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Some Fox figures echoed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s attack on poll oversampling as poll rigging, calling it a way to suppress voter turnout. Several other media figures, including Fox’s digital politics editor, debunked the claim, explaining that oversampling is a standard, statistically sound method of gathering information on subgroups and does not impact the poll results that are ultimately reported.
NRA Tactics Include Showing Images Of Dead Children Before Calling For Leaders Who Will Say “Radical Islamic Terror”
That hypothetical was described in an October 18 NRA Commentator video, with NRA News commentator Dom Raso saying he was going to “think like ISIS” before suggesting that the terror group could take down the United States’ entire power grid.
According to Raso, as time passes after the power goes out, “food and water would be almost impossible to find and whatever stockpiles were left would become war zone. … I guarantee police would abandon their duty, to protect their own families. … Sewage would pile up in homes and run out into the streets. There would be no safe water for showers, and disease would inevitably start to spread. With their ruthless methods and superior organization, Mexican cartels and urban street gangs take advantage of everyone and take control.”
Raso then said, “At this point, ISIS doesn’t have to kill anyone; they’ve already won”:
In an October 11 video, Raso described another doomsday scenario, pre-emptively blaming President Obama for ISIS setting off a hypothetical nuclear device in Times Square. In this scenario, ISIS would smuggle the nuclear device across the U.S.-Mexico border.
While showing images of Obama, Raso intoned, “If, God forbid, a massive attack is carried out on our own soil by terrorists who gained entry by crossing that border, it will be exactly because we decided to put the feelings and opinions of those politicians whose closest interaction with ISIS is watching the Paris attacks happen on CNN over the safety of the American people”:
In an October 4 video, Raso claimed that Obama “talks about universal values we all share as if Islamic terrorists are just like us,” before predicting an ISIS terror attack against a school in the U.S. similar to the 2004 Beslan, Russia, hostage crisis that left hundreds dead.
Without mentioning Trump by name, the video demanded that we elect federal leaders who will say “radical Islamic terror.”
The NRA video is graphic and includes footage of dead and wounded children:
The NRA most recently amped up its fearmongering with an “urgent message” to members from the group’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, in which he described the U.S. as an unlivable hellscape following eight years of Obama as president.
Before the 2014 elections, the NRA’s election edition of its magazine fearmongered about terrorist attacks and "angry mobs" rioting "just for the sheer hell of it" in the U.S. before calling on supporters to "vote our guns" on Election Day. That magazine cover suggested that ISIS is at “our door”:
When Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fooled media into giving him free airtime to tout his new hotel by promising a major address on his racist birther crusade (a promise he didn’t deliver on), the derision directed at cable news was swift and embarrassing. Now, as Trump takes a break from the campaign trail less than two weeks before Election Day to host a ribbon cutting ceremony for his hotel in Washington, D.C., will media once again be duped?
Last month, Trump promised to hold a major address about his role in the birther conspiracy against President Obama at his new hotel in Washington, D.C., on September 16, leading to high-intensity punditry all morning about what Trump might say to “put it to bed” and “move on.” Yet once all the cable news feeds began broadcasting the event, Trump pulled a striking bait and switch, instead showcasing a series of endorsements and plugging his new hotel. The shame directed at cable news by print reporters and other political commentators was widespread, with even cable hosts admitting after the event that they “got played -- again” by Trump:
On October 26, Trump will again return to his hotel -- which is already underperforming even before the grand opening -- to host a “ribbon cutting event.” Media can request access to the event on Trump’s campaign website.
According to The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, Trump long ago “figured out that media attention was free advertising for his new hotels and golf courses." Media have showered Trump with an unprecedented amount of free airtime for campaign events, but there is nothing to suggest that his ribbon cutting ceremony is related to the election. Thus there is seemingly no reason for cable news outlets to affix their cameras on Pennsylvania Avenue to broadcast his event.
Given the ubiquitous ridicule cable news networks drew for essentially “taking the Trump hotel commercial live” a month ago, will producers draw on those lessons and resist the urge to air Trump’s non-campaign event?
Trump States “I Don’t Use Much Obamacare” Minutes After Claiming, “All Of My Employees Are Having A Tremendous Problem With Obamacare”
During a phone interview with Fox News, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that his companies “don’t use much Obamacare” just minutes after publicly stating that “all of [his] employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.” The contradiction went unnoticed at Fox, which allowed the GOP nominee to peddle misinformation about the law’s supposed impending demise.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was thrust into national headlines on Monday after the Obama administration confirmed double-digit premium increases on average for insurance plans sold on Obamacare’s online marketplace at Healthcare.gov for 2017. This will raise the average cost for a “Silver” plan, which is the benchmark that Obamacare subsidies are calculated for, to $3,552 annually, before subsidies are applied (the vast majority of enrollees receive substantial subsidies). As MSNBC’s Ali Velshi explained today, this premium level is consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s 2009 analysis of future rates.
