Issues ››› Government
  • GOP Lawmakers Latch Onto Fox’s Unsubstantiated Claims About A Clinton Foundation Investigation


    GOP lawmakers reportedly circulated a letter requesting several federal agencies investigate the Clinton Foundation, parroting “unresolved media reports” to allege that the nonprofit was a “lawless ‘pay to play’ enterprise.” This latest move echoes months of unsubstantiated assertions from Fox News that the foundation was already under investigation for supposed abuses during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

  • Conservatives Ridicule Gingrich’s “Kooky” And “Embarrassing” Plan To Test American Muslims’ Faith

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Conservative media figures ridiculed Trump vice presidential finalist and former Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich’s call on Fox News to “test every person” in America “of a Muslim background” to see if they “believe in Sharia,” stating that the proposal is “unconstitutional,” “embarrassing,” and “kooky.”

  • The Benghazi Hoax Has Its Own Night At The GOP Convention

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    The Republican National Convention will include a themed-night highlighting the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks, according to a new report. The announcement follows years of conservative media myths surrounding the attacks.

    According to The New York Times, the convention will emphasize “a few of [Donald Trump’s] favorite hot-button issues,” featuring different themes each night of the convention, including “the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi.” From the Times July 13 report (emphasis original):

    A night highlighting the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya. An appearance by onetime football star Tim Tebow. A presentation detailing former President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct.

    Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee, has been promising a different kind of Republican National Convention, and plans obtained by The New York Times show that he is eager to put his showbiz stamp on the party’s gathering, even as he struggles to attract A-list talent.


    There are plans to emphasize different themes each night of the convention. Mr. Trump wants to touch on a few of his favorite hot-button issues, like the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, former President Clinton’s infidelities and border security.


    Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, Mr. Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. Ernst and others.

    Conservative media have spent years continually misleading about the attacks and falsely alleging nefariousness on the parts of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. Fox News, in particular, relentlessly pushed misinformation surrounding the attacks, running nearly 1,100 segments on the attacks within the first 20 months after the attacks alone. Thanks in part to Fox’s calls for a special investigation into the attacks, House Republicans convened a two-year select committee to investigate that subsequently revealed little new information about the attacks. Donald Trump has also used conservative media myths surrounding the attacks throughout his campaign thus far, and has lamented that “outside of Fox, Benghazi has never resonated.”

  • Right-Wing Media Attack Obama’s Eulogy For Fallen Dallas Police Officers As A “Middle Finger To Cops”

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Appearing alongside former president George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas, President Obama eulogized police officers targeted in a “hate crime” last week during a Black Lives Matter march. Right-wing media figures immediately lashed out, calling Obama’s speech “bullshit,” labeled Obama the “divider-in-chief,” and claimed his statements “gave a middle finger to the cops.”

  • Chuck Todd Highlights FBI Director “Myth-Busting” Right Wing Media’s Fact-Free Clinton Email Myths

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    MSNBC’s Chuck Todd highlighted FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress which debunked several right-wing media myths about Clinton’s email, including the accusation that Romanian hacker “Guccifer” breached Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    During the July 7 edition of MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily, Todd reported on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s hearing with Director Comey. Todd highlighted Comey’s “myth-busting” of several theories about Clinton’s private server, including a part of Comey’s testimony that debunked right-wing media reports that Guccifer gained access to Clinton's server, stating that the hacker “admitted that was a lie.”

    On multiple occasions, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and other right-wing media figures baselessly hyped Guccifer’s claim that he hacked Clinton's email server, despite the fact officials reported no evidence to support that claim.

    CHUCK TODD: It's possible his words on Tuesday, if left alone, would have made for a stronger condemnation of Clinton's judgment. Instead Republicans put a spotlight on a series of what turned out to have Comey myth-busting various theories surrounding her private server that may have not been overturned. 


    Comey publicly shut down another myth that's been out there, the assertion from a hacker, who of course goes by the name of “Guccifer,” that he somehow gained access to Clinton's server while she was secretary of state. 

    [VIDEO IN]

    BLAKE FARENTHOLD: Can you confirm that Guccifer never gained access to her server?

    JAMES COMEY: He did not. He admitted that was a lie.


