Matt Gertz

Author ››› Matt Gertz
  • When NBC Dumped Trump Because He Violated Their Core Values

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The announcement that President-elect Donald Trump will remain an executive producer on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice opens up a series of conflicts of interest for both Trump and NBC News. It also defies NBC’s previous claim that they did not want to be associated with Trump because his bigoted statements had defied the network’s core values.

    Trump began his presidential campaign with a blistering, widely-denounced attack on Mexican immigrants. In his June 16, 2015, presidential announcement speech, he claimed that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” instead claiming that most immigrants were rapists or drug dealers.

    Two weeks after that speech, NBC announced that they were “ending its business relationship” with Trump due to what it termed his “derogatory statements” about immigrants. The network announced that they would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which were part of a joint venture between the network and Trump and were scheduled to run during the presidential election. According to the statement, “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

    At the time, the network stated that Celebrity Apprentice “is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.” But NBC News reported that this was because “Trump ceased his involvement with the reality show during the presidential bid.” Now, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is suggesting that Trump might actively work on the show as president in his “spare time.”

    In any case, since NBC released their statement cutting ties with Trump, he has not demonstrated that he shows “respect and dignity for all people.” Instead, he has continued to denigrate people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and women. In fact, NBC fired Billy Bush over the former Access Hollywood host’s role in an open mic tape that featured Trump admitting to sexual assault. NBC didn’t want a business relationship with someone who laughed at such comments, but apparently has no qualms with the man who said them.

    It certainly raises questions about what NBC really considers “cornerstones of our values.”

    Tell NBC: Dump Trump

  • Eric Bolling Is Trying To Cover His Bigoted Tracks (And Failing)

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Bolling

    Eric Bolling, a Fox News host who is reportedly discussing a possible position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, deleted a five-year-old racist tweet about President Obama immediately after Media Matters unearthed it.

    Bolling drew criticism in May 2011 after tweeting that Obama had been “chugging 40’s” in Ireland “while tornadoes ravage” Missouri. Earlier today, Media Matters called attention to that tweet in a post exploring Bolling’s history of making bigoted commentary and pushing conspiracy theories.

    Moments after I flagged Bolling’s May 2011 comment on Twitter, he deleted the tweet and blocked me.

    Unfortunately for Bolling, we have a screenshot of his tweet:

    And a screenshot of his identical Facebook post, which he hasn’t yet deleted:

    And video of him saying the same thing on his Fox show, which he can’t delete:

    Bolling is trying to hide his racism, and he’s doing a terrible job of it. He is both too bigoted and too dumb for public service.
  • Here Come The Anti-Muslim Attacks On Keith Ellison

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Right-wing media have launched a smear campaign against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) that largely focuses on his Muslim faith, continuing a long pattern of anti-Muslim attacks on the first Muslim congressman.

    On Monday, Ellison announced a bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He has been endorsed by Sens. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and several progressive organizations. Others considering seeking the chair include former DNC chair Howard Dean and NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue.

    FoxNews.com launched the conservative response to Ellison’s candidacy the same day as his announcement with an unbylined article headlined, “Who is Keith Ellison? Left-wing congressman with past ties to Nation of Islam wants DNC job.” As ThinkProgress noted, other conservatives followed by calling Ellison a “Muslim Brotherhood shill” and “a former disciple of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,” and comparing him to Stephen Bannon, the newly-announced chief strategist to President-elect Donald Trump who is facing a growing backlash over his ties to anti-Semitism and white nationalists. Yesterday, a Fox guest said Ellison’s “allegiances are more to the Islamic civilization than Judeo-Christian civilization.”

    Those conservatives are regurgitating attacks linking Ellison to Farrakhan that were first leveled at him during his first run for Congress in 2006. In fact, Ellison’s connection to the Nation of Islam is limited to writing a column defending Farrakhan as a law student in 1990, and working with the group to organize Minnesotans to attend the 1995 Million Man March (President Obama also attended the march). Ellison subsequently wrote in a 2006 letter to Jewish leaders, “I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, and Khalid Muhammed.”

    Ellison has been subject to anti-Muslim attacks from right-wing commentators since he won his first congressional election and announced that he would swear his oath of office on the Quran. Fox News host Sean Hannity and syndicated conservative radio host Dennis Prager responded to the use of the Quran during his swearing-in by comparing Ellison’s actions to using "Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible.” Glenn Beck opened an interview with Ellison shortly after his election by saying, “what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'" Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

    Those Islamophobic attacks have continued over the years. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested that if Ellison were really worried about extremism, he should “focus on getting the burqa off” Muslim women. Hannity responded to a confrontational interview with Ellison by doing a segment highlighting his “radical connections” to “Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.” And Fox host Eric Bolling called him the “Muslim apologist in Congress.”

