Sun News Network, the right-wing Canadian news network described as "Fox News North," is shutting down.
The Globe and Mail reports that Sun News went off-air at 5 a.m. on Friday morning when "the screen went dark and was replaced moments later with the Sun TV logo."
In a press release, Julie Tremblay, president and CEO of Sun News parent Media Group and Sun Media Corporation said, "Over the past four years, we tried everything we could to achieve sufficient market penetration to generate the profits needed to operate a national news channel. Sadly, the numerous obstacles to carriage that we encountered spelled the end of this venture."
When Sun News launched in 2011, its executives attacked what they described as the "smug, condescending, irrelevant" journalism of existing Canadian outlets like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
But soon after, Sun News failed to attract a significant audience, drawing in about 0.1 percent of Canadian viewers between August 31, 2011 and March 31, 2012.
The network went on to attract controversy. It had to apologize on behalf of host Ezra Levant, who called the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau a "slut," and it gave a show to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford after he was caught on video smoking crack cocaine.
Despite those headline-grabbing incidents, ratings never came and the network continued to operate in the red.
Fox hosted Republican lobbyist Van D. Hipp Jr., who attacked the Obama administration for denying a request to market drones to the Kingdom of Jordan. Neither Fox nor Hipp disclosed that his firm, American Defense International (ADI), has recently lobbied Congress on behalf of the defense contractor that makes the drone.
Hipp is the Chairman of American Defense International (ADI), which describes itself as "a Washington, DC based consulting firm specializing in government affairs, business development and public relations." General Atomics is a defense contractor based in San Diego. ADI lists General Atomics as one of its clients on its website; the lobbying shop has received $1.2 million from the company dating back to 2002, including $170,000 last year.
Hipp, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy in the George H.W. Bush administration, appeared on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on February 6. Hipp discussed the possible death of an American hostage being held by ISIS, who claims that the hostage was killed by a Jordanian airstrike.
Without prompting, Hipp repeatedly attacked President Obama for denying an application for his client, while couching it in criticism of ongoing efforts to fight ISIS.
Hipp said, "We need to make sure he's [King Abdullah of Jordan] got all the fuel and bullets, precision weapons and yes, unmanned aerial vehicles which he's asked the United States for and our State Department is still sitting on that." Hipp went on to expand on his criticism of the State Department decision, without any disclosure of Hipp's financial conflict of interest.
JAMIE COLBY: If we were to reach out to Jordan, what would be the steps, specifically, you think we could take that maybe would even encourage our allies to do the same?
VAN HIPP: Well what Congressman Duncan Hunter has pointed out was very disturbing, the fact that Jordan has requested, an unarmed predator, unmanned aerial vehicle to help them, and he has called on President Obama to get the State Department to reverse that decision. I couldn't believe that when I read that, and he's got other requests for precision munitions, night vision systems, devices, you name it. I say: Give him everything he needs and give him everything he needs now. And let's acknowledge the threat for what it is.
COLBY: Van Hipp, your message is loud and clear and heard and I appreciate you sharing it with us.
The company that would provide the drone Hipp referenced is his lobbying firm's client.
As Foreign Policy reported on February 5, "The Obama administration has denied a request from a leading U.S. defense contractor for a license to market its unarmed Predator drones to Jordan, whose requests for U.S.-made weapons are viewed as more urgent due to its participation in the fight against the Islamic State. The contractor, General Atomics, submitted export license applications last spring to market the Predator XP, a new export version of the unarmed MQ-1 drone flown by the U.S. military, to Jordan and numerous other countries. The U.S. government formally denied the request for Jordan on Oct. 28, according to the office of Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican whose district includes San Diego, where General Atomics is based."
The Lobbying Disclosure Act Database lists ADI as a registered lobbyist on behalf of General Atomics, dating from 2002 through their most recent filing on January 20. For 2014, ADI reported doing $170,000 of lobbying on behalf of General Atomics. (First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter, Fourth Quarter). The firm's most recent lobbying report states it was paid by General Atomics for "Meetings with officials regarding foreign weapon sales." ADI has received $1.2 million in lobbing fees from General Atomics since 2002, according to OpenSecrets.org's database of federal lobbying data.