Trump made a series of false claims about the ACA during the interview that went unchecked by Fox anchor Bill Hemmer, including touting the benefits of repealing and replacing Obamacare (there is no replacement plan), calling the average figure for premium increases of 25 percent a “phony number,” praising the benefits of health savings accounts (they’re widely criticized by health experts as an insufficient replacement for insurance), and denouncing Obamacare for killing jobs (it doesn’t).
Perhaps most perplexing was Trump’s claim that he doesn’t “use much Obamacare” when numerous reporters confirmed that Trump claimed “all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare” during a rally in Doral, Florida, just before the Fox interview.
Trump: "All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare."
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) October 25, 2016
Trump at his Doral property: "All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with obamacare" pic.twitter.com/5hA9raeguR
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) October 25, 2016
Trump in Doral: "Obamacare is blowing up." "All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare."
— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) October 25, 2016
While right-wing media and Trump tend to focus on exaggerating the troubles of the health insurance exchanges, those marketplaces represent one part of the ACA, which includes vital consumer protections and mechanisms to improve care quality while lowering costs. Trump’s flip-flop on whether or not he “uses” Obamacare is particularly baffling, since the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the ACA (also known as the employer mandate) “penalizes employers who either do not offer coverage or do not offer coverage which meets minimum value and affordability standards.” So either his employees do have “a tremendous problem with Obamacare,” which means he doesn’t provide health benefits for his employees since his businesses would qualify as “large employers,” or he doesn’t “use much Obamacare,” which still means his businesses do provide insurance and thus are complying with the law. Either way, Trump’s inconsistent claims about Obamacare and Fox’s decision to not push back on his plethora of misinformed claims about the ACA reveals their fundamental misunderstanding of the Affordable Care Act as a whole.
Watch the full interview from the October 25 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said that of the “nine to 11 women” who have claimed that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward them, “none of them have been vetted,” even though multiple sources have corroborated most of the claims.
Conservative CNN commentator Amanda Carpenter penned a Washington Post op-ed slamming the Republican Party for making women “out for fools” by ignoring and excusing a “brazen and unapologetic misogynist” in their nominee, Donald Trump.
Trump’s history of misogynistic comments drew new scrutiny after a 2005 tape surfaced of Trump bragging about allegedly sexually assaulting women, followed by 11 women coming forward to accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior. Nevertheless, Trump’s backers have jumped to his defense, trying to discredit the accusers’ claims, attacking and victim-blaming them, and claiming Trump’s comments may have been an exaggeration. Many attempted to use Trump’s spin that his lewd comments about assault were simply “locker room banter.”
In an October 25 op-ed, Carpenter, a former communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), decried the GOP for abandoning the party’s women, who she says have “eagerly defended the party from charges of sexism” only to be made “out for fools” by the party. Carpenter wrote that the party refused to “defend women from this raging sexist,” calling Trump “a brazen and unapologetic misogynist.” According to Carpenter, Republicans found it more important to appeal to the types of Trump voters who call Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a “bitch” and a “cunt” than to appeal to women voters.
Carpenter also condemned the conservative “locker room” spin, stating that Trump’s comments were “a confession of assault.” Carpenter also pointed out that her party could not have been surprised by the tapes, noting that “Trump’s chauvinism was well-documented in decades’ worth” of material. Carpenter ended her op-ed with an ultimatum for the Republican Party and the women’s vote: “defend us or lose us.” From the October 25 Washington Post op-ed:
As a former communications aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and former senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), I can personally testify that Republican women have, for years, fended off accusations from the Democrats of the party’s allegedly anti-woman beliefs. What did we get for it? The nomination — by way of a largely older, male voting base — of a brazen and unapologetic misogynist.
I want to ask the men leading the GOP some questions. Why didn’t you defend women from this raging sexist especially after so many Republican women — for so many years — eagerly defended the party from charges of sexism? You must make us out for fools.
Over the course of the GOP primary, it became clear that too many Republicans felt it was too politically risky to do anything that would offend the types of voters Trump was attracting in droves — the types who showed up at rallies wearing T-shirts that said, “Trump that b—-” and “She’s a c—, vote for Trump.”
Somehow, in some amorphous but unambiguous way, it was decided that appealing to those voters was more important than appealing to women.
Trump’s men have told women this is “locker room” talk — that we should accept this is how men speak behind closed doors, get over it, and vote Trump.
