Ted Cruz's victory in the Iowa Republican caucuses is due in part to the vocal support of Steve Deace -- an influential local radio host who spent the past few months urging his listeners to back Cruz in the nomination process. Deace has become a kind of kingmaker in Iowa Republican politics, and Cruz openly touted his endorsement in the lead up to caucus night.
Deace is also one of the most extreme voices in right-wing media -- accusing Democrats of leading a "war on whites," warning of an army of jihadists coming to take over America to argue for a higher white birth rate, and claiming President Obama is a Marxist and not a Christian.
Deace reserves his worst comments for the LGBT community. Deace calls homosexuality an "un-American and pagan ideology," a "sin orientation," and a "death sentence unto itself." He asserts the acceptance of homosexuality and marriage equality have created a slippery slope to pedophilia and has described gay activists as "homo-fascists" bent on promoting a "Rainbow Jihad." He argues gay people should be disqualified from serving as judges, and praised laws that criminalized homosexuality, which he wrote "punished evil" and protected civilization. He describes transgender people as "trannies" and mentally ill. He's even promoted an article that accused Obama of being secretly gay.
If Cruz continues performing well in the GOP primary race, Deace will likely become a constant fixture in mainstream media's election coverage. It's up to media outlets to identify the right-wing extremism of the man who helped secure Cruz his first big victory in the presidential primary.
Student loan debt in America has reached a staggering $1.3 trillion, surpassing even credit card debt. But right-wing media figures have criticized efforts to combat student loan debt by pushing misinformation and blaming students for pursuing higher education.
Conservative media have labeled higher education as a "privilege" and suggested students ought to choose fictional cheaper colleges. Some outlets have even defended schools that take advantage of students and leave them with significant debt. But research shows college matters now more than ever, and the cost to attend is rising across the board. The student debt crisis is especially damaging for poor students and students of color, who more frequently attend cheaper open-access and community colleges and are still forced to borrow in higher numbers to pay for their education.
Blaming students for the student loan debt crisis ignores the facts and distracts from finding real solutions to America's skyrocketing student debt burden.
This week's release of Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will likely reignite the right-wing misinformation campaign about the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya. Conservative media, led by Fox News, have spent over three years trying to find evidence of a Benghazi "bombshell" - something scandalous about the way the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the attack.
Conservatives have falsely accused the administration of lying about the cause of the attack, issuing a "stand down" order, failing to send aid to the facility, and dismissing the deaths of the victims. But every "bombshell" has turned out to be a dud. 13 Hours may give Fox News the highly dramatized Benghazi story it's been hoping for, but years of actual investigations have thoroughly deflated the right-wing Benghazi fantasy:
For over a decade, Media Matters has fought conservative misinformation in the media. As another year comes to an end, we take a look back to just some of the inanity we've seen this year:
Fox News pundits have spent much of the past year mocking and dismissing comments by President Obama, Democratic presidential candidates and others who have described the connection that climate change has to terrorism and the rise of the jihadist group ISIS. But as world leaders strive for an ambitious agreement at the conclusion of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris -- the site of horrific terrorist attacks by ISIS in November -- it's more important than ever that Americans and people around the world recognize the relationship between global warming and global security.
Voiceover by Eric Wuestewald.
CNN has held the last two presidential debates, the first among Republicans on September 16, then among Democrats on October 14. While the Democratic debate focused on substance, the Republican debate was filled with he-said she-saids.
Right-wing media, particularly Fox News, immediately jumped at the chance to blame the Black Lives Matter movement after a gunman killed a Texas police officer at a suburban Houston gas station, going so far as to label it a hate group. Not only are both these charges incontrovertibly false, but the network itself has a long history of promoting organizations identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "hate groups":
On the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Media Matters looks back at Fox News' many displays of sexism, ranging from hosts suggesting young women should not exercise civic duties like participating in jury duty because they "don't get it," to Erick Erickson's claim that "the male typically is the dominant role."
Here's a look at 70 awful displays of sexism on Fox News:
It was just one week ago that Fox contributor Erickson barred Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from speaking at the RedState convention following Trump's remarks about Megyn Kelly. Erickson was praised by Jeb Bush for being "on the side of women."