Hipp has personally lobbied for General Atomics, most recently in 2007, according to OpenSecrets' database.
Matt Drudge's Drudge Report has become the leading conservative media booster of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, promoting him for the Republican presidential nomination and proclaiming him the "clear GOP frontrunner."
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly described Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch a "hero" in a 2012 broadcast, which was referenced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) during Lynch's Senate confirmation hearing today. Media Matters noted O'Reilly's praise in a post detailing fringe right-wing attacks on the nominee.
Leahy recapped the case in which Lynch, then a U.S. attorney, chose to prosecute an accused child rapist under federal law after he had been sentenced to two years in prison by a state judge. Leahy then added, "Bill O'Reilly on Fox called you a 'hero' and said quote, 'you should be respected by all Americans for standing up to gross injustice' and I agree, I agree with Bill O'Reilly on that."
O'Reilly praised Lynch in the "Talking Points" segment of the July 26, 2012 edition of The O'Reilly Factor: On the November 10, 2014 edition of his show, O'Reilly replayed his praise, and Fox host Megyn Kelly added that Lynch has also "been a hero on gang crime, on terrorism."
OREILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. Finally a hero to protect the kids -- that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.
27-year-old Andrew Goodman raped two boys ages 11 and 13 over a period of four years. This savage pleaded guilty to 48 felony counts of criminal sexual acts; 48 counts. New York State Judge Martin Murphy sentenced the monster to just two years in prison outraging the victims, their families, and the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Murphy gave Goodman the minimum sentence; he could have given him life in prison.
Why was the judge so lenient? Murphy refuses to answer the question. He is hiding under his desk. Because of time served, Goodman could be released in a few weeks.
Enter U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, who yesterday charged Goodman with a federal crime of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. Goodman allegedly took one of the boys from New York to New Jersey to see a Kid Rock concert and then had sex with the minor.
If convicted on the federal charge, Goodman could get at least 10 years in a federal prison. Miss Lynch obviously doing this to protect children from Goodman, something Judge Murphy is unwilling to do. She is a hero and should be respected by all Americans for standing up to a gross injustice.
Loretta Lynch was appointed by President Obama two years ago, is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and is being assisted in the prosecution by the FBI.
Finally, we see a public official willing to right a grievous wrong. Finally, and we want the entire country to know it.
Days after Fox News apologized for promoting an embarrassing falsehood about England having "no-go zones" controlled by Muslim extremists, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) repeated the myth during a speech and on CNN.
Last week, frequent Fox guest Steve Emerson -- part of the network's stable of extremists who lead its conversation about Islam -- provoked international outrage with the false claim that the city of Birmingham is "totally Muslim" and a place "where non-Muslims just simply don't go in." (British Prime Minister David Cameron described Emerson as a "complete idiot," for example.)
As the Emerson controversy raged on, another Fox News guest argued that governments should "put razor wire around" the mythical "no-go zones" and catalogue the residents. On Saturday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro apologized for Emerson's "incorrect" comments, telling viewers, "We deeply regret these errors and apologize to the people of Birmingham, our viewers and all who have been offended."
Despite Fox's retraction, the myth of no-go zones apparently lives on. During a speech in London, Gov. Jindal reportedly alleged that some immigrants are seeking "to colonize western countries, because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone are exactly that."
Appearing in an interview from London, Jindal also told CNN correspondent Max Foster that he's heard "from folks here" that "there are neighborhoods where women don't feel comfortable going in without veils" and "where police are less likely to go."
Foster challenged Jindal's assertion, noting that "I've lived here a long time, I don't know of any no-go zones for non-Muslims." In response, Jindal said "the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem's not here."
Appearing on The Bill Press Show, Media Matters senior fellow Karen Finney discussed how Jindal was still repeating the falsehood.