Perhaps, they should talk to some rape survivors. They need to hear what those women heard when Trump bragged about grabbing a woman’s genitals, aggressively kissing women without consent, and getting away with it because he’s rich and famous. That wasn’t boyish banter. That was a confession of assault.
I expect that Republicans will try to pretend, postelection, as if those recordings were some one-off, unpredictable revelation. They’ll say they didn’t know he was so deviant.
But I won’t accept that explanation. Trump’s chauvinism was well-documented in decades’ worth of publicly available smutty television, radio and print interviews long before he became the nominee.
Yet, the Republican Party ignored it all.
I will not vote for Trump. I’ll remain a committed conservative and will vote for down-ballot Republicans, but the top of the ticket will be blank. I didn’t leave the GOP — the GOP left me for Trump.
Now, I don’t purport to speak for all women, but I know I am not alone. I am one of the many women the Republican Party left behind this election.
The GOP is about to learn a hard lesson when it comes to the women’s vote: defend us or lose us.
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Roger Stone, a longtime adviser and ally of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, tweeted regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her purported health problems, “LOL Bitch can hardly stand up.” Trump has relied on Stone for conspiracy theories and research.
Stone tweeted the following during the early hours of October 25:
Hillary e-mail asked for medication for Parkinson’s Disease but libtards say I “made up “ her health problems. LOL Bitch can hardly stand up
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) October 25, 2016
Stone has pushed numerous unfounded conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health, including that she was placed on an “oxygen tank” after a debate; was “hopped up on drugs” during the presidential debates; and is hiding from the public an “advanced form of epilepsy.”
The Republican consultant also regularly launches misogynistic smears against Clinton. In 2008, Stone established an anti-Clinton group called "C.U.N.T" (Citizens United Not Timid). He explained the name by claiming he spent "hours trying to come up with words for B.I.T.C.H. and just couldn't do it."
Stone has also used misogynistic language against other women. He has tweeted that New York Times columnist Gail Collins is an "elitist c*nt," MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is "Rachel the muff-diver," Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has a "nice set of cans,” and that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is a “jap” (acronym for "Jewish American Princess") who is “every man’s first wife.”
As Donald Trump’s three-ring circus-style campaign of misinformation winds down, one of the lingering questions is whether the press has helped normalize the kind of post-truth performance that the Republican presidential nominee has so enthusiastically embraced.
Faced with the tricky task of covering a radically different type of candidate who walked away from so many previous norms of American politics (i.e. truth telling for him was entirely optional), the Beltway press faced a defining test: Forcefully call out Trump’s lies, or find wiggle room to politely describe his behavior.
Trump’s not a politician who artfully shades the truth, or who has a tendency to modestly alter his proposal based on whichever audience he’s addressing. He’s just a chronic liar.
On this crucial assignment, I’d give the press a C+/ B- grade.
12 months ago, it was becoming obvious that Trump campaigned as an unrepentant liar and that the campaign press had never dealt with a candidate who felt so compelled to make stuff up while simultaneously refusing to ever acknowledge or correct those fabrications. (Even many conservatives agree on that point.)
In other words, Trump was ripping up the old playbook. No longer concerned with media fact-checkers who proved him wrong, and no longer interested in running any sort of factual campaign, Trump invented his own model and dared journalists to alter their ways in order to adjust to the Trump fabrication revolution.
“Chronic,” “compulsive,” “pathological.” Those are not phrases that most journalists have felt comfortable regularly using when describing Trump’s run, even though when you look at the totality of his nonstop prevarications, those adjectives certainly apply.
For the most part, the press never entirely ripped up its old playbook in order to cover Trump’s radical run. Instead, for too much of the race, journalists often clung to the conventional template to portray Trump as running something resembling a conventional White House run. The press seemed uncomfortable with accurately identifying Trump and his campaign for what they represented. (That includes his TV surrogates.)
And I’m still waiting for journalists to take deep dives into Trump’s troubled personality in search of an explanation for his pathological ways. (Note that the press loves playing armchair psychologist to Hillary Clinton to explain her alleged flaws.)
Here’s a perfect example of how, with just two weeks left until Election Day, the press is still letting Trump get away with his lying game.
Following last week’s final presidential debate, some commentators suggested Trump had done very well during the first half-hour. They contrasted that with the remaining 60 minutes, during which Trump suggested he might not accept the results on Election Day and derided Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman.” Before those colossal missteps, pundits suggested, Trump was on his way to delivering a winning debate performance.
We saw the same widespread media response after the first debate, as well: If only Trump had been able to maintain his focus from the first half-hour, he might have been able to able to post an impressive debate performance.
But here’s the thing: during the first half-hour of those debates, Trump lied constantly.
