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  • Fox News Didn’t Show Democratic Convention Speeches That Cut Against Its Right-Wing Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Fox News did not air several Democratic National Convention speeches from figures promoting issues that run counter to the narrative the network has pushed for years -- including racial justice, reproductive rights, gun safety reform, LGBT equality, and respect for Muslim-Americans.

    During the second day of the convention on July 26, members of the “Mothers of the Movement,” a group of women whose African-American children were killed due to gun violence or in officer-involved shootings, shared their experiences and their children’s memories. The women also urged people to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who they said “isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter,” and pushed for criminal justice reform and gun safety reform. Fox News not only neglected to air the speeches, but the Mothers of the Movement appearance went completely unmentioned at the time. Fox News and right-wing media have repeatedly demonized the Black Lives Matter movement, likening it to “a hate group” and a “murder movement.” They have also dismissed calls for criminal justice reform, pushing the “black-on-black crime” canard as an excuse and calling concerns about systemic racism in American society “dumb.”

    The convention also featured speakers who advocated for protecting abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, who spoke on July 26, and NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, who spoke on July 27. Both speeches were ignored by Fox. Protecting abortion rights runs counter to the stigma Fox casts on the medical procedure, with their hosts falsely framing abortion law restrictions as patient safety measures and calling a common abortion procedure “dismemberment abortion.” Conservative media have joined Fox figures to demonize Planned Parenthood, repeatedly pushing debunked myths that the organization profited off the selling of fetal tissue. This smear effort has been led by Fox News, which has hosted overwhelmingly anti-choice guests -- often extremists -- to push misinformation about abortion and about Planned Parenthood.

    The convention included remarks from relatives of victims of the Orlando and Sandy Hook massacres, both speaking on July 27 on behalf of gun safety reform. Fox covered neither speaker. Fox has consistently misinformed on the issue of gun safety, pushing the National Rifle Association-driven lie that gun safety measures would “take” guns away from lawful gun owners,and calling gun safety reforms “flat-out dangerous.” Right-wing media have also falsely claimed that shootings tend to occur in so-called “gun-free zones,” and have even asserted that restricting assault weapons such as those used in the Orlando and Sandy Hook mass shootings constitutes a “war on women.”

    On the final day of the convention, Sarah McBride delivered remarks as the first openly transgender person to ever speak at a party convention. McBride urged the passing of legislation to “combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.” Again, Fox was the only cable network to not carry the speech. Fox has long waged a war on LGBT rights, arguing marriage equality would be a slippery slope to marrying animals and portraying those opposed to the policy as victims. More recently, Fox has worked to demonize transgender Americans, calling equal access to bathrooms for transgender people a “violation … of everybody’s rights” and pushing the dangerous and long-debunked myth that safe, accessible bathrooms for all would result in grown men targeting girls in restrooms. Fox personalities have also called transgender Americans “confused” and “troubled” and “a very big threat to our culture.”

    Muslim-American Khizr Khan, whose son was a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq, also addressed the convention on July 28. Khan spoke about the honor he and his wife felt to attend the convention “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims, challenging Trump to read the Constitution and concluding, “You have sacrificed nothing. And no one." Fox only aired two minutes of the 7-minute-long speech without audio as commercials -- including a Benghazi attack ad -- played over it. Fox figures have repeatedly questioned the patriotism and beliefs of Muslim-Americans, saying it is “ridiculous” to claim they “are assimilating”, claiming that Islam “was born of violence," and repeatedly ignoring Muslim-American voices to falsely assert that the community doesn’t speak out after terrorist attacks. Fox and right-wing media also gave cover to Trump’s Muslim ban proposal, calling it “rather prudent” and framing it as “the Constitution versus the Quran on every level.”

    Here are The Democratic Convention Speeches Fox Didn't Show

  • Fox News Plays Benghazi Commercial Over Khizr Khan's Anti-Trump Speech At The Democratic National Convention

    Fox News Plays Katy Perry Song After Khan Leaves Stage

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News ignored a speech by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war, instead opting to air commercials during the speech. Fox later went live to a song by pop singer Katy Perry after the speech.

    During the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, Khizr Khan spoke about the honor he felt to be present at the convention with his wife, “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan’s speech was preceded by a video that showed Hillary Clinton calling Captain Khan “the best of America” and explaining the circumstances of his death, for which he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

    The Washington Post reported that Khizr Khan turned his attention toward GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump:

    "If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America," Khan said. "Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country."

