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  • Conservative Media Attempt To Sanitize Stephen Bannon’s Ties To White Nationalism And Anti-Semitism

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Conservative media are defending Stephen Bannon, who was recently appointed as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, amid growing backlash over his ties to anti-Semitism and white nationalists. While Bannon’s appointment has been hailed as a victory by white nationalists, the push to normalize Bannon was aided by major newspapers that downplayed and ignored his extreme ties.

  • Major Outlets Downplay The Fact That Trump’s New Chief Strategist Ran An Anti-Semitic White Nationalist Website

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Major newspapers are ignoring or burying Steve Bannon’s ties to white nationalism and anti-Semitism when reporting on his appointment as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. By burying or dismissing the information, media are failing to provide their audiences with essential background on one of Trump’s most influential advisers.

    On November 13, Trump released a statement announcing that Bannon, who previously ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News, would serve as his chief strategist and senior counselor. The same statement noted that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus would become Trump’s chief of staff. While White House chief of staff is typically the most senior position in the White House, the press release named Bannon first and described the two as “equal partners” in the Trump administration.

    Major newspapers either downplayed or entirely ignored Bannon’s connections to white nationalism and his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today made no mention of Bannon’s racist history in articles on his new position. Other outlets, including The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, noted his ties to white nationalism and the “alt-right,” but not for several paragraphs. Rather than describe his connections to anti-Semitism and explain that he ran a white nationalist website, the articles refer to him as a “right-wing media provocateur,” a “rabble-rousing conservative media figure,” and a “flame-throwing media mogul.” All of these descriptors whitewash Bannon’s extremism.

    In addition, none of the headlines for the aforementioned pieces included any indication of Bannon’s extremist views or ties. As The Washington Post noted, studies found that “roughly six in 10 people acknowledge that they have done nothing more than read news headlines in the past week.” By omitting Bannon’s white nationalist and anti-Semitic ties from headlines, newspapers are blinding the majority of Americans to the troubling background of one of Trump's most influential advisers.

    Politico: 

    The Wall Street Journal

    USA Today:

    The Associated Press

    Reuters

    The New York Times

    The Washington Post: 

    Bannon, who served as the CEO of Trump’s campaign, previously ran the unabashedly white nationalist and anti-Semitic website Breitbart News. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Bannon bragged that Breitbart News had become home to the “alt-right” -- which is merely a racist code word for white nationalists. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News has featured racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBT rhetoric. The site recently made a “noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas -- all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right,’” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before he died, Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the tea party movement,” referring to the Nazi filmmaker.

    Bannon has his own history of alleged anti-Semitism. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on Twitter, Bannon’s ex-wife swore in court that “he said he doesn’t like Jews” and didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews. Esquire politics contributor Charles Pierce wrote that hiring Bannon “is exactly the same as hiring David Duke,” a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

    By ignoring or downplaying Bannon’s extremist history, major newspapers are not giving their readers the essential background information they deserve on a man who is soon to be one of the most influential people in politics.

  • A White Nationalist Who Hates Jews Will Be Trump's Right-Hand Man In The White House

    Stephen Bannon, Head Of White Nationalist “Alt-Right” Website Breitbart News, Becomes Trump’s Senior Counselor

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    President-elect Donald Trump’s first White House hire tells you everything you need to know about his commitment to his campaign’s bigoted message. Stephen Bannon, an anti-Semite who ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News before taking a leave of absence to become the Trump campaign CEO, will be Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.

    On November 13, Trump released a statement announcing Bannon’s hiring. The same statement noted that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus would become Trump’s chief of staff. While White House chief of staff is typically the most senior position in the White House, the press release named Bannon first and described the two as “equal partners” in the Trump administration.

    Bannon has been a key figure in leveraging this bigotry to aid Trump’s rise to power. Bannon bragged during the Republican Convention to nominate Trump that Breitbart News had become home to the “alt-right” -- which is just a racist code word for white nationalists. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News has featured racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBT rhetoric. The site recently made a “noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas -- all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right’” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before he died, Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the tea party movement.”