  • Now That The Election Is Over, Megyn Kelly Reveals The Pro-Trump Conspiracy At Fox

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Megyn Kelly

    Fox News host Megyn Kelly waited until after the election to reveal that Donald Trump had inside information from Fox News about the question she would ask him at the first Republican primary debate, and to confirm that during the campaign former network chairman Roger Ailes was shilling for more positive coverage of the now president-elect.

    Kelly’s revelations came not on her news program before the presidential election when they would have mattered most for the American public, but in her forthcoming book, according to the New York Times review published November 10.

    According to the Times’ Jennifer Senior, Kelly writes in her book that Ailes repeatedly called her during the campaign to suggest that she was being unfair to Trump. Kelly’s book indicates that Trump had prior, accurate knowledge that Kelly would ask him a “very pointed question” at Fox’s August 2015 primary debate. Senior writes that this indicates that “parts of Fox -- or at the very least, Roger Ailes… seemed to be nakedly colluding with the Republican presidential nominee”:

    Then, the day before the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump was in a lather again, Ms. Kelly writes. He called Fox executives, saying he’d heard that her first question “was a very pointed question directed at him.” This disconcerted her, because it was true: It was about his history of using disparaging language about women.
     
    She doesn’t speculate where the leak came from. (She reports. You decide.) But that’s another unambiguous takeaway from this book: Parts of Fox — or at the very least, Roger Ailes, the network’s chairman until July, when he was given the boot after several allegations of sexual harassment were made against him — seemed to be nakedly colluding with the Republican presidential nominee.

    Kelly’s book comes as she seeks to negotiate a new contract. Fox News is pushing to sign her, reportedly offering more than $20 million a year. Executives at other networks are reportedly interested, but have not made offers.

    Several journalists have reported that Ailes was advising Trump while running Fox News, but Kelly’s after-the-fact acknowledgement of such blatant collusion is the first time a Fox employee has publicly admitted that Ailes was seeking to use his role at the network to aid his preferred candidate. Ailes’ role as an informal Trump advisor continued after Ailes was forced to resign after numerous women at Fox -- including Kelly -- accused him of a decades-long pattern of sexual harrasment.

    Senior unfortunately seems completely nonplussed at the journalistic ethics of holding such bombshells until after the election. Instead, she lauds Kelly as “this presidential election’s unlikely feminist hero,” “the intrepid gal reporter,” “the hen in the Fox house,” “fabulous, shrewd and self-possessed,” a “superstar,” and a “metabolic anomaly” who “willed herself into her own spectacular existence.” As is typical for such glowing accounts of Kelly, the review comes with no acknowledgment  of the actual content of Kelly’s show, which regularly traffics in the same misinformation, fearmongering, and racial anxiety as the rest of the network’s programming.

    For her part, Kelly appears to have realized the journalistic peril caused by her post-election revelations and is seeking to do some damage control after her damning admissions circulated on social media:

    Kelly wants to avoid the suggestion that Trump received actual debate questions from Fox because, in addition to the confirmation of collusion between the news organization and then-candidate Trump, her story raises specific questions of hypocrisy. Kelly provided harsh questioning and criticism of Democratic National Committee interim chair Donna Brazile, whose resignation from CNN was announced "amid fresh revelations that she sent questions to Hillary Clinton's campaign in advance of a CNN debate and a CNN-TV One town hall." “Can you imagine if this were a Republican had been fed a question by Fox News?” Kelly asked earlier this month. “You know, the different reaction we’d be seeing in the media?”

    Following Brazile’s resignation, Fox media critic Howard Kurtz commented that CNN “can’t resolve the matter without the kind of transparency that news organizations regularly demand from politicians. And that means disclosing the results of the internal investigation and what steps CNN is taking to ensure such an ethical breach doesn’t happen again.”

    Meanwhile, we now know Fox’s chief was advising the Republican presidential candidate and using his position to sway coverage in his favor. What kind of "transparency" will Fox provide, and what steps will the network take "to ensure such an ethical breach doesn't happen again"?

    CORRECTION: This post originally indicated Brazile was fired by CNN. In fact, she resigned.

  • Reminder: What Newspaper Front Pages Looked Like The Morning After The FBI’s First Letter

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Major national and swing-state newspapers plastered reports about FBI Director James Comey’s letter indicating that the FBI planned to examine new evidence related to its investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server across their front pages. Now that the FBI has reviewed the new evidence and determined that it does not change their conclusion that no charges are warranted in the case, these papers owe it to their readers to cover that news just as prominently.

