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  • Trump Ally Roger Stone On Hillary Clinton: “Bitch Can Hardly Stand Up”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    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:

    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.”

  • How Trump Dared The Press With A Campaign Built On Lies

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    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.

    That’s scary.

    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.

  • Hannity Is Convinced Former Editor For Defunct Tabloid Weekly World News Worked As "Fixer" For Clinton

    Sean Hannity Is One Step Away From Hosting Bigfoot To Smear The Clintons

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    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.  

  • Trump Backed Out Of Local Interview After Florida Reporter Refused To Provide Questions In Advance

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Donald Trump backed out of an interview with a Jacksonville, Florida reporter after she refused to provide the campaign with the interview questions in advance.

    Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne claimed that the Trump campaign reached out to her on October 24 and requested “a list of questions”ahead of a scheduled interview with the candidate. Bourne refused to provide the campaign with the specific questions in advance, instead sending a list of general topics, including Marco Rubio, Hispanic Florida voters, and Refugees. She provided her half of the email exchange on Twitter, and recounted her communications to FloridaPolitics.com who described her as a “tenacious reporter” with a “no holds barred style” to questioning:

    Jenna Bourne of Action News Jax claims to have found herself spiked, for not giving the questions to Trump’s media relations person upon demand.


    Bourne was told that Trump’s campaign contacted her station, wanting to know who was conducting the interview.

    Action News Jax said it was to be Bourne.

    From there, the Trump campaign reached out over the weekend, and asked for a “list of questions” on Monday.

    Bourne, after consulting with station management, sent a few “general topics.”

    “We agreed that was the right course of action,” Bourne said.

    The topics included Marco Rubio, “diplomacy in the White House,” “Hispanic Florida voters,” and “Refugees.”

    From there, Bourne relates, the campaign “kind of just ghosted me.”

    At the rally later on Monday, Bourne received conflicting narratives, ranging from a denial that the interview had been scheduled, to hearing that a “decision hadn’t been made.”


    Bourne waited … and waited … but it “just never happened,” even as another local Jacksonville TV outlet was approached for its interview.

    UPDATE: Trump campaign senior communications advisor Jason Miller later refused to appear on Fox News’ The Kelly File after asking host Megyn Kelly if she would question him about the latest sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump. When Kelly said it could be brought up, he cancelled the interview.

  • Trump Campaign Created Its Own News Show "To Circumvent Mainstream Media"

    After Retreating To Fox News, Trump Campaign Finds A Way To Get Favorable Media Coverage By Just Doing It Themselves

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    After retreating to more favorable right-wing media outlets, Donald Trump’s campaign will now air a nightly Facebook Live show, as “a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media.”

    Trump created a similar event on Facebook Live to stream the pre-and post-debate coverage of the third presidential debate last week that journalists said could be a “preview” of Trump launching a television news network.

    Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly claimed that the media is biased and rigging the election against him, and on October 23, his campaign announced a plan to break up media conglomerates that have criticized him.

    Recently, Trump has steered from more mainstream news outlets, retreating to Fox News to help him push his campaign message.

    Wired’s Issie Lapowsky reported the event’s launch and noted  that media figures are already calling Trump’s nightly news show “a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November.” From the article:

    Tonight, the Trump campaign is kicking off a show that will air on the candidate’s Facebook page every night at 6:30pm ET via Facebook Live from the campaign war room at Trump Tower. The show will be hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to the campaign, Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator for Glen Beck’s TheBlaze, and Cliff Sims, another Trump adviser. In tonight’s inaugural episode they will interview Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway and adviser Jason Miller.

    The series, which will stream Trump’s rallies directly each night and feature pre-and post-event commentary, comes on the heels of the campaign’s debate night Facebook Live last week, which brought in more than 9 million views.


    Members of the media quickly seized on the event, calling it a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November. Despite reports that his son-in-law has been talking to media dealmakers about Trump TV, Trump himself has denied he has any interest in such a thing.

    Epshteyn says this nightly Facebook Live stream is simply a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media Trump so publicly loathes. “We all know how strong the left wing media bias is. This is us delivering our message to voters,” he says. “It has nothing to do with Trump TV. It’s about using 21st century technology and communication in a way that’s effective.


    Of course, it’s not the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign’s jobs to be objective purveyors of the news, and Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale acknowledges as much. “It’s an extension of our ad programs and our social media posts,” Parscale says. “The only difference is we’re going to broadcast it live.”

    Just don’t call it Trump TV.