    Bannon’s Breitbart News especially has come under fire for its rampant anti-Semitism. In May, contributor David Horowitz wrote a piece calling The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.” In September, Breitbart News writer Matthew Tyrmand called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist” who was “on the warpath against the rising populist forces doing electoral damage to her establishment friends and allies across the world,” adding, “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” In August, former Breitbart News writer Ben Shapiro accused the website of embracing “a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.” Bannon’s anti-Semitism goes deeper than just Breitbart. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on Twitter after today’s announcement, Bannon’s ex-wife swore in court that “he said he doesn’t like Jews” and didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews. Indeed, Esquire politics contributor Charles Pierce even compared Bannon with David Duke

    Republican strategist John Weaver agreed, adding:

    There are also significant issues with how Bannon ran Breitbart News. Breitbart News staffers alleged that Trump -- with the cooperation of Bannon and other top management -- paid the website for favorable news coverage and to turn it into “his own fan website.” Former spokesman Kurt Bardella told Media Matters that Bannon is a ““pathological liar who has a temperament that governs by bullying and intimidation and functions very much like a dictator at Breitbart.”

    Recently, Bannon has characterized the rise of Trump as part of a global nationalist movement, telling the radio show Breitbart News Daily on November 2, that “people want more control of their country. … They want sovereignty. It’s not just a thing that’s happening in any one geographic space.” His website has promoted Trump-style far-right political parties across Europe. In the past week, Bannon has reached out to France’s right-wing Nationalist Front movement, and according to The Daily Beast, he is “right now the direct line between the European far-right and Donald J. Trump.”

    The hires of Bannon and Priebus together signal that Trump’s White House will combine the traditional Republicanism of Priebus with Bannon’s brand of ethno-nationalism. Prominent Republican figures like Speaker Paul Ryan are signaling that they will allow the normalization of such a figure, openly praising Priebus’ hiring while ignoring Bannon rather than speaking out against him. Just today on CNN, Paul Ryan said he had never met Bannon, had no comment on him serving in Trump’s White House, but declared that he “trusted” Trump. Ryan’s agnosticism about Bannon beggars belief: Breitbart News under Bannon had led a multi-year campaign against Ryan, including declaring Ryan a Clinton supporter who shares her “globalist worldview” just weeks ago.

    Less than a week after Trump’s electoral victory, many reporters still seem confused about just what will come from a Trump administration. If they want to know what Trump truly has in mind for the country, they need to look at Bannon and his bigoted website.

  • Fox Host Claims Trump "Never Said He Was Blocking Muslims From Coming To The Country"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF


    Fox co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that President-elect Donald Trump never advocated in favor of blocking Muslims from entry into the United States. In December of 2015, Trump read off a policy proposal calling for the "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims coming into the U.S. Trump doubled down in July, arguing that he is "looking at" banning people from certain "territories" where Muslims reside and on November 10 the Trump campaign staff removed, and then restored, Trump’s call for banning Muslims on his campaign website. After denying his call to block Muslims from entering the U.S., Guilfoyle's co-host Dana Perino added that "ban and block" are the same and have the same effect: From the November 10 edition of Fox News' The Five:

    JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): I think that right now you have to talk about Trump and Republicans, and in specific Speaker Paul Ryan, because -- Ryan is a guy, for example, who is all about things like, you know, "let's make some cuts to things like Social Security, let's balance this budget, let's get it back working," right? And you -- what do you hear from Trump? "I will never touch Social Security, I will never touch Medicare, I will never touch Medicaid."And when it comes to the wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said I won't even bring up the wall, I mean, I'm not going to pay for some wall. So, you have to start to think about, what about a deportation force to get out all these -- You know what? I think the Republicans are going to be like, "Uh, excuse me sir, what are you talking about? Oh, should we block Muslims from coming into the country? President Trump, can we slow down? Let's talk about something else."

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Well, he never said he was blocking Muslims from coming to the country --

    WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was --

    GUILFOYLE: -- so now you are just making up things.