    "Donald Trump," he said, "you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy." He pulled a copy of the Constitution from his pocket. "In this document, look for the words 'liberty' and 'equal protection of law.'"

    [...]

    "Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities," Khan said.

    "You have sacrificed nothing. And no one."

    While CNN and MSNBC aired the video and Khan’s speech in full, Fox News’ The Kelly File instead continued with its regular commentary featuring Brit Hume, then went to commercial as the speech began, showing slightly more than two minutes of the speech in a small window as commercials -- including a Benghazi attack ad -- overplayed it. Watch:

    And at the end of her show, Kelly cut off her panelists’ commentary to instead air several minutes of a Katy Perry performance at the convention.  

  • Roger Stone's Pro-Trump Rally Will Be The Freak Show To The RNC Circus

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will be holding an “America First Unity Rally” on July 18. The event, which will be hosted by Citizens for Trump and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, is being billed as “a massive victory rally & parade celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination.”

    The rally recently hit a speed bump after organizers were forced to drop a white nationalist website that had previously been featured in promotional materials as a sponsor. The person who produces the website in question also resigned from a position with hosting organization Citizens for Trump.

    The “Unity” rally is slated to feature speakers and hosts with incendiary histories befitting of their support for Trump. The scheduled speakers and hosts have lobbed racist and sexist attacks against opponents; called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ executions; openly discriminated against minorities; led the movement that claims the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”; and alleged that President Obama and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are not American citizens.

    Here are five things to know about the “America First Unity Rally.”

    Co-Host Roger Stone Has A History Of Pushing Violent Rhetoric, Racist Taunts, Sexist Screeds And Discredited Research

    Roger Stone is co-hosting the event and been heavily promoting it on Alex Jones’ conspiracy show (Jones is also speaking at the event). Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump and conducted a press gaggle at the July 16 Trump event that introduced running mate Mike Pence. He has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating for her and Bernie Sanders’ executions.

    Stone is also a discredited researcher and conspiracy theorist who claims the Clintons and Bushes secretly murdered dozens; the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is “suspicious”; President Lyndon Johnson killed President John F. Kennedy; President George H.W. Bush tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan; and the Clintons killed John F. Kennedy Jr.

    For more about Stone, go here.

    Leading 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Is A Speaker And Sponsor

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones is speaking at the rally and has been encouraging his listeners to give “their time, their energy, and their money” to support it. Jones’ website Infowars.com is sponsoring the event. Jones is a 9/11 truther who said after the terrorist attacks: “Those were controlled demolitions. You just watched the government blow up the World Trade Center.” His website claimed that Jones “predicted the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and is considered one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement.”

    Jones also believes the government was behind national tragedies like the Oklahoma City bombing, Boston Marathon bombing, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT.

    For more about Jones’ toxic beliefs and his support of Trump, go here.

    A White Nationalist Website Previously Sponsored The Event

    The white nationalist website Eternal Sentry previously sponsored the event. Eternal Sentry is a self-described “altright" website that features racist and anti-Semitic material, repeatedly warns about “White Genocide,” and is produced by former Citizens for Trump staffer Paul Chambers, who said whites need to “fight back” against African-Americans and “send them back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire.”

    Following Media Matters’ reporting, Citizens for Trump’s Tim Selaty told Cleveland.com he was not aware of Chambers’ “harmful” views and that his group had failed to do its “due diligence.” According to Selaty, Chambers “decided to drop his sponsorship and resign his volunteer position on our staff.”

    Speaker Jan Morgan Bans Muslims From Her Business

    Jan Morgan is a rally speaker and national spokesperson for Citizens for Trump. Morgan owns an Arkansas gun range that bans Muslim customers, explaining, "why would I hand a loaded gun to a muslim and allow him to shoot lethal weapons next to people his koran commands him to kill?"

    Morgan has claimed that “Islam is also not a religion, It is a theocracy and terrorist cult that hides behind the mask of religion in order to acheive (sic) its mission of world domination.”

    Organizer Citizens For Trump Claims President Obama Is A Kenyan Citizen

    Citizens For Trump posted an April 15 image asking, “Isn’t it Time ‘We the People’ Elected An American Citizen for President?" and claiming President Obama, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are respectively Kenyan, Cuban, and Canadian citizens.

    In August 2015, Citizens for Trump posted an image of President Obama with the caption, “If Trump Becomes President I’m Moving Back To Africa.”