During the first debate, in roughly the first 30 minutes, the GOP nominee badly misstated facts about job losses in Ohio under President Obama, Ford shipping “small car division” jobs to Mexico, the amount of financial support Trump enjoyed from his father over the years, whether he previously called climate change a “hoax,” the rate of energy production in the United States, the idea Clinton’s been fighting ISIS her “entire adult life,” and why he can’t release his tax returns.
During the third debate’s first half-hour, Trump made stuff up about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clinton’s gun policy, her immigration policy, abortion, being endorsed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, the economic effects of NAFTA, not having a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. security officials having “no idea” whether Russia has played a role in recent email hacks, and insisting Japan and South Korea pay nothing for American troops being based in their country.
Despite that cabaret of nonstop fabrications, media observers praised those portions of Trump’s debate performance even though they were built around lies and fabrications. The standard that journalists still to use for Trump was that if he looked and sounded presidential while lying during debate, he scored points.
Beyond those 30-minute sections, the debates represented a forest fire of falsehoods for Trump. According to Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star, who methodically fact-checked the three presidential forums, Trump made 104 false statements during the debates, compared to Clinton’s 13. Incredibly, Trump unfurled 37 false statements during the third debate, which averaged out to one whopper for every minute he spoke that night.
Obviously, one of the reasons we know Trump can’t tell the truth is because media fact-checkers have worked overtime to document his trail of deceit. And that’s been the good news. The bad news has been that the polite fact checking sometimes seemed to be cordoned off, and isn’t always used as aggressively in the day-to-day campaign coverage.
As I previously highlighted, last December Trump uncorked the unsupportable claim that the wives of the 9/11 hijackers "knew exactly what was going to happen" the day of the terror attack and had been flown "back to Saudi Arabia" days before the hijacked plane strikes. (Fact: Most of the hijackers weren’t even married.) Addressing the specious claim, The New York Times reported that Trump was "fuzzy" on his 9/11 facts and that the wives tale didn't "align" with "the timeline and details of the hijacking of the planes." The Times suggested Trump was simply "having trouble keeping some details straight about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
But that was timid 2015 Trump coverage, right? Didn’t the press wise up to his falsehoods in time for the general election campaign? Not always.
Last month, when the Times reported on Trump’s proposal for child-care and maternity leave plan, the paper noted that “in selling his case, Mr. Trump stretched the truth, saying that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has no such plan of her own and ‘never will.’”
False. Trump didn’t ‘stretch the truth,’ he flat out lied: Clinton does have a plan of her own and she unveiled it last year, which the Times itself noted.
Time and again, reporters and their editors, fumbling over polite euphemisms, simply couldn’t summon the nerve to accurately label Trump’s lies for what they were.
And that creates a disturbing precedent going forward. Yes, it appears that Trump’s marathon of lies most likely isn’t going to win him the White House. But his bizarre detachment from the facts did highlight a stress point within the Beltway press: Its lingering hesitancy to call out a bullying Republican who dared journalists to use the “L” word.
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Sean Hannity Is One Step Away From Hosting Bigfoot To Smear The Clintons
Sean Hannity invited Jeff Rovin on his prime-time Fox News show to claim he worked as Bill and Hillary Clinton's longtime fixer. Rovin is a discredited science-fiction writer who worked for the now-defunct Weekly World News tabloid that repeatedly attacked the Clintons with headlines such as “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby” and “Hillary Names Bigfoot As Running Mate.”
Hannity hosted Rovin after a series of stories were published by the National Enquirer hyping an unnamed "fixer" who helped Hillary Clinton hide her "illicit romps with both men AND women." Rovin claimed he is “coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received.” During the interview Hannity asked Rovin if he was voting for Trump because “it sounds like you like Trump, Rovin responded, “I like Trump, sure”:
Rovin is a science-fiction writer of multiple books and also co-wrote spy thrillers with the novelist Tom Clancy as well as writing novels based off the characters created by Clancy. According to a 2007 Kansas City Star article, Rovin also worked as an editor for the now-defunct supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News which published stories they claimed “revealed Hillary Clinton's affair with a spindly space alien named P'lod. (Cover headline: "MY STEAMY NIGHTS WITH HILLARY IN UFO LOVE NEST!")”
The Weekly World News was best known for ridiculous and outrageous front-page headlines, including; “Clinton Hires 3-Breasted Intern,” “Alien Backs Clinton,” “Alien In Slammer After Fistfight With Bill … Over Hillary,” and “Hillary Names Bigfoot As Her Running Mate”:
Trump sycophant Sean Hannity has continued to sink lower and lower in order to help boost Trump’s candidacy, this time allowing himself to become the victim of a tabloid story which was neither verified by Fox News nor any other independent analysis.