    WILLIAMS: Oh, but that's true, what fiction, what fiction.

    DANA PERINO (CO-HOST): Ban and block are the -- kind of the same.

  • Trump’s White Nationalist Supporters Love His “Nazi” Closing Ad Because It “Blasts” The “Evil Jews”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s closing campaign ad did not disappoint his anti-Semitic fans in the white nationalist movement. They called the two-minute ad, which has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, “absolutely fantastic” because it shows that Jewish people are “eating away at the flesh of this once-great nation.”

    Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall wrote that Trump’s closing ad is “packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. I'm not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whistles. The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO). … These are standard anti-Semitic themes and storylines, using established anti-Semitic vocabulary lined up with high profile Jews as the only Americans other than Clinton who are apparently relevant to the story.”

    Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt condemned the ad, stating that “whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages. This needs to stop.”

    Trump’s supporters in the white nationalist movement agree that the ad is anti-Semitic -- and they’re thrilled about it.

    The Daily Stormer is a virulently anti-Semitic website that worships Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. Site founder Andrew Anglin wrote in a November 7 piece headlined “Glorious Leader’s Closing Argument Blasts the Jew” that the ad is “absolutely fantastic” because Trump portrays Jews as “what they are: a virus eating away at the flesh of this once-great nation.” He continued that the “kikes at the Anti-Defamation League once again violated their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and attacked Trump over the ad.”

    In a November 7 Daily Stormer piece headlined “Radical Jew Attacks New Nazi Trump Ad,” “Zeiger” attacked Josh Marshall for criticizing the ad and said it has imagery that “could be right at home on a William Pierce video.” Pierce was “America's most important neo-Nazi for some three decades until his death in 2002” and the “leader of the National Alliance, a group whose members included terrorists, bank robbers and would-be bombers,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) noted.  

    Zeiger added that the video “felt pretty great. I don’t know who he has making these ads, but they obviously know what they’re doing. And Trump obviously approved them, so he’s in the loop as well.” An image accompanying the post portrayed Trump next to a swastika:

    Infostormer is a neo-Nazi website devoted to attacking Jewish people and praising Donald Trump. The website posted a November 6 piece headlined “Powerful Two Minute Donald Trump Ad Highlights Evil Jews Destroying America.” The piece called the ad “epic” and said it “highlights the evil Jews Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros as being behind the corrupt global establishment destroying America.”

    SPLC has called video blogger Paul Ray Ramsey (aka Ramzpaul) a white nationalist who "has emerged as the hottest right-wing video blogger this side of former Klansman David Duke." He responded to the question of whether Trump’s ad is anti-Semitic by tweeting: “Yes. It puts America before Israel. Shocking!”

    Members of the white nationalist/“alt-right” movement have been heavily supporting Trump’s campaign, and the candidate and his team have been courting members of the movement, including by appearing in white nationalist media, refusing to denounce them, and retweeting their messages.

  • Trump To Campaign With Ted Nugent, Noted Racist Who Said Hillary Clinton Should Be Hanged

    A Week After Calling Clinton A “Devilbitch,” Nugent Will Appear At A Trump Rally

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will campaign tonight with National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, a racist who earlier this year called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and recently described her as a “devilbitch.”

    Nugent will reportedly join Trump at a rally in Michigan tonight.

    As Media Matters has documented:

    Nugent has a long history of making racist and other inflammatory commentary. In 2016 alone, Nugent has promoted anti-Semitic content, used a racial slur against a Latino critic, promoted misogynist reasons why guns are better than women, shared a racist meme advertising the fake moving company “2 niggers and a stolen truck,” and smeared Minnesota police shooting victim Philando Castile as a criminal. In 2015, Nugent devoted an entire column to praising the use of the word “nigger,” even in a racist context.

    Nugent, who has endorsed Trump for president, this year has called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and promoted a fake video of her being shot. In an August post on his Facebook page calling for people to vote for Trump, Nugent termed Clinton a “lying hypocrite bitch.” He has also called the former secretary of state a “toxic cunt.” In a viral 2007 concert video, an assault-rifle-wielding Nugent called Clinton a “worthless bitch” and said that she should ride on his machine gun.