Jindal's repetition of a Fox-fueled myth is representative of the role the network plays in misinforming conservatives. Falsehoods about death panels in health care reform, weapons of mass destruction, economics, and leaders like President Barack Obama, Secretary John Kerry and Secretary Hillary Clinton have all been grist for the mill on Fox and have become a part of conservative folklore.
After a long period of dishonestly flacking for Mitt Romney, Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin appears to have given up on him and is urging him not to run for president a third time.
In two recent blog posts, Rubin reacts negatively to the news that Romney is considering running for president in 2016. She writes that "another Romney run is preposterous" and that Romney donors and advisers pushing for a run "might want to rethink what they are doing."
As New York's Jonathan Chait points out, "Jennifer Rubin, the political commentator most consistently loyal to Romney in the last cycle, has turned against him."
During the 2012 campaign, nobody stuck by Romney like Rubin.
She hailed Romney's convention speech as proof "he can rise to an occasion," said he was "more forthcoming on immigration" than President Obama and described Romney's campaign team as "skilled." She said the presidential debates "recast the race and vaulted Mitt Romney into a position to win the race."
Of course, when the campaign was over and Romney had lost, Rubin wrote a post that revealed she knew how dishonest she had been all along, admitting that the "convention speech was a huge missed opportunity," describing the communications team as "the worst of any presidential campaign I have ever seen" and that Romney needed "more than a good month" on the campaign trail "to be successful."
Rubin appears to be positioning herself to be a booster for former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who announced that he is exploring a presidential run. Rubin said "Bush's experience and inside knowledge of his father's and brother's campaigns may be an unappreciated asset" and described a Spanish-language video on his PAC's website as "quintessential Bush -- upbeat, policy-oriented and, yes, conservative."
Considering her track record with Romney, how can we believe what she's saying now?
Dr. Ben Carson reportedly endorsed and give speeches on behalf of medical supplement maker Mannatech, Inc. while he was employed at Fox News, an apparent violation of the network's stated policy prohibiting "any on-air talent from endorsing products or serving as a product spokesperson."
National Review reports that in March of 2014, while still working at Fox, Carson appeared in a video for Mannatech, promoting its line of "glyconutrient" products. In the video, Carson talks about his 10-year use of the company's products, noting, "The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel. And that fuel was the right kind of healthy food." Carson also made speeches at Mannatech events in 2011 and 2013.
According to the conservative magazine, "Mannatech has a long, checkered past, stretching back to its founding more than a decade before Carson began touting the company's supplements."
Fox has previously said that it bars its personnel from such activities. In 2009, in response to the controversial relationship between then-Fox News employee Glenn Beck and Goldline, Fox released a statement to the New York Times that said, "Fox News prohibits any on-air talent from endorsing products or serving as a product spokesperson." Former Fox contributor Tobin Smith was fired in 2013 for a violation of this policy (though fellow contributors Charles Payne and Keith Ablow have engaged in similar behavior without repercussions).
When asked by National Review about Carson's relationship to Mannatech, Carson's business manager Armstrong Williams said, "I don't know that he's ever had a compensated relationship with Mannatech" and said that the Washington Speakers Bureau, which had booked "hundreds of speaking engagements for him through the year, booked these engagements."
Mannatech was sued by Texas' attorney general, who accused them of using marketing that has exaggerated the health benefits of their products. The company later paid a $4 million settlement without admitting wrongdoing.
Conservative media outlets promoted an anonymously sourced claim published by U.S. News & World Report that an aide to Hillary Clinton circulated an attack on former Senator Jim Webb. Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill flatly denied the report, telling Media Matters it was "pure fabrication."
In a story discussing Webb's possible run for the presidency, U.S. News & World Report's David Catanese claimed that "Clinton loyalists are keeping an eye" on Webb as a potential rival for the Democratic nomination. As evidence, Catanese wrote that "the week before Thanksgiving, staffers of Philippe Reines, Clinton's longtime communications guru, pitched talk radio producers on the racy, sexually charged writings in Webb's novels, according to a source."