  • NY Times Reports On “Marked Classified” Emails In Clinton Case Without Noting The Classification Was Botched

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    On July 7, The New York Times reported on testimony FBI Director James Comey gave to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the FBI’s recently closed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state. Comey discussed the apparent contradiction between Clinton’s public statements that her private email did not contain emails “marked classified” and the director’s July 5 statement to the contrary. But missing from the Times’ report were the facts that two of these emails were reportedly mistakenly classified and that, in his testimony, Comey explained that it was not “reasonable” to assume even an “expert” would have realized they were classified at all because they were incorrectly marked.

    In its report, the Times failed to note that on July 6, State Department spokesperson John Kirby explained to reporters that two emails with a “C” notation, denoting “confidential” material, were marked as such in error. On July 7, before the committee, Comey further testified that the mistaken marking of those emails as classified was also incorrectly performed, as they lacked necessary headers. Comey said that because of this incorrect procedure, it would be “reasonable” to infer that even an “expert at what is classified and what's not classified” would not have realized the email was classified.

    Despite describing the apparent contradiction between Clinton’s statement and Comey’s July 5 claim that a small number of her emails “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information,” the Times failed to report on either Kirby or Comey’s explanation for why the former secretary may have repeatedly claimed she did not send or received emails “marked classified” on her private email account. From the July 7 New York Times article:

    Mr. Comey — who maintained his composure except for one flash of anger when Republicans questioned his integrity — repeatedly acknowledged that the public statements by the former secretary of state, including some she delivered during a sworn appearance before Congress last year, were contradicted by the facts uncovered during the F.B.I. investigation.

    “Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails, either sent or received,” Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said during several hours of testimony by Mr. Comey before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Was that true?”

    “That’s not true,” Mr. Comey said. Asked later about Mrs. Clinton’s assertion during congressional testimony that none of her emails had been marked “classified,” Mr. Comey said three emails bore small markings indicating that they contained classified information.

  • Five Times Comey Corrected Right-Wing Media Misinformation During His Congressional Testimony On Clinton Email Probe

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    During his July 7 testimony on Capitol Hill, FBI Director James Comey dismantled several right-wing media myths about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state. In his testimony about the FBI’s recommendation against pursuing criminal charges, Comey debunked flawed comparisons and corrected faulty definitions that right-wing media have repeatedly pushed.

  • FBI Director Explains Why The “Marked Classified” Clinton Email Discrepancy Is Overblown

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    A day after a State Department spokesperson explained that two emails that were sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and bore classified markings were, in fact, classified in error, FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that it would be reasonable to assume that even “an expert at what is classified” would not have realized these emails were “marked classified.”

    Media outlets have reported on Comey's July 5 statement that a small number of the former secretary’s emails turned over to the State Department contained a marking suggesting the "presence of classified information," saying it contradicts Clinton’s past statements that no emails “marked classified” were sent from or received on her private email account. On July 6, State Department spokesperson John Kirby provided an explanation for the discrepancy: Two emails with a “(C)” notation -- indicating that their information about a future Clinton phone call was “confidential” -- had been marked classified in error.

    On July 7, the FBI director, called by congressional Republicans to testify as to why he had concluded “no charges are appropriate” against Clinton for her use of a private server, provided more details about his statement that a few emails “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information," further undermining media efforts to scandalize that comment.

    Without commenting on the substance of the emails, which Kirby had already explained were inappropriately marked “confidential,” the director further clarified that this mistaken attempt to mark the emails classified was incorrectly performed. In fact, Comey agreed with Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) that without a required header indicating the email with a "(C)" notation was “marked classified,” it would be a “reasonable inference” that even an “expert at what is classified and what's not classified” would not have realized the email was classified. From the director’s July 7 testimony:

    REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D-PA): All right, you were asked about markings on a few documents. I have the manual here, Marking Classified National Security Information, and I don't think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little c's on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual?


    CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual -- and I ask unanimous consent to enter this into the record, Mr. Chairman -- according to the manual, if you're going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document, right?

    COMEY: Correct.

    CARTWRIGHT: Was there a header on the three documents that we've discussed today that had the little c in the text someplace?

    COMEY: No, there were three emails, the c was in the body, in the text, but there was no header on the email or in the text.

    CARTWRIGHT: So, if Secretary Clinton really were an expert at what's classified and what's not classified, and were following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

    COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

    CARTWRIGHT: Alright. I think you for your testimony, Director. I yield back.