    In August, Bud Light pulled sponsorship of a Nugent concert following reporting from Media Matters about the beer company's association with Nugent. Nugent caused a national controversy in 2014 by campaigning with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. Abbott was slammed -- including by fellow Republicans -- for the association after Nugent called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

    In an October 31 Facebook Live video, Nugent exhorted viewers to “be sure you’re members of the National Rifle Association, and by God, get everybody in your lives to vote for Donald Trump in eight days, or the devilbitch will continue the fundamental transformation of the Barack ‘I Hate America’ Obama suicide death march for America. And if you have a problem with that terminology, move to Cuba, because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s policies are already in play in Cuba.”

     

     

  • Why Did The New York Times Call The Daily Caller “Moderate”?

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    The New York Times described The Daily Caller, the right-wing website run by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, as “relatively moderate.” If The New York Times believes The Daily Caller to be “relatively moderate,” anti-Semitic, sexist, racist, anti-LGBT commentary must be what passes for moderation in the right-wing media sphere these days.

    In a report on the future of Fox’s prime-time lineup, the Times noted that Carlson will take over the 7 p.m. slot once held by Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record. The article labeled Carlson’s website The Daily Caller “a provocative, if relatively moderate, right-leaning website”:

    As Fox faces competition from scrappier rivals like Breitbart News, Mr. Carlson, 47, is in some ways a throwback to a more genteel era of conservatism. Preppy and jovial, Mr. Carlson founded The Daily Caller, a provocative, if relatively moderate, right-leaning website, and he has often evinced a mischievous streak; in 2006, he agreed to be a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” although he was eliminated in the first round.

    Carlson has, both in print and on air, regularly promoted a conservative brand of commentary laced with misogyny, misinformation, and factually inaccurate attacks, which The Daily Caller has reflected.

    The Daily Caller once published a piece with a headline so offensive (“Kill All The Jews And When That Is Done Kill Those That Refused To Defend Them”) that Carlson had to blame it on the editor being “hungover” before updating the article with a different headline. This anti-Semitic offense was not an unusual move for the Caller, which has repeatedly quoted a Holocaust denier

    One would need to go back only a couple of weeks to find the Caller rewriting a heart-wrenching op-ed about a woman’s decision to terminate a wanted pregnancy after 20 weeks, when she discovered that the developing fetus “was missing half his heart” and “very unlikely [to] survive delivery.” The Caller “edited” it with stigmatizing language to shame the woman for receiving necessary medical care. In one part, it “revised” the woman’s statement about the “well of [her] grief” over the termination to read (emphasis original): “I wanted him to know [before I killed him] how important he was to me, that the well of my grief and love for him would stretch deeper and deeper into the vastness of our family’s small yet limitless life.”

    The Daily Caller captioned a video of American Indian Movement protesters hit by a car, “White man overruns indigenous peoples with superior technology” (since changed). It referred to Obama as “wife beater” in another headline because his sleeveless undershirt was visible through his white dress shirt. It published an op-ed praising Russia’s extreme anti-LGBT “gay propaganda” laws, which were condemned by human rights experts for violating international human rights law and essentially criminalizing homosexuality. And the outlet promoted a hoax birther story that former Democratic Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said there was “absolutely no proof at all that [Barack Obama] was born in Hawaii.” Abercrombie did not make those comments.

    In 2014, former Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley launched a series of sexist attacks about “pumping” BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray, for which Carlson had to publicly apologize. The Caller also baselessly claimed that former Miss Universe Alicia Machado was a “porn star campaign[ing] for Hillary Clinton,” even though Machado has never appeared in porn.

    The Daily Caller throws climate change denial into its mix of “relatively moderate” coverage (the polar bears are “doing just fine”) and tops it off with an opinion page ripe with conspiracy theories (Is the government planning “to kill 174,000 of the nation’s military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security … forces loyal to the Administration?”). If this is what is considered moderate in right-wing media today, there may be too few lines left to cross.