to have to prove it to me.”
Peters was behind Died Suddenly, a widely debunked and misinformation-filled movie that pushes the conspiracy theory that, as the Anti-Defamation League summarized, “Covid-19 vaccines are causing healthy individuals to develop deadly blood clots, suggesting this is proof that ‘global elites’ are using Covid-19 vaccines to depopulate the planet as part of a broader conspiracy to establish a global, totalitarian regime.”
Despite that history, Sinclair stations across the country ran “sponsored” segments featuring Peters and meteorologist Brian van de Graaff from Sinclair’s Washington, D.C.-based station WJLA.
The roughly two-and-a-quarter-minutes segment began with van de Graaff touting Peters’ credentials, stating that he is a “former bounty hunter and host of The Stew Peters Show. Stew is also the producer of the film Died Suddenly, which was viewed by over 30 million people worldwide.” (A roughly 30-second longer version of the segment has also aired.)
The segment then transitioned into treating Peters as a purported financial expert, including van de Graaff asking for his “thoughts on the recent bank bailouts and frail financial system.” Peters responded that when it comes to savings, “the only answer is to invest in precious metals, physical gold and physical silver,” and viewers should do it through Goldco, the segment’s sponsor.
At times, Peters’ segment was introduced by local news personalities. In Little Rock, for instance, the sponsored segment was introduced on Good Morning Arkansas by host Ansley Watson, who said: “Do you have concerns about the direction of the U.S. economy? Our D.C. correspondent Brian van de Graaff shares information about how you can protect your retirement savings from inflation.” In Birmingham, Alabama, Talk of Alabama host Katherine Page made a similar introduction before the start of the segment.
Gold companies have heavily targeted conservative audiences over the years. In addition to Peters, Goldco also uses Fox News host Sean Hannity as a spokesperson. Despite their mutual Goldco connection, Peters has called Hannity a “ball-less” phony; traitor; “bloviating blowhard”; “fake JiuJitsu champ”; and someone who “sold his soup to the communists” and is part of the “sold-out fake news media.”
Peters has previously thanked Goldco “for making our Died Suddenly film possible.”
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spent Tuesday fighting for the House speaker’s gavel once again—this time unsuccessfully, as he became the first speaker ever ousted—and like clockwork, Republicans put their total dysfunction on display.
As McCarthy fought to keep the job that it took him 15 rounds of voting to get in the first place, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, attempted to make the case for him, and it didn’t go well for either McCarthy’s image or Stefanik’s connection to reality.
“Kevin McCarthy is a happy warrior,” Stefanik said. “He is tireless. He has that uniquely American grit. Under Kevin’s speakership that lasted 15 rounds of him never giving up, this Republican majority has exceeded all expectations.”
Setting aside the “happy warrior” cheese and the hilarious attempt to spin McCarthy’s 15 rounds of groveling into a display of grit, I guess that if your expectation was that McCarthy would face a motion to vacate the chair in February, then he exceeded expectations by making it to October before that happened. Similarly, it’s true that House Republicans exceeded many people’s expectations when they didn’t shut down the government over the weekend, but that’s a pretty low bar. And Rep. Matt Gaetz challenged McCarthy’s leadership because McCarthy, as Gaetz sees it, caved to Democrats to keep the government open. It’s dysfunction piled on dysfunction here.
Gaetz was not letting that one go. “I would just say if this House of Representatives has exceeded all expectations, then we definitely need higher expectations,” he responded.
Here’s the thing: Gaetz is not wrong about that. (Stopped clock, etc.) The expectations he wants this House to meet are expectations of chaos and government shutdowns and punitive funding cuts, but nonetheless, this House Republican majority isn’t meeting any set of expectations. Instead, the majority is scrambling from crisis to crisis—and most of those crises were created by House Republicans to begin with.
Gaetz’s take drew some laughter from Democrats, but it’s safe to say that, in general, he is not making very many friends this week. Rep. Chip Roy, who in January voted against McCarthy 11 times before flipping and helping McCarthy across the finish line, seems a little ticked off.
“You want to come at me and call me a RINO, you can kiss my ass. Look, I’ve spent a lifetime fighting for limited-government conservatism. I have laid it all on the line. I’ve not seen my family for two days in the last 30 days. You go around talking your big game and you thumping your chest on Twitter? Yeah, come in my office and come have a debate, mother——. You know why? Because I’m standing up for this country every single day.”
It sure seems like things are going to settle down and be collegial and productive when the motion-to-vacate fight is over, doesn’t it?
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.