    Here are the front pages of several major national and swing-state newspapers from October 29, the day after Comey’s first letter.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Trump To Campaign With Ted Nugent, Noted Racist Who Said Hillary Clinton Should Be Hanged

    A Week After Calling Clinton A “Devilbitch,” Nugent Will Appear At A Trump Rally

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will campaign tonight with National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, a racist who earlier this year called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and recently described her as a “devilbitch.”

    Nugent will reportedly join Trump at a rally in Michigan tonight.

    As Media Matters has documented:

    Nugent has a long history of making racist and other inflammatory commentary. In 2016 alone, Nugent has promoted anti-Semitic content, used a racial slur against a Latino critic, promoted misogynist reasons why guns are better than women, shared a racist meme advertising the fake moving company “2 niggers and a stolen truck,” and smeared Minnesota police shooting victim Philando Castile as a criminal. In 2015, Nugent devoted an entire column to praising the use of the word “nigger,” even in a racist context.

    Nugent, who has endorsed Trump for president, this year has called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and promoted a fake video of her being shot. In an August post on his Facebook page calling for people to vote for Trump, Nugent termed Clinton a “lying hypocrite bitch.” He has also called the former secretary of state a “toxic cunt.” In a viral 2007 concert video, an assault-rifle-wielding Nugent called Clinton a “worthless bitch” and said that she should ride on his machine gun.

    In August, Bud Light pulled sponsorship of a Nugent concert following reporting from Media Matters about the beer company's association with Nugent. Nugent caused a national controversy in 2014 by campaigning with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. Abbott was slammed -- including by fellow Republicans -- for the association after Nugent called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

    In an October 31 Facebook Live video, Nugent exhorted viewers to “be sure you’re members of the National Rifle Association, and by God, get everybody in your lives to vote for Donald Trump in eight days, or the devilbitch will continue the fundamental transformation of the Barack ‘I Hate America’ Obama suicide death march for America. And if you have a problem with that terminology, move to Cuba, because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s policies are already in play in Cuba.”

     

     

  • Even Bret Baier Has Now Abandoned Bret Baier's Anonymously Sourced FBI Report

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    On November 2, days before the presidential election, Fox host Bret Baier cited two anonymous sources to issue three explosive claims: The FBI is currently engaged in a “very high priority” investigation of “possible pay-for-play interaction” between Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that is uncovering an “avalanche” of evidence; the FBI believes with “99 percent accuracy” that Clinton’s private email server was hacked by at least five foreign intelligence services; and that these investigations “will continue to likely an indictment.”

    Today, Baier issued an apology that effectively walked back all three claims.

    Baier’s original reports were based on “two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations into the Clinton emails and the Clinton Foundation.” In the 24 hours following his initial claims, Fox gave the story more than two hours of airtime, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump trumpeted the story on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, several other networks debunked Baier’s reporting. But according to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, even if Fox’s reporting is wrong, “the damage is done to Hillary Clinton” and the facts don’t “change what’s in voters’ minds right now.”

    Below is a comparison of Baier’s original reports, his apology statement this morning, and reporting from other networks.

    The Clinton Foundation

    Baier’s Original Reporting

    Baier repeatedly hyped the magnitude of the Clinton Foundation investigation, calling it “a quote ‘very high priority’” and saying agents “had collected a great deal of evidence,” with “an avalanche of new information coming in every day.” He claimed that the investigation is “far more expansive than anybody has reported.”

    From the November 2 edition of Special Report:  

    The Clinton Foundation investigation is a quote "very high priority." Agents have interviewed and re-interviewed multiple people about the foundation case, and even before the WikiLeaks dumps, these sources said agents had collected a great deal of evidence. Pressed on that, one source said quote "a lot of it". And there's an avalanche of new information coming in every day -- some of it from WikiLeaks, some from new emails.

    The agents are actively and aggressively pursuing this case. And they will be going back and interviewing the same people again -- some for the third time.

    Also from the November 2 edition of On the Record:

    BAIER: Here's the deal. We talked to two separate sources with intimate knowledge of what's going on with these FBI investigations. A couple of things, one, the Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported, I think, so far.

    [...]

    Three, the Clinton Foundation investigation is so expansive they have interviewed and re-interviewed many people. They described the evidence that they have as quote “a lot of it.” And there is an avalanche coming every day with WikiLeaks and the new emails. They are quote "actively and aggressively pursuing this case."

    Baier’s Apology

    In his apology, Baier said only that the investigation into the Clinton Foundation is “continuing” and that it’s a priority “for those investigators working it.” He nonetheless claimed to “stand by the sourcing on the ongoing active Clinton Foundation investigation” and that Fox is  “working to get sources with knowledge of the details on the record.”

