Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar responded to criticism from Fox's Geraldo Rivera that hip-hop has damaged young African-Americans more than racism. Lamar explained that hip-hop is an expression that actually keeps young black men out of the streets so that kids can find a more positive influence.
On June 29, Geraldo Rivera attacked Lamar's performance at the BET Movie awards, asserting that his lyrics were "not helpful at all" to public discourse, and added that "this is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years."
LAMAR: How can you take a song that's about hope and turn it into hatred? ... The overall message is, "we gon' be alright." It's not the message of "I want to kill people."
Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of this situation. This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing. Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation, and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner. Coming from these streets and coming from these neighborhoods, we're taking our talents and putting them inside the studio.
Megyn Kelly invited anti-LGBT hate group leader Tony Perkins to respond to the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of marriage equality. Kelly's insistence on inviting Perkins highlights the host's cozy relationship with the ardent anti-gay group.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court found that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of same-sex couples to marry. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy contended that "Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right."
On the June 26 edition of her Fox News show, Megyn Kelly invited Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins to discuss the Court's ruling. Perkins claimed that the "freedom to live your life according to your beliefs" is at stake, specifically for Christians who oppose marriage equality. Perkins later stoked fears that "there will be an effort to force people to conform" by threatening religious institutions like colleges with the loss of their tax-exempt status, unless they fully embrace equality.
Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter lashed out at South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R), who recently called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol. Rather than respond to the Republican governor's message, Coulter dismissed Haley as "an immigrant" who "does not understand America's history."
During the June 23 discussion on her Fox Business show, host Kennedy asked Coulter about Gov. Haley's recent call for the South Carolina legislature to remove the flag from state grounds. Coulter responded that she'd "really like to like Nikki Haley," but couldn't support her actions due to her foreign birth:
Only one Republican presidential candidate reportedly made an appearance at the 32nd annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) convention, despite Republican National Committee and several GOP presidential hopefuls committing to reach out to Hispanic Americans. The snub comes after years of right-wing media's demonizing Hispanics and urging the GOP to take extreme positions on immigration.
The Washington Post reported on June 17 that of the more than one dozen announced and likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates, "only one -- retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson -- showed" up to the convention of elected federal, state, and local Latino leaders.
According the Post, many of the campaigns blamed "scheduling conflicts" for their absence, while "at least 13 GOP candidates plan to be in Washington this week to address the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to the Majority' conference, the latest in a busy series of presidential cattle-call events for social conservatives." The article continued:
"All I can say is that schedules reflect priorities," said Arturo Vargas, NALEO's executive director. "Of course they should be here."
Made up of federal, state and local elected officials, including mayors, law enforcement officers and school board members, NALEO is nonpartisan, although many of its members are Democrats. Prominent Republicans have addressed the conference in past years, including Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and the last two GOP presidential nominees, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
GOP leaders have urged the need to engage the Latino community for years, arguing that Latinos will be key to winning the presidency in 2016. After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election to President Obama, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told The New Yorker that "if Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community ... in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority party in our state." Cruz also asserted that "the Republican Party would cease to exist" if it did not do more to reach out to Hispanics.
In 2013, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus stressed that the party must reach out to minority voters. And in March of this year, presidential candidate Jeb Bush told a gathering of Tennessee Republicans that "the next Republican president that will win will reach out to the Latino community."
Similarly, in April, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio told NPR that reaching out to "people from minority communities," like Latinos, is imperative for the Republican party because "if you think someone doesn't care or understand people like you, no matter what your policies are, it's going to be difficult to get them to listen to you, much less vote for you."
And in May, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), another Republican presidential candidate, appeared on Fox to push the importance of minority outreach, saying that he is "willing to show up" for minority communities.
Fox News contributor and radio host Laura Ingraham has repeatedly attacked Republicans for supporting immigration reform by threatening to blame them for terrorist attacks and suggesting such support could be "the end of the road" for their political careers. Rush Limbaugh explicitly urged the GOP to ignore the Hispanic vote while mocking candidates who do reach out to the Latino community. Limbaugh's idea of connecting with Latino voters includes playing "Feliz Navidad" on the radio, while Fox host Andrea Tantaros mocked Hillary Clinton's dinner at Chipotle as her attempts as "Hispanic outreach."
In 2013, The Week's Joe Gandelman outlined right-wing media's deep influence on the GOP, explaining that "[t]o truly rebrand, the GOP must extricate itself from a talk radio political culture that glorifies and rewards confrontation, brinksmanship, snarkiness, over-the-top verbal demonization and division -- and considers consensus oh, so 20th century, and compromise as something akin to treason." Gandelman continued:
The goals of the conservative media and conservative politicians don't always mesh. And herein lies the GOP's problem.
Limbaugh rapidly became less funny and more partisan. He impacted elections and created the model for partisan talk radio. When Fox News debuted in 1996, it grafted talk radio onto news. Talk radio is today as important in keeping the 21st century's divisive incarnation of conservatism intact as Republicans redistricting in many states is in ensuring a Republican House and convincing House GOPers to reject compromise if they want to avoid right-wing primary challenges.
So what can we expect? Some slight tempering of official rhetoric, maybe. But nothing more.
Fox hosts and guests rushed to the defense of a police officer suspended after video surfaced of his brutal treatment of teenagers outside a pool party in McKinney, Texas. The video showed the officer pulling his gun on two teenage boys, then slamming a girl down onto her face.
Fox News host Sean Hannity invited former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry for an exclusive interview following his announcement that he is running for the GOP nomination for president. The interview is Hannity's fourth exclusive interview with a GOP candidate this election cycle, highlighting his effort to position himself as a key media figure in the GOP primary.
During the June 4 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity hosted Perry for a glowing and exclusive hour-long interview following his candidacy announcement from Addison, Texas.