In a comment to Media Matters, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill flatly denied the claim: "There is nothing true about this, it's pure fabrication, and if the reporter who wrote the story would have bothered to ask before printing it, we would have told him that."
Catanese doubled down on his claim in a follow-up report, writing that "of course, the Clinton team is denying Reines' underlings floated the material in the first place" and publishing Merrill's statement that the claim was "an unmitigated lie," before adding, "Our source, granted anonymity, stands by the account."
Several conservative media outlets ran with the anonymous U.S. News report, using it to attack Clinton's character.
The Drudge Report's headline linking to the report said "Team Clinton Already Dishing Oppo on Jim Webb."
New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin called the report evidence that Hillary Clinton was "trying to dirty up Jim Webb," and added, "Mud first, that's Hillary."
National Review's Jim Geraghty asked, "Why on earth would the Hillary team go after Jim Webb this early?" adding, "What is this, some form of mudslinging pregame stretching?"
At HotAir, conservative blogger Ed Morrisey said the story was evidence of "Clintonistas using a kitchen-sink strategy" which "sends a message to other Democrats who might dare to intrude on Coronation II: Hillary's Boogaloo."
American Conservative's James Carden said that "Clinton's team is seemingly alive to the danger a Webb candidacy poses" because of the report that "longtime Clinton henchman Philippe Reines had been pitching talk radio producers unflattering stories about Webb." Carden wrote that the incident "should raise additional questions about the former Secretary's powers of discernment, particularly when it comes to the character of some of her closest advisers."
Media outlets have described Hillary Clinton's wealth and the speaking fees she has earned as a "potentially serious political problem" and a "potential political liability." Will they describe the financial dealings of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush the same way now that he is exploring a presidential run? And will they do in-depth reporting on the controversial business deals Bush has been involved in?
Buzzfeed reported that the emails, released after a hacker group broke in to Sony's computer systems, detailed a series of exchanges between Dowd, Pascal, and Pascal's husband Bernard Weinraub, a former Times reporter, for a March 2014 column Dowd was writing about the declining percentage of women in the film industry.
The emails show Dowd promising Pascal she "would make sure you look great" and Weinraub warning Pascal not to tell anyone that he was "seeing the column before its printed." From Buzzfeed:
But the leaked documents show that when Dowd emailed Pascal on March 3 for the column -- which would run online the next night and in print on March 5 -- Dowd told Pascal "i would make sure you look great and we'd check it all and do it properly."
Before Pascal actually interviewed with Dowd for the column, she talked to Weinraub.
"I said the rap that you jus like to make womens films is unfair amnd sexist," Weinraub said in an email to Pascal on March 4. "You made all these "women's movies ===league of their own, 28 days,,,the nora Ephron films...zero dark.... but you also do spifderman... denzel....Jonah hill.....bad teacher etc etc."
Pascal responded, "IM NOT TALKING TO HER IF SHE IS GONNA SLAM ME. PLEASE FIND OUT."
Weinraub assured her, "you cant tell single person that I'm seeing the column before its printed...its not done...no p.r. people or Lynton or anyone should know."
After the column was published later that night, Pascal emailed Dowd, saying "I THOUGHT THE STORY WAS GREAT I HOPE YOUR HAPPY "
Dowd responded: "I hope you're happy! Thanks for helping. Let's do another." Pascal replied, "Your my favorite person so yes" and Dowd finished the conversation with "you're mine! you're amazing"
Dowd denied that she had given anyone an advance look at her column in a statement released to several reporters, as Politico reported:
In an email though, Dowd says she "never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it."
"Bernie is an old friend and the Times' former Hollywood reporter, and he sometimes gives me ideas for entertainment columns. In January, he suggested a column, inspired by a study cited in the L.A. Times, about the state of women in Hollywood. Amy is a friend and I reassured her before our interview that it wasn't an antagonistic piece. She wasn't the focus of the story, nor was Sony," Dowd said. "I emailed with Bernie and talked to him before I wrote the column in March, getting his perspective on the Hollywood old boys' club and the progress of women. But I didn't send him the column beforehand."