    Other Reporting

    ABC News reported that “there has been no change in posture” for the investigation since February, when “prosecutors and senior FBI officials agreed there was no clear evidence of wrongdoing, and that a criminal case tied to the Clinton Foundation could not be made.”

    NBC News’ Peter Williams reported that “FBI officials tell me there's been virtually no movement” on the Clinton Foundation inquiry “for the last several months.”

    The Clinton Email Server

    Baier’s Original Reporting

    Baier originally claimed that “we have learned that there is a confidence from these sources that her server had been hacked and that it was about a 99 percent accuracy that it had been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and they believe that things had been taken from that.”

    Baier’s Apology

    In his apology, Baier admitted that “I was quoting from one source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies. And while others believe that is probable because of the confirmed hacking of email accounts Secretary Clinton communicated with, as of today there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau. All the time, but especially in heated a election on a topic this explosive, every word matters, no matter how well-sourced.”

    Other Reporting

    Williams reported that there is “no such view” of hacking at the FBI, which has “concluded they couldn't know for sure, but they found no positive proof of any successful hacks.”

    A Possible Indictment

    Baier’s Original Reporting

    In his On the Record appearance, Baier said that the “investigations will continue. There is a lot of evidence. And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they will continue to likely an indictment.”

    Baier’s Apology

    In his apology, Baier said that his reference to a “likely” indictment was “a mistake” because “no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is. It is obviously a prosecutor who has to agree to take the case and make that case to a grand jury.”

    Other Reporting

    ABC News reported that the indictment claim was “inaccurate and without merit.” NBC’s Williams reported that “this idea that there are indictments near or something like that, I am told is just not true.” And according to CNN, Baier’s use of the word  indictment was “wrong” because “there is no evidence ​that any ​of the Fox ​stuff is true. That there is nothing close to an indictment. “

  • The FBI Was Basing A Potential Clinton Foundation Case On This Garbage Right-Wing Book

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The FBI was reportedly trying to build an investigation into the Clinton Foundation around claims made in a right-wing book riddled with errors written by a Republican activist with a history of bogus reporting. The author’s organization is headed by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign chief executive and is funded by one of Trump’s top campaign supporters.

    The FBI in August was considering whether to expand investigations into both Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s “secretive business dealings in Ukraine” and Democratic presidential nominee “Hillary Clinton’s relationships with donors to her family foundation,” but, following longstanding precedent, decided not to proceed for fear of impacting the election, according to The New York Times. The paper further reported that the Clinton Foundation inquiry “had not developed much evidence and was based mostly on information that had surfaced in news stories and the book ‘Clinton Cash,’ according to several law enforcement officials briefed on the case.”

    Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments And Businesses Helped Make Bill And Hillary Rich is a 2015 book authored by Peter Schweizer, a Republican activist and consultant who has worked for Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, and Breitbart News.

    Schweizer has a disreputable history of reporting marked by errors and retractions, with numerous reporters excoriating him for facts that "do not check out," sources that "do not exist," and a basic failure to practice "Journalism 101." Clinton Cash is similarly a trainwreck of bogus research that included more than 20 errors, fabrications, and distortions, according to a Media Matters review. On the campaign trail, Trump has pushed conspiracy theories from the book, leading reporters to note that the book has been “discredited” and features “lies” and claims that “fell apart under scrutiny.”

    Schweizer is also the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a right-wing group that purports to investigate “government corruption.” Stephen Bannon, who is taking a leave of absence from his role as chief executive of Breitbart News to serve the same role with the Trump campaign, is also the executive chairman and co-founder of GAI. The group has been heavily funded by the Mercer Family Foundation, which is run by Rebekah Mercer.

    Mercer’s father, the hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer, is one of the nation’s largest Republican donors and a major investor in Breitbart News, and the father and daughter were reportedly key to Bannon’s ascension to a leading role in the Trump campaign. Robert Mercer has also donated millions to a pro-Trump super PAC that Rebekah Mercer controls.

    UPDATE: Schweizer disclosed during an August Fox News appearance that "earlier this year at [the FBI's] request," he had met with "two people from the bureau to talk about some things related to the Clinton Foundation, specifically things that were in Clinton Cash." From the August 24 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

  • No, A DOJ Official With Podesta Ties Isn’t “Overseeing” The FBI’s Email Review

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Right-wing media outlets are falsely claiming that a Justice Department official tied to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, is “overseeing” the FBI’s review of emails that may be tied to the investigation into her use of a private server as secretary of state. Their claims are based solely on the fact that the official sent a letter to Congress about the review. In fact, the official in question leads the FBI’s Office of Legislative Affairs, and in that capacity he is responsible for communications with Congress, not active investigations.

    The story appears to originate with Gateway Pundit author Jim Hoft, who is notoriously stupid but nonetheless provides a ready pipeline to other conservative outlets. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) poured cold water on the theory during an interview, pointing out that the official in question “is not a decision-maker, he is a messenger.”

    FBI Director James Comey released a letter to congressional leaders on October 28 stating that the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the” probe into Clinton’s private server and was reviewing them to “assess their importance to our investigation.” On October 29, several Democratic senators sent a letter to Comey and to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking them to promptly provide “more detailed information.”

    On October 31, Peter J. Kadzik, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, responded to those senators on Lynch’s behalf, writing that the Justice Department will “continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.”

    That evening, Hoft authored a post headlined, “IT’S RIGGED => Podesta DOJ Pal Peter Kadzik Is Heading Hillary Email Probe,” contrasting the October 31 letter with mentions of Kadzik in the emails hacked from Podesta, allegedly on behalf of the Russian government. He concluded, “We all know how this will end. Hillary will walk. It’s rigged.”

    In fact, responding to congressional inquiries -- and not overseeing investigations -- is Kadzik’s job. He leads the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs, which “advises and assists Department leadership on a wide variety of congressional matters; advocates for the Department’s legislative priorities; and responds to congressional inquiries and oversight requests” and helps prepare department witnesses for congressional testimony.

    Nonetheless, several other conservative outlets picked up the story, similarly claiming that Kadzik was “overseeing” the investigation and thus its results could not be trusted.

    The story quickly spread to Fox News, where Gowdy, one of the leading congressional investigators of Clinton, shot it down. On Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy commented that he “was noticing on some of the blogs this morning” that Kadzik has ties to Podesta and asked Gowdy if he was concerned. Gowdy replied that he didn’t think it was relevant because “Peter Kadzik doesn’t make these decisions; they are made at the top of the DOJ.” He added, “Peter Kadzik is not a decision-maker, he is a messenger.”

    Doocy has repeatedly highlighted fabricated stories based on Hoft’s “reporting.” Fox News has a documented pattern of offering news reports based on Internet rumors that turn out to be false. In January 2007, after Doocy retracted his false assertion that then-Sen. Barack Obama "was educated in a madrassa," then-Fox News vice president for news John Moody, reportedly said in a memo to Fox News staff: "For the record: seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC. The urgent queue is our way of communicating information that is air-worthy. Please adhere to this."

  • NY Times Floods Front Page With FBI Letter Stories While Acknowledging It Didn’t “Reopen” Clinton Server Inquiry

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Over the past two days, The New York Times has devoted five of its six above-the-fold articles to FBI director James Comey’s letter to congressional leaders indicating that the Bureau is reviewing additional “emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server as secretary of state. By providing such prominent coverage, the Times has indicated that the letter is news of the highest possible significance -- in spite of the Times’ own reporting that FBI agents have yet to read the emails and determine if they are significant and the letter “did not reopen” the investigation.

    In his October 28 letter, Comey wrote that the FBI has “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” while investigating an unrelated case and is taking “appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He added that the “FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete.”

    Despite the paucity of information Comey indicated was available, the letter triggered a firestorm of speculative media coverage.

    The Times, which has both a responsibility as the leading national newspaper to put the story in appropriate context, and a long history of applying excessive and disproportionate scrutiny to news about Bill and Hillary Clinton, led the media’s feeding frenzy.

    On Saturday, the entirety of the Times’ front page above the fold was dedicated to three separate articles about Comey’s letter. The lead story declared, “New Emails Jolt Clinton Campaign In Race’s Last Days; FBI Looks at Messages Found During Inquiry.” But as that article noted, it is not clear whether the emails are “new” or duplicates of emails previously reviewed by the FBI; the FBI “had not yet examined” the emails.

    The front page also featured articles on Trump’s response to the news and on Republican and Democratic lawmakers’ criticism of Comey in light of the letter.

    The Times front page drew criticism for providing such prominent coverage before it was clear whether the emails in question were even relevant to the investigation.

    Two of the three above-the-fold articles on the front page of the Sunday New York Times also dealt with the FBI letter, one of which stated that Comey’s letter “did not reopen” the inquiry into Clinton’s private server.

    The Times has been frequently criticized during this election season for overplaying stories that suggest scandal on the part of Hillary Clinton, including publishing 16 articles on its front page that referenced the Clinton Foundation between July 2015 and September 2016 and botching key reports on Clinton’s email server.