Fox News gave Ann Coulter a platform to use a deceptive video to claim that Hillary Clinton wants "old white people to die off."
In a June 1 tweet, right-wing opposition research organization America Rising PAC posted a seven second Vine video showing Hillary Clinton speaking to a supporter at a campaign event. When the unidentified woman asks Clinton to sign something, Clinton suggests the woman "go to the end of the line." Right-wing media outlets highlighted the video as evidence Clinton is out-of-touch with voters.
Ann Coulter used the video during an appearance on Fox News' Hannity as evidence that Democrats want "old white people to die off" so that they can further "the browning of America":
But the seven second video was taken out of context. In a post for Townhall.com, political editor and Fox News contributor Guy Benson acknowledged that the full context of the clip "casts the awkward exchange in a far less damaging light":
When I wondered about context on Twitter, one of the organization's representatives was kind enough to email me the full 17-minute video, which I've since examined. As I suspected, the added context casts the awkward exchange in a far less damaging light. Hillary emerges from the building and slowly makes her way down the line of well-wishers, taking photographs, shaking hands, and making small talk. She's not a natural politician, and many of the interactions feel stilted and perfunctory, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. When people start asking her to sign items (books, photographs, even baseballs), Hillary seems to make a snap decision that she'll accommodate their requests, but not until she's made it all the way through the crowd. Hence, the "end of the line" request.
Opponents shouldn't waste their time with this out-of-context encounter, which I'll go ahead and label a manufactured 'outrage.' There's much less to it than meets the eye.
A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck's talk radio shows are more distrusted than trusted among three generations surveyed by Pew.
Pew surveyed millennials, Generation Xers, and baby boomers on political news sources and how each generation trusted them. The study published on June 1 found that "Four sources are distrusted more than trusted by all three: The Glenn Beck Program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, and BuzzFeed." From Pew Research Center:
Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor who predicted in 2003 that proponents of the U.S. invasion of Iraq would be "vindicated" upon the discovery of weapons of mass destruction there, is holding fast to the idea that the deadly and expensive conflict was the right move. Kristol's justifications for the war, however, have changed dramatically.
In a May 20 op-ed for USA Today, Kristol argued that U.S. intervention in Iraq was justified in 2003 "to remove Saddam Hussein, and to complete the job we should have finished in 1991." Kristol added that "we were right to persevere" in Iraq, "even with the absence of caches of weapons of mass destruction."
Kristol went on to blame President Obama for the failure of the war and the rise of ISIS, writing, "Obama threw it all away":
Even with the absence of caches of weapons of mass destruction, and the mistakes we made in failing to send enough troops at first and to provide security from the beginning for the Iraqi people, we were right to persevere through several difficult years. We were able to bring the war to a reasonably successful conclusion in 2008.
When President Obama took office, Iraq was calm, al-Qaeda was weakened and ISIS did not exist. Iran, meanwhile, was under pressure from abroad (due to sanctions) and at home (due to popular discontent, manifested by the Green uprising in the summer of 2009).
The Obama administration threw it all away. It failed to support the dissidents in Iran in 2009, mishandled the Iraqi elections in 2010, removed all U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, and allowed the Syrian civil war to spiral out of control from 2011 on.
We see, this week in Ramadi but this year throughout the Middle East, the predictable consequences of this disastrous policy of withdrawal and retreat.
And even though the threat is now clear as day, this administration shows no sign of changing course, as President George W. Bush did when it became clear his strategy in Iraq wasn't working.
Kristol's stance on the war's justifications today differs considerably from his arguments in favor of invading Iraq in 2003. At that time, Kristol -- one of many conservative voices drumming up support for the war -- claimed American forces "will be welcomed in Baghdad as liberators" and argued that "we'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction." From the March 5, 2003 edition of ABC's Nightline:
TED KOPPEL: Does it bother you that it appears that it is going to be a largely unilateral policy? I don't want to diminish the influence of our British friends, but this is clearly an American policy.
BILL KRISTOL: It is. One would always prefer to have more allies rather than fewer. And I think we actually will have lots of help in the reconstruction and democratization, actually, of Iraq. But, look, I think what we've learned over the last ten years is that America has to lead. Other countries won't act. They will follow us, but they won't do it on their own. And in this case, I think we'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq.
The editors of USA Today summarized the consequences of the Iraq War in a May 20 editorial:
Nearly 4,500 Americans died, tens of thousands more were wounded, and $2 trillion was squandered in a war to destroy weapons of mass destruction that were never found.
And though the war disposed of a bloody dictator, Saddam Hussein, it ushered in something worse, at least for the United States: A sectarian civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and gave birth to Islamist terrorism, now under the banner of the Islamic State.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly interviewed a former biker gang leader about a recent biker shootout in Waco, Texas that left nine people dead. O'Reilly's interview with his white guest was a sharp contrast to interviews the host regularly has with African-American guests, where he lectures them about black violence, culture, and family structure.
On May 17, authorities arrested roughly 170 bikers following the deadly shootout between biker gangs and police in Waco, Texas that left nine people dead and 18 wounded outside of a restaurant. According to The New York Times, "Law enforcement officials and gang experts said the conflicts between two motorcycle groups, the Bandidos and the Cossacks, led to the shooting."
During the May 19 edition of his show, O'Reilly interviewed former Bandidos biker gang member Edward Winterhalder to comment on the bloody shootout. During the discussion O'Reilly asked Winterhalder about alleged violence and criminal activity among biker gangs and allowed Winterhalder to explain uninterrupted that "there is a lot of different types of individuals in a motorcycle club" but most are law abiding citizens who "are just regular guys who have jobs, families, and kids ... the only thing they're guilty of is having a little too much